Poor Is A Choice – 25 Ways To Choose A Rich Life

I’ve written previously about The Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease and about how I’ve been unemployed, lived check-to-check and once lived in such a rough neighborhood I counted prostitutes on my way home from work each night…but I never chose to be poor and I do believe that poor is a choice.

I never went hungry growing up or did without anything I needed (and by my high school years had just about everything I wanted) but there was a time when I was very young when my folks would search through the couch cushions at the end of the month to scrape together enough money to have a treat at McDonalds.  As an adult I’ve been unemployed, lived check-to-check and I once lived in such a bad neighborhood that I made a game of counting how many prostitutes I passed on my way home from work.

I now live in a small town and one of the benefits of living in a small town is that you get to know many different types of people.  Folks with varied economic and educational backgrounds…folks with  different definitions of success who define ‘the good life’ in ways many of us couldn’t even imagine.  I know lots of folks who don’t have a lot of financial resources but I don’t know a whole lot of ‘poor’ people…and most of the folks I know who are ‘poor’ live a life to be envied by most folks…and I’m not talking about people like Hillary Clinton talking about being broke when she and President Clinton left the White House.

Even those that are members of the lucky sperm club and grow up with all the benefits that family wealth provides have been known to choose poverty… then there are guys like Donald Trump who’s failed and gone bankrupt multiple times, but never let it keep him down.

‘Poor’ is a combination of:

  • Expenses equaling or exceeding income
  • Not making changes to bring income up and/or expenses down
  • Having a poor attitude about it because you ‘deserve more’ or ‘aren’t getting your fair share’

Being poor really is a choice, or more appropriately a series of choices made and choices not made.  If you accept my assertion that poor is a choice, why not choose rich.  Below are a number of choices to make…or avoid to choose rich.  I’ve written this guide as advice for the young…who have opportunities that those of us a little more seasoned might not have…but even if you’ve made some poor choices in the past, it’s never too late to choose rich!

Poor is a choice so:

  1. Choose an education:  I don’t care whether it’s an advanced degree, a bachelor’s degree, a certificate from a trade school, or a journeyman trade…just make sure that you get an education or skills that are marketable.  The most prestigious degree in the world isn’t worth getting if you can’t earn a living.
  2. Choose to start in the Military:  What’s better than getting job training, work experience and college money…how about earning an income and serving your country while you do so.  Oh, and it’s the best resume material in the world… what other career entrusts those under 25 with millions of dollars worth of equipment and human lives…  There are even part time options called the Reserves and the National Guard.  Did you know that less than a quarter of the young people today qualify for military service because of medical conditions or the choices they’ve made (convictions, drug use, obesity, mental health medications, etc.).
  3. Choose to take an entry level job:  The current movement to raise the minimum wage is endangering entry level jobs.  No job is beneath you that’s legal and moral.  Take that first job that’s unsavory to prove yourself so that you can eventually have the job you want.
  4. Choose to volunteer:  Volunteer for more responsibility, accept the unpleasant tasks and prove yourself so that you can move up in the organization or on to the better job or into a career.  Volunteer in your community to help others, build your reputation and expand your personal network.
  5. Choose to work:  Work even if you don’t have to because that’s how you’ll create more opportunities.  I’ve known folks who work until they have enough money to last themselves a few days, weeks or months and then fail to show up or quit to knock around for a while.  Don’t lose the gig you have until you already have the one you want and never burn bridges that you might need again.
  6. Choose to treat your employer’s business as if it’s yours:  The best employees approach every job as if they’re the business owner.  They give 100%, don’t cut corners and look for ways to improve profitability.  If you take ownership of your job you will either be rewarded with more opportunities, benefits and pay or will learn that you want to work for another employer.
  7. Choose to be patient:  Employers look for and reward loyal employees that perform well over time.  Doing a good job is a marathon, not a sprint so don’t expect rewards for working hard for hours or days…think in terms of weeks, months or years depending on your chosen career.
  8. Choose to improve your skills:  The smartest guy I ever worked with didn’t rely on his intelligence to get ahead…he spent every spare moment developing skills to become more attractive to potential employers.  While the rest of our deployed group went out to dinner or a night on the town he’d stay in and study and practice for IT certifications and work hard learning new software development skills.
  9. Choose to network:  You may be the best widget servicer in the world but if you don’t develop a reputation within a group of people who are involved with widgets then you’ll be hard pressed to get that first job.
  10. Choose multigenerational wealth creation:  Traditionally, new immigrants to the U.S. expected to work hard for low wages their entire lives in order to improve the opportunities for their children.  With all the opportunities available these days, I don’t think that this is necessary any more, but you have to admire the stamina and determination of these immigrants to refuse to think ‘poor.’
  11. Choose a second job:  Maybe you need extra experience to achieve your dream job…maybe you just need extra money to make up for some temporary setback or poor financial decisions.  Don’t be too proud to take a second job.  I’ve had second and often third jobs most of my adult life…often that third job is something that’s mostly fun or gives me a discount for things I enjoy doing.  Consider taking a second job that gives back to your community as well as developing your skills…military Reservist, National Guardsman, or reserve law enforcement are such options.
  12. Choose frugality:  Spend less money than you make and you’ll be less likely to choose to be ‘poor.’  Especially beware those monthly recurring charges that add up quickly.
  13. Choose to stay out of debt:  There are good reasons to take on debt but the only two I can think of are to purchase a business (or equipment) that will bring in much more income each month that you pay our in payments and to buy a house…but a modest house for your income in a good neighborhood.
  14. Choose to stay away from drugs:  Drug use doesn’t just slow down your reflexes, it slows down your opportunities.  There are a number of jobs, opportunities and promotions that will be denied to you if you choose drugs.
  15. Choose to stay away from crime:  I don’t just mean ‘don’t do crime’ I also mean that you should stay away from those who do.  Ask any law enforcement officer and they’ll tell you that there is such a thing as guilt by association.  Background checks don’t care if you were ever convicted.
  16. Choose to look employable:  If you’re going to be a tattoo artist than it’s OK to have tattoos all over your neck and forearms but if you want to go into the Army or become a nurse than such tattoos will make it more difficult to find employment.  The same goes with tattoos, purple hair, mohawks and all similar types of expression.  Look like what you want to be…dress for the job you want as well.
  17. Choose to act the part:  Don’t just look like what you want to be…act like it as well.  Those who get the opportunity most likely looked and acted like they already had it.
  18. Choose to take care of yourself:  You have to be and look physically fit enough to do the job and healthy enough that they expect you to be able to work.
  19. Choose good hygiene:  I know a woman who is competent, experienced, dependable, loyal and attractive…but she’s been unexpectedly fired twice recently…she lives in a house with several dogs and she’s let them make her house smell like a urinal which means that any clothes that she puts on that aren’t straight out of the dryer…smell like a urinal.  Keep yourself and your environment clean so that nothing distracts from you competence.
  20. Choose how you define ‘rich:’  I know a guy who lives check-to-check but he wants to fix cars and work from his farm so he does.  He’s had good paying jobs but he always comes back to the farm because that’s what he wants and I’ve never once heard him complain about being ‘poor.’
  21. Choose continuous self development:  From time to time I’ve found myself resting on my laurels…I’m never happy again until I start working on myself again…mentally, physically, career skills, personal networks…whatever…and once I start growing again…I’m always happier and seem to make more money.
  22. Choose to start a business:  You must take risks to seek rewards.
  23. Choose to pick yourself up after your failures and begin again:  Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.  Learn from your mistakes, don’t let them cripple you emotionally, and have the strength try again
  24. Choose not to quit:  Don’t like what you’re doing, keep doing it anyway until you find the next thing.  Finish the semester, stay at the job until you find the next one and for heavens sake don’t give up on your marriage or kids.
  25. Choose to ignore the poverty industry:  There are a whole lot of people out there making a living off of keeping other people poor.  Don’t buy into their philosophies of division, grow a chip on your shoulder or fall into the trap of ‘managing’ your income so you don’t loose your disability payments, EBT card, or now healthcare.  By all means use the social safety net if you don’t have any other alternatives until you can transition to self sufficiency but beware because they are designed to trap you into dependence by penalizing you as you begin earning your own way.  In other words, choose to earn your way, not fight for your fair share.  Fighting for your fair share is just another way of choosing poverty.

