Economic Disaster Insurance: Multiple Streams of Income

Posted By on July 10, 2014

By Devin S. Standard- Frugal Lifestyle Coach

In today’s environment, surprise medical expenses, a company bankruptcy, catastrophic engine failure or other unforeseen personal disasters may occur at any time. Another looming challenge is tuition. My son’s college cost $58,000/year and frankly, I was not properly prepared to deal with that kind of financial shock. Learn from my pain as well as the pain of all those recently foreclosed upon; prepare! One key prep that can help mitigate; but not necessarily eliminate, the pain, is MONEY. As such we recommend that in addition to a 6 month emergency supply of liquid funds(your monthly budget x 6), that you and your family develop multiple streams of income instead of counting upon one, or two sources of income. Maybe you need the multiple streams of income just to establish your 6 month emergency fund. No matter, read on.

A good way to start is to assess your skills and catalog your hobbies. You must love something and be expert, or near expert at something. Well, guess what, you can capitalize on that passion.

Potential Skills:

  1. Public Speaking
  2. Reading
  3. Gardening
  4. Raising pets/animal husbandry
  5. Writing
  6. Leading
  7. Cooking
  8. Selling
  9. Exercising/Sports
  10. Child raising
  11. Education/Tutoring
  12. Foreign Languages

So, once you’ve identified your skill and, or passion, how do you capitalize on it? Well, you make yourself an expert and then you teach your skills to others:

  1. Write an article for a magazine or blog in your field of expertise- Each incremental article/blog post published further cements your “expertise” and leads to more. You may have to do some for free. I usually get around $500/article
  2. Write a book. (Self publishing is becoming easier with all the web tools available these days.) Then sell the book.
  3. Write a blog. This costs almost nothing. If you link it with FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and manage your social media with a program called Hootesuite.com you will be able to create a virtuous circle of content flowing about “your wisdom” in the blogsphere.
  4. Volunteer to give speeches at associations, clubs, groups, etc. and advertise “coaching or lessons” you will be surprised at how much business you drum up that way.
  5. Become a “certified” instructor and give classes. If you are good in a field that you love, figure out how to become credentialed. You may have to volunteer some time in the beginning; but as you grow and become well known, you will make $$.
  6. Make Videos and post them on Youtube. These will give you more content for all of your social media tools. The more, and the fresher the content, the higher your search rankings will go.
  7. Sell, Sell, Sell- the produce from your garden, your old un-needed items, the extra eggs from your chickens, whatever you have. Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist make all the world a virtual garage sale 24/7/365

That’s it. The more prepared you are, and the better diversified your sources of revenue, the more personal LIBERTY you and your family will enjoy.

Now go out there and make some extra cash!

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/my-fathers-lesson-multiple-streams-of-income/

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Notes for Saturday – July 26, 2014

Posted By on July 25, 2014

Today we present another entry for Round 53 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  10. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  11. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  12. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 53 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.





Why Trying To Start A Garden Now May Be A Little Too Late For TEOTWAWKI, by BPW

Posted By on July 25, 2014

Here’s a little about myself. I work in law enforcement. I grew up in suburbia, was a Marine and outdoorsy person, yet I have never really, truly gardened. I can’t. I work full time and own a home (in a development). I have two children, who run me all over the place, and I have never had a green thumb. I do hunt, and I do that well. So, I figured how hard is planting some seeds in the ground and growing some vegetables. Well, my experience woke me up and am I glad that it did, because had I not started my garden last year, I would have had a rude awakening come the fall of civilization. I probably would have killed my family and wasted my money on my heirloom seeds. At least I’m learning now and not when it’s life or death.

So, last year I thought, “You know what, let’s start a small garden and see how we do.” I cleared a nice spot in my yard, ran the tiller, brought in some good planting dirt and some manure, bought my non-hybrid seeds, and starting my great experiment with my two children.

