Guest Article by NRP & Blue, March 25, 2021.
Have you ever ask yourself that question?
Well in case you haven’t or never really thought of that, how about we explore a few things and take a look at how to prepare ourselves for some mighty BIG things that may happen in your life.
I’m going to do this in several Articles touching on some things that could very well change the way you look at things.
So how about we do this first:
I know a lot of people will tell you to cut up your CC’s and never use them…
Well for some I guess that would be a good idea, those that have ZERO self-control, those that see something OR their kids see something and they can’t just walk away, they MUST have that “thing” and in 1 week it gets tossed in the Garage like hundreds of other things and never to be seen again.
I disagree; I like Credit Cards for several reasons:
1. Obviously they are easy to use. Sometimes too easy.
2. You are most likely not going to build your Credit Score (you do know what your Credit Score means, right?)if you don’t have and use Credit Cards
3. You don’t need to carry a WAD of cash to go shopping or to buy “stuff”
5. I could list several more, but you get the idea, Credit Cards are a necessary evil.
NOW for the hard part… You MUST pay those suckers off EVERY MONTH, PERIOD.
I don’t give a darn what you buy on those CC’s, you NEVER let them slide a month, that becomes two months than three and you will never catch up on the payments.
Seriously I know people that pay their CC payment with another CC….. Really?
So, the next time you get that Credit Card Statement, take a good hard look at the Interest Rate. Are you paying 10%, 15% 25% (yes 25% on some cards and MORE) Do the math. There is a line on your statement that shows the $$$$ you paid in interest that month.
Those HUGE Banks are not there to give you money, I guarantee you that. They build $Billion Buildings and employ thousands of people all off the Interest you pay them.
Now for the reasons to have those Cards…. EMERGENCIES. What/If you get hurt and can’t work for a few weeks, months… HECK what if they shut down the Keystone Pipeline and you get laid off? Yes CC’s can help you out, BUT be very VERY careful, you need to know fully well you will need to pay those things off. If you have to live off your CC’s, you had best cut your Lifestyle in 1/10, get the mindset of ‘you really do NOT need anything other than the necessities’ and that don’t mean going out to dinner at cheaper restaurants, it means NO restaurants AT ALL.
If you have current Credit Card payments, do yourself a favor, do everything you can to pay them off. I don’t care if you have to miss that Starbuck’s Coffee or Eat Beans and Rice for a month (you’ll live) get them paid off, they will literally suck the life blood out of your Personal Economy and Budget. MAKE A PLAN and get those CC’s paid off, even if you do a little chunk at a time….. DO IT.
Do you have a House Loan? How about a Car Loan or two? Do you make a monthly Payment on a Title Loan? How about a running Loan at the local Pawn Shop where your Wife’s Diamond Wedding Ring is pawned?
Yes I have a Loan, and will for another 5 years on my Home, I’m guessing that most people do, BUT that’s it, no new $80.ooo+ Truck Loan, or anything else. Why you ask? Because that new truck will be worth very little in 5-10 years, and I can buy 10 used trucks (nice trucks) for a fraction of the cost AND I don’t need to pay that Interest again.
So, what to do with that 30 Year House Loan? First of all, If the numbers work out right, Refinance to a lower Rate, right now there are Rates of 3% or less, Just be sure to use a Reputable Lender (Enough said on that) get with your local Bank and Credit Unions, it cost nothing to ask, and you may just get a LOT better Rate.
Next, pay a little extra each Payment, even $50 or $100 a month will make a HUGE difference over the years.
Some people have the Banks include the Property Taxes with their Loans, I don’t, I don’t need to give the Banks a couple of thousand bucks to hold till the Taxes are due. That’s your money, you need to put a little back each month for those Taxes (will get into that more later).
Same with House Insurance buy your own and pay as needed, the Banks do charge for their services, even $10 is $10, right?
On a personal note: I look at that House Payment like a dead weight hanging around my neck, every month I make darn sure I write a check (NEVER a direct withdraw) and take a darn hard look at it and think of what I could be doing with that cash.
Ok Ok, I know, what’s “Extra Cash” right?
Well that’s the ‘change’ you receive when you pay cash for something. Yes the old 5 gallon Water Bottle thing. How about never spending a One Doller Bill on anything, only have $5’s or larger in the Pocket? Take all those one’s and put them away, somewhere it’s inconvenient to get to.
