Tag Archive: Debt


Here’s a good one that is rather telling: Yesterday in my mail I received a ‘renewal’ notice for my ‘new’ car tags. The tags which I just got at the end of May are good until May of 2013…and the DMV sent me a renewal notice that noted my tags were due for renewal (but clearly stated they were set to expire in 5/13)…now, I can understand a glitch that would send this out…but I am not the only who got something like that this week…Me thinks that the State is getting creative in finding money, after all, how many people get something like that and unthinkingly pay for it without a second thought? It is ‘just one of those things’ that you do, that you are trained to do. Of course I am not paying it and actually sent it back to them pointing out that I am not paying forward on a vehicle that I may not even have then (not exactly those words, I was a bit more creative).

Now, what does this have to do with surviving SHTF? It is part of the preparedness mind set. Understand, we have been taught to, more or less, as good little sheeple, to pay things like this on demand, without looking at it, simply because we get it from the state or the Feds or whatever ‘authority’ (including telephone companies, credit lenders, etc.) sends it to us. Many people get it and pay it without taking the time to look at the ‘bill’ to see if it is indeed valid. It is called ‘questioning’ what is the ‘truth’ or appears to be ‘true’ just because an ‘authority’ says it is true. Those who will survive turmoil in whatever manner it may come, will have the ability to openly question and spot BS or something that is not true. This is a survival skill folks, it is a mindset. And that mindset starts with LOOKING at what is being said to be ‘true’ and either confirming or denying it instead of just ‘assuming’ it is true. This means that you think for yourself and not follow the crowd or authority unthinkingly and without question. And yes, we are taught from birth to unquestioningly ‘follow’ authority even when everything inside us says that it is not right. We are taught, in this society that still holds to ‘conformity’ (and there is nothing inherently wrong with ‘conformity’ as long as it serves the good of both the individual and the whole), that to break away from the ‘herd’ means becoming an outcast and way back when, this meant death. People were cast out (literally) for not conforming to ‘community’ standards and group think. Think the Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials and even NOW, a woman faces jail time for going against ‘normal’ in growing her own food in the front yard. Yes, we are taught that to go against ‘norms’ and not conforming can get us in trouble.

In the media, the ‘survivalist’ movement and mindset is continually attacked with labels as ‘extremists’, fear mongers, and even the word crazy…uhuh. But what is really going on, underneath the surface in most cases, is that the people who live the preparedness lifestyle and have that mindset are going against ‘norms’ and groupthink. You are strange if you don’t have a college degree (or lazy or not smart) and the slavery known as student loan debt (and I have this puppy myself, but not a big one). You are strange if you put food up ‘just in case’ and don’t run to the grocery store every other day or don’t have a 401k plan and horrors…you are even stranger if you work for yourself or attempt to provide for yourself and have a weapon! You are going against the grain, against the group, against what ‘they’ are trying to say is ‘normal’. You think for yourself in most cases and this makes you QUESTION almost everything that you come across, simply because you don’t just ‘go along’ with the standard program and for someone who has the preparedness mindset, this is just ‘normal’ and becomes automatic. I like to think of this as the BS detector.

The powers that be know and understand that people are growing aware and asking questions, that their BS detectors are starting to go BEEP! They are just beginning to realize that perhaps, just perhaps, that they won’t survive if they don’t start questioning. But many people are still just going with the flow, ignoring their early warning BS detector beeps, which is just enough to encourage the ‘authorities’ to try things like sending out renewal notices or adding strange charges and such because they are playing the odds that you will ‘just do it’. Many people, who are questioning ‘the truth’ and just beginning to get prepared because they hear the faint beep, beep, go with the flow because they are afraid that if they don’t they will be labeled, cast out or thought of as ‘not being a good citizen’…they are afraid that if they are ‘found out’ they will get into trouble somehow. But as someone who is firmly set on her path of surviving SHTF in whatever manner it may come, I see it, I see what they are up to and call a spade a spade…yep, caught ya!  All because I question what the ‘truth’ is and am prepared to think for myself instead of just handing over my money, my property and liberty all for the illusion of safety and being ‘safe’. Does this make me or you a ‘radical’ or ‘unusual’ because of going against the ‘norms’? Hmm, seems to me the ‘norm’ goes against the natural order of things…

