Wednesday, July 24, 2013




Prepping For Economic Collapse-Eliminate Debt

Every survivalist loves guns. They love owning them, firing them, collecting them, talking about them and especially fondling them. Food storage is only reluctantly undertaken or talked about ( perhaps because it is viewed as “woman’s work” and every AR-15 molester out there wants to be macho, , although I’m sure the reality is most are P-whipped ). But if you think food is neglected, try bringing up getting out of debt. First, no one wants to admit they are a dumbass so if they are already in debt they must justify it. Secondly, if you want AR’s or freeze dried foods, you NEED debt. So talking about eliminating debt means you are taking away all the toys worth having. Oh, they don’’t call them toys. “The best money can buy because my life is worth it” is the most common, perpetuated in print by Boston T Party ( of “Gun Bible” fame ) who had the luxury of buying in the 90’s which compared to today was a screaming bargain. Another good one is “it doesn’t matter whoever dies saving the most money”. Which is also true, as long as your timing is right and you can buy all those toys before the dollar is toilet paper. Since I insist we work under the paradigm that we can’t time the collapse and so must prepare yesterday, it makes sense to buy the basic frugal version first and only then work our way up in quality. And it MUST be done without debt. Debt is a prison, not a liberator from low cash flow. As soon as you are in debt, you severely limit all logical and prudent choices of life and prepping.


We can all agree that not prepping with debt is good, as a general rule. There are of course exceptions. If you buy a very cheap lot of land on credit, that is a far lesser evil than paying rent. A two thousand dollar lot of land, paid at $50 a month, is far better than cash on the barrelhead for $300 a month rent. Both are a gamble, and both can backfire if sudden massive unemployment occur. The difference is that junk land eliminates the risk soon, whereas rent is for life. If you have no preps set aside, a mere $500 in debt even on a 20% interest credit card isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The extra, though marginal, cost is far better than starving come the collapse. The trick is to not use credit for toys ( and everything above bare bones are toys ). Best to avoid ALL debt. Next best is to minimize debt to the point that even part time minimum wage work can easily pay it off ( here is how paranoid I was. I had a five year note for $125 a month. I bought a second piece of land at half the price at the same time as insurance in case I ever needed to pay off the land quick or needed to halve my payments. And in case that wasn’t doable I had a THIRD local lot already paid off. The difference was distance from work, closest for the most expensive. Much farther for the owned lot. I don’t recommend you duplicate this, but it did lock in my land security BEFORE the economic collapse started. I was golden in 2005, even as I paid off the more desirable location just last year ).


Yet, that is all best scenario. Worse case scenario, one most of us have seen or are now living, is huge debt. Not only is it damn hard to pay it off, it doesn’t leave room for preps. The easy solution, in theory, is to repossess all you can and leave the big city with the big house and big car and move to junk land. And then use most of your wages to pay off debt ( I paid off a hundred grand of child support while making fifteen grand a year supporting a new wife that didn’t work, and still easily prepped. The secret is mostly NO car, with $100 land payment a close second- and lots of wheat for food storage. IF, and yes I know it is a big IF, you can talk your wife into junk land, you can easily do this ). If you can’t, it is really easy to give up in frustration. You just pile on more debt, or resign yourself to Huge Craphole City Living and pray you can escape in time. Or both. Then it becomes a gamble on your creditors dying before you do. Which, is not impossible. I grant you that. I just think it is improbable ( there are no guarantees here in The Late Great Western Civilization Die-Off And Discount Car Wash. Just probabilities and gambling with your life ).


If you see overnight, literal, die-off, debt is no problem. If you see a somewhat prolonged economic collapse prior to die-off, then history suggests the banks will strip you of all possessions and leave you to die homeless, prior to they themselves becoming insolvent. If you don’t want to bet on that, favor NOT chancing the more probable, then you simply must pay off debt, no matter how painful. Sure, prior to repayment buy yourself the cheapest most frugal survival stockpile ( NOT by charging those items so they can be tagged for repossession, but by taking a cash advance or by postponing payments a little longer to free up cash ). ALL debt payments and no preps are as bad as all preps on debt and little repayment. Everything in balance. Unfortunately, paying debts is part of preps. It isn’t just buying guns and storage foods. Because any vulnerability you have will be exploited by others. Your boss, your bank, etc. And they will exploit you if there is profit in it for them. Which there is, once you are in debt. The bank owns you, as does the boss ( work harder or lose your job! For less money! ). And remember, nothing worthwhile is easy. Learning a trade, courting your bride. All were hard but well worth it. The same with being debt free.