LESSONS LEANED YEAR ONE:

1. Put a stinking fence up. I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, strawberries, mint, and some other odds and ends that I can’t seem to remember. Well, all my seeds began to sprout and grow. My children and I would water and weed the garden regularly, and everything began to look good. About 30-45 days into the experiment, it began. The animals began to eat all the stinking leaves off all my stuff. They struck fast and hard, and the next thing I knew most off my stuff was just stumps. Everything but the mint and tomatoes was gone. Those the animals didn’t seem to mind.

2. Do your research, and don’t listen to urban legends. Now, I did plant marigolds all around the outside of the garden, because someone said that rabbits don’t like those, and it would keep them out. I wanted to try to be as natural and use things that would be available during TEOTWAWKI. Well, I can now officially say that’s crap, and I actually watched a rabbit eat the cap off a marigold. So don’t listen to friends who claim that they have done “it”. Ask professionals and talk to the people at garden centers.

3. Weeding and spacing is very important. I found that no matter what I did, the weeds invaded and I seemed to underestimate the size my tomato plants would grow, too. I had trouble getting in the garden to pick my tomatoes without breaking stems. So be sure to leave yourself enough room for plants to grow and bloom.

4. Keep herbs separate and contained. My mint went wild and invaded everything. No matter what I did, it seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Also, no matter how much I cut and pulled it, the mint grew and grew and attempted to overtake everything.

So year one was a wash, although I had a huge load of tomatoes and mint. So, I could flavor my water with mint and eat a lot of tomatoes. Yeah. I would have starved. No! My family would have starved.

CHANGES AND LESSONS OF YEAR TWO:

I’ll start by saying that I began year two on a mission. I would plant and maintain a garden that we would have an abundance in order to practice some canning this year. I built raised boxes. These boxes where about four feet off the ground. I built two of them that where eight foot long, about two foot wide, and 18″ deep. I filled them with good soil and manure. I knew that I would stick it to those rabbits and have a huge haul this year. I also bought some chicken wire and stakes and was going to build an impenetrable garden fortress around my garden from last year. Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. Again, my garden has given me many learning opportunities.

1. Spacing is still important. My tomatoes still look like a South American jungle that I need a machete to get through. Although I have quite a haul of tomatoes growing, I am again having trouble getting to them without damaging the stems. I also have to be extremely careful when I tie them up, because I can’t tell which plant the stem is from.

2. Mint will still invade and take over everything. Last year I thought that I really took care of the mint problem, but guess what is back and back with a vengeance? I think it is trying to punish me for pulling it out last year. I did allow it to go semi-crazy this year because I dried some last year and used it for things. The animals don’t mess with it, and it has grown around my fence to sort of hide the fence. It has gotten so big it actually hides my garden and sort of looks like a weed that needs to be trimmed. So I figured that could be a good thing when trying to keep your garden on the down low.

3. Fences don’t make your garden a fortress. I came home one day and was admiring my strawberries that were finally growing and starting to turn red, when movement in my mint jungle caught my eye. A baby bunny was chewing on my berries. Arrrgghhh! I wanted to scream, but that wasn’t the end of my year two garden troubles. I still, to this day, have no idea how he could get through the wire, but he did.

4. Raised boxes don’t stop all animals from eating your garden. Last year most all of my garden was eaten, so I thought that this year I would transfer all those plants to my new raised boxes and outsmart the animals. Well, again the leaves started to find themselves being snipped off the stem, and once again my peppers and other garden delicacies were killed. I think, but I’m not sure, that it was birds doing this. I have never found evidence of animals or birds. There were just leaves laying there. So, I think maybe a net over the raised boxes is in order for next year. That would keep both birds and other critters out of my boxes. The funny thing is that the cucumbers and green beans are taking off and growing crazy, so far. Knock on wood that this keeps up.

Now I have officially decided that gardening is never, and I mean never, going to feed my family when civilization fails. I’m not giving up, nor do I write this with the wishes that anyone else give up, but each year is a new learning experience, and if you haven’t started yet, no amount of reading and research is going to help you to figure out how to garden. Practice, practice, practice. Get out and dig in the dirt, rotate your crops, do all you can to keep out the critters, and pray that you are bountiful. When all else fails, find your weakness and exploit it; make it your strength. As I mentioned above I hunt. I’m good at hunting, so I decided that I would attempt something new. Trapping.