In my mind, one day, this non-sheeple mindset might just might save my home, my business or my life and that of those I love, but at the very least, yesterday it  saved me a nice chunk of change which I can put to better use right now. I am not going with the crowd, I am not giving up my liberties and I am definitely not being quite, but I am not an extremist and certainly not ‘unpatriotic’ nor ‘not a good citizen’…in fact, the exact opposite is true. But my mindset is preparedness oriented, on the look out and ready for whatever may come. I think and question and take action based on what I see to be the truth instead of being a part of the sheeple crowd…I can’t afford to be otherwise and neither can you…get your BS detector out folks…the beeps are coming hard and fast.

I am not ‘rich’ by any means… I have no savings what-so-ever, credit card debt (thank goodness not that much, way under 5k and paying them off rapidly and not using them at all and yes, they are still in my wallet), not a lot in tangible assets that are worth anything of value, student loans, two businesses that are supported through the law of supply and demand, 3 cars (yes I do have 3 but 2 are paid for and both are at least 10 years old) a home that I owe a mortgage on for the next 28 years and this morning, I was smacked into financial reality, yet again…the mortgage is due and when I pay it, I will have only $100 left until my customers pay me and I need to go to the grocery store, never mind the rest of the bills that are coming due. Today I feel like I am gambling and on the loosing end of the stick.

 This is situation NORMAL for me but yet, each time I come face to face with this ‘normal’, I get a bit nervous, okay, more than a bit nervous if you want the truth. I really don’t want to go into my stash of food because it would be like admitting something is definately wrong with this picture. I really don’t want to have start selling things off to make the bills either, but you know, I just may have to if things don’t get turned around just a bit. Used to be that I could at least count on positive cash flow from one of my businesses to at least meet the basics, (never mind anything ‘extra’) but right now, hmm, not so reliable, rather sporadic and it bothers me greatly…fear creeps into me…So what the heck do I do?

I will tell what I do(what I AM doing right this moment as I write) when I come face to face with the uncertainity in my life…I get a grip, yep, get a grip. I am blessed to own my own home which is not upside-down nor am I behind in payments, the power is on, I own vehicles outright that do run and nothing is in cut-off status (yet). I am not ‘sick’ per se, though I live thyroid disease and my children are for the moment, healthy. My dogs run in the front yard and aren’t starving or sick…I do have food in the house thanks to being ‘prepared’ just in case something happens and worst case crash, drop dead senario, I do have tangible assets worth money that I could sell. So my pitty potty time is brief. I count my blessings and remember that I enjoy an abundance that millions of others in this country no longer enjoy. I remember that I can create money from the work of my own hands, and I am smart and savvy (okay, not all the time but forgive me for being human) and can work and will work and DO work long hours leaving the dirty dishes in the sink until I have to go make dinner. And after dinner and finishing up a bit more business related work I get to go inside and take a shower and go to sleep in a warm bed. Thank goodness I am not homeless, without a way to earn money and I am not tottering on the edge of some giganitc financial cliff (yet) from which there is no return. There is still room to wiggle. I actually still have a pretty ‘normal’ middle class life.

I get a grip remembering that for me, the NORMAL is that things change on the dime and sitting here worrying only occupies my mind and time allowing for no positive forward thinking or getting things done and makes me sick, literally. For me, sitting here worrying is a distraction and a waste of energy that is better spent doing what I can when and where I can to cut bills down, taking care of customers quickly and putting more effort into my work (that just happens to pay the bills). Worry can quickly turn into depression, anxiety and dispair if I don’t get a grip and wrap my head around gratitude and acceptance…so I work on that today…can’t change what is in this moment but I surely can be grateful what I do have instead of spending time lamenting to myself about what I can’t do today and over what I have no control over. And in a SHTF senario, worry, anxiety, depression and dispair can get you dead real quick…it can immobilize you when you need to get digging deeper or become more creative in how to deal with a situation and it WILL cause grief into the future because when you worry you start creating from FEAR and THAT is a big mistake. While I don’t suggest putting on rose colored glasses or sticking your head in the sand, I do try to remember that the REASON WHY I have choosen to get prepared is to avoid this very thing called worry and fear…and I am to some degree, prepared.