What’s this have to do with preparedness?  A lot actually, by choosing to live rich you’ll be happier, deal with setbacks more effectively, be more self sufficient and perhaps have more money for preps.  Survival is an attitude…so is choosing to live richly.

Bonus Choice:  Choose to vote for politicians that will leave you and your pocketbook alone:  Compliance takes up so much of any business owner’s time and the penalties for non-compliance can be crippling…don’t let these obstacles keep you from trying but do your best to vote out the bastards that punish entrepreneurs and those who create our GNP.

Top 10 Ways To Find Extra Preparedness Money

Prepography contributor Grumpy G and I have had several rounds of correspondence lately discussing budget prepping and prepping when money is tight.  Preparedness doesn’t have to be expensive, but there’s no denying the fact that many facets of preparedness do cost money and with the economy getting tougher and tougher in many areas it sure would be nice to have some windfall or unbudgeted money to put towards your preps.  That got me to thinking about ways the Top 10 Ways To Find Extra Preparedness Money.

With one exception I’ve used each of these techniques to find extra preparedness money at some point.  If you have techniques you’ve used that you can add let us know in the comments:

  1. Garage SaleHold a Garage or Yard Sale:  I hate getting everything together and sitting around the garage all day but it’s a sure way to make an extra couple of hundred bucks in a few days and replace things you no longer use with things that you hope don’t end up in the next garage sale.  Don’t forget to put an ad in the newspaper and make sure to put signs up from the nearest major intersection(s) if your community allows it.  Consider timing your garage sale with your city or neighborhoods annual garage sale and you’ll be even more successful.  If you live outside of town borrow a friends garage or participate in a multi-family garage sale in town for more sales.
  2. Turn the Tables on Amazon:  Did you know that Amazon buys back music, books, electronics and all sorts of other stuff.  You generally make garage sale prices but don’t have to sit in a hot garage all day.  I’ve done this enough that I’m starting to get a better idea of what brings the big bucks and it seems to be collections (anthologies) of books, graphic novels, music and recent electronics.  Amazon pays you in Amazon gift cards which means you can buy just about anything but firearms, ammo or misplaced Russian nukes.  Amazon even pays for shipping.  CLICK HERE if you’d like to learn more.
  3. Join the Reserves or National Guard:  This one takes more than a little more commitment but the pay is good, the cause is honorable and it comes with lots of built in training that has preparedness value.  The education and health insurance benefits are tremendous even for the “Reserve Forces” and will help you prepare mentally and physically for the unexpected.  Reservists and Guardsman typically serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year after initial training.  Contact your local military recruiter for more information.
  4. Take a Part Time Job:  Seasonal work is often available so it need not be a long term commitment.  Some jobs also come with employee discounts that can help stretch those prepping dollars…think hardware stores, grocery stores, gun stores, farm stores, pharmacies or big box stores.
  5. Put Forward Extra Effort at Work:  If you work for tips or commissions think of ways to bring something extra to your customer’s experience.  If you’re a salary-man or woman,work hard and earn that next promotion…if you are an hourly worker volunteer for overtime.
  6. Start or expand a Small Business:  Turn a hobby into a business…even better if its a preparedness hobby.  If you already own a business add a product line, buy out a competitor or move into a new territory.
  7. GunSell a Firearm:  I’m not sure I’m capable of selling a firearm without regretting it…and they almost always appreciate in value but selling a firearm is a great way to make some quick cash because there’s always a buyer.  Make sure you do so legally and consider using an online service like Gunbroker.  If selling a firearm to a stranger make sure you meet safe like the parking lot of your local police station (tell the desk officer what you’re doing and he/she will keep an eye on you).
  8. Buy Wholesale & Sell Retail:  I once bought a couple of pallets of ammo cans from Government Liquidation because it was a cheap way to get the large number I needed.  The extras went into a garage sale or were traded to a local gun shop for store credit.  Make sure you buy what you know and have a good feel for what you can sell it for.
  9. Join a Barter Network:  This is actually the one way to find extra preparedness money (I know…no ‘money’ involved but it has the same end effect) that I haven’t tried but I have cousins that have participated in barter networks for years.  In a barter network you trade your skills or excess capacity from your business for the skills of others (or excess business capacity).  The secret to making the barter networks work is that they aren’t one on one exchanges… you receive a credit for the time/skills or goods you contribute to the network and debits for the time/skills you withdraw from the network.  As an example of how these networks work…my cousins owns a doughnut shop and trade doghnuts for trips, car rentals and meals but you could just as easily barter for preparedness skill training, garden work or fresh honey.
  10. Donate Unused Items to Charity:  This last method takes a little lead time but is much easier than any of the methods listed above.  Round up all your unused items and donate them to your favorite charity and pick up a charity receipt.  Claim the donation when you file your taxes and pay less taxes.  You win, the charity wins and Uncle Sugar is going to borrow three times what you would have paid him anyway so he won’t be doing without…trust me.

