Next 2 years-Pay off all debts OR prep massively?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Northforker, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. Northforker

    Northforker Monkey+

    I am trying to decide which make more sense. I make pretty good money and my expenses have dropped dramatically now that my kids are raised and on their own.

    I could pay off my house and my RV in 2 years +/- $140,000K
    I could put in a kick ass solar power system with battery storage and grid tie. $40K
    12V pump system for my well. $3k
    1000 gal auxiliary propane tank $5K
    8 KW propane back up generator $5K
    "root cellar" AKA 8' x 16' bunker $10K
    additional food preps $2K
    additional "security" preps $5K

    I already have enough preps for about 18 months except the power preps mentioned above.
    What do you think?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Lots of things here, so I'll assume you have enough land to do all the land intensive things like gardening to go with the root cellar and solar array, and that the array won't attract a lot of attention post problem.

    My nickle ($0.02 inflated)
    Sell the RV, gas prices will keep you home.
    Pay off the land and house. (The alternate is to hope that things don't get too big and out of control and continue paying the mortgage, OR if things get out of control hope that they can't find you to throw you out and take over the solar etc.)
    THEN start nipping at the improvements in some order of business that addresses the most likely interference with life as you know it.

    If you don't have the seclusion and acreage, it's time to get it. Remote locations are cheap insurance.
  3. jb1023

    jb1023 Monkey++

    My wife and I had a similar dilemma but on a FAR smaller scale ($35k in debt not counting the house). We decided to pay off the debt over the next 2-3 years and just prep smaller stuff that might be needed for a less than one month event. If something happens that lasts longer than that then we are in trouble.
  4. Northforker

    Northforker Monkey+

    I think that the dollar and the US economy will resemble post soviet era russia within 2 years. I'm using that as a given, I don't think we have 4 years left to prep.

    Really bad times are coming and I'm trying to prioritize between being debt free and super prepared with every security and creature comfort required and throwing off the chains of debt in case the cashflow stops as a result of same.

    I live in the country on 5 acres in my primary residence with plenty of room for any subsistence projects such as gardens and small livestock. My neighbors all live on small farms as well.

    My BOL is paid for and is on 250 acres of CRP land with a small houseabout 2 hours away(currently classified as the hunting retreat). It is a backup plan. I plan on bugging in unless hostilities ensue and bugging out is required.<!-- / message -->
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  5. Northforker

    Northforker Monkey+

    Bigger bucks sometimes just mean bigger problems. Sometimes I wish my house was half the size and price, the kids are gone and I don't need it anymore. Can't sell it without taking a beating financially though. Count your blessings! Go to Aldi's and spend $200/month for a year and you will be prepped up on food/water for 18 months!
  6. Northforker

    Northforker Monkey+

    Good advice, Thanks!
  7. jb1023

    jb1023 Monkey++

    We have way more house and payment than we need also but we're so upside down selling is just not feasible right now. Apparently Aldi does not have any stores in CO. Are they similar to a Sams or Costco?
  8. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    We're in the same boat as you... house and mortgage bigger than we need and a housing market that dropped through the floor on its way to China I guess. Most around here took a 40% loss in property values and it looks like we're going to take greater hits. Few homes are selling and small businesses are going belly up left and right leaving every other storefront with a for sale or for lease sign in the window. Large industrial parks aren't doing much better. Some of them are ghost towns. I've got an Aldis close by... the pricing is similar to Mexican markets. Aldi's pricing is lower than Sam's club unless you're buying in bulk then Sam's Club might come out ahead for some things. I don't know much about CostCo other than that by Federal law, we don't need a membership to go in and buy from their pharmacy.... if you've got anyone in your family on prescription meds.... it might be worth your time price shopping Rx's.
  9. fireplaceguy

    fireplaceguy Monkey+

    I think it's worth hanging on to the RV. At the least, consider it. If you own an RV, you'll always have a roof over your head, and you can drive it to your BOL if need be.

