Snagajob is a Useful Resource to Help You Find Work

If you’re experiencing the consequences of unemployment or underemployment in your household, how are you getting by? Were you prepared?

Our economy is having an impact on families in ways we haven’t seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. I know of families who were glad they had extra storage food and provisions set by because it help get them through a down time.

The job market isn’t what it used to be. And not everybody can start their own business.

One resource to help you find work is Snagajob. I’ll pass along a few of their job search tips which I hope will be useful for you.

You might not know what kind of job you’re looking for or how to start searching. First, one of the best pieces of advice anyone can give you is to treat your job search like a job.

Spend time every day looking for new jobs near your area. You can do that on Snagajob. Update your profile often. Make sure to check for mistakes.

Don’t hesitate to apply to jobs you want, even if you’re afraid of not being qualified. You’d be surprised at how many employers are willing to take a chance on someone who may not have much experience, but is passionate and enthusiastic.

Be willing to work evenings and weekends. This can be a great way to get a foot in the door.

To find out how Snagajob can help you with your job search, click on their ad banner below.

 


Snagajob - Need More Money?

 

Not Enough Jobs to Survive On?

Perhaps you’ve mulled over the notion that globalization and cut-throat corporatism has led to loss of jobs, and those jobs aren’t coming back. Whether you agree with it or not, get used to it because this is the new norm.

No amount of promises from politicians can undo what’s been done for decades to America’s job prospects.

As if this isn’t pessimistic enough, maybe you’ve also heard the idea that there aren’t enough jobs to go around.

Who says? Are jobs a finite quantity? Only so many, and that’s it?

To overuse a worn out cliché, can’t we think outside the box? Why can’t we create our own jobs? Am I being idealistic or naive?

If I worked at it, I could write an analytical article describing how we’re being enslaved, forced into serfdom, etc., but what good would it do?

Why complain about the state of our sick world? If you’re prepping, you’re already at some level of awareness and are taking steps to improve your own situation.

It could be you want to get prepared, but you don’t have money to get the storage food or other survival supplies you’d really like to have. Maybe you’re struggling to make ends meet. Maybe you’re out of a job already.

Don’t give up. Tiptoe toward preparedness.

Many people have started their own businesses. Perhaps you’re among them.

More and more sites have popped up about living a more frugal and self reliant lifestyle. Swapping and bartering are on the rise. I suspect the underground economy is growing. Those in power know that, too, and are pushing us toward a cashless society to keep better control over us.

Some communities are doing innovative things, such as creating local money and putting their own value on goods and services. Ithaca Hours is one example. If you’re curious, search online for info about time banks.

I applaud these efforts. Wisely, we’re rethinking the work we do and what is of value. Let’s keep at it.

How can we pave the way for survival in the new norm? Why should we believe there aren’t enough jobs to go around?

 

The Penny Pinching Prepper Helps You Save and Survive

Who among us doesn’t want to save money?

With the economy in the shape it’s been in the past several years, we could all use money saving tips, couldn’t we?

But what if you want to get better prepared? It costs a lot of money, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t have to. Bernie Carr has written The Penny Pinching Prepper, which helps you save and survive by giving you practical guidance. Discover how to get prepared for a lot less money than you’d think.

Bernie is this week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest, and you won’t want to miss this one.

I didn’t try to discuss everything in her book during our visit because there would have been too much to cover. We touched on a few things you might say jumped out at me as I went through it. You’ll see other points of interest when you look it over for yourself.

Below I’ll combine several highlights of the book along with what we talked about.

 

The Penny Pinching Prepper in Person

It’s been my experience interviewing guests for DestinySurvival Radio the past few years that almost none are “gloom and doomers.” (I hate to even use the term.) Most of my guests do what they do because they put hope and optimism into practice by getting better prepared.

Some guests are more cheery and enthusiastic than others. But that could be said about the people we meet on the street, couldn’t it? I guess I’m playing the role of Captain Obvious here.