These are my Top 10 Ways to Find Extra Preparedness Money…what are yours?

RECORD WITHDRAWAL OF GOLD – Today’s Quote

JP Morgan had the largest one-day withdrawal of gold ever. JP Morgan had 321,500 (exactly 10 metric tons) withdrawn from its Eligible category…

In just one day, JP Morgan lost 22% over its total gold stocks at the Comex. Total gold inventories at JP Morgan declined from 1,459,027 oz yesterday, to 1,137,527 oz.

Also, there was another 32,150 oz of gold withdrawn from Scotia Mocatta’s Eligible inventories. This is quite interesting as the removals from both JP Morgan & Scotia Mocatta turn out to be exactly 10 metric tons (JP Morgan) and 1 metric ton (Scotia) for a total of 11 metric tons.

via RECORD ONE-DAY WITHDRAWAL OF GOLD FROM JP MORGAN : SRSrocco Report

Building a Bug Out Bag – Part VIII, Financial & Identity

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Building A Full Spectrum Preparedness Bug Out Bag

In Building a Bug Out Bag Part I we discussed why building a Bug Out Bag is important and what type of bag to select.  In Part II we discussed the Transportation Items to consider, in Part III we explored Water preparedness, in Part IV it was Food preparedness, in Part V we tackled Shelter, Clothing and Protection from the elements, in Part VI we considered Communications options and yesterday in Part VII we discussed Security Preparedness for your Bug Out Bag.  Today we’ll discuss Security preparedness and some Security elements to consider while building a Bug Out Bag.  Remember, this is your last ditch, carry on your back, walk away from trouble Bug Out Bag…not what you hope you can get to your bug out location if your car, SUV, or Daimler Ferret makes it.

(more…)

Additional Online Prepper Tools from Reader SnW

Reader SnW submitted the following online prepper tools for our Online Tools library:

Ammo Price Searches:

  • Ammo Seek:  Ammunition Price Search Engine

Precious Metal Comparison Pricing:

Thanks for the info SnW, we’ve added your tools to the library.

If you see an online tool that would help the Prepography community…please pass it along.

Top 10 Items to Buy Before The Election

The economic, environmental, religious and political stressors on society are compounding in ways not seen since at least the 1960’s.  These forces will have an affect on the prices (and likely the availability) of a number of the goods and commodities you use regularly as well as those important for preparedness.  Of course, the big elephant (or donkey) in the room is the upcoming U.S. presidential election.  I urge you to consider Prepography‘s Top 10 Items to Buy Before the Election: (more…)

ZeroHedge on Quantitative Easing – Today’s Quote

There was one thing, ONE THING only that Bernanke could do, to become a gold bug’s best friend today, than merely announcing QE [Quantitative Easing] 3/4. It was to announce open-ended QE. This means [that] this is the Fed’s final shot and there is no way to frontrun the Fed any more by definition.  It means the terminal start of currency debasement is now here.  It also means that the path to all time nominal (and inflation adjusted) highs in gold, which is now just $160 away, silver, platinum, and all other metals, as well as all other hard assets is now clear.  It also means that very soon stocks are about to realize what soaring “input costs” mean for the bottom line.

via ZeroHedge

Rinehart on Becoming a Millionaire- Today’s Quote

There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire…  If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working…  Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.

Gina Rinehart via World’s Wealthiest Woman Tells People to Stop Envying the Wealthy & Work Harder, Gov’t Officials Flip Out | TheBlaze.com.

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