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  1. Freedom comes with being in control of your own time and resources.
    We all know that unless we choose to move to the wilderness and live in a barter economy we will never be free of taxes.
    Not working to support the banks and credit companies does provide a level of freedom that feels great.

    Staying debt free requires discipline as well. We refuse to take on monthly payments. If we cannot pay cash for what we need, we save until we can. It is easy to fall into old habits. We live a simple life. We get great joy in our God and our gardens.

    We have one CC used for travel to see the grandchildren and paid off monthly. Many health care providers no longer take cash so we use or CC at the doctors office, once again balance is zero monthly.

    We laugh at the offers for mortgage, credit cards, etc. One thing I have noticed is I have been getting offers to pre-plan my cremation, why does everyone want to burn me?

    1. Most people won’t take advice about finances. Much of our spending habits are just that, habits. And there seems to be a huge unconscious aspect to it, as well. Depending how I am “feeling” on a particular day, I can be cheap or extravagant.

      I’ve had to train myself to “walk away” for a little while when shopping, whether in a store or online. Things go much better when I have a plan and a list. And of course don’t shop at the grocery store when you are hungry!

      One part of my self-training was to save every receipt for a month, and review what I had bought. It was a wake up call. There’s a big difference in value between buying a dozen eggs and buying a bag of chips. When you witness your own frivolous purchases in black and white, it’s a real lesson.

      The two times I have sold a house I made large profits; easiest money I ever made. I rolled a lot of it into long term food, metals of the precious and lead varieties, paid off my new car, paid off all my credit card debt. It allowed me to retire on a smaller income.

  2. Debt free? Congratulations on a task well done. We just moved onto our new 5 acre irrigated farm and now have a mortgage. But because I budgeted usually 5 to 10 percent of our gross into a retirement account for 30 years, we also have other properties debt free. And our preps. And our Gadsden flag.

    I tell my adult kids and other young folks they need to live on 80% of their take-home income. Work hard at tithing 10% and putting 10% into your self-directed IRA retirement fund.

    Computational tables showed me that if you put $1000 per year into a solid investment retirement fund every year from age 18 to 30, you can stop adding to it and let it earn for another 40 years.

    Saving more is better, but is predicated on us insuring our young friends and family inculcate the values of self support and sufficiency. If they aren’t mentored early into those values, they won’t value their freedom or ours either. Something to consider.

    Best wishes and God Bless.

  3. My wife and I have embarked on a plan to achieve financial freedom. It takes a great amount of discipline as the author stated. We have been budgeting every penny for a year now and have paid off an astonishing amount of debt. It is surprising how much you can get paid when you stop making excuses for frivolous spending.
    Our routine is to sit down and completely go through the budget on every payday. It keeps all the bills as well as our progress fresh in our minds. Without realizing it, we were following the plan espoused by Dave Ramsey. Common sense, discipline, and no excuses!
    While we are not wealthy (or even close to it!) we are blessed beyond measure with God’s grace and mercy.

    1. Overall, what Dave Ramsey has to say is pretty good. What I don’t like about Dave Ramsey is he usually gives examples of making extra money by doing things like delivering newspapers, delivery pizzas, etc… except, now you are using your vehicle for business purposes, and if you don’t let your insurance company know and you get into an accident, even if it is not your fault, they may not cover you, and they can if they decide to do so, cancel your insurance.
      All that does is end up costing you far more, rather than helping you save and pay off debt.
      Be wise and if you do decide to use your vehicle for part-time business let your insurance company know, as it will save you a lot of unnecessary problems.

  4. Lee, about your last question, lol. It seems there are a lot of people that want to cremate me too. All I can say is be patient young fellas, you’ll get your opportunity eventually — well maybe — I might out live em yet!

  5. “Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves.” – Norm Franz

  6. When I was young there were no credit cards. People got credit using personal accounts at the stores they frequented. Only a house mortgage was given in credit and my parents paid cash for everything. Along comes the 70s and banks began issuing credit cards to rich people and professionals, like doctors and lawyers. In the late 70s and 80s department stores like sears began issuing credit cards and average folks began using them for washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, etc. In the 90s all heck broke loose and banks started mailing out credit cards to everyone who had an account. The result is what the author said, people are drowning in debt and they think they can’t get out.

    Looking forward to remaining parts.

  7. Very well said.

    We spent a few years skrimping and putting every extra free dollar to debt back in 2006-2008. By April 2008 we were completely out of debt. I “prepped” more in the following year than I was able to in the previous 8 due to not having a debt load burdening us down.

    Being debt free allows FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT also. A lot of preppers will see the “writing on the wall” when things get bad in the cities, but will have to cling to their jobs and will stay in bad situations risking their families. For what? Payments to Chase visa? Payments on a Mommy Bus SUV for your 2.5 children?

    Lot was really worldly also, look where that got him and his family.

  8. “In my humble opinion, the best goal is to live without debt.”

    Debt free is the way to be. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your evangelism about it.

    The LORD has spoken: “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant [literal = slave] to the lender.”

    The Dave Ramsey plan works and just because he isn’t a gold guy doesn’t mean it doesn’t.

  9. This is really important. In every financial debacle dating from Jackson’s war on the 2nd Bank of the United States a wave of lawyers, bankers and opportunists descended on the land and gobbled up property from every delinquent debtor. They use federal court in modern times. The entry fee to defending yourself in federal court is $10,000. You cannot represent yourself. They use the judgement to take the property you do have paid off and not just the collateral pledged.

  10. Having a tax strategy can also help you maximize savings. We simply looked at our income vs taxes and realized that if we simply saved more in retirement accounts we could lower our tax bracket and save thousands of dollars. Simple approach, but it works. Our retirement savings goal may be 10% annually but the impact feels like 5%.

    One other attitude that is very prevalent in the preparedness community is “I don’t need retirement accounts because there won’t be a financial system to allow me to stop working. Why save?”. I’ve been hearing that argument since I entered the workforce in the 1980s. Even bought into it for a while. There is no guarantee of a financial calamity serious enough to wipe out retirement accounts and if you’re not saving you are playing a very serious game of chicken. Is avoiding putting 10% away in retirement savings really going to be worth it when you find that you are 60 years old with no savings? Is that 10% so critical to your ability to prepare that you absolutely must spend it on preps? I’ve seen a few people working for companies with generous 401(k) matching policies give up that free money for years and the ultimate missed opportunity cost will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    We do a financial review annually now. We look at every service provider (insurance, phones, banking, utilities, etc) along with every other expense and get lower price quotes from competitors or cut out certain services altogether. We find that 10% and sometimes more. I also challenge every extra fee I see on bills and sometimes win on those as well. Companies have become really good at charging fees that are well outside of the original contract fees quoted.

    Financial preparedness is a journey and it never really ends. Ideally in my world 10% is tithed, 10% goes into retirement accounts, 10% goes to savings and PMs, and we live on the other 70%. Our preparedness expenditures come out of that 70%. Slow and steady wins the race.

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