Wednesday, November 21, 2012

savings

SAVINGS
Yes, once again I’m postponing part two of the last AGP chapter.  We’re having an orgasmic blast of canned food drives right now and I’m running around so much I can’t think straight and I’d kind of like to write the thing properly.  So I’m just filling in today with another article.  I’ve already put out a book chapter or two that is below par of my usual brilliance and I’m okay with that, but for something as important as waking folks up to panic immediately I’d like to put forth my “A” game.  First order of business, there won’t be a Thanksgiving article tomorrow.  We’ve had weeks of mostly clouds and I haven’t been able to write at home even with all the extra time off from work from furlough and vacation days.  We have enough sun to keep the batteries charged from using lights and an hour and a half TV a night ( about a total of 55 watts ) but I won’t push it by watching the DVD player or using the computer, even if it is only an additional 50%.  Sorry, but I’ve given up on the generator nearly a year ago ( if fact, I gave it to a neighbor ).  If I can I’ll make it up with double articles later.  And speaking of Thanksgiving, let me share my supper plans in case I didn’t last year ( and because “what I had for dinner last night” articles really hack off some people ).  Holiday dinner in a skillet, for the off-gridder.
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I can’t take credit for this, the wife conjured it up.  Cube up your potatoes and fry them in the cast iron skillet for awhile.  Near the end, cube up your ham ( we use a small Danish canned ham ) and add that.  When done, cover in brown gravy.  Cranberry on the side and if you cook with another pan you can always add cornbread.  But I like one skillet dinners ( yes, the gravy is cheating a little ).  This is much better tasting than a chunk of ham with mashed potatoes and gravy.  It takes very little fuel, time or water to wash.  Up next, still stretching out time so I don’t have to have a long main topic, the last Woodpile Report.  Whatever Uncle Remus comes up with as his writing usually is damn good.  But he outdid himself this time.  I’ve rarely seen such a good analogy on the condition of the economy as his ( like a bankrupt business where everyone pretends there is hope up until “suddenly” the pink slips come ).  Do yourself a favor and read it.  Last minor topic, donations.  I thank you all for the extra Christmas shopping on Amazon, normal commissions are double right now.  Also, thank you to the loyal minion who kept reminding me to put up a friggin PayPal link.  I finally did ( look top right ).  You know how I am, only thinking about the writing and neglecting the editor and administration details.
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I know some of you are all pissy right now, whining about Christmas spending.  So you don’t want to hear about savings.  But some of us ALWAYS live below our means and so we can talk about it.  How much is enough savings?  We all need savings for a rainy day, yet savings are always stolen so it is more of an expense rather than an investment.  If you put your savings in cash, inflation takes a monthly toll.  If you don’t put it into cash, it is illiquid.  Precious metals are a tool to eliminate loss of purchasing power but they not only have user fees to buy and also sell them, plus thieves can dig them up and steal them ( or, after the collapse you will be tortured to reveal them ).  Here is my solution, although I can’t claim it is foolproof.  I’ve always kept about two grand in savings.  That was about three months total expenses ( which at the time included child support, but not rent ).  Since I moved to Bisonia I’ve never had that much on hand, although I was investing in a rent free future so I was okay with that.  Now I have trouble coming up with a grand in savings since something always comes up.  But, again, I’m not too worried.  If I defer the wife’s hospital bills and eat heavily out of the pantry ( every day food, NOT storage food ) we can survive on $200 a month without giving up cigarettes or propane.  Worse case I could halve that.  Worse than that I’d have to sell all assets and then go on Food Stamps.  Worse than that it is collapse time.  But I digress.  How much cash you save is important, up to your personal limit of comfort ( what you are willing to lose from the inflation thief or the burglar ).  I just bring up my position as an example.  After your limit, I’d buy silver rounds.  You lose about ten percent buying then selling, but you lose that much, minimum, each year to inflation with cash.  Long term, precious metal should be your savings.  BUT.  Before that you do several things.  Pay off all debt.  Then, invest in things that eliminate bills.  The rooftop TV antenna that replaces cable.  The solar panels that replace your lighting bill ( you can eliminate most other electric needs piecemeal.  You might as well, the grid won’t be up forever ).  Replace high energy appliances with low ( such as my 30 watt notebook replacing my 150 watt desktop computer ).  Replace central heat with wool blankets, insulated window coverings, bed comforters.  And Etc.  Dump the car and get in great shape on the bike ( exercise programs are boring and can then be eliminated by biking ).  With no debt and almost no bills, you don’t have to worry too much about cash or precious metal savings.  You need some, but Poor People level of “some” rather than Middle Class level.
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9 comments:

  1. fordnmopar93@gmail.comNovember 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Great article Jim.... :)

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  2. Mighty Lord Bison,

    I seem to recall you mentioning that you have an adult trike. Or it could be a brain fart that I had, ever the unworthy minion.

    In any event, is it possible for you to haul one of your storage batteries to work and hook it up to a trickle charger whilst bagging salt in the lowest depths of the mine? That would help to make sure you always have enough power, no matter what the weather (obviously a Rawles acolyte bent on your doom) does in terms of sunlight.

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    1. No, not adult bike, just 7 speed fat tire with two baskets. I think the boss would frown on such an energy pig. With about another $150 I could do more panel and batteries, but that is a bit far down the list. Cheers.

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    2. Well, I could be wrong on the energy pig part. I was thinking of those brutes at the service station. Still, I can't use up water jug space for a big battery. I wonder if they have a deep cycle the size of a tractor/motorcycle batt. and if it was sealed I could carry in my backpack. I might look in to that.

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    3. Have a look at sealed batteries designed for use in wheelchairs. You can sometimes pick them up cheaply at recycling centers when they are exchanged out before their end of life. (I picked up a couple that way. They still had two years of life left in them.) The Group U1 series is about 8"x5"x7"(LxWxH), weighs about 25 lbs, and has a 35 A-H rating. And, being sealed, they don't leak when carried in your bike racks like a lawn tractor battery can.

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    4. They do have smaller deep cycles, I have a small one that I use for my kayak that is 8"L x5"T x6'W. Weighs about 15 pounds. From Interstate and it is sealed. Bizrate online has a bunch of batteries listed one of which is a scooter battery that is half that size and sells for around 37 bucks. -SemperFido

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  3. James: I would just try to get more solar panels an deep charge batteries.Your a lucky man you have your health,trust me when or if you lose your health as I did 11 years ago it sucks.I'm 62 now an know things are really going down fast at this time as far as the economy is concerned.Long story short I'm not to bad off $$ wise but how much longer the dollar last a few years maybe but I doubt it.I can't do much with all my problems except ex military an I'm well armed plus some a few months of food so better than most.Have a Happy Thanksgiving read u a lot an like your attitude sometimes.Dennis

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  4. Nightshift adds....good post. We try to always keep some cash handy. We save cash for insurance, tags, taxes, ect. Save a fixed amount every month to cover these expenses. They are due at different times through out the year so we always have some available. Trying to pay down debt.

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