Well, I’m not talking about trapping where I go out buy a license and traps and set them up out in the wood. I mean something that I have not read about on this site, but I figured that I would give it a shot. I have rabbits running around my house eating my stuff, so guess what I got? Yep. I got some box traps and set them up near my garden.

I baited them and waited, and wait I did. A month went by before anything went inside the trap, but bam, I caught some rabbits. I have four to be exact. Guess what I built myself? A pen, and now I am raising rabbits. I don’t know, but you know what they say about rabbits. So, before I know it, I should have a bunch of rabbits. This should give me some ability to barter and trade.

Now, what have I learned the last two years? Well, first, I learned that if you think you are going to garden to survive, you are probably out of your mind, and you will be dead within a year. Gardening is “guard” and “you need a lot of space to feed yourself and a family for a year”. Secondly, success only happen after repeated failures. I guess that in business, gardens, and everything else in life, you have to fail multiple times before you get it right. I’m two years in, and I know that it will take me forever to be able to sustain myself on a garden. Next, find the positive in everything that goes wrong. I have started a new survival tactic, because they were eating my food. So I created a food supply by losing one. And lastly, never under any circumstance give up. In a failed society, every little thing will help. Even if all you get out of a garden is mint and tomatoes, at least it’s something. By the way, there are no big box stores to get the stuff you need for a garden, so stock up now and attempt to find alternative methods.

Si vis pacem, Para bellum wertieinpa





Why Trying To Start A Garden Now May Be A Little Too Late For TEOTWAWKI, by BPW

Posted By on July 25, 2014

Here’s a little about myself. I work in law enforcement. I grew up in suburbia, was a Marine and outdoorsy person, yet I have never really, truly gardened. I can’t. I work full time and own a home (in a development). I have two children, who run me all over the place, and I have never had a green thumb. I do hunt, and I do that well. So, I figured how hard is planting some seeds in the ground and growing some vegetables. Well, my experience woke me up and am I glad that it did, because had I not started my garden last year, I would have had a rude awakening come the fall of civilization. I probably would have killed my family and wasted my money on my heirloom seeds. At least I’m learning now and not when it’s life or death.

So, last year I thought, “You know what, let’s start a small garden and see how we do.” I cleared a nice spot in my yard, ran the tiller, brought in some good planting dirt and some manure, bought my non-hybrid seeds, and starting my great experiment with my two children.

LESSONS LEANED YEAR ONE:

1. Put a stinking fence up. I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, strawberries, mint, and some other odds and ends that I can’t seem to remember. Well, all my seeds began to sprout and grow. My children and I would water and weed the garden regularly, and everything began to look good. About 30-45 days into the experiment, it began. The animals began to eat all the stinking leaves off all my stuff. They struck fast and hard, and the next thing I knew most off my stuff was just stumps. Everything but the mint and tomatoes was gone. Those the animals didn’t seem to mind.

2. Do your research, and don’t listen to urban legends. Now, I did plant marigolds all around the outside of the garden, because someone said that rabbits don’t like those, and it would keep them out. I wanted to try to be as natural and use things that would be available during TEOTWAWKI. Well, I can now officially say that’s crap, and I actually watched a rabbit eat the cap off a marigold. So don’t listen to friends who claim that they have done “it”. Ask professionals and talk to the people at garden centers.

3. Weeding and spacing is very important. I found that no matter what I did, the weeds invaded and I seemed to underestimate the size my tomato plants would grow, too. I had trouble getting in the garden to pick my tomatoes without breaking stems. So be sure to leave yourself enough room for plants to grow and bloom.

4. Keep herbs separate and contained. My mint went wild and invaded everything. No matter what I did, it seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Also, no matter how much I cut and pulled it, the mint grew and grew and attempted to overtake everything.

So year one was a wash, although I had a huge load of tomatoes and mint. So, I could flavor my water with mint and eat a lot of tomatoes. Yeah. I would have starved. No! My family would have starved.