    I don't want to derail your thread, and this concept deserves it's own thread anyway, so I'm starting one here.
  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Put 50% to preps and 50% to the debt.

    There were a LOT of folks absolutely certain that Y2K was it, and many bet the farm and lost. You still have an income so you should be able to juggle the debt, the preps and some real life thrown in just to keep it interesting.

    It's possible that TPTB could stretch this out for another 10 years... Preparedness = Prudence
  11. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Excellent point here.

    As a Ramsey-debt-free-follower, I say pay at the debt. I believe the economy is going to continue to go in the crapper (although, there have been some small signs of recovery in the last couple weeks). Despite that, your debt is likely to continue following you despite the economy.

    The liberated feeling from not owing a thing is amazing. I would still make necessary preps to make it through droughts. Invest in food and seeds. Grow and can your own. I would also sell the RV. (I assumed you have a bit of land to work with and can bug in as a primary plan.) The fancy solar stuff can wait. Tackle that debt.
  12. 1gewehr

    1gewehr Monkey+

    I agree that getting rid of debt should be a priority. When you owe money, you also have your lenders looking over your shoulder at everything you do. People don't often realize this. I found this out when I worked for a bank and foundout that they had an entire department devoted to doing exactly that. They call it "watching out for their investment".
    Also, when you have debt, your lenders are selling your information to anyone who cares. When you get rid of that debt, you also get rid of a LOT of junk mail!!
  13. Diddy

    Diddy Monkey+

    My take on this is to pay half your debt, sell the RV and continue to prep. 18 months of food supplies is great but it may take more than that to ensure your survival.

    A solar array would be nice but you don't need power to live. You could always start smaller like a solar generator or small panels to run small appliances and/or charge bateries. Having a large amount of electricity will make you stand out and get a lot of unwanted attention. There is nothing wrong with living simple.

    I see an economic collapse as the trigger being more likely than other scenarios. It will be a slow death by a thousand cuts. Being debt free is something we should all strive for but with the looming threat of inflation, even hyper-inflation you will be in a better situation by buying goods now while they are still affordable. If you are unable to pay your mortgage then you will be just like everyone else. Except you will have food, water and supplies to help you through this.
  14. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    I think debt should be the priority even if the poopy hits the fan there may still be banks for closing an taking properties back when people stop making payments. I guess it depends on the level of poopy you think will happen, mad max Vs. large scale disaster on the scale of Katrina but the whole country or just economic depression like we have never seen.

    I would still do both, pay of debt and but stuff for emergency's. It doesn't take a lot of money to get the basics for survival and even some of the more serious stuff.

    I agree.
  15. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Since you have a BOL paid for, IMHO, I'd go balls to the wall on preps with the thought if the income goes, walk away from your house. I wouldn't put one extra FRN toward debt right now as long as you have a paid for BOL.

    IF your gut turns out wrong on this, just keep paying on your house 3,4,5 years from now....what the heck, a shade more interest for insurance of preps ? Do it. Conventional "pay off debt" thinking doesn't fit unconventional times.

    On the prep side, I'd do the preps AT the BOL, or have them extremely mobile. I would NOT put a 1,000 gallon propane tank, nor a generator in my current location...except as a VERY last prep if you find yourself with extra cash, since you may be walking away from it.

    I probably WOULD buy the solar equipment, but not install it on the current location. I'd set up a good battery bank with inverters for backup power at the current location, and have the solar panels either stored at the BOL, or in a trailer ready to hitch up to go. The inverters/batteries could be disassembled quickly and made ready to travel in the trailer. The advantage of buying them NOW is you'd have them, the inverters would keep them topped off and in good condition ( you won't likely even be using them at your current location ).

    At the BOL. I'd prep it with the assumption you HAVE to move there. Build another building....put a basement that is hidden, and maybe a sub basement to the basement, and stock it well.

    Get garden space ready....haul in tons of manure.....stock up firewood....all that kind of a firewood shed with a basement....hide stuff to increase the chances it will be there when you want it. Stock fuels, stock farming equipment, have a barn built for critters....get it ready.
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