Anyway, Bernie is one of the cheerful preppers. She conveys an attitude that says, “Nothing’s going to stop me. I’ll find a way to get it done.”

When you view Bernie’s site and read her book, you know she’s the real deal. What she does isn’t mere theory.

You’ll find her to be especially encouraging if you’re living in an urban environment. If she’s doing it, there’s hope for you, too.

In case you’re not familiar with Bernie, here’s a bit of background info.

 

Bernie Carr became fascinated with survival techniques and self-sufficiency as a child, hearing stories of her father’s adventures in the wilds of Southeast Asia as a land surveyor and avid outdoorsman. As an adult, she developed an interest in emergency preparedness and self-reliance, having survived the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the evacuation of her home during the 1993 Southern California wildfires. She relocated to Houston, Texas, in an effort to avoid more natural disasters only to arrive in time to encounter the fury of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Bernie has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Southern California and has worked as a technical writer in various fields, such as personal finance, insurance,and health care. She is the creator of Apartment Prepper (ApartmentPrepper.com), a popular website about preparedness while living in small spaces. She has written two other books, The Prepper’s Pocket Guide and Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure.

Bernie resides in Texas with her family.

 

I interviewed Bernie once before for DestinySurvival Radio in May of 2014 when we talked about her book for children. You can view my post about that here.

 

The Penny Pinching Prepper

 

The Penny Pinching Prepper in Print

Is the lack of funds keeping you from geting prepared?

If you think prepping costs too much money, this book is for you.

If you’re on public assistance of some kind, or you know someone who is, Bernie has you in mind.

As odd as it may sound at first, Bernie says once you get started prepping, you can actually start saving money. By writing this book, her goal is to help you get your financial house in order by encouraging you to save money by doing DIY projects as well as learning new survival skills.

You’ll find numerous practical tips throughout The Penny Pinching Prepper. It’s easy to tell she practices what she preaches and passes along what she has learned. Most chapters are short, but each one is packed with tidbits you won’t want to miss.

This book is a terrific survey of a variety of preparedness topics. It’s great for new and inexperienced preppers.

If you’ve been at it for a while and have read several books on preparedness, you’ll see similarities in the information they present. But don’t shy away from this one because Bernie includes a number of gems from her own experience you may not have thought of.

The chapters cover…

  1. Raising Additional Funds for Emergency Supplies
  2. Water
  3. Food
  4. Shelter and Comfort
  5. First Aid
  6. Hygiene and Personal Care
  7. Cleaning
  8. Communications
  9. Safety and Defense
  10. When You’re on the Move
  11. Low Cost Survival and Preparedness Projects
  12. Making Your Own

 

Get Yourself Together

One of the first things Bernie says a new prepper should do is get organized. Actually, that’s good advice for any of us. Bernie doesn’t merely tell you and me to get rid of clutter, but she recommends what to get rid of. One of her recommendations is to have a garage sale.

I asked her what advice she has for someone who’s not an organized person by nature. She says not to let that stop you. Just get started. And as you get going, it gets easier.

 

Whittle Down Wallet Worries

Getting out of debt is an important component of being prepared. It’s possible to do that while working on your preparedness strategy. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

If you’re thinking of buying precious metals, Bernie has perspective on that in her book, too. My summary of the bottom line–have your other prepping ducks in a row first.

 

Keep it Cheap at Home

The Penny Pinching Prepper gives you tips on saving money in your everyday home life. For example, you don’t have to wash clothes in hot water. Save the energy needed to power your water heater. Washing in cold water will work.

Need to know how to turn your hobbies into cash? How about part-time jobs you may not have thought of?

 

Let Water Wisdom Seep In

Chapter two includes tips on collecting, storing and filtering water. Keep track of how much water you use so you’ll have an idea of how much to store. We tend to use more water each day than we realize.

Bernie tells me she loves her Berkey, but if you don’t have the money for one, you can take advantage of her DYI instructions for making your own gravity flow filter.

