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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This week’s assignment: Dryer Lint

Original Article

Yup. Dryer lint.
If you are not aware – dryer lint is an excellent tinder to start fires. Most all households have dryers with lint screens. People every day clean off the lint screen and throw away the lint. Weeks ago I started collecting the lint and use it frequently to start my fire pit.
So – the assignment: Start saving your lint. Stuff it in a Ziploc bag and pack it away for when it may be needed.

© 2011, ModernSurvivalOnline.com. All rights reserved.

Do you have an Emergency Fund?

Original Article

I am not the most financially sound person in the world. One thing I do know – is just when things seem to be going well something unexpected always seems to happen where money is suddenly needed.
I make decent money and typically have “disposable” income to pick up a little of “this” or a little of “that“. Typically go out to eat once a week, and pick up some preparedness supplies. Kids needs clothes, car taxes need to be paid, prescriptions need to be picked up, etc.

This may be a preparedness blog – but as the title says – “Thoughts on survival and the world today“. Well, many people today live from paycheck to paycheck. Many people also constantly complain about being broke but the reality is they just spend money on frivolousness things. With the economy today and the future uncertain – we all need to take finances more seriously. If you already are – congrats as you are one for the few who do.
Experts generally recommend starting an Emergency Fund for those “just in case” moments. An Emergency Fund consists of a sum of money sitting in a bank account or other secure location which is to be accessed when some type of emergency comes up. Now – here is where I have to put a preparedness-spin on this topic. Depending upon the emergency which requires your extra money - having it sitting in a bank might not be the best location for it. If there is some type of power outage where “cash is king” – a debit card or check may not be acceptable forms of payment from many vendors. Options? How about a fire resistant lock box at home – possibly bolted to the floor? Being able to get to cash at anytime may be important depending on what transpires.

My point with this post is if you do not have an Emergency Fund – start one. Set a goal – maybe $500. Stop renting movies, don’t go out to lunch so often, sell some stuff on eBay -whatever – just start saving. Once you reach your first goal – set another. Many financial experts suggest having 6 months worth of expenses put back. That sounds impossible I know – but start small.
Take care all -

© 2011, ModernSurvivalOnline.com. All rights reserved.

Do I Need an Address?

Original Article

For the most part the answer is no.  Actually this topic came up when I was trying to determine if and where I should get a PO box in Las Vegas.  We haven't actually had a physical address for almost a year and while I have a mailbox/remailing service in Seattle, it now looks like Vegas will be our home base for the time being.  Eventually we will have a physical address (when the sale closes on the property we are buying here), but it kind of dawned on me that now nearly everything is done online these days, so is it even necessary to have an address?  Here's some thoughts:

  • A "ghost address" is recommended by JJ Luna in his book 'How to Be Invisible' as an added layer of personal security.
  • My driver's license still has my old address on it since the state department of licensing refused to change it to my mailing address, stating that it would require legislative action since "everyone has to have a physical address on their license."  They also noted that homeless people don't drive but I didn't want to argue with idiocy so I restrained myself.
  • All of my bills are paid online, my banking and investments are taken care of online, and my clients pay me online so none of these items need to be mailed to me.
  • I am much easier to find online than at a stationary location as I am almost always out and about and frequently traveling all over the US and occasionally the world.
  • About 99% of the mail I receive at my mailbox is junk mail.
  • I don't subscribe to newspapers or magazines as I read all of these online now.
  • It is a very rare occurrence that I receive a personal letter now that everyone has email and/or text messaging.
  • Almost everything you sign up for has a space right after your name for your address (credit cards, library cards, Costco card, frequent flyer cards, etc). 
  • When you call 911 they ask for your address even if the event you are reporting isn't happening at your address (it took a few minutes of explaining to them why I don't have an address during the few times I have called in the past year, a waste of time--and invasion of privacy--if you ask me).
  • Some things are dependant on the city/county/state in which you live: concealed carry license, auto and boat registration, insurance rates, business license, voter registration, etc.
  • If I do need something mailed (ie: from Amazon, Newegg, prescriptions, etc), I have it sent to where ever I happen to be at the time.
  • Many travelers have mail delivered to them via "general delivery" as explained here.
I'm thinking I really don't need an address, however a ghost address would probably be the best way to go as the places that do require an address generally won't take a PO box.  I don't want to use the address of any of the places I stay as I don't want my mail going to a dozen different places, so now I am off to consider the possibilties of/find a ghost address.