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TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Discuss Finances Here. *Note, this is not a replacement for Professional advice and should not be used for such.

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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Sun May 15, 2016 10:28 am

For those of you who are still working at jobs. I know and have known many people who stop at Fast Food joints on their way to work in the mornings on their way to work to get coffee and McSomethings. And then for lunch they head right back to a Fast food joint or Cafe for more Junk Food. Let's examine this cost (not counting health issues of that crap in the diet). Gasoline cost--to or out of the way, running the engine while waiting in line at the drive up window line. Round trip at lunch. Plus cost of the food. Daily cost??? Depends on where you live and the price of gas for the most part. Many just hand a credit card to the clerk to pay, and don't keep track of the daily, weekly, or monthly total of cost of doing this. And many people don't want to think about it. Here's a way to help your budget: If you are one of these people, do the math. (All 3...per D, per W, per M). Then figure what taking your food with you to work would cost for the same...Day, Week, Month, and don't forget the gasoline cost. For many years I took my Bfast and lunch to work. Sometimes I had Bfast at home ( a quick and easy one). I did not care what coworkers thought, said, or did for their food. Avoid vending machines at work. When you make your own, you know what you're getting and you know that it is clean, and affordable. A benefit on the side with this approach is that you have actually more time to relax during your break, less stress (Traffic and rushing) etc. Here's a sample of brown bag or lunch box: Home made sandwich. Small salad. Thermos of coffee. A piece of fruit. A little candy. Thermos of soup. One or two small snacks for break times. Your imagination and diet will factor in. The savings you gain by doing this is surprising. For some people it would be shocking. But it adds up quickly. The money saved by doing this will aid in other areas of your budget. Your savings for a week should be approx. the cost of 3 days at Fast food joints per week. People who are too lazy to fix this take to work food at home the evening before or that morning before work are just making excuses and you know what excuses are like. If you are a real Prepper you will make the effort. You will do the math. You will save some money to help manage your budget better. And you might even lose a couple extra pounds if you have any. If so, you will look better and feel better. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby IceFire » Sun May 15, 2016 10:38 pm

My husband and I both "brown bag" our lunches. Actually, we take our insulated lunchboxes with our lunches, plus thermoses/water bottles. I actually have a "food drawer" in my desk at work...that way, I have lunch and "snack" items that I've brought from home, as well as a few breakfast items, just in case I forget to grab my lunch, or am in a hurry because either I overslept (NOT so likely) or ended up having to chase animals back into their enclosures (FAR more likely) when I go out to feed/water in the mornings. I also make a mean breakfast sandwich (toasted and buttered English muffin, sausage patty, and fresh egg from my own chickens) or breakfast burrito that I can take with me, or if I have time, a bowl of grits with butter and bacon.

Not only do we get healthier breakfasts and lunches than the fast food crowd, but we save a LOT of money (which can then be used for OTHER things.)
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Sun May 15, 2016 11:14 pm

IceFire, good for you two! :thumbsup: Some times when I worked in an office I didn't have a desk, only a table a phone and a computer, so I didn't have a desk drawer to keep extra items in, but there was a college dorm sized frig, a coffee maker, and a microwave oven, so I could keep a week's supply of things in the frig. and just make whatever from the stuff I had there. Like lean roast beef or ham from the Deli, cheeses, bread, condiments, fruits, etc. The office was small with only a few coworkers so there wasn't a problem with snichers and thieves. If they asked me first, I shared. I Don't like stinginess, and hunger interferes with productivity at work. Only three of us worked full time, the rest were part time by choice. There were a couple fast food addicts there though. Looks like it would be difficult to help improve your budget. You seem well educated and experienced in that subject. May be you can offer some other ideas to others that you know work well. I hope so. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby PatrioticStabilist » Mon May 16, 2016 7:30 am

I remember my son telling us he would not eat anything with beans in it, he would pick them out.
I just started putting them in the blender and then adding it. He thought he had won, ha! ha! but
he was still eating them. Of course in later life he likes them. I did not cater much to what the kids
wanted to eat, they learned to eat what we did. I tried to provide a balanced diet.
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Tue May 17, 2016 10:27 am