CHANGES AND LESSONS OF YEAR TWO:

I’ll start by saying that I began year two on a mission. I would plant and maintain a garden that we would have an abundance in order to practice some canning this year. I built raised boxes. These boxes where about four feet off the ground. I built two of them that where eight foot long, about two foot wide, and 18″ deep. I filled them with good soil and manure. I knew that I would stick it to those rabbits and have a huge haul this year. I also bought some chicken wire and stakes and was going to build an impenetrable garden fortress around my garden from last year. Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. Again, my garden has given me many learning opportunities.

1. Spacing is still important. My tomatoes still look like a South American jungle that I need a machete to get through. Although I have quite a haul of tomatoes growing, I am again having trouble getting to them without damaging the stems. I also have to be extremely careful when I tie them up, because I can’t tell which plant the stem is from.

2. Mint will still invade and take over everything. Last year I thought that I really took care of the mint problem, but guess what is back and back with a vengeance? I think it is trying to punish me for pulling it out last year. I did allow it to go semi-crazy this year because I dried some last year and used it for things. The animals don’t mess with it, and it has grown around my fence to sort of hide the fence. It has gotten so big it actually hides my garden and sort of looks like a weed that needs to be trimmed. So I figured that could be a good thing when trying to keep your garden on the down low.

3. Fences don’t make your garden a fortress. I came home one day and was admiring my strawberries that were finally growing and starting to turn red, when movement in my mint jungle caught my eye. A baby bunny was chewing on my berries. Arrrgghhh! I wanted to scream, but that wasn’t the end of my year two garden troubles. I still, to this day, have no idea how he could get through the wire, but he did.

4. Raised boxes don’t stop all animals from eating your garden. Last year most all of my garden was eaten, so I thought that this year I would transfer all those plants to my new raised boxes and outsmart the animals. Well, again the leaves started to find themselves being snipped off the stem, and once again my peppers and other garden delicacies were killed. I think, but I’m not sure, that it was birds doing this. I have never found evidence of animals or birds. There were just leaves laying there. So, I think maybe a net over the raised boxes is in order for next year. That would keep both birds and other critters out of my boxes. The funny thing is that the cucumbers and green beans are taking off and growing crazy, so far. Knock on wood that this keeps up.

Now I have officially decided that gardening is never, and I mean never, going to feed my family when civilization fails. I’m not giving up, nor do I write this with the wishes that anyone else give up, but each year is a new learning experience, and if you haven’t started yet, no amount of reading and research is going to help you to figure out how to garden. Practice, practice, practice. Get out and dig in the dirt, rotate your crops, do all you can to keep out the critters, and pray that you are bountiful. When all else fails, find your weakness and exploit it; make it your strength. As I mentioned above I hunt. I’m good at hunting, so I decided that I would attempt something new. Trapping.

Well, I’m not talking about trapping where I go out buy a license and traps and set them up out in the wood. I mean something that I have not read about on this site, but I figured that I would give it a shot. I have rabbits running around my house eating my stuff, so guess what I got? Yep. I got some box traps and set them up near my garden.

I baited them and waited, and wait I did. A month went by before anything went inside the trap, but bam, I caught some rabbits. I have four to be exact. Guess what I built myself? A pen, and now I am raising rabbits. I don’t know, but you know what they say about rabbits. So, before I know it, I should have a bunch of rabbits. This should give me some ability to barter and trade.

Now, what have I learned the last two years? Well, first, I learned that if you think you are going to garden to survive, you are probably out of your mind, and you will be dead within a year. Gardening is “guard” and “you need a lot of space to feed yourself and a family for a year”. Secondly, success only happen after repeated failures. I guess that in business, gardens, and everything else in life, you have to fail multiple times before you get it right. I’m two years in, and I know that it will take me forever to be able to sustain myself on a garden. Next, find the positive in everything that goes wrong. I have started a new survival tactic, because they were eating my food. So I created a food supply by losing one. And lastly, never under any circumstance give up. In a failed society, every little thing will help. Even if all you get out of a garden is mint and tomatoes, at least it’s something. By the way, there are no big box stores to get the stuff you need for a garden, so stock up now and attempt to find alternative methods.

