Tag Archives: education

Can finishing your basement be considered prepping?

When you think about prepping, do you think about stuff in the future?  Do images of piles of food and clothing and water come to mind?  How can finishing your basement be considered prepping?

My reasoning is this.

  • I am saving my marriage by finishing a project my wife would like to have done.
  • Having an unfinished basement is undesirable if I sell my home.  More finished square footage equals more money.
  • I am learning valuable skills like carpentry, electrical, plumbing, tile, plus others.
  • I am saving money by doing the work myself.
  • My kids can now go downstairs and mess up the downstairs instead of the upstairs.
  • I have made new friends in the neighborhood by having them help me and learn new skills.
  • Did I mention my wife is happier when the basement is finished.

The underlying issue with prepping is, will it make your life better even if nothing goes wrong.  I think if we evaluate things through this lens it will make it easier to determine if what you are doing is worthwhile.

I know finishing my basement will put more equity into my home.  It will provide knowledge of how to fix, build and repair my home if in the future these things need to be taken care of.  It shows my children things must be worked for.  Sometimes you do not have the money to do things so you must learn to do them for yourself.  I think you gain a better appreciation for the work other people do and what it really costs.

Building things allows your mind to create.  My kids have had a wonderful time laying out their rooms.  It also forces you to plan ahead.  This may be the most important skill set gained from this endeavour.  We have had to look ahead and determine things we had not originally thought about.  We have decided to run natural gas to our appliances for future use.  We have expanded the bathroom so three girls could use it.

This project has also taught me about preparing for the future.  We have children growing up and they will need some space for them and their friends.  What will their needs be?  What will it be like when they leave?  Will we still want the layout we have now.

Too many times we prepare for the disasters we think may come and forget to remember we have families and loved ones to prepare for also.  It is important to have a refuge from the outside world where we can bond with family and friends.

Next time you have a spouse resisting your preps, tell them you want to fix up the house a little.  Explain to them what it means to have a house which is comfortable and livable and up to date.  Maybe you might find someone a little more receptive to your next project.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

 

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Home skills for the Survivalist

As Preppers we try to anticipate and prepare for a potential system to break down or be unavailable.  But what if your water system goes down or your furnace quits working?  Are you skilled enough to fix it or do you have to call someone?  I know you can make a mean elk burger with the elk you killed during the hunt last fall.  But when your ceiling fan goes on the fritz can you replace a switch?  As preppers we also need to remember a break down in our own home can create havoc.  Here are some things I think you should be able to do at your home.

  • Minor electrical  You should be able to do the following
    • Replace a light fixture
    • Replace a 110 outlet
    • Put a new receptacle on the end of an extension cord
  • Plumbing
    • Fix a leaky faucet
    • Replace a float valve in a leaky toilet
    • Turn of the water to your house
    • Put a new wax ring on a toilet
    • Install a toilet
    • Install a shower head or faucet
  • Carpentry
    • Put up a wall with 2 x 4’s
    • Install a door
    • Hang baseboard and casing
    • Install shelving
    • Use the following tools
      • Hammer
      • Chop saw/ mitre saw
      • Skill saw/construction saw
    • Know the difference between plumb and level
    • How to fix something which is out of square
    • Use a chainsaw
  • Finish work
    • How to prep a wall for paint
    • How to paint, both roller and brush
    • How to put up weather-stripping
    • How to install a dead bolt/ door handle
    • Fix a drawer
    • How to install ceramic tile
  • Other
    • Insulation

Here are some more advanced techniques

  • How to run new water lines
  • How to put in a P trap
  • How to put in a 220 outlet
  • How to install crown molding
  • How to install can lighting
  • Drywall and mudding
  • Insulation

These are just some of the things we should be able to do or are learning to do.

Do you have any other suggestions?

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Survival Preparedness is a Great Investment

As we think about all the issues in the world now, one I am constantly trying to figure out is investing.  What to do with my money and time.  I have come to the conclusion I will need to invest in myself and family first.  Along this line of thinking, I am concerned with the 5 basic survival needs.  Realize my advice on investing has to do with things I know will have a positive return on investment (ROI).

Food

Food as we know is always going up in price.  Now there are some ups  and downs, but as a general rule food goes up in price.  So how do you contain ever rising food prices.  They way you do it is twofold.  One is buying food before the price goes up.  This is food storage basics.  You are buying food now you will use in the future.  This is a way to mitigate cost increases, but you are still paying higher food costs, albeit at a rate lower than the average person.  The second way to hedge higher food costs is to grow some of your own food.  I think this is the best way to contain food costs.  It will always cost you about the same amount of money to grow a carrot year after year.  So I think having a garden and growing your food is a great investment.  If you grow $1000 worth of food a year it is like having $10,000 in the bank giving you a 10% return.  It takes about $1000 or less to have a garden which will produce $1000 worth of produce.

