Letter: Comments on “How to be a Financial Prepper”


I try to read just about everything I can find concerning personal and family finances, not because I am a prepper but because I have responsibilities as a husband, father, and grandfather. As it happens, I am also a prepper and have been one before there was a specific term for the practice.

Finances remains one of the single most difficult aspects of our existence for preppers and for those who are not. One of the largest problems is that many of us, as a society, have a dysfunctional relationship with money. Modern society has been constructed largely on a mountain of debt, in large part that debt is personal. It comes from the concept that every person should shoulder a massive mortgage, drive a car that may not make a lot of sense, and, worse still, participate in everyday life by purchasing an absolute truck load of “things” that may not even be necessary. I am unaware of any public K-12 school that teaches personal finances as part of core curriculum. We require training and competence to carry a concealed weapon or to drive a car, but most of society is silent on the topic of personal money management. These problems are not small in nature; they are bright red flashing warning signs.

Lacking a rudimentary comprehension of personal finances, is it so unusual that our families and neighbors are mired in debt? Stated plainly, money is a tool and like any other tool it can be used in a wrong or inefficient manner. I have engaged others about money and what I believe are foundational aspects of preparing one’s self and family when society fails. What most readers of SurvivalBlog know, and other unaffiliated preppers have discovered, is that “prepping” is not a fad or something one tackles on a Saturday afternoon. This is a lifestyle and as such must touch every aspect of one’s life and outlook.

The recognition that a problem exists is a requirement before any individual can begin to solve a problem. Budgeting, managing debt, and investments are methods of gaining control of the financial problem(s) under which our family and friends struggle. We can do better. The books written by Dave Ramsey can assist. His straightforward approach to money management and debt have helped many. – 1Rifleman


  1. The Government run public school system is almost useless! They teach little, and what they do teach is often incorrect, confusing or Socialism. Parents who can should home school, and if one cannot, turn off the electronic devices in the evening and “unteach”, and try and correct the Common Core math, teach phonics which many schools do not, teach cursive, NOT just printing, and use one of the on line programs that are “old school” – a classical education. As for spending, the nephew of Freud, Edward Bernays started the trend of buying what one wants rather than just what one needs, to increase sales of American businesses back in the 1920’s. He was the “darling” and “Father” of spending to have what you want, not just what you absolutely need! I am the last of a generation (born 1942) who had a Dad who was poor when young, but worked, starting with trapping muskrat at age of 6, all his life. Started a business in 1927, did well in the Great Depression, and never owned a credit card. He saved for what was needed. He bought our 144 acre Connecticut Farm at auction for $7200 cash. Gave the family who had failed with farming the Sears Kit house, sold off 44 acres, and moved his family which included five children to the farm. He had to retire medically due to carbon monoxide poisoning from unvented 3 bay auto repair gas station he owned and ran. We farmed, and raised almost everything needed, even rented out some of the fields. He has started investing in the stock market in 1927, lost it in the 1929 Crash, and he paid only cash, after saving for everything we needed. The stock market did NOT recover until 1954, but he kept saving and investing. Rather than subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, he went the the local Library and read the paper on Saturday, while Ma picked out books. He died in 1987. We never lacked for what we needed, we ate very well, and actually had the first TV in the neighborhood. Back then, medical care was reasonable. He even paid medical costs in the 1930’s for his men working at the gas station. He never wasted a thing. Repaired our vehicles, even the ones my oldest brother dented. He could fix anything. It is possible, even today, to live debt free: Reference “Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn, or the book by the Economides Family of Arizona. Both with children, and both having their own property and NO debt. None of them seemed to live an unhappy life, and their books are wonderful. Learning to live frugally and well can still be done in many places in America.

  2. 1Rifleman, and All, There are thousands of secondary schools that teach Foundations In Personal Finance. It’s mostly in schools in the south but available everywhere. It’s a Dave Ramsey program. If you’re interested contact ‘Jess’ at the web page below. Also available are free downloads of some sample materials.


    (Ps. I don’t work for Dave, I give you this info as a follower of Christ. Debt is slavery, plain and simple.)

    Thank You.

  3. George Carlin is not somebody I look up to, but you have to give him credit for sounding the alarm on the direction of our society years ago.
    Paraphrasing his words from 13 years ago, the elites that really run things in this country don’t want an effective education system that actually teaches things like critical thinking and financial responsibility. They want debt serf consumers who are just smart enough to run the machinery of modern society yet dumb enough to passively accept a system that doesn’t have their best interest in mind nor appropriately rewards them for their contributions.
    Until education is returned to local control, and parents start getting actively involved in the process instead of treating public education like a taxpayer funded babysitting service, things are unlikely to change.

  4. I always liked Dolly Freed’s book Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money (Revised Edition)
    Also, read the chapter on economy by Thoreau in his book Walden Pond

  5. Debt is a tool like any other. When used properly it can be a good thing. But too much of it will get you in trouble.

    For example, productive debt (say debt to expand your business) can be good. Also, debt to buy a home can be good if the alternative is just spending a lot of money on rent (it really depends on how over priced the homes are, or the rent to mortgage ratio).

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