M any people over the years have developed bad habits in managing their incomes and monthly budgets. Here are some things that I have learned over the years that have worked well for me. My budget is written out on paper, in columns. At the top right is a list of incomes. Monthly expenses and bills, statements are in the left hand column in order of priority ans from highest to lowest in dollar amount. On the left side their are subtotal lines. Discretionary items are listed below the subtotal lines. Below the incomes subtotal lines is where the subtotals are subtracted to reach a dollar amount left after all bills have been paid. On the left side there are lines to write in items that have no due date, and are not time sensitives such as Groceries, gasoline, luxuries, membership Dues, subscriptions, non essentials, miscellaneous, Charitable donations, gifts, small personal loans (friends/relatives), will needs, and items that can be put off and carried forward to the next month. Also in that left column is one for savings whether it is cash stash at home, or bank savings. That is an important one for me. Some dollar amount always goes into it each month. That is how I save as much as I can for the more expensive items that I will eventually purchase. Just below that line is a list of Prepper items to get. It always has something there. They are usually listed in order of importance to survival. If you are or can meet your obligations each month and have discretional use money left each month, this is where the really hard thinking and planning begins. And the tough decisions are to be made. I always try to keep a certain amount left in the checking account as a BUFFER. It should cover any math error I make in my balance but it is not listed into that balance. It is written on a separate line in the checkbook register in red ink. When doing the math I do it in my head, on paper and confirm it to the penny with a calculator to make sure it is correct. I do the math 3 times to be sure. I regularly get in my mail items that say that I need to renew something. I keep a list of annuals and semiannuals and the month and day that renew takes place. I send a note back if the membership or dues or subscription is not due and tell them it is paid in full through the date it is supposed to be. Some companies think they can double bill you and you will not notice. I NOTICE AND I CHECK IT. When you catch these and bring them to their attention, they will almost always certainly blame it on a computer error. Someone is controlling and programming that computer. So it really is a human error anyway, whether deliberate or just a mistake. Always confirm a statement or bill for legitamacy and accuracy before paying it. Learn to spot GIMMICS and FRAUDS and special offers. Do not pay to extend things by an extra year or two. This will disrupt your budget schedule and cause confusion. Avoid impulsive spending. Marketing methods are designed to target people who buy on impulse or by telling you that you need something that you really don't need. "Must haves" actually mean "we must have your money". Wise spending vs Dumb spending. Spending money is not saving money. They are two separate things. You see all the time ...Buy now and save! BS! Always compare items of purchase. Buy the Best. Buy Quality of the highest when you buy something. It will last much longer than cheap junk. More later. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Thu May 19, 2016 3:39 pm

Here's something that used to really stretch my grocery part of my budget and still does now and then. I sometimes cut my grocery spending money just to put more money toward something else. For awhile I will vary the types of meals and entrees with Soups, Sandwiches, and salads of all kinds, and fruits, canned or fresh. Sometimes with crackers, toast, dumplings, or a bagel etc. Love those sliced and toasted bagels. (careful to prevent getting stuck in the toaster) If the slices get stuck in the toaster, unplug the toaster before trying to remove them to avoid getting shocked, electricuted or burned. I usually smash them a little to make sure the slices are thin enough to not get stuck inside the toaster and will pop all the way up, and come out easily. They get really hot when you toast them. I used to makes different soups, chilli and stews in larger batches in my crock pot and then when done turn the pot down on low during serving for the first meal and then cool and put into sealed large frig. storage containers or freezer storage containers for short term freezing. I found that except for condiments in the frig. these practices cut my grocery expense for a month by at least 50% and I still ate well, and fairly healthily. Taking a daily vitamin and a vitamin C also helped. Some people are amazed at how well this works. Now and then I would add some pudding, jello, or other yummy dessert. I never once went hungry doing this and the varieties kept it interesting, and flavorful. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Sat May 21, 2016 3:29 pm