Find out how to distill your water as well.

 

Foster Food Freedom

Did you know you can start your food storage plan for just $10 a week? Bernie gives great tips on what you can buy and get the most for your money. Plus, find out how to package your own storage food.

You’ve probably heard of canning meals in jars. But did you know you can make meals in a jar with dried foods?

Of course, as Bernie and others will tell you, store what you eat. That way you can eat what you’re used to without stress or appetite fatigue.

Do you know how long you can keep eggs, potatoes or onions? These are a few of the practical food related tidbits covered in the book.

If your power goes out for very long, you’ll likely lose food. You may not want to waste it, but don’t take chances getting sick. See the tips on food safety.

 

Keep Comfortable at Home

In the chapter on shelter and comfort, find info on lighting, batteries, generators, and how to heat your house in winter and keep it cool in summer. Find tips on cooking without electricity, including solar cooking.

 

Practice Low Cost First Aid

The first aid chapter not only gives a listing of necessary supplies, but you’ll find useful tips and recipes. For example, do you know how to make your own ice pack or heat pack?

 

Make Homemade Home Products

Did you know you can make hygiene and cleaning products you use every day, such as: shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, hand soap, and laundry soap? If you make these items now, you’ll know what to expect from them when such things aren’t readily available on store shelves.

You can trust Bernie’s recipes because she has tried them herself, or she knows someone who has successfully done so.

If you’re not into making these items, then stock up. And then be ready to rotate them before their quality deteriorates as time slips by.

 

Put in Place The Rule of Three…Texters

When we think of communications, we think of two way radio, ham radio or CB radio. Bernie touches on those, but she also recommends setting up a calling or texting tree, where each person contacts three other people. That’s an idea I like.

Having three people in your texting or calling tree is an easy number of contacts to manage. Be sure to have a paper copy of information for those contacts.

 

Stay Safe and Secure

Practicing situational awareness is the first thing mentioned in the chapter on safety and defense. Along with that, don’t do things that call attention to yourself, and you’re less likely to be a target of thieves.

Bernie passes along good info on pepper spray and alternatives. Firearms are also touched on briefly.

Bernie encourages women to get a gun and firearms training. Be certain about it though. Could you actually shoot someone if it came to that?

Thankfully, in many situations, the presence of a firearm is enough intimidation to prevent trouble.

 

Realize Readiness on the Road

There’s a good chance an emergency or disaster will strike when we’re away from home. How well are you prepared for that if you’re at work? How well equipped is your car? Bernie has great info in her book to help you out.

 

Get Into Low Cost DIY and Survival Skills

As for low cost survival and preparedness projects, the first order of business is to get your head on straight. In other words, how’s your preparedness mindset?

Beyond that–and this goes back to the need for being organized–are your important papers in order and accessible? Do you have important phone numbers written down and at the ready?

But there’s more.

Do you know how to shut off your utilities?

When is the last time you conducted a fire drill with your family?

Do you know CPR?

Have you taken any CERT courses?

Do you know more than one way to start a fire?

The last chapter focuses on ways you can be more self reliant, including making meals from scratch, baking your own bread, making your own yogurt, canning and dehydrating food, and gardening (even if only in a window).

But what if you’re someone who doesn’t know how to cook? Bernie says it’s never too late to learn.

In fact, she says cooking is a survival skill. That makes sense when you consider how so many of us have become reliant on convenience foods and eating out.

How about making your own soap? Could you sew or mend your own clothes?

Many of these tasks are a lost art today in our high tech, convenience-oriented world.

But at one time Bernie didn’t know how to do these things either. Her example shows there’s hope for you and me to acquire new skills for survival.

 

The Penny Pinching Prepper on the Podcast

In case you think I’ve written more than I needed to for this overview, I’ve barely scratched the surface. You really do need to hear from Bernie herself.

Do that by listening to my conversation with her on DestinySurvival Radio for October 1, 2015. (Right click to download.) Then get your copy of The Penny Pinching Prepper by clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post. Why not buy it as a gift for someone you know who needs Bernie’s practical guidance?