A friend takes hers (when she gets $50 together) and Vacuum Seals them and drops them into the bottom of the Chest Freezer. Has to move everything in the Freezer to get to them…. Too much work.
How about getting a 50-Cal Ammo can that will fit into your Safe (You do have a Safe, Right?) and once a week take all the money you have in your Pocket and put 1/4 into the Ammo Can.
Having a little cash sitting around is good Insurance. There are a heck of a lot of “things” happening in the world of money, you willing to risk not having ANY cash on hand When/If the money system crashes?
Let me ask; Do you have a Little Silver or Gold saved up? Personally I have a little, BUT, I honestly feel it’s mighty hard to eat Gold and Silver if things really REALLY get bad. Sure there are thousands that will say “Well you can always Barter with it” you bet you can, only if there are others that will Barter for something they can’t eat.
After you have your other “things” prepared, than I would get some G&S, but that’s just me.
2 months ago Diesel was $2.51 per gallon, Reg Gas was $2.06, today it’s $3.19 and $3.00 respectively (Gas Producers here predict another dollar in 5-6 months). Propane has gone up 25% here, and there is talk of Electrical going up at least 15-20%.
Food is on the rise; Beef here is up 10% as are most other meats, Can goods are about the same cost, but smaller cans…..
If one listens to the News they are telling you “there is no inflation”, do your own research, look in the stores, check online. If you believe there is Zero Inflation than you are set. I would disagree with anyone that thinks prices are not going up, and at a faster rate than I have ever seen. Never have I seen Gas go up $1.oo per gallon in less than 50 days.
So what are you to do about Inflation? Well that’s the $million question isn’t it?
I would suggest you start really shopping around for the best prices, Now I’m not a big fan of the “Big Box Stores” but when I can buy in ‘Bulk’ Soap or Flour (things that I know I’ll need) from places like Costco and Sam’s Club, than that’s a lot of help. Wally World also will be of less cost that Safeway. And yes I know I hate to go there myself, but ya know, it’s money in my pocket. Do I HATE the fact that the Local Mom-N-Pop stores are hurting and failing, you bet your tush I do, and unfortunately it’s the way of the world now.
Another thing to fight Inflation, get with the local people, see if you can Trade/Barter of thing and services, maybe cut their Lawn for some Garden Produce, or stuff like that.
Something I want to mention, Venezuela, yep, you have heard what’s going on there. 800% inflation at one point there money was worth less that Toilet Paper, literally. At one time Venezuela was the 4th richest country in the world……. Think about that, the US was considered the wealthiest, where do we sit now? Take a good hard look at the US Dollar and where it’s headed.
What will you do if your $1.oo bill is worth 50 cents tomorrow and 10 cents in a month. Think it can’t happen here???? Really?
There is a Website called US Debt Cock.org https://www.usdebtclock.org/
This is an interesting site; it shows basically the US Debt and a LOT of other “numbers”, like Unemployment, State Debt, Inflation rates, National Debt per Tax Payer and all kinds of “Fun Stuff” go take a look see.
FYI National Debt in the US now is …. Over $28Trillion, that’s about $224,455 per Tax Payer… You got that kind of money sitting around? How about your Children and their Children?
Ahhhh yes, the all illusive Taxes, Dose anyone here truly believe that our Taxes are NOT going to skyrocket? I know, I know, TPTB (The Powers To Be) say they are not going to raise Tax rates on the poor and middle class. Sure they aren’t they need your votes, BUT that ARE going to raise rates on the “rich” and Corporate Taxes. Ok, here is a test; Do you really think that “the rich” and the Corporations are going to take that money out of their pockets? Ohhhhh heck no they aren’t, they will simply raise the cost of whatever they are producing, an pass the cost on to us, Again; Inflation and Economic Doom & Gloom.
Are your Wages or SS going to go up as much as the prices from Tax Increases are? How about your Pensions? Are they going to increase 20% or more in 50 days?
PS: during the Great Depression, most Homes and Land was lost to the inability to pay the Property Tax….. You have 2 years of Taxes saved up Just In Case the Economy dies?