I have learned the real costs of unnecessary spending on luxuries and wants. Some of things that cutting down on, really helped my budget were: entertainment such as movie theater movies, gambling of all kinds, smoking, alcohol consumption, pleasure driving, going to bars and nightclubs, eating out at supper time, switching from expensive vacations to far less expensive ones closer to home, postponing the purchase of certain clothing items and trying to make the clothing and foot wear I have last longer. Trying to keep clothing cleaner so it isn't laundered to death. Every time a fabric is laundered it disintegrates a little more. The same thing applies to towels and linens. You can see the evidence of this more in the lint left behind in your clothing dryer and washing machine than the actual clothing until it reaches a certain state of wear. Front loader washers are more gentle to clothing than top loaders. I completely stopped buy fireworks at fourth of July, but if I had children or Grand children around I would get "a few" to entertain them with. I am not advocating the cutting out of all fun in life. Everyone needs to have some fun to live a balanced, contented, satisfied life and get a little joy in life to make it more worth living. When I had family we played a lot of games of all kinds at home for entertainment. In those days it was very fun. None of them were electronic that high tech has come up with. I refer to table games, playing card games, board games etc. with up to 6 or 8 players. The book of "Hoyle's Rules of Games" was always our official Rule book for all those it contained. And outdoor games in the yard, like croquet, darts, horse shoes, badminton, volleyball etc. BBQs with pot luck additions were always low cost get togethers with friends and family now and then with fun and games as well. Inexpensive Hobbies can sometimes fill the entertainment gaps. I also used to read a lot more fiction for entertainment. I like rivoting, enthralling, exciting, hate to put it down type books up to 500 pages long. They last longer if they are that long. I spend a lot more time at home than most young people do, so many of these things are easier for me to do and apply. Traveling can be quite expensive and is no longer safe at all in many parts of the world and this is sad for people who were in that mind set, and had a "Bucket List" of places to visit. I have traveled extensively but have curbed all out of country travel There were at least a dozen out of country places on my bucket list when I decided to stop entirely. I am satisfied to visit them in Magazines and call it good. National Geographic being my main one. If I have repeated some things in my posts here please overlook it. I post a lot on this website. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Sat May 21, 2016 10:21 pm

Perhaps I should also mention those ads by organizations and entities, and advisors AND CONSULTANTS that claim they can get your debts reduced, forgiven, payment lowered, or debts refinanced or other things. They are GIMMICS, AND COME ONS WHO CAN IN REALITY DO NO MORE FOR YOU THAN YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF, AND WILL CHARGE YOU A HEFTY FEE FOR ADVISING YOU ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN LEARN ON YOUR OWN AT NO COST, IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK. THEY ARE CAREFUL TO STAY WITHIN THE LAW, BUT THEY ARE IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL AND WILL RIP YOU OFF LEGALLY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE. THE SAME CAN BE SAID OF THOSE CLAIMING TO BE ABLE TO WORK MIRACLES WITH THE IRS ON YOUR BEHALF. YOU CAN NEGOTIATE SOME ARRANGEMENTS SOMETIMES YOURSELF WITH THE IRS ON YOUR OWN BEHALF IF YOU WORK WITH THEIR PEOPLE BUT YOU MAY ONLY END UP WITH FEWER PENALTIES, INTEREST AND SMALL REDUCTIONS, AND PERHAPS MORE TIME TO PAY ANY OWED OR BACK TAXES, AS LONG AS YOU STAY UP TO DATE IN ANY AGREEMENTS YOU MAKE WITH THEM. BREACH AN AGREEMENT AND THE CONSEQUENCES WILL BE HARSH. Sometimes reducing debt and paying it off takes a lot of effort, self discipline, and patience and time. But if I can do it, anyone can. I don't like the "REVERSE MORTGAGE" ON HOMES OPTION EITHER. IT IS DESIGNED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ELDERLY. Another good source of solid info. is the AARP. I have read a lot of their info. and it is sound, reliable, accurate, truthful, and written in everyday language that anyone can understand. You will find it in their publications and their websites, along with other sources that they share. It helps to be a member, it does have its benefits. Age of 50 years old may be required to join, but if you know a member they may willingly and readily share info. and publications with you to read. Just beware of Scams illegal and legal alike. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Mon May 23, 2016 2:44 pm