Also, don’t forget to check out Bernie’s site at ApartmentPrepper.com for her down-to-earth articles.

If you have thoughts on what you’ve read here or heard on this week’s show, feel free to leave a comment below. What part of prepping seems too costly for you? Where do you need help on cutting corners without sacrificing your chances for survival?

On the other hand, if you have answers, share your wisdom with other preppers. They’ll be glad for any money saving tips you have to pass along.

 

Prepper’s Financial Guide Offers Common Sense Help You Can Use

Since the day I first heard Jim Cobb was coming out with Prepper’s Financial Guide, I’ve been eager for it to be released so I could read it and tell you about it. That’s because this is such a vital subject we can all relate to, and this book offers common sense help you can use.

Finances and prepping sometimes don’t play nice together. No matter what your philosophy or level of preparedness, the prepping supplies you need cost money. So how do you and I manage family finances in such a way as to allow for preparedness? And how can we balance these things out in an uncertain economy, where the dollar is expected to collapse one day?

These are the kinds of things Jim addresses in Prepper’s Financial Guide. Jim is this week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest, and he shares a few insights from this book. Below I’ll share a few words about both the book and our conversation.

 

A Few Words About Jim

Jim has written several books on preparedness, and he always approaches his subject matter with down to earth common sense. You’ll apreciate that when you read this latest book. It’s for ordinary people who want to make the most of what they have while preparing for disasters and hard times.

You should know from the start that Jim isn’t a financial counselor or investment advisor. As a result, he’s not going to steer you down a questionable path or cheat you out of big bucks. I say that because, as far as I know, he has no vested interest in making money off of you in the stock market or selling you gold.

Here’s a little more info, in case you’re not familiar with who Jim is.

Jim Cobb is the owner of Disaster Prep Consultants (www.DisasterPrepConsultants.com) as well as the author of several books, including Prepper’s Home Defense, Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide, and Countdown to Preparedness. Jim also writes for several magazines, such as Survivors Edge, Self Reliance Illustrated, American Survival Guide, and OFFGRID. His primary home online is www.SurvivalWeekly.com, and he can be found on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JimCobbSurvival.

Jim has been involved with disaster planning and mitigation for over thirty years. He lives and works in the upper Midwest with his beautiful wife, their three adolescent weapons of mass destruction, two killer canines, and one cat that greatly exaggerates his importance to life as we know it.

 

Prepper's Financial Guide

 

A Few Words About What to Expect from This Book

This book isn’t lengthy–less than 170 pages, so it’s not an encyclopedia. It’s an easy read. Think of Jim Cobb as an ordinary guy, speaking in language you can understand.

You won’t find budget worksheets inside. No worries about being burdened by homework. No pictures in these pages either. It’s plain text with a few charts and simple graphs here and there.

If you’re looking for tips on how to make it big in real estate or the stock market, this isn’t the book for you. It’s straightforward, common sense information and advice. In fact, you’ve probably come across some of it before, but perhaps you hadn’t seen it in one place, or you hadn’t related it to prepping.

Jim gives an overview of a number of topics that fit under the umbrella of finances and prepping. If you want to do further research, go for it.

Chapters cover the following topics…

  • What Is Economic Collapse?
  • Debt Reduction
  • Currency
  • Precious Metals and Minerals
  • Post-Collapse Barter and Trade Goods
  • Bartering Skills Instead of Stuff
  • Safeguarding Valuables
  • Investing in Self-Sufficiency
  • Putting It All Together: The Home of the Self-Sufficient Investor

 

A Few Words About Collapses in History

The first chapter asks, “What is an economic collapse?” It’s a great question because many of us are wondering what an economic collapse looks like. Will it happen quickly or slowly? Are we in one now? Jim describes an economic collapse as a disaster without the death and destruction. That’s an interesting way to put it because it’s not something that presents itself like a tornado, flood or earthquake.