  1. Still 100% in agreement with your views on debt, junk land (although your crazy to buy it in a desert wasteland with no rainfall) and food storage.

    I think you might want to actually run some of your numbers on firearms and ammunition though. Prior to the arms and ammo scare a person could pick up some nice AR's for only a few hundred dollars more than a beat up old Enfield. All the cheap surplus ammo is gone for the most part even in the 7.62x54. Having an AR and providing you have some self control over pulling the trigger over and over, is not much if any more expensive than going bolt action only these days. If you don't already have your weapons bought I don't think the savings is enough to matter now.

    1. I agree insofar as going with 223 ( if your area supports carbine rounds ). BUT- not an AR unless you already have one. A bolt or break-open in 223. If you are just now buying, the AR is still 2 to 3 times bolt cost.

    2. Release your hate, Jim. Come to the dark carbine side...

      This is one of Jim's "cute" points, his evermore hatred of the cult of the black carbine. :p

      I believe that the SHTFEOTWAWKIHUGEROCKCRUSHESTHEEARTHETC moment would be here once Jim says a goodish word towards the AR-15. This is why I believe in the long decline. Never happen!

      Another inspired rant, Lord Jim! Spot on about junk land but if a quick collapse happens, debt is good. Are you changing over to a long decline? (AS in debt is bad). Folks, Jim believing in a long decline would not be a good thing... we could collapse tomorrow! :)


    3. I like your new acronym. Look, I don't COMPLETELY hate/despise the AR. Mid range sniper rifle, it makes every round count with its accuracy. Declining ammunition supply wise, this is good. As soon as you go spray and pray on it, use it as an urban jungle super ninja warrior machinegun, you've just humped yourself logistically. OK, the thing will break if you buttstrock someone or try to bayonet them. But if used right, you could do a lot worse ( my love affair with the Enfield does not mean I ignore its defect of accuracy. Its ONLY defect, and even then it obviously isn't a deal killer ). But Long Decline!!?? I vomit blood in your general direction. Long Decline bitches are the idiots that have no imagination. They see things as they always have been AS RECORDED ( I maintain that many civilization collapses left zero record and hence to claim they were long declines is mere wishful thinking. Those that left fragmented evidence to me point to quick collapse-but thats just how I read the entrails ) and so proclaim the future to be more of the same, while at the same time spew volumes about how ignorant us unschooled doomers are to think anything bad could ever happen just because past crackpots proclaiming the landing of Alien Z starships never came to pass. Debt is bad because of the waterfall collapse. Not Long Decline. I don't advocate overnight collapse, just anyday now collapse. Damn, I should have made this an article.

    4. I've been away for a few days... What was the question?

      "Look, I don't COMPLETELY hate/despise the AR..."

      WE are sooo doomed! :p


  2. Yep, I resemble one of those debt imprisioned dumb asses you refer to.
    Oh, I've got my 'excu-asses'. But the fact is I signed on the bottom line.
    Worst of all they are the ones that bankruptcy cant discharge as long as I _can_ work (physically capable of wiggling fingers) known as STUDENT LOANS (study how to be a wage slave for life).
    I am working, renting a house, and owning 2 vehicles (1 paid off though) with electronic toys mostly sufficent to keep the family content and amused and out of my hair.
    During the economic collapse I am going be hurting bad.
    But the land is free and clear- shelter is in progress, Food, water and security backups are being developed.
    But the primary goal is getting out of the debt that consumes 50%+ of our monthly budget.
    Debt = Chains.
    And unless you are as big as the bank you are their prisoner.

    Me, I am working at tunneling out, the spouse even mostly supports me in the preps (food storage is a great thing to agree on). Spouse does refuse to live without windows or electricity for long though (weeks yes, years NO.)
    Dang gonads. But spouse does watch my back and supports most of my endevors.

    Debt will be what kills us if anything does before old age.


    1. You're still better off than most with a spouse that supports you. Mine lives frugal ok, but mocks my preps. Sometimes I literally have to just tell her to piss off, I'll do as I see fit ( rational explaining doesn't work ). w/o the spouse behind you it would be the constant feeling of eating your shotgun, if half your income is debt. Best of luck

  3. Nightsoil here

    The Biggest Oil Discovery In 50 Years?

    or for the old commie guy...

    looks like the energy problem wasn't a problem after all.

    have a nice day and give nightshift a kiss for me. how is nightshift adapting to the local culture? africa is a long ways from missysippy. have you built a tree house yet?


