Tag Archives: stress

10 Simple Steps Toward Living the Prepping 101 Lifestyle

Today we talk about 10 simple steps that people can take toward making life’s road a little smoother.
Today we talk about…

  • Plan for disaster based on the simplified threat matrix.  Personal – Community – City.  99.9% of the things which can go wrong will fall into these 3 regions in your life.  There is no sense preparing for a global pandemic when you are not prepared for your wife to lose her income for two weeks because of foot surgery.  I can only say we are trying to cover the basics and once those are done, can we move to larger items.
  • Store at least 30-90 days of reserve food and water.  90% of disasters are personal, this should get you through most of them.  Having reserve food also saves you money and time.  You do not have to buy when you need it only when it is on sale.  You also get the added convenience of having your own personal convenience store in your house.
  • Plant a garden because you can only store so much food.  I want you to learn to grow your own food for a myriad of reasons.  The main two are 1) it supplements what you have stored. 2) It provides a valuable knowledge set.  Having a garden will enable you to extend your food storage for longer periods of time and give yet another piece to the diversity puzzle.  If you have 30 days worth of food and a garden you could extend this up to 45 days or more depending on how large your garden is and what type of climate you live.  Knowledge gained from the garden is invaluable.  From when to plant, what to plant with, pests, beneficial animals and insects, seed saving, food preservation, etc.  All of these skills you take with you wherever you go.
  • Debt is financial cancer, get rid of it. Enough said.
  • Understand you prepare for most disasters the same way.  We do not prepare for a specific event but for a loss of a system(s).
  • Have bug out bag (72 hour kit) for every family member.  Even the dog or cat
  • Have a plan for staying put and for leaving.  You will never know if you have to leave your house or stay for an emergency.  What if you have a storm or hurricane coming and it is better to leave and go to the in-laws?  Take you BOB and go for a day or two.  What if there is a snow storm coming?  Better to stay put and hole up at home where there is food and clothing.  You see we have to prepare for all types of events.  We do not get to pick our disaster.  Life does not give us a phone call and say “Hey, just wanted to let you know your house is going to burn down on March 16.  Have a nice day.”  This is why we prepare for leaving and staying.
  • Practice true diversity in your investment strategy.  Do not put all of your money into a 401k/403b, etc. plan.  This is just as foolish as having all your money in cash or all in gold.  What if the stock market goes up, how is your cash doing?   Same if the market goes down.  Diversity is not having all of your money in paper assets.  Look to stocks, land, commodities, cash, bonds.  Practice true diversity.
  • Learn to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors.  Have a gun (shotgun at minimum).   Most of all learn how to use it.  Go out and practice.  Get good training.  I believe all rights we have are due to the enforcement of the second amendment.
  • Everything you do to prepare should help to make life’s road a little smoother.  If nothing ever goes wrong in your life these things will make your life better.  This is the over reaching goal of what we do here, if your life is great you will be in a position to help some of those who’s life is not so good at the moment.

Remember who you are, and the skills and knowledge in your head are what matters.  What you do and stand for matter.

Prepping 101
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Getting Started – Changing from a Grasshopper to an Ant

Many ask the question, “How do I get started?”  Prepping 101 is about giving you ideas to get started.

First thing you will need to do is determine where you are in your life before you start prepping. Have you spent your whole life not prepping?  That’s ok you are the normal average American.  How many years have you spent being unprepared?  Be grateful you have awakened yourself.  It took you many years of being unprepared, it will take years to become prepared.  This is now a lifestyle change, not buying more stuff to put in your basement just in case.

You now have to decide where you are.  Start with determining how much food do you have in your home.  List how many meals you have in your home.  Write it down on a piece of paper.  If you want 30 days worth of food you need to know how many days you have to start with.

Start storing food.  Start copy canning.  When you go to the store to buy corn, buy two cans instead of one.  Put the second one in storage.  Do this until you have 30 days worth of food or whatever amount of food you want in your home.

Start making a documentation book.  One in each car, 0ne in the house

  • List of all the people you may want to get a hold of and all the numbers and addresses for them
  • List of services, these are people you call in case of emergency
    • Tree trimming
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical
    • HVAC
    • Roofing
    • Masonry
    • Carpentry
    • Drywall
  • 3 places you would go and 3 routes to get to each place.  All of the places will be far apart.  Make sure you put the names and phone #’s of each place.  If you choose hotels in an area pick 3-4 hotels in each area.  Print out each place from Google Maps with the 3 different ways to get there.  Put it in your book.