Try to keep in mind that "everyone out there" wants a chunk of your money, and I mean every single one of them. Remember this old saying? "A fool and his money soon go their separate ways". ?? More: Don't throw good money after bad. In for a penny, in for a pound? How about...Just pay separate shipping and handling? What the H.? Not in the same shipment? Why in H. not? No risk guarantee??? There is no such thing. Just try to get a refund and you will find out that you will not. See a product on TV, just wait til it shows up in a retail store. If it is good it will, and then you can examine it up close and decide if it is a good purchase or not. And skip shipping and handling all together. How about the pressure tactics...Call in the next ____minutes. Call RIGHT NOW..THIS VERY MINUTE. HIGH PRESSURE TACTICS....DON'T GO THERE. Don't call your Doctor unless you really need to. For me. I already know that those new drugs are not for me. Drugs are not candy. Many do more harm than good. Be careful and be cautious. Doctors are not God's representatives on earth. Think about Doctor's real motives. Who do they serve? You or themselves? $$$$!!!! :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Anna » Tue May 24, 2016 1:34 pm

I agree with food rules at home. People (not just kids) today are totally spoiled. There is everything under the sun at the grocery store, but that doesn't mean you have to buy it. Teaching ourselves and our children to eat most all foods and not to be picky could be a life saver in SHTF situation. Not all foods store well so learning to eat those that do is a wise prep. I really like beans and rice so no problem with that here.

Can you imagine the pain of watching your picky spouse or children starve rather than eat beans and rice. Can you imagine how much you could save by eating beans and rice once or twice each week?

Puddings are a good way to use powdered milk and there are very few kids who won't eat pudding. Yogurt can also be made from powdered milk.
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Tue May 24, 2016 3:59 pm

In this post I will touch on something that over the years has periodically interfered with my Budgets. I call it by several names, but here's a pretty good one: The Soft Touch, Bleeding Heart, Sympathy, Guilt Trip, Self Sacrificing and Generosity Emotional Ploy. It has to do with your budget being damaged. It involves...immediate family members, Relatives, Friends, loved ones, and other people you care about. When these people are also having money problems. :| Their money problems are not your money problems per se, unless you allow them to be. I have in the past been seriously affected by these. Eventually I realized that I needed to Revise my financial Policies and stick to them. After thousands of dollars expended on these people for various reasons and a many personal sacrifices made in order to do so, I decided that enough is enough. :| For some of them it became a habit and eventually I had to politely put my foot down and refuse to bail them out at my expense. Emotionally it was painful but had to be done. Many times it required every bit of money I had left after my monthly bills were paid and sometimes I juggled some that could be postponed or something that was not time sensitive. I simply had to tell these people in the kindest and most polite way, that I had my own money problems to solve and could not help them. :| Some of the people that I helped failed to show a true, genuine, sincere appreciation of my help. They slowly got cut off before I made my final Policy Revisions. Since I made those revisions I have been able to move forward with my own financial future and plans, both near future, and long range. I can now save according to original plans. :| One major thing that goes hand in hand with having no debts is having money put away to meet those plans. So this is something for serious consideration in month to month Budgets. Emotional self control. Avoiding "The Bleeding Heart Syndrome". Because is will Bleed you like a Vampire. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Thu May 26, 2016 12:34 pm

Over the past several years I have been closely observing the competition wars being waged in several business arenas. Insurance, credit cards, communications providers (TV, internet, phones and devices similar), non banking money lenders, financial advisers, financial brokers, car manufacturers, debt consolidation loaners, major Banks, and many other lesser or smaller ones. :| They all implore you the consumer to switch from what you have to them with claims of "saving" you the consumer (customer) tons of money. Every single one of them have made false, misleading or very deceptive claims. :| Once you have switched you are often bound by a contract or an agreement. This is done to trap you the consumer in case you discover the things that if known before hand, would have made you not do it in the first place. :| But then after you do discover these things it is too late. :| They all pay professional people to very carefully craft and design their sales pitches, tactics, advertisements and easily recognized personalities to "act" in their TV ads. :| Once you are "locked in" they begin to start the increases on your statements knowing full well you will not be able to do anything but complain to them about your complaints, protests, or dispute. :| The situations can be compared to a court battle that lasts for years. :| They have put in place beforehand a complete set of roadblocks designed to influence you to give up the problem you have with them and just allow it to pass unchallenged. :| They want you to give up in frustration and you are angry about it. :| They put in place phone answering machines instead of real live people to waste your time, put you on hold for an hour. :| They will make all kinds of excuses to delay your attempts, and they will pass the buck as many times as possible. :| They will hire low paid customer services reps. who have foreign accents and either can't or won't answer or address your issue, and record your conversation in case you become emotional or verbally abusive to their phone reps. because you are angry and or frustrated. You can avoid a lot of problems by simply learning how they function, how they tend to sucker people in, doing some home work, asking friends and relatives if they have experienced these things, check for complaints to Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other consumer protection entities. :| The more you learn beforehand, the less you will be cheated. :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby Lifelong Survivalist » Thu May 26, 2016 7:51 pm