I get a grip on the idea (which then turns into a feeling) that I AM OKAY TODAY, no matter what my bank account says. Adjust Laura, adjust and get a grip, it will all be okay. It may not be what I want it to be, but it will all be okay, just get a grip, you ain’t something ‘special’ and you aren’t alone in this…so get a grip and carry on, its all good.

Just for some perspective I offer this:

Car Sleepers, the New Homeless

With life (at least to me) feeling like quicksand at the moment where anything can happen (think Murphy’s Law) at any given moment I have to come to believe that there are indeed a few things that I can do to prepare against shtf and having it on me. And trust me, like you, I FEEL it everyday. Just going to the grocery store or filling up the gas tank keeps me aware that the SHTF is coming on now, it just hasn’t snowballed to critical yet (thank goodness!) at least for me.

I don’t believe that it can be posted enough that being prepared for whatever may come is best practice so here is my own short list in order of importance of getting down to business to being prepared:

1) Store Food- yes, this is at the top of my list, everyday I do something to either get prepared to store food, actually store food or something dealing with storing food (gardening, containers, dehydrating, purchasing, planning) now, the ‘feds’ used to say enough for 3 days for each person in the family. They have recently revised this up to 7 days, but recently, the head of NASA told his people to be ready to take care of themselves for at least 3 months…hmmm…think I will continue to work on at least 1 year. And don’t forget Fiddo and Kitty. Under this also falls water.

2) Work at Increasing my Earning Capacity- now, I realize that some of you won’t be so fortunate as to be able to do this with grace and ease. Since I work for myself and work from home (which by the way is the BEST way to prepare for after SHFT funding of your home and family) I control what I do and when I do it. For me, increasing my earning capacity means giving great customer service (within boundaries) and consistantly adding new things to inventory, reworking what I do and how I do it (increase efficiency) and working on new ideas for my own businesses. For those of you who are tied to a paycheck, increasing your earning capacity can be done in many different ways, just be careful in doing so if it also means increasing your level of debt. Flexibilty and not having all your financial eggs in one basket is key…

3) Gather Essential Items – well, a ton of information has been written about this and covers such things as tolietries, items of interest and need (think anything and everything that you use even occassionally). For me sometimes, it’s a daily adventure in just recognizing what it is that I use daily…like those white scrubby things that take the place of cleaners that have a million and one uses for cleaning around the house. Put that on my list of ‘need’ to get.  Sometimes gathering essential items doesn’t just mean buying something that day, but as I said above, just figuring out what I use and would need to survive if it hits.

4) Learn Something New Everyday- each day I spend anywhere from 10mins to going down the proverbial rabbit hole in learning something new. It is a commitment I made (made much easier to the internet thank you!) to myself…knowledge is power people and practical knowledge is even better.

5) Pay Off Debt- oh yes, that dreaded D-word, I am not, as most people aren’t, immune to debt…I have a small amount of credit card debt (2 almost paid off and as soon as they are they will be cancelled), student loans (again, a fairly small amount), one car payment and my mortgage. Some days working towards paying off debt is simply not wasting food, other days its paying more than the minimum due…but I am conscious everyday what I owe to creditors and work each day to getting rid of it somehow.

6) Help Others- now, this may seem strange to be put on the list of getting ready for worst case SHTF, but for me, its important…it keeps me grateful for what I have (or don’t have), keeps me grounded in reality and most days allows me to feel good about life in general. Nothing like knowing that you helped someone (even its opening and holding the door or just listening) have a better day themselves to give your own life a better glow to it. When we help others we are helping ourselves, getting outside of our head space (which can be a scary place) and into the world. An attitude of gratitude, sharing and caring can be developed which is paramount in surviving whatever may come…the lone wolf dies by himself. And you know, it just feels good to help out when and where you can. Let it begin at home folks and then take it out to the world.

So, that is my “Down to Business” List for everyday living. It helps to keep me focused and not living in fear (which is paralyzing btw). It gives me structure and guidelines (which is comforting when it gets crazy in my home) and keeps me action oriented. For you, the ‘list’ might be a bit different or the details different, but maybe my list will give you something to think about and get you going on your way to being prepared.