He goes on to relate historical perspective so we can see what a collapse looks like. Because Jim’s writing style is friendly and easy to read, you won’t find this history to be complex or a screaming bore.

Collapses don’t happen suddenly, though there may be noteworthy events. The stock market crash of 1929 comes to mind. Nonetheless, it was only part of the picture with regard to the Great Depression.

Most of us have heard about Germany’s financial struggles in the 1920’s and ’30’s after World War I, which eventually led to the rise of Adolph Hitler. Though inflation went out of control, it didn’t happen overnight.

Jim also touches on Argentina’s woes in the late ’90’s and early 2000’s. He also mentions our so-called Great Recession in recent years.

While Jim doesn’t like to make predictions, during our conversation he shared an observation that will give you pause for thought. What if the collapse we’re anticipating isn’t like anything we’ve seen before?

 

A Few Words About Getting Rid of Your Debt Load

As for debt reduction, you won’t find worksheets or gimmicky formulas. Just the notion that the less debt you have, the less affected you’ll be by a collapse.

Jim compares it to losing weight. If you want to lose pounds, burn more calories than you consume. That means either reducing the number of calories you take in, or increase your activity level to burn more calories.

What’s the parallel to debt reduction? I relate to it this way. Years back my wife and I received simplistic counsel from a man at a consumer credit counseling agency. He said we needed to either spend less or make more.

Well, duh! I already knew that going in. I was hoping for more specifics. We had to figure things out for ourselves.

And, while Jim does give you guidance on how you can reduce your debt and make extra money, there are things you’ll have to figure out for yourself. As with other aspects of prepping, what does your unique situation call for? You’ll know that better than anyone else.

When it comes to looking for ways to bring in extra bucks, don’t be disappointed or surprised if you don’t bring in all the money you need. Bringing in at least some money will help. Maybe more than one method of bringing in a little money is the way to go.

Oh, and if it’s any consolation, Jim says you don’t have to cut out all of the fun stuff when you’re cutting back on the extras. Keep one thing you enjoy. You do need to keep your sanity after all.

At the risk of stealing some of Jim’s thunder, here are a few pointers he gives in the book.

Start small at reducing debt by cutting out a few of the things you don’t have to have. Pay down your smallest credit card first, then progress from there. Get rid of the plastic, except for one credit card to use in emergencies–and he means only emergencies.

Eat out less. Don’t buy so much convenience food at the grocery store. Besides, you and I most likely need to eat more healthfully anyway.

 

A Few Words About Currencies, Gold, Silver and Jewels

Chapter 3 discusses currencies–what they are and aren’t, and whether you’d want to invest in foreign currencies. Jim briefly shares his thoughts on electronic currencies, like bitcoin. And, as you’d expect, he addresses whether you should buy gold and silver. He also touches on collectible coins vs. bullion.

If you’re considering purchasing gold and silver, ask yourself a few questions first. These are issues to think about carefully and plan for accordingly.

  • Do you have your preparedness basics already laid in?
  • How easy is it to negotiate deals for what you need with gold or silver?
  • How can you be sure the con and fraud artists won’t take advantage of you when you try to buy something with gold or silver?

 

If you’re thinking of selling Grandma’s jewels to pay down bills and buy preps in our present economy, how can you be sure you don’t get ripped off? Jim shared thoughts on that in our conversation.

What about alternative, digital currencies, like Bitcoin? Jim makes an excellent point. It’s stating the obvious, but if the big one happens, and there’s no electricity, you don’t have your money.

 

A Few Words About Bartering

Two chapters are devoted to bartering. One is on what tangible items to have, while the other focuses on skills you may want to use in bartering exchanges. An appendix includes lists of barter goods to stock up on.

When it comes to items to have, they should be things that are of value to you. Think of things you’d want to have if they became hard to get. How about first aid and hygiene supplies? How about tools, fishing supplies, and things to start a fire? What about games and books to read?