Organize your pantry.  You may realize you have more food than you thought.  Now with your pantry organized it will make your copy canning easier.

If you really feel overwhelmed, go to the store and buy some beans, rice, pasta and sauce.  This will get you immediate sense of relief.  You can do this for less than $50.

Get out of debt.  As you know this is something we preach often around here.  Debt makes you a slave to the lender.  I think getting out of debt is so important you may put some of your preps on hold until you get out of debt.  You could easily store 30-60 days worth of food and cash and then all you do is put your money into getting out of debt.  Making a budget is the easiest way to cut money out.  Make a list of your debts in order from smallest to largest.  Start with the smallest and apply as much money as possible until it is paid off.  Take the payment from the last bill and apply it to the next until they are paid off.

Start cutting expenses.  You can always add them back later if you feel they are needed again.  Cut, cut, cut until you can cut no more and then live like this for 3 months and if you want to add something back, do so.

Understand the commonality of disaster and use it to make your preps easier.  What is the most likely thing to happen?  A personal disaster is the most common.  What will having food mean if you lose your job?  What will having some cash mean if you get sick?  What will life insurance mean if you spouse dies?  If you start planning for the most common things you will be 90%. prepared.  We do not plan for specific threats, we plan for the general disaster to happen.

Realize and OWN your plan. No one will have the same plan as you.  If you have your own plan you will not be able to blame someone else for the failure of their plan.  You will also be the one to reap the success of the plan YOU implemented.

Be prepared to protect yourself.  This means having something both lethal and non lethal.  Get training on how to protect yourself and your family.  You may have to start with pepper spray and some self-defense training.  Becoming armed is an increase in responsibility.  Being armed means you are going to avoid conflict at a greater cost.  When you bring a gun to a fight it automatically becomes a gun fight.  Are you ready for this?

Last is understanding your success depends on you.  The ownership of your goals, plans and objectives is in your hands.  I can help make suggestions but ultimately it depends on you.

Go forward with confidence knowing the future is brighter today than yesterday.  The steps you take today are steps moving you closer to your goal of personal freedom and liberty.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

The Freedom of Being Debt Free

The most common threads on this site are and will continue to be, Debt and Gardening.  I know talking about debt is boring so I wanted to come up with a twist.  Society tells us to continue to have debt until we retire and then it will be ok.  But once you retire after a lifetime of using debt it is hard to get rid of.  My father in law has retired and he still has some debt.  This boggles my mind.  How can a man who is 70 think he can continue to take on debt?  Why do we continue to do this?  Why is enslavement something we aspire to?  So today I wanted to write about what it means to be debt free.

Only a few years ago I was in debt, just like many of you.  I sat down with my wife and we discussed what we were going to do about it.  How could we have let this happen?  Then my dad died.  We were left with a small amount of inheritance.  What would we do with it?  We decided to pay off all our debt but the house.  In my head was screaming ‘serenity now’.   I don’t want the stress of having anymore debt.

So my wife and I began the journey of paying off our debt.  We were not able to pay off everything.  As we moved along in our journey, it didn’t seem like it was going to be possible.

I want to tell you what it is like on the other side for those of you on the same journey.  We were able to pay off everything before the crash.  My existing business was cut in half.  I wish I had heeded the same advice in business.  I had debt there I had to work through.  Though the sales were 50% of what they were the year before, I had to take a 50% pay cut.  The amazing thing was we were actually able to make it through.  We had money put away for a rainy day and it was pouring outside.

What I never realized until things calmed down what a relief it was to have no debt.  I was able to put my head down and go to work without having the burden of payments.  I took a hit on my income and survived.  It seems like things are easier though I still do not make as much money as I used to.

I have realized when you have to work because all your money is spent before the paycheck comes is harder than wondering what to do with the extra you have since there are no payments waiting for you.

Victory is the ability to say to your existing job, ‘I quit’.  It is working less with better quality of life.  It is working more and retiring early.  It is realizing you are not a slave anymore.  The freedom and liberty which comes from being debt free is almost like witnessing birth.  Just like kids, I wish I could have 10 of them.  Debt is something I wish I never had.  I am only glad I realized it earlier rather than later.  It is an accomplishment worth sacrificing for.  I know you can do it.  If you do nothing else, getting out of debt will change your mental state.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

What You Do Matters

As I was driving down the road today listening to the radio I was struck by the amazing turn of events in our nation.  We now have the Vatican being put on a list of potential money laundering countries.  Now this looks innocuous enough, but I believe we are starting to see the wielding of the power of the government.  I started to feel overwhelmed the direction we are going.  How many people just do not see what is happening.  This led me to thinking about what we can do as individuals.

