Today is an excellent guest post about debt elimination. When I was contacted by Gale Newell on submitting an article on debt reduction I was excited to run it. Debt is evil and needs to be destroyed. So enjoy this and get rid of the debt. -James
Prepping is about being self-reliant. It’s about being detached from any and all dependencies. When SHTF the current political and economic systems we currently fall in line with will be gone, or at least much less stable and reliable on an everyday basis. No longer will you be able to leave your home, get in your car, drive to the local supermarket and secure all the foodstuffs on your shopping list. Food and other supplies will be scarcer and much harder to acquire. Life in general will not be as easy as it is now. So what can you do to prep for the future? Start with cutting those strings of dependency. First and foremost, eliminate any and all debts tying you down.
Dismember Credit from your Financial Lifestyle
The average family in the United States has $7,115 worth of credit card debt. If you’ve ever dealt with interest payments and understand how much money bleeds from your wallet each time you don’t pay off your credit card balance in full each month, you understand that interest is money you are figuratively throwing straight out the window. While it’s easy for anyone to “just put it on the credit card,” this is a very slippery slope and the wrong mentality to have. If you can’t afford something by paying for it in cash, do not make the purchase. It’s that simple. Credit card companies have a tendency to latch onto you without letting go. Like a leech or tick sucking blood from a body, a credit card company sucks hard-earned money from your account – it’s how the company continues to live and thrive. I consider a credit card company like a gangrenous appendage – it must be severed or it will develop and spread.
Reducing Subscription-based Services
I can hear the collective groan of you Netflix or Hulu-dependent individuals out there. The good news? There are free alternatives at your fingertips that can serve as viable replacements. Use YouTube for your shows and movies. Don’t believe me? Check out an entire Sub-Reddit dedicated to full movies available on YouTube. While this is assuming you can tap into a reliable internet source, at least you don’t have to pay for cable or video streaming services on top of that. Heck if you can swing it, talk to a neighbor with a WiFi connection and see if you can tap into their wireless connection. Split the cost with them instead of having an expensive internet connection all to yourself.
Going Generic in a World Ruled by Brands
Take a quick look at the picture. You’ll see two products for Greek yogurt, the one on the left is your standard, generic brand and the one on the right is from a more popular supplier. Take a look at the ingredients. Besides negligible differences, these products are the exact same. The difference between these two is the price. You will pay significantly more for the product on the right compared to the one on the left. And for what? So you can see a more attractive label or feel the satisfaction of supporting a certain brand? Bologna. Save money by buying the no-name brands, but pay close attention to the ingredients. There are circumstances in which cheap ingredients (like high fructose corn syrup) will be substituted to make cheaper products. Pay close attention and make sure there are no differences between two products before making the jump.
Resisting the Urge
Imagine – it’s payday. You check your account balance and see all that fresh money, sitting there, waiting to be spent on whatever you desire. And why shouldn’t you spend it, after all you worked hard for it! You go to the store, see that brand new bicycle and think to yourself – boy would I like to have that. I don’t need it, but it looks so GOOD and my life would be better with it in my possession. Stop yourself right there. Turn around, leave the store. People get into debt doing this very thing – impulse spending on material stuff. The product may be exciting to have for a couple weeks, but after the initial euphoria of owning something new, your life is no different and you eventually realize you could have been fine without it. Practice going to the store, looking at something interesting, and imagine your life with it. Then don’t buy it and leave. The more you do this, the more skilled you will be refraining from unnecessary purchases.
Prepping is about doing more with less. It’s about being able to provide everything you currently rely on others for, yourself. Finding cheaper alternatives to solutions and skimming the unnecessary cream off the top is an essential of prepping. For now, the money saved by cutting unnecessary expenses should go towards paying off debt. Debt is the leech on your back that must be burned away, or it will continue to extract from your account. Like the chains locked to a slave’s ankles, debt is a hindrance on all that you do in life. Eliminating debt is prepping and the time to start is now.
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