Using a credit card for any purchase other than an unexpected emergency, or an unforeseen expense that arises is a cardinal sin in good budgeting. :| Falling for any "cash back" gimmic is also a no-no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 % equals pennies on a dollar. They can afford that, because the interest on your unpaid balance is where they really gouge you and making minimum payments do not pay a thing on the principle of your balance or not enough to reduce your balance much at all. :| They count on you using it (your card) all the time. They count on you to be too lazy, too tired or too busy or not to take or make the time to track your day to day spending or keep track of it. :| They count on you being a spend thrift, impulsive buyer spender, purchaser and then to only have enough money to make the minimum payment. :| It's like a snowball rolling downhill in moist snow. It grows very quickly. After you max out your card, they will offer to up or increase you limit, as long as you keep making at least the minimum payment on time. :| But then even the amount of minimum payment will grow with the increased balance owed will grow. :| When that one can go no further the card holder will resort to using another card until that one is in bad shape too. The person ends up deep in debt and having much difficulty repaying the money they spent that was not theirs to begin with. :| There is always a day of reckoning eventually. :| You can buy very good books in retail book stores to help you keep a balanced and successful budget and permanent bound ledgers and budget Journals and record books as well. :| I do NOT reccomend keeping your budget on or in a computer. :| Keep it on paper as a hard copy written in your own writing. :| If you can't write, learn to, if you can't read, learn to. :| If you can't do simple math, learn to and then buy a low cost solar/ light powered calculator to double check your basic simple math with of the simple kind, NOT a fancy/prancy scientific one. :| More people are experiencing budget problems in America today because of credit card debt than any other reason. :| Right behind that is CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS AND BACK OWED CHILD SUPPORT, and then adjustable rate home mortgages and then car or vehicle loan payments. :| :-) Lifelong
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby dmwalsh568 » Fri May 27, 2016 6:57 am

Using a credit card for any purchase other than an unexpected emergency, or an unforeseen expense that arises is a cardinal sin in good budgeting. :| Falling for any "cash back" gimmic is also a no-no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 % equals pennies on a dollar.


I disagree 100%!

If you pay off your credit card balance each month to avoid the finance charges, then you SHOULD be using your credit card for all your regular purchases. The cashback bonus may be pennies on the dollar, but you're leaving money on the table if you don't take advantage of it.

That said, I use cash for local purchases to help the small merchants around here, and for things I want to keep off the record so to speak...But when I'm in a big chain store...credit cards always, unless the system is broken and I don't want to walk away from something.

Of course, if you've already dug yourself into a hole, then you need to get out fast and get back to a firm financial footing. In that case, making the minimum payments on all debt except the highest interest rate makes sense so you can pay down the highest rate balance first. Then when that debt is retired, you move onto the next highest and so on, until your debt is gone. If you can't see the end of the debt tunnel using this method then you need to seek professional help as bankruptcy may be the only solution short of a lottery win or the death of a rich relative. :floppytongue:
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Re: TIPS FOR PREPPERS WITH FINANCIAL AND BUDGET DIFFICULTIES

Postby RayMac1963 » Fri May 27, 2016 12:38 pm

I'm disappointed Lifelong wasn't giving out the lottery number as a solution. But since its not, I'll accept the post as helpful just as it is...
I can't help but think God is up there right now saying "its time to shake the ol' Etch-A-Sketch and restart humanity again".



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