I was struck by the awesome power of the individual and what the individual can do.  Within the last two years I have done the following.

  • Started a garden
  • Only home debt
  • Money in savings
  • Food storage
  • Learned plumbing and electrical
  • Bought a generator
  • Planted 2 new fruit trees
  • Grew vegetables from seed
  • Started Prepping 101

I do not list these things to pump myself up, but to show you what can be done.  Doing these things have decreased stress in my life and have shown my family we can make it.  We have changed ourselves and helped to change our neighborhood.

I was just reminded of the all things we can do to make our life better.  I thank all of you who have been a part of this community and given me the drive to continue posting.  I am going to start podcasting.  My job has me frequently traveling within the city.  I usually have between 15-60 minutes of driving between jobs. I think audio lends itself well to what we talk about here.  If there are any special topics you would like me to cover let me know.

prepping101@gmail.com

I should have a “real” website up by the end of the month.  I already have about 20 podcasts in the queue.  The domain name is Prepping101.com.  You can go there and it takes you to this wordpress blog(where you are now).

I wanted to say Thank You.  What you do matters.  It matters to me.  It matters to your family.  It matters to your neighborhood.  Your ability to take responsibility for yourself makes all the difference to those around you.  I applaud you and am grateful for you.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road A Little Smoother

Finding Time to Prep- Part 2

Finding Time to Prep- Part 2

In part 1 we discussed

  • Making a list and prioritizing
  • You will do what you see as most important first
  • Stored food is money in the bank
  • Prepare in incremental steps
  • 2 meals a month out of food storage
  • You can’t do it overnight
  • Finishing other projects

Today we have more things to discuss.

  • Gardening is easy.  If you do it a little at a time.  I know gardening is hard work.  I have 5 raised beds and the perimeter of my backyard.  The thing I have tried to do is cultivate the garden to allow me to do as little work as possible.  I do this by mulching heavily and composting.   I am a lazy gardener.  I do not weed very often, heck weeds are part of nature right?  Try to come home from work and spend 10-15 minutes in the garden.  Pull a few weeds, check on and water the plants.  If you truly love to garden than by all means spend time, but if you are overwhelmed by the amount of preps you have then allow the garden to “grow”.
  • Get out and exercise.  Take a walk around the block.  Breathe fresh air and get to know your neighbors.  Think of exercise as community building.  See what your neighbors are planting.  Ask them gardening questions.  Last year by just walking around my neighborhood I was able to trade pears (from my immense pear tree) for other goodies.
  • Prepping builds assets while everyone else is building debt.  As you start to prep understand you are building wealth.  Those thing you can touch and feel are true wealth.  Things which hold their value are true wealth. Eliminating your debt is wealth. Food, trees, land, water, guns, knowledge.  These things are assets and wealth.  When everyone else is buying things on credit, sit back and be happy you are accumulating wealth.
  • Start building your bug out bags for both home and car.  These are great cheap things to do while in the early stages.  Have a bag for home for each family member and one for each car.  You never know what may happen.  I use my bag in my car at least once a month.  I am thirsty so I get some water or I need a flashlight.
  • Think of how long it took you to become unprepared.  It will take time to become prepared.  This has been my number one piece of advice for myself.  I have to realize it took me almost 40 years to become unprepared.  I figure it will take me at least 5-10 years to become prepared.  I know I will never be fully prepared for everything, but I will rest better knowing I am doing what I can.
  • Plan, Plan, Plan.  Write a plan and continue to revise it.  A plan allows you to focus on what is important in an objective manner.  You will be able to work as a unit with clear goals.  Along with your plan I recommend you to work on one project at a time.  Working on multiple projects can become distracting, and shows no clear focus on the most important project.  So if you can focus on one thing at a time, do so.
  • Educate yourself.  Become informed as possible.  Read the news, find new skills to learn, read opposing opinions, teach a skill to someone.  The part between your two ears is the most valuable survival item you have.  Fill it to the brim with good stuff.

I hope this has been of help to you.  If you have any other suggestions for topics please let me know.

What has helped you find time to prep?