If you have plenty of soap and heirloom seeds stored away, you can always use them yourself if nothing happens. If collapse does occur, you’ve got something others will readily use.

Of course, liquor and tobacco are barter items a number of other people will value, too. But the key is to set aside things you put a value on first.

As for skills, you’ve probably got some already which would be of use to others, such as cooking from scratch or sewing. But you might want to learn new ones, too. How about learning to make soap or candles, or repair engines and bicycles?

Learn new skills while there’s still time. If you learn a skill no one uses later, what have you lost?

 

A Few Words About Other Treasures in the Book

In the chapter on safeguarding your valuables, you’ll get clever tips on where to hide and cache them. And it might not be what you’d expect.

The chapter on investing in self reliance gives a brief overview on gardening, hunting, trapping, fishing, using solar panels for electricity, digging your own well, and more. Of course, there are certain expenses involved with these; but you’ll save money sooner or later. And, of course, you’ll want to practice recycling and using, or reusing, things you already have on hand.

That leads into the next chapter on the home of the self reliant investor, which gives you a cursory look at homesteading.

One area Jim didn’t address is dealing with insurance and FEMA after a disaster. But then this book is designed to get you in a better financial position before trouble comes your way. The better shape you’re in ahead of time, the better off you’ll be when bad things happen.

 

A Few Words About Troublesome Survival Mindsets

In my conversation with Jim, I shared three negative attitudes, or mindsets, I’ve heard, and I asked Jim for his thoughts. You’ll have to hear our conversation to know how he responded, but here they are.

 

  1. Joe Prepper says the world is coming to an end as we know it on such and such a date. He goes hog wild into a crash prepping program. You know, max out the credit cards and get all the preps you can now while there’s still a chance.
  2. Joe Prepper has maxed out his credit cards and taken a second loan on his house. Now what? Screw the banks. The big bankers have gotten their share and have ruined life for all of us. Time to declare bankrupcy and stick it to them all because it’s all coming down anyway.
  3. Joe Prepper gets his 72-hour kit to be minimally prepared. But when the big stuff happens, let the insurance companies, FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc., take care of helping him get back on his feet. That’s why they’re there.

 

How would you respond to these? Feel free to leave a comment below with any wisdom you’d care to share with other preppers who might be expressing these notions.

 

A Few Words About Panteao

Jim and I talked briefly about his role in the Make Ready to Survive DVD’s from Panteao Productions. As proof of how helpful they are, Jim says even he has learned from the other instructors who take part in the series. Order yours by going to http://panteao.com/survive/.

 

A Few Words About Your Next Step

Jim encourages you and me to do one preparedness related thing every day to keep moving forward. That’s not asking much. Slow and steady wins the race.

One simple step you can take today is to hear my conversation with Jim Cobb by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for March 26, 2015. (Right click to download.) If you want to get Prepper’s Financial Guide, click on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. That will take you to the page where it’s featured, and you can place your order from there.

 

Saving Money on Your Homestead

You don’t have to be a homesteader to benefit from tips on saving money. But if you’re living the rural life, it’s even more helpful when you can get insights from others who are doing it, too, because some things are unique to the homesteading lifestyle.

Jackie Clay-Atkinson gives practical guidance in the July/August, 2014, “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #148) which could help you with saving money on your homestead. She covers…

  • Grow your own food
  • Groceries
  • Household products
  • Clothing
  • Animal Feed
  • Building material
  • Fencing
  • Heating your home
  • Energy costs
  • Taxes and credit cards
Take a look at the article excerpt below, then click the link to read the whole thing.

 

Saving money
on the homestead

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

I come from a “penny-pinching-and-proud-of-it” family background and I learned the importance of saving a buck at an early age. Throughout my journey toward a self-reliant lifestyle, I’ve gained a lot of valuable insight into the hundreds of ways to save money in daily living as well as ways to save for those larger projects in the future.