    1. There he is. Glad you're okay, I was worried when I didn't hear from you. Send my $20 immediately.

  4. Nightshift here...... Nightsoil, you lost me at Africa? Although it has been Africa hot here lately.

    Jim as always, your frugal preps are gospel. In the recent panic, I sold my AR, 10 mags, 900 rnds of 40 year old surplus for $2500. Bought 2 M-44s, 2 Russian SKSs, 3k 7.62x39 an 1k 7.62x54. A few smaller items., already had AK so common ammo a must. Yes I have other bases coved. I could do less firearms but in this climate I am holding.

    Land I am good. Debt is owned buy a friend and he would not benifit repoing if things collape. He has alot more land than I do.

    Hot summers but year round growing season, firewood, water....rain well and surface. Did I mention it is hot here?

    1. The African thing is as follows. Night Soil pips up years ago, "why don't you post pictures? I don't believe you live in the sticks. post pictures and I'll pay for the film". I buy a disposable camera ( prior to digitals being so cheap ) and develop the film to include a CD for digital copies. Now I want my friggin $20. So, Night Soil, the little shit, claims those pictures are fake, and I must be living in Africa ( I think he just picked the place worst for collapse survival ). So, anyone that agrees with me must be from my African village ( our village had its idiot, but we sent him to run for POTUS ).

  5. Excellent post, Jim. This is the elephant in the room that nobody want to address. Everyone loves their little plastic cards. They get points, frequent flyer miles and other incentives to pile more chains onto their existing bonds.

    I got rid of my one and only credit card over 20 years ago and have no debt. No car loans, no mortgage, no student loans, no, nothing, nada. If I can't buy it with cash on hand, I don't get it.

    By paying cash, building our own home from scratch, living frugally, and doing as much as I can for myself over the last 20 years, I have a great little semi-self sufficient homestead in North Idaho.

    The ONLY way to get ahead is to STAY AWAY FROM ALL DEBT!!!!!!

    Here's some examples from North Idaho of how debt can drag good people under:

    One friend -- downsized from his job over 3 years ago. Tried to start a business; he's one of the hardest workers I know and he produces high quality stuff. After being laid off, he tried to start his own business but he just had to closed his store front. The rent was over $1,000/month. Trying to do computer design work from home now. Has just lowered his asking price to what he was making 15 years ago. Barely paying his mortgage (actually he can't most months and is getting help) and is down to one car that's been totaled but still running. They're good people BUT their mortgage payment is $1500 a month. That's a lot of money to find every 30 days. That's more than my family of 5 lives on each month. If he didn't have a mortgage, his family could make it. They are a family of 9 but they eat simple, have a garden, heat with wood and are very frugal. The one debt of their mortgage is enough to sink them.

    Second friend -- let go from job because he needed back surgery around 3 years ago. Finished his masters degree in special education. Looked for a job, found some but they were either 'salary' (i.e. long hours that you're not paid for) or $10 an hour. Finally went to North Dakota to drive truck. Again, a great hardworking family that is very frugal. Cars are all paid for, they do extra jobs for cash under the table. Have lots of skills like hunting, butchering, gardening, canning, long term preppers -but- they have a mortgage of over $800 a month and student loans. Their mortgage was on a sliding scale due to income and their student loans were deferred for a time, but as they make more money, the payments go up. They will NEVER be free of the debt. They are permanently tied to the system.

    Third friend -- has run our local, small town hardware store for over 20 years. Been trying to make it since the housing bubble burst. In the winter, she has to lay all the employees off in order to save money and she still misses a few loan payments that she has to try and make up during the summer. Finally, she is so tired of struggling that she is now trying to sell the business so she can do home health care as a CNA for low wages. But it will be more than she's making now. What got her? We'll when she wanted to remodel her store during the housing bubble so she could store building lumber under a roof, the bank demanded that her home mortgage and business loan be tied together. If her business goes under, she loses the house she built. And again, other than the loans, this is a frugal family. They raise a garden, a meat cow, always working, etc.


    Idaho Homesteader

    1. THANK YOU!!! Those examples, ones I'll never have to give because I'm too reclusive, illustrate better what I'm saying. The banks are sucking the little people dry to survive themselves. Don't be a victim.

  6. Some knowledge of the local flora and fauna would be useful, I found a lot more than I thought I would in NV.

    1. The desert isn't just plant-less sand dunes.