A LOT of people have Savings Accounts, Bank Accounts and Safety Deposit Boxes in the Banks, This is a hard one, personally I do not like having my Cash in a Bank, or anywhere my deposits are no longer my money. Read the Laws and the Bank Policy. Most will say that your Deposit is no longer “your money”, it is an unsecured loan to the Bank. Something to think on in these uncertain days with the Country/World Economy being what it is. Not only that, we all have heard of “Bank Holidays” right? Remember Greece and a few other Countries simply withdrawing people’s money from the Banks and simply “taking it”. Think that can’t happen here with all transactions going electronically soon?
One more thing, That Safety Deposit Box: If the Bank is closed (Maybe a Pandemic hits), how are you going to get your “stuff” out of it?
Personally I got all my Cash in Mason Jars buried in the Back Yard hehehe
I touched on this a little already, but, your personal Economy should include the knowledge on where to buy what.
What are you talking about dude???
Well try this one on for size, I can buy a 20# sack of Flour from Safeway for around $9.97, OR I can buy that exact same Flour from the ‘Mill’ for around $13 for a 50# sack. How about Carrots, From the local store for around $3.50 for 3 pounds, or a Local Feed Store, 50# sack for right at $20, and yes they are Good Carrots.
Back to Wally World, Sam’s and Costco; How about you buy in Bulk and split it with someone you trust? You both will save 20-30% for just a little time.
Where’s the Beef? (Remember the commercial HAHAHA) How about buying a Steer or even a half? Last one I got, in the freezer cost was right at $3.75 total cost, yeah you can get Hamburger for $3.oo in Sam’s, but you sure as heck can’t get T-Bone and Roast for that.
The point, Learn to shop around and be smart, learn to group shop with others, and share what you can.
Are you ready for that HUGE leap?
Let me tell you, working for a living is nothing like Retirement, I’m working harder now than I ever have, seems like every minute is full.
But this is about Your Economy. Do you have a Pension? How is your Social Security set? What about other income?
How will you be set as far as Insurance, Taxes, Payments and so-on?
Honestly life will slow down a LOT once you retire, so will the expenditures. Let me tell you, Money will seem a LOT less important than it once was.
BUT!!!! You had better set down NOW well before Retirement and do the Math. Get that “savings” built up some, get a good stash of Dog Treats put up and for crying out loud, Relax, all that Rush Rush and Running Around is over. Take time to actually enjoy that Sunset and those Grand Children if ya got em.
Unforeseen “Ohhh Poop’s”;
Let me tell you, something is and always will come up and bite ya in the butt.
That Water Heater WILL break, the Heater will need repair as will the Truck, TV, Kitchen Sink, and even Ole Blue will need fixing from time to time…..
Get it together and have that covered in your Economic Plan. Have those Credit Cards ready IF NEEDED, be smart enough to know then you can fix stuff, or when you need to Pro’s.
Also you had best think on your Health, have you a Budget Number for when that Double Pneumonia hits and your stuck in bed for a month, you can get things done. Remember that Fences are not going to repair themselves.
Building up Supplies;
Last thing I want to toss out there when discussing your economy.
What are you going to do WHEN the Country/World Economy comes crashing down?
Remember the Great Depression? My Parents lived through it, and I remember to this day the stories they would tell, and the people that literally lost everything they had.
I remember my Grandma would can and store everything she could, same with my Parents.
How are you going to feed your Children and your loved ones if you have no job and there is NO HELP from FEMA and the .gov because there is nothing to be had? How will you tell your Family that you need to leave for 3 months because you “heard of work” 1000 miles away?
How long will it take for the entire Country do completely implode into chaos and despair?
Take a hard look around the Country right now and see what’s going on in some of the major cities and across the lands.
Let me tell you, watch the News for a few nights and do some Internet searching on crime rates and the all-out craziness of our leaders RIGHT NOW.
Now tell me you don’t think you should get your “Stuff” in order and start to build up a few supplies, I’m not saying to be a Hoarder or anything like that, I’m saying to start with a month of “stuff” and maybe two months of ‘Cash On-Hand’ you would need When/If you needed them for your Family.
I honestly believe that My Generation has lived through the best there was, now we are heading into some hard times ahead…..
PLEASE get your Personal Economy in order.
It does not matter how you do it, Just figure it out and get it done.