Grow your own food

It’s said that the “typical” American family of four spends approximately $500 a month for food and household supplies. I don’t think we spend that much in a year, including toilet paper.


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/clay148.html

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com 1-800-835-2418.

 

You’ve probably come up with a few of your own money saving tips along the way. But if you could use more guidance on saving money, see posts in the Survival & Your Money category on this site, and check out the companies featured on the Survival & Your Money page in the Prep Mart.

 

How Would You Survive Without Money?

Perhaps you’ve given thought to the notion that our society is operating with Monopoly money. It’s only money because we still put faith in it. So could we live without it? How would you survive without money?

Daniel Suelo has been doing it for a number of years now, and his story is told by Mark Sundeen in The Man Who Quit Money. Here’s a description of the book.

 

A Walden for the 21st century, the true story of a man who has radically reinvented “the good life” In 2000, Daniel Suelo left his life savings—all thirty dollars of it—in a phone booth. He has been living without money—and with a newfound sense of freedom and security—ever since. The Man Who Quit Money is an account of how one man learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a single cent. Suelo doesn’t pay taxes, or accept food stamps or welfare. He lives in caves in the Utah canyonlands, forages wild foods and gourmet discards. He no longer even carries an I.D. Yet he manages to amply fulfill not only the basic human needs-for shelter, food, and warmth-but, to an enviable degree, the universal desires for companionship, purpose, and spiritual engagement. In retracing the surprising path and guiding philosophy that led Suelo into this way of life, Sundeen raises provocative and riveting questions about our relationships with money and the decisions we all make, by default or by design—about how we live and how we might live better.

 

Suelo isn’t a saint, and you and I may not be willing or able to do what he has done. But he shows us what’s possible when living amidst the rest of society without the everyday use of money.

Fortunately, many preppers are living more frugal lives on a pathway of escape from our society’s rampant consumerism. But could we make it if the dollar were dramatically devalued or collapsed altogether? How prepared are you and I to barter for goods and services we need?

Watch the short video below, and in just under four minutes, you’ll get a glimpse of the man who quit money.

 

 

Get your copy of The Man Who Quit Money by clicking on the title of the book where you see it linked in this post. That takes you to the page where it’s featured, and you can add it to your cart there.

Explore possibilities. And remember to think survival.

 

Is Bitcoin for Preppers?

In recent years with the economy being in such bad shape, there’s been a growing interest in alternate forms of currency. Perhaps you’ve heard of Bitcoin as one such option. Is Bitcoin for preppers? It has been described as revolutionary. But does it deserve the hype.

In the first place, what is Bitcoin, and what are its pros and cons? I’d read and heard enough to be both intrigued and confused. So I sought some answers.

My thanks to Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog for putting me in touch with Robert Wenzel of EconomicPolicyJournal.com. And Robert kindly agreed to be my guest on DestinySurvival Radio for yesterday’s show.

Below I’ll try to summarize Robert’s viewpoints to the best of my ability. It doesn’t take much that’s related to economics to make my head spin. Any errors on my part are unintentional. It’s best if you listen to this week’s show and make up your own mind about what you hear.

 

Who is Robert Wenzel?

I feel very fortunate to have become acquainted with Robert. He’s an informative resource. His brief bio info follows.

Robert Wenzel is editor and publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com, a daily internet commentary on economics and politics. He has received praise for the site from across the political spectrum from libertarian Ron Paul to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Wenzel is known for his warning about the 2008 financial crisis and the “tear the building down” speech he gave at the New York Federal Reserve. He also delivered the 2013 Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture at the Austrian Economics Research Conference that took place at the Mises Institute.

 

What is Bitcoin Anyway?

In a nutshell, Bitcoin is a kind of digitized currency, as I understand it. Robert says it’s an electronic bookkeeping system using a finite number of units. These twelve million units are created as time goes on, thanks to some fancy computer programming that is beyond me. It’s apparently beyond some other people, too, since Robert says at least three million Bitcoin units have been lost.

 

What’s Bitcoin’s Appeal?

I saw a video where a man was totally enthused about Bitcoin. He put on quite a sales pitch. He talked about how it’s a new, upcoming means of exchange which is being accepted in more places. It gets around the middle man because it bypasses central banking systems and financial managers. And, supposedly, you can make transactions anonymously. The only way is up, to hear him carry on.

While he made some good points, I’m turned off by too much enthusiasm. Besides, Bitcoin is totally dependent on computers and a functioning Internet. What if there’s an EMP that wipes it all out?

 

What’s the Down Side?

I’ll tell you right off that Robert’s skeptical about Bitcoin for several reasons, to say the least. And the hype about it is overblown. Bitcoin gets more publicity than it deserves.

Robert says transactions can be readily tracked, which takes away its alleged anonymity. You can hide transactions if you know how to jump through complex technological hoops. You and I are better off using paper currency or silver and gold if we want our transactions to be unseen.

Computer security issues come into the picture as well. In other words, you could pick up malware and viruses if you’re not very careful.

If you were to attempt to use Bitcoin to make a purchase from a retailer, you might think you could get around paying the fees credit cards charge. Robert says there are still middle men involved who make such Bitcoin transactions possible, and the government may come down on them. They’ve already closed down some Bitcoin exchanges, some of which were engaged in illegal drugs and the like.

Getting Bitcoins can be complex. It involves getting an online wallet. Of course, you want to be sure the exchange you’re dealing with is reputable. I’m not sure how one would check that out. It all sounds quite risky.

Bitcoin is still not accepted in most retail outlets. And some countries are wary. China doesn’t want to deal with it. It’s possible legislation may come along in the U.S. which regulates it further. What if they outlaw it altogether and call it money laundering?

There’s no patent on Bitcoin. It’s open source. In fact, Bitcoin is just one of many digitized alternate currencies. To me that adds to the confusion.

As if that weren’t enough, Bitcoin’s value fluctuates wildly, too, and it’s best left to speculators who can afford to play. Robert foresees a price collapse at some point in the future. As for the present, he contends some people are engaged in a “pump and dump” scheme.

As for the possibility of an EMP knocking out Bitcoin, Robert believes the day to day concerns with it are more pressing.

 

“Our Money” Vs. Theirs?

I think we’re all aware that the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air. We’ve passed through the Alice in Wonderland looking glass into the weird and wacky. I don’t know what’s keeping our Monopoly money system propped up. But Uncle Sam and the Fed are going to do everything they can to protect their present way of doing business.

So what makes the dollar different from Bitcoin or other digitized currencies?

Robert explained there’s a progression which currency goes through before it’s deemed trustworthy and secure enough to be considered as money. Bitcoin hasn’t achieved that status.

As a result, you have to use an already established form of currency on either end of Bitcoin transactions. In other words, use dollars (if you’re in the U.S.) to acquire Bitcoin. When you make a purchase with Bitcoins, the seller has to convert them into the equivalent value in dollars.

With that in mind, why not just use a regular credit or debit card? That way there’s no question about value in dollars. Besides, what’s the advantage in using Bitcoin if transactions are as trackable as the plastic you already carry?

By this time, if you’re observant and a cynic, you might be wondering, isn’t Robert Wenzel ultimately standing up for the status quo? If you listen to our conversation, I think you’ll agree with me that he’s plenty concerned about things that aren’t right in our country, including the ongoing slide toward totalitarianism.

 

In Conclusion

To answer the question in the title, no, Bitcoin isn’t for preppers. That’s my stand on the matter.

But if you’re interested in knowing more about it, I strongly recommend you hear my entire conversation with Robert Wenzel and come to your own conclusions. Listen to DestinySurvival Radio for January 2, 2014. (Right click to download.) Find his blog at www.EconomicPolicyJournal.com. You’ll need his perspective in what promises to be another bumpy year economically.

 

Get additional perspective on Bitcoin from Brandon Smith here.

Find more insights on Bitcoin here.