Si vis pacem, Para bellum wertieinpa





Letter Re: Books For Home Schoolers

Posted By on July 25, 2014

I saw your list of recommended reading for young people, especially those being educated at home by their parents.

I would like to add my own list. Anything by Stephen W. Meader (1892-1977).

Meader published 44 novels in his lifetime. The subjects range from entrepreneurial to adventure to American history. The grammar, vocabulary, and storytelling qualities are first rate.

His books are set during difficult times, including the American Revolution, the westward expansion, the War Between the States, and the Great Depression. Characters are mostly young men trying to make a living through common sense, hard work, and persistence. Most of the characters live satisfying, adventurous, and productive lives in a world where electricity, plumbing, and all the modern conveniences had not yet been invented.

Though aimed at boys, they would have relevance and appeal to girls, as well. I enjoy reading them as an adult. The first fiction book I ever read, many, many years ago, in the fifth grade, was “T-Model Tommy”– the story of a young man in the 1930′s who rebuilt an old truck and started a coal-hauling business. He helps to support a widowed mother, while still attending high school and taking some time to court his girlfriend.

All of Meader’s stories are wholesome and promote honesty and moral values. Meader does not shy away from violence, because that was and remains a fact of life, but he is not grotesque or explicit. There is no profanity nor sexuality. Meader quit writing when such matters became commonplace in juvenile fiction.

When I tried to find a copy of T-Model Tommy on eBay, the price was prohibitive. It took years of scavenging thrift stores and online auctions to complete my set of all 44 books.

Today, all the Meader titles are available new from Southern Skies Press.

I have no financial stake in the company, but they did a favor for me. When the copy of “The Will To Win”, an anthology of sports stories which I purchased from an eBay seller, turned out to be missing four pages, Southern Skies graciously sent me the four missing pages so I could graft them into my book. That tells me something about the people who are publishing these treasures, not only for financial gain but to spread the memory of a man who dedicated his life to producing good reading for young people. – PMW





Letter Re: Books For Home Schoolers

Posted By on July 25, 2014

I saw your list of recommended reading for young people, especially those being educated at home by their parents.

I would like to add my own list. Anything by Stephen W. Meader (1892-1977).

Meader published 44 novels in his lifetime. The subjects range from entrepreneurial to adventure to American history. The grammar, vocabulary, and storytelling qualities are first rate.

His books are set during difficult times, including the American Revolution, the westward expansion, the War Between the States, and the Great Depression. Characters are mostly young men trying to make a living through common sense, hard work, and persistence. Most of the characters live satisfying, adventurous, and productive lives in a world where electricity, plumbing, and all the modern conveniences had not yet been invented.

Though aimed at boys, they would have relevance and appeal to girls, as well. I enjoy reading them as an adult. The first fiction book I ever read, many, many years ago, in the fifth grade, was “T-Model Tommy”– the story of a young man in the 1930′s who rebuilt an old truck and started a coal-hauling business. He helps to support a widowed mother, while still attending high school and taking some time to court his girlfriend.

All of Meader’s stories are wholesome and promote honesty and moral values. Meader does not shy away from violence, because that was and remains a fact of life, but he is not grotesque or explicit. There is no profanity nor sexuality. Meader quit writing when such matters became commonplace in juvenile fiction.

When I tried to find a copy of T-Model Tommy on eBay, the price was prohibitive. It took years of scavenging thrift stores and online auctions to complete my set of all 44 books.

Today, all the Meader titles are available new from Southern Skies Press.

I have no financial stake in the company, but they did a favor for me. When the copy of “The Will To Win”, an anthology of sports stories which I purchased from an eBay seller, turned out to be missing four pages, Southern Skies graciously sent me the four missing pages so I could graft them into my book. That tells me something about the people who are publishing these treasures, not only for financial gain but to spread the memory of a man who dedicated his life to producing good reading for young people. – PMW