Also remember part of your garden will include perennials like bushes, vines and trees.  raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, along with fruit trees produce fruit almost forever.  More than likely they will be producing after you are dead.  This is an awesome ROI.  The only drawback to these items is they take a little longer to produce fruit.  Once producing fruit they will produce more than you can use.  I have a pear tree and it produced about 150 gallons of fruit.  We made dried pears, canned pears, pear sauce, pear nectar, pear juice.  This is while we gave away probably 50 lbs. worth to neighbors.

Shelter

Making home improvement is a great investment.  Having a home with efficient appliances, good windows, extra insulation pays dividends.  Paying off your mortgage is one of the best investments I can think of.  Once you have no mortgage payment and you are growing some of your own food.  The amount of money you need greatly decreases.

Along with shelter, look at trying to obtain some land to produce more food with permaculture technics.  Having food systems which need very little human input are great to have on your land.  You can grow year after year and only go up to harvest.  This is why I recommend perennial plants.

Investments

I think you should try to save about 20% of your income till you get to 6 months worth of cash.  With all of the volatility and uncertainty in the market, having cash will be valuable.

If you decide to invest in the market, pick quality companies which have weathered past recessions.  Along the same lines know your exit point.  If you have a goal of getting a return of 10% and you have realized 20% this year, sell your stock, move to cash and wait.  You have effectively realized 2 years worth of gains.  Do your research and find another investment. Do not get greedy.

Increase your financial IQ.  Start to read online or watch financial news shows.  Look up words you do not know the meaning and learn what they are.  In a world where money rules knowing what people are talking about will give you an advantage.

Community

Focus on your community.  Investing in your neighbors will bring dividend beyond belief.  Help them to grow a garden.  Share some of your knowledge.  Teach a class on financial literacy.  Start a neighborhood garden club.  Focusing on community allows people to get to know one another.  Use the common bonds of food and community to foster relationships.

Self Sufficiency and Self Reliance

Start to increase your self reliance by a preset amount of time.  Try to start with 3 days, then move to 3 months.  It comes one step at a time.

Next is to increase your self sufficiency.  Start to become more self sufficient.  Start with food.  Grow some of your own food even if it is 1% is 1% self sufficient.  This is 1% less you need from the food system.  This increases your resiliency.  Keep moving in small percentages toward greater and greater self sufficiency.  I do not advocate becoming 100% self sufficient unless you need to.  It is cost prohibitive and almost impossible.  Any way you are part of a community right?  Which means you can trade or buy what you do not have.

Investing gets rather complicated.  I want you to focus on being able to do things for yourself and have some time while you are younger to spend with the ones you love rather than working until you “retire” only to sit in your chair and get old.  Life is fun and amazing.  Live it so you can live it later.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Producer vs. Consumer

Are you a producer or consumer?  Or both?  Which do you favor?

As a prepper you will need to be both of them.  How much of each is up to you?

A consumer is someone who uses.   You consume food, TV, gas, energy, etc.

A producer makes.  You produce food, a service, a good, a product.

CONSUMER

I want to start off with the good of consuming.  We need consumption.  We have to eat, drink, go to a job, etc.  These are things we consume to stay alive.  You reading this blog is consumption.  There is nothing wrong with consumption as long as it is not the only thing you do. We should be consuming content as part of our continued learning objective.  Without consumption we can’t learn to do something new.  So please consume all the content you want from this site:)

BUT

If all you are doing is consuming content, you are not doing any work.  By this I mean if you read preparedness blogs all day but do not do any preparedness then you are not becoming prepared.  We must moderate our consumption.  We need to learn something new, then we need to go do it.  Nobody likes an armchair quarterback telling what to do without having done it or tried it.

PRODUCER

Here you implement what you have learned.  Humans are meant to be producers.  In the preparedness community we must be producers.

Things we can produce

  • Food- Plant a garden
  • Energy- Get some alternative energy
  • Content- Do you teach others what you have learned?  Do you give something of value back?

There is a balance between the two.  I tend to be more of a producer.  I get online, find out how to do what I want  and then go do it.  I then try to share my knowledge here.

I ask you to start using your time wisely.  Make a list of the things you want to do and learn all you can about them and go do them.  Start a garden, store some food, save some money, replace your oil, change your brakes, learn to sew, cook a meal, give service.  Accomplish all you can because you can.

It is not the education which matters, only the application of it.

What are some of the ways you are becoming a producer?

 

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

 

Step 7- Get an Education and Get a Job

This one seems fairly self-explanatory, But you would be amazed at how many people will ask about prepping but not have a job.  Or don’t have enough income to cover the bills.

First is get an education.  The “better” your education, the “better” job you will get.  We can go in circles about the value of an education but the important thing is to get an education in something that will provide a living for you and your family.  Once you get the education continue to learn as much as possible about whatever interests you. My phrase is “It is not the education that matters, but the application of the education which matters”. What you do is more important than what you received.  I have found this to be helpful in everything I learn.

Second is having a job. It seems self evident that you need a job, but if you don’t then it is impossible to continue to prepare.  A job provides income in which to do the things you would Ike to do.

This is one of those steps if it doesn’t exist, creates a stopping point, and makes you realize what it means in the scheme of things in being able to accomplish your goals.

Prepping 101

Making life’s road a little smoother