Prepping 101
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

How to get your spouse to start prepping- part 2

Part 2

  1. Discuss the “better life” you want.  Talk about how you want to live the “better life” on less cost and how you want it for your family.  You should be able to show your spouse the ways to live a better life on less money.  Show them how you plan to go about improving the family’s lifestyle.
  2. Start with a small plan and work from there.  Don’t start off with, ‘Hey we should move to the country and hole up for armageddon’.  That’s a sure fire way to not go anywhere.  Start with a small plan and work the plan.  Show how it makes your life better.  Move to other things as the easy ones fall into place.  Remember- to walk a mile starts with one step.
  3. Offer to do the first step  with them.  You can start with one or more.  By showing you support them, it shows you care about the concerns they have.  Doing it together promotes unity.
  4. Have your spouse suggest a second step.  Do the second step together no matter what you think of it.  You will not always have the same ideas, but by doing it with them it shows you value their opinion.
  5. Discuss how you want to spend time with them.  Show how you want to spend time now not when you are old and can’t do anything together.  Doing things together is how you build your family unit.  Caring about one another is how we show them they are important.  Getting our of debt and saving money will enable you to spend more years together.
  6. Get them to talk about their fears and REALLY listen to them.  They are the most important person to you.  Without them you will not be able to succeed.  Find out about them.
  7. Be positive.  The future is bright.  Show them it can be brighter.  There may be some tough times ahead, but you want to thrive during those times.  Prepping is a little like insurance.  You buy it hoping you will never need it, but if you do you are glad you have it.
  8. Don’t expect to be perfect in everything you do.  You will make mistakes.  Learn from them and move on.  Do not expect your spouse to suddenly change their mind and be 100% on board.  It took you time to realize what is going on.  Give you spouse some time also.
  9. Come up with a long term vision and what it means to the family.  You are doing this so your family will be better prepared.  Preparedness is about the family not about an individual.
  10. Share this blog with them.  Sometimes people need an outside opinion.  They need to hear it from someone else other than you.

Remember to convey at all times, what you are trying to do is improve your families lifestyle.  You care about them and the conditions around them.

In the comments, what other ways have you had your spouse come on board?

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

How to get your spouse to start prepping- part 1

This is brought about by my own personal experience.  I have had some trouble convincing my spouse to become as prepared as I would like.  Not that she does not want to be prepared, but to what extent.  I am on a path which is different from hers.  I wanted to go over some things which have helped me get her on board.

  1. Focus on debt elimination.  Debt is a burden in all families.  I am sure your spouse knows of the crushing feeling of having debt.  By eliminating this your financial and emotional well-being will be better.  Even if this is the only thing you do for your first year, do it.  Knowing debt is cancer will improve your ability to acquire the preparedness stuff later.
  2. Never demand to do it your way.  I have done much research and on most things know which way to go.  The best way to show someone how to do something is to do it.  We pull people into doing things, we never push.  You want to lead them into the correct idea.  The best thing you can do is show your spouse how happy you are when the family is prepared.
  3. Always work as a team.  Try to get things done as a unit.  This in not to say you may have to do some things on your own.  But try to arrive at a decision together.
  4. Have your partner do your weaker items.  There are things you can not do or do very well.  Have your spouse or children do them.  This will get them involved and have some stake in the outcome.  Showing them you can not do everything says you are willing to involve everyone to get the job done.  This will show you care about those around you.
  5. Never put what you “want to do” over what needs to be done.  A sure fire way to get them to put the brakes on a project is to show preference for your own things.  You may think you need a gun, but you don’t have a black out kit.  Remember you are a team.  Make a list of all the things you need and prioritize them.  Go down the list in order.  Every so often you will have to rearrange.  This way you will both be in sync on the next project you have to accomplish.
  6. Live the way you want them to live.  Show them how happy you are in your preparedness lifestyle.  Let them see you in action.  If you become happier and a more supportive spouse, they will be open to your actions.  I know since I started living a more prepared lifestyle, I have seen the changes in my wife.  She now thinks about gardening (she is reading Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew).  She has her own bed and is interested in planting for herself.
  7. Ask “what if questions.”  Ask what if the lights went out for 24 hours?  What if we had a boil water advisory?  What if I lost my job?  Then listen to the answers.  Do not talk.  Do not offer suggestions.  LISTEN.  You will learn more about your spouse than your ever thought you knew.  Discuss with them the answers they gave you.  Maybe you are both on the same page but your spouse is just not quite sure where to start.
  8. Explain to them how having food and savings is a great investment.  Food goes up in price, by buying now instead of later you are saving money.  Having extra food saves you time since you do not have to go to the store as frequently.  Having money in the bank allows you to make smarter purchases.

Part 2 is for next time.  One of the greatest blessing in life is to have a cohesive team planning for the future.  Nothing makes me happier than when WE are on the same page and moving forward to a common goal.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother