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SHTF Economic Downturn

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SHTF can happen just from an economic downturn. Your small business gets in dept up to your eyeballs, you have to file backruptcy, you lose your job and are unemployed for a long time and your savings gets eatten up. I haven't heard much of this on the board, but where I live in the PNW, many, many are going through it. Prepping helps, but can't save your home in this situation.

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Singing "on the road again"...and debt free. The world is our livingroom...anytime we want to hitch up & change neighbors...can't be called "trailer trash" because we won't be staying that long!

Sorry Philb, not sure what you mean?

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Here things are difficult, too. So many small businesses have closed, don't know if bankruptcy was necessary, but probably so in many cases. So many houses are up for sale, and bankruptcy notices are a regular thing in our local paper, with sale dates set on the courthouse steps.


A family member had to take bankruptcy in 2012 due to medical bills, and sorry to say, poor spending habits. They were able to keep their house, which he was told was unusual, but this is their last chance. They have a chance to rebuild their credit and keep their very modest home. I can assure you it felt like SHTF for him, just having to file.

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Things are hard in this area too -- well, for some. It's kind of weird in this area -- some in more rural areas who are leasing out their gas rights to the companies are hitting it big (esp. those with farm out in those areas -- cashing in big time) -- meanwhile, others are losing jobs, homes, and others barely making it -- and got hit harder, because local businesses, landlords, etc have *majorly* jacked up their prices because of the gas boon, and the drillers who are in from the south, with lots of cash to spend. Great for those particilar businesses and property owners, but makes it soooo much harder for the average person who was barely making it by before. Those with the gas money, if I recall, were in a simialr situation til the money came in from the gas.

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We're seeing some of the same things as Lumabean with the gas well workers in the area affecting housing costs.


The work though, I'm hearing is sometimes a little shaky though. Have a neigbor who started working for them and was working long hours, making good $, then all the sudden laid off. Same with the land surveying end of it. May surveying companies around started doing Marcellas Shale gas work exclusively, hired many extra crews. Suddenly the work stopped and there's a bunch of surveyors without any work. (we're hearing that the price of the gas dropped and it's not very profitable for them to be drilling more wells right now :shrug: )

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I have only seen some of the nicer homes , and some of them are the big historical ones being bought up, but not enough , and no new work around here for folks still looking. I see more and more folks, over time, that normally could afford better , moving in to rent here , off and on now on my part of my street. Luckily there has been little stirred up with domestic violence situations and that was swiftly dealt with. ( It was ironic to me that the abused spouse was taking college course to become a social worker, when her own stuff needed to be addressed better for a while, still I thought it was good she was doing college with grants and trying to make things better for her and her kids.) But I don't want to go to her for counseling, :Blushing: But I encouraged her and hope things straighten out better for her eventually too and that she just sticks to it.


Winter is not a good time to move , so most people are still sitting tight. But I bet when the weather starts to warm up this far north, more will be doing an exodus. You can see the strain on peoples faces around here. All the industries and major manufacturers wont return and of course our state will lose more with the gun manufacturers being ticked off at the Governor for what he did, which upsets the apple cart in those areas. They may just close their doors, what with all the things going on about that subject but they may relocate to TX or some other state that believes in 2amdt stuff at least. It still takes away from those areas and I have seen what it does here when major manufacturers closed their doors.


As a consumer, with gas prices over 4$ here, and the distance from meat plants and such its always sticker shock and the downsizing but similar price, that still rise weekly here in the store and the fact our local grocery changed hands again to a 'progressive' type chain that is evident in how they treat employees and customers and the inventory is changing, some on real basics. I have changed my shopping routine and go in about every week now and go more with a list, and refuse to let myself ramble down the aisles. Its amazing how I am cutting my costs and actually getting better things that are helpful to my nutrition this way. What is saved is going to my moving fund, because I get cash out even with a fee from the ATM, and pay cash so I get change or have money left in my wallet. It seem to be working too, so thats a good personal sign for me. :sigh:


We are all different, we all have different lives and income bases to work with and those have been affected so it comes down to tailoring it , with cooperation of all in our own individual households if possible and some hard decisions added to mix and changes we probably would have slid by on , in more mellow times, for some of us, but we are now more with our eyes wide open and realizing, and making adjustments and I say kudos to those who do, because it means we are being more responsible for ourselves and our children if they are still in the home or may come home or to BOL's if need be sooner than we may be ready for, as all of us are at various stages and situations.


Its nice to see Philbe and her dh have obviously been living a long time in this way and have some of those abilities I am sure more of us wish we had. it's also nice to see her share her joy in that. It sounds like a nice life. Something along the lines of what I once hoped for myself but certainly am not close to having at this time. I am glad some of you do have that. I know it took a lot of devotion over the years to have that too.


But no matter where we are we can set goals and pursue them. Until things become truly :smiley_shitfan: Then we adapt again. I think this is often more of a mental adjustment and will require oft unused muscle and social adjustments. More and more I think things are tightening up and more absurd in general and I am thankful I at least recognize that for what it is. It is not just our country, the USA either, its international, all major countries are struggling, as well as the poorer countries that are in upheavals of their own. I don't think we can 'cover' them much longer due to natural circumstances but seems the big talking heads won't adjust to that since it depletes all the kudos and blue ribbons they still claim. Well all that is pretty useless to me and private orgs and churches do a better job of managing to help those in need, maybe on a smaller scale but they are more successful in the face of some grim stuff... and I feel like maybe we should just acknowledge that and give up the rest as a bad job and make sure folks here have those supplies available. But, no, they still wanna look good..... and ours are suffering more and more here. Its a fact the midwest won't be catching up soon enough to have water in the Mississippi and good crops this year.... we are in trouble. And even beans are about double in cost than they were in prior years since last year sometime. So I am readjusting my grocery shopping for immediate consumption this year to be able to do other things with that money. I am also being careful if I place any orders for more dehydrated stuff.


For me it is something I needed to understand fully and try to do and it looks like it is helping me already and that's a good thing, no matter how simple it may seem to anyone else. As predicted , meat prices are going sky high here and other areas now of course and when thats all you can depend on with no means to grow your own, being in apartment situation instead of acreage and a house zoned for such, and you KNOW your body requires at least some meat every week , because even though beans and legumes give protein, it still doesn't give me what I need fully and I have to have some meat in my diet. And I have been eating alot of beans over the years. I also require a special diet for things that the VA should be looking into a lot faster but Im feeling kind of stuck on that and its not going to get done reasonably fast. If I eat too many beans too many times a week, it tends to mess up the IT stuff going on and I cannot do that because it makes it go acute after a while. So, I have to adjust that now and am doing so. It means rounding out my preps. Possibly the tvp is also doing this. So I cannot just rely on that stuff even though it was available to purchase locally or by online orders, but if things really drop badly too fast , I wont be able to even take all I have with me when I go if it happens much faster than next fall and real frugal living til then, and luck that there is still a moving truck available at the time if :smiley_shitfan: with govt pay checks being sent out or NOT. So, I would rather be healthier til then at least as its important to at least maybe have the strength and stamina to start dealing with such circumstances that can make me end up outside because I am not a property owner, and maybe walking to be part of a small community and good friends who said 'Get over here , no matter what it takes, just get here."


For me it is one small step at a time, while some of you already took those steps long ago, and that makes me happy for you.


Being in the locale I am in, it is protected , so there is no fracking going on. I do also question the fracking ruining wells and such , so I don't know if I would let that go on on any property I did own if I did own property , just for some extra income. The long term affects and water supply ruination concern me alot. The jury is still out on that but they finally are looking into it. Kind of reminds me of the pushing of new drugs by the FDA when no proper length of trials is really done. :blink:

Edited by arby
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It's hard for us to imagine it being bad anywhere. Things around here are booming, every business is hiring. We are right in the middle of a huge oil and gas boom. Fracking going on everywhere The only problem Around here is there is no where to live. There are no empty houses at all. You can't buy anything or rent. When a house goes up for sale, it is usually sold within a week or so.


I know all of this can change at any moment when they decide to shut down the oil field again, but right now we are just gonna enjoy it while it last...

Edited by Deerslayer
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I think that most of us are preparing more for personal disaster than for TEOTWAWKI, but we get to the big one by preparing for the smaller ones. So, it does not grab our headlines even in this forum. But as has been said, the problems and even the causes are different in each area of the country. So we are working through different issues.


This locale, the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, is generally shielded from the worst effects of economic downturns due to our large military and federal government presence. But with sequestration looming, that is sooo not the case this time around. A lot of people are scared.


Military families have seen a carrier deployement cancelled literally at the last minute, other deployments being lengthened, maintenance of ships and aircraft being postponed, cuts in training programs, service members being kicked out for weight, failure to advance and other issues that in the past might have been worked through.


And where the military goes, there goes the civilian community. The shipyards and other businesses that build and repair the ships are looking at massive layoffs. Civilian contractors are not hiring, and looking at layoffs due to pending contract cancellations. Service businesses (barber shops, auto repair shops, child care, etc) along with restaurants, clothing stores, electronic stores, all of the small businesses that are there to serve the employees of the larger businesses, are fearing closure or massive scaling back when their customer base is not there.


And on it goes. I lost a job with a utility locating company in 2010 when people were postponing building and renovation projects due to the economy. Fewer such jobs meant fewer calls to locate gas lines, so my company decided that only 1 dispatcher was needed to do the work. Goodbye Kathy.


All we can do is prepare as best we can for as many potential problems as we can think of, and trust in the Lord to see us through.



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I'm one of those who prepare more for a personal disaster rather than a TEOTWAWKI situation. I live in the rust belt in Ohio and it's pretty bad here.


Preparing for my own financial disaster makes me more prepared for a TEOTWAWKI situation just because of my preps but my main goal is for financial protection. That's why (in my mind) I'm more into food storage and making sure I have enough clothing now so I won't have to buy them if I can't afford it later. I mean things like I normally wear such as socks, undies, tee shirts, night gowns etc. Nothing fancy. Also blankets and bedding to keep me warm if I can't afford heat.


Personally, I think I'll more than likely see my financial ruin before my house being effected by an EMP. Although I do prepare for that too. But if I prepare for a time when I can no longer afford food, clothing and my utilities then I'm sort of preparing for a major countrywide disaster in a roundabout way. Also, I'm getting older so I'm trying to prepare for a time when I can no longer get around as easily as I do now. I want the above mentioned things here in case I can't get out and get them. Although my son would see to my needs and even move in with me if either one of needed the other, if I'm bedridden for any length of time or temporarily disabled, I want it to be easy for both of us by having what I need already here as much as possible. Or what if I get down and for some reason he isn't available. So yes, in a long winded way, I have to say my main prepping mindset has always been for a personal SHTF situation.

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Intestinal tract, not thyroid.

GI, gastro intestinal, if you prefer.



yes, soy has estrogen, that is not the difficulty, but I have other stuff I need to do before an endoscopy can be safely done. It was the bulky texture of the food that irritated things and some other things are involved and sent my pancreas up a tree recently. I do not know if there are any other things , but have some lumps in my upper abdomen too. Ive had too many doctors be too nonchalant about the lumps and the stuff they did tell me at our ER here was with the attitude is we dont care at all.... went down to VA hospital and ended up in ER there. Stupid attending physician and her male intern decided to get nasty and sidetrack things so badly , it was horrendous. Finally got appt done for GI and that was actually for an over 50 colonoscopy and since I dont have symptoms enough about that kind of concern, but have upper GI stuff going on , perhaps an ulcer, which type is the question and if there's erosion would be nice to find out but need to get my teeth worked on before I let anyone stick things down my throat. And that takes finances set up just so for two months straight because of high copay. So it will be a while. I asked to be rescheduled on the endo because i shook up some bad teeth and it was excruciating for the next three weeks. Its finally calmed down and that was from just jiggling one of the teeth that is bad. ,

soy is not a concern in this, it was just the bulk, like burritos are like. so changing my habits. Even a big salad would aggravate things. Cannot eat a regular plate full of food at one sitting . So, changing things up some now to keep irritation minimal and from what I experienced in the VA hospital already makes me very hesitant to be putting me through procedures. The one regionally here.


Most here at MrsS know what all that was back in the fall that took place. I do not trust my local small hospital and their really messed up attitude on several levels either or what they would say to a hospital or doctors who might continue looking into this for me, in this area.


right now I'm trying to afford food and shoes and some more work pants and shirts, lol. And trying to save to move out of state. I need to go somewhere that is more decent and got invited to do so.




I can eat meat though, and am when I can get it fairly reasonable ( so called) , regarding todays prices, I will. I do eat fish but it too doesnt have the absolute affect of animal protein for my energy and concentration levels. I try to do a variety if I can each week. Should be able to start fishing maybe next month since the weather is expected to mostly keep warming up and its not like we are snowed in. That helps too.

Edited by arby
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Economic downturns were the first reason I learned to prep almost from the cradle. My parents were depression children, they taught us to prep as naturally as breathing. Then my fathers' jobs were on again, off again (construction) so they prepped to even out the low income spots. When i first wed i prepped because we were both working for minimum wages and it was less scary going check to check with preps than without. Later, I got a govt job but my husbands income was still on-off-on-off so we prepped to cover the 'off' times. (We had wonderful 'vacations' when he was off, thanks to preps!) Then Y2K when prepping redoubled, 'just in case' and now I never have to buy ANYTHING unless on sale because my room-mate and I have a good prep-pantry and prep-closet. Personal economics still remains my #1 reason for prepping. It makes the surprises in life more bearable. TEOTWAWI happen, then those preps will be just as handy for that too. Adding in a few extra preps for EMPs, nuclear attacks, pandemics is not that expensive, once the economic hardship preps are in place.

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I know I started prepping when I was a single mom and nevr knew when the next child support check would be,or if it would come at all...it is nice to know you don't have to worry about food when you have preps, or worry about bills when you have a savings...

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SHTF can happen just from an economic downturn. Your small business gets in dept up to your eyeballs, you have to file backruptcy, you lose your job and are unemployed for a long time and your savings gets eatten up. I haven't heard much of this on the board, but where I live in the PNW, many, many are going through it. Prepping helps, but can't save your home in this situation.


This is main reason we moved out of NC. Jobs were hard to find and when you did find them they paid minimum wage but the cost of living was not based on minimum wage. There was always more month than money and we do not have car payments, credit cards, and I do not spend a lot on groceries. Just normal day to day living there was expensive.

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My last search for work lasted 7 months. A week after my unemployment ran out I found work. Thankfully we paid off the mortgage on the house a few years ago, but still did a lot of dipping into the preps for food during that period.

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"On The Road Again..." is a song by Willie Nelson...LOL We love the RV lifestyle. Here's a link to a travel trailer almost exactly like our "home on wheels". My reference to "the world is our livingroom"...means we have an EZ up with both screened panels and solid panels that we can use as our livingroom or over a picnic table or ??? We usually just sit under our awning and put it up over the picnic table. The trailer floor is laminate so I never run a vacume, I just sweep, and run a battery operated swifter over and it's done...takes me about 30 minutes to do a full house cleaning, which includes wiping down the bathroom toilet, shower etc.! LOL Oh...I do sweep off our steps, and the patio mat under our awning and the patio mat under our EZ up (if it's not over a picnic table)...LOL If we get tired of our camping area we just hitch up and move on down the road to another location. Right now, corps camping is $4 a ($120 a month) night and that includes electricity...so even if it's chilly, we use a ceramic cube and we're fine (but we have a propane forced air furnace). I also have several electric cooking utensils so I can take advantage of electricity instead of using our propane, and we have a nice fire ring to cook outside with cast iron. We also have a slip on covered grill (as noted in the tube video) that we can bake in etc. When we're "powered up" (hooked up to electricity) I always use all electric if at all possible.

Here's a link to a travel trailer nearly idential to ours.

as well as a similar type of EZ up...


Yes arby...we did without ALOT to save up so we could pay cash for our home on wheels, knowing that we wanted the RV lifestyle but also knowing we'd always have a roof over our heads, and personal property taxes are alot cheaper than real estate taxes. We pooled both of our life savings to get out of debt...figured it was better to be debt free than all our dollars in a bank and subject to failure. The gas prices do affect us, but it's a small part of ones life if you're an RV'er and don't have all the other lifestyle expenses. The only reason we "stay put" to any extent right now is because Mtn.Man still wants to work some and we've got 2 houses to get sold. We'll keep the homestead house since it's home to Mother and Son...and we can pull in & plug in any time we want.


Our queen sized bed lifts up and can serve as a layer of canned goods, covered by a piece of thin plywood, and another layer of vacume sealed/mylar sealed foods. That's why I don't can...it's just not transportable if we need to go for an extended stay. We keep our clothing, linens and etc., to a minimum because of weight, but that's also why we're keeping the homestead house. All of our life belongings are stored there in one of the many sheds or the huge 3-bay garage to be replentished any time we need to. We've "been out" as long as 2 weeks and never had to step inside a WM except to buy a quart of milk, a bag of chips or ??? We dry camp on their parking lots alot since it's free, so buying a quart of milk seems like something we should do. We have two house batteries that keep us powered for our LED lights and can be charged either with one of our generators or by plugging it back into our truck, and starting the truck up. Our fresh water tank hold alot of fresh water but we still use it sparingly because we know if our black and grey water tanks get full, we have to empty either into a portable black water tank and pull it to a dump, or pull our trailer to a dump. We invested in a high vilocity 10 volt fan in the vent over our bed because unless we're powered up, we can't use our a/c. Of course, the bathroom also has an electric vent fan...so with both of them going & the front door open, it stays quite comfy unless it's over 80. Our frig & water heater run on propane if we can't find electricity.

Just thought I'd share, and let you know it was (and is) worth the effort/struggle to get to your goals.

We thought Mtn.Man was going to be able to sort of "totally retire" for a few weeks so we could get back to work on the Little House full time, but a local church pastor called and he's got a bathroom that's needing some work...so, guess God knows it's not quite time to take a short vacation. We had planned to bug out for a week or so after this week, but it's a "not" ... at least for right now. The corp camping ($4 a night) is so economical right now, it's our favorite time to camp. The shower houses aren't open, but we have our own shower but they have frost free water spickets and bathroom vaults, and electricity. LOL Guess I'll need to get back to some basics for a few more days, but we do plan to bug out even more!

Edited by Philbe
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We lived in our fifth wheel on the orad for four years. I loved it!!! We were traveling for work. We stayed in st Louis, northern Wyoming, Montana, San Antonio and Austin. I really miss it. We had a huge fifth wheel with tons of storage It had a washer and dryer too. The campgrounds were usually around $300 a month. It is a wonderful life style where you get to see the country. Hubby and I we talking last night about how much we miss it. We have a beautiful home and eight acres now, but I figure we will be back on the road again within th next ten years, and that's fine with me!!! I still have tons of places to explore!!!

Edited by Deerslayer
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That does sound like such a wonderful experience - and having the ability to pick up and move anywhere at any time sounds so liberating. It's a very good reminder for me how debt can shackle us -- we have a car loan and dh's personal loan -- sooooo wish they were paid off. Even then, I don't think we have enough saved up to just pick and travel. I'd love to be able to do that though! Debt has to be one of the most controlling, limiting things we've got in our lives/society, and the scary thing is, it seems to be glorified by society in a way -- debt = building credit and earning a good credit score. I wish I had the insights I have now when I was younger -- oh, hindsight :sigh: Well, on the bright side, at least my eyes are open *now* and I can chhose to not make the same mistakes, and also (hopefully) impart some valuable lessons to my son so he doesn't find himself harnessed by debt some day.

Edited by lumabean
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My dad does the thousand trails deals, private campgrounds. I grew up camping on vacations. I dont mind it for temporary stuff but I need a place to really call home, something that doesn't roll eventually and at this point it costs just as much either choice I were to make, or more to go on the road than I could scrape together fast enough just now. So, its a major luxury as far as I am concerned. Scheduled driving, often among burbs and major cities to get to preferred campgrounds is not very pleasant to me. Scheduled driving is no longer something I can plan with any concreteness because my eyes do their own thing a lot of days and nights, so staying exactly 2 weeks at each place like he does , that sort of camping won't work. I am the only one driving , since I am single. It might be fun to do, and yes Ive met many retirees and others who do this full time, its not something I can quite manage with any discipline like that and it takes that. Taking a trip now and then or going from point a to b with it is still much better than hotels and such though as far as Im concerned and people are pretty nice in campgrounds. At this point I would try to avoid night driving unless its under duress and sunset time because of the glare. So its not really an option for me for full time living and its rather claustrophobic to me in a way too. I would only do it if I had to. I also cant afford repairs much and you go through alot more with the usage on your vehicle. Its not something I would fit into 24/7. It would be nice to do the option part of the year, like summers , to have the break of getting away, but I am more interested in a single place to be where I would be able to garden and have small livestock to feed myself with eventually. That is a year round obligation type of living for the most part.

If I were to build a small trailer for that, that is workable and its BOV and I could take more once I get a truck or sturdy enough vehicle to pull it and then consider a trailer. I am looking at those types of plans for later if I get better off eventually. I also would rather build it because a lot of new trailers are flimsy and hard to repair yourself. The structure of it mainly.


I am looking at something between teardrop style to small tiny house styles now and considering it for later. Part of it is to keep costs down. Also a tiny house type would be adequate for land you want to build on and could be set up nicely to be situated for that kind of use too in very appropriate fashion if the need was there.


So I know a lot about this way of living on the road. We built our own original motor home when I was a kid and used it for 3 years. Which is also an option. I just need a welder to cut out a door and window holes, lol. The rest i can do on a small, used, moving truck. LOL. ( thats not a bad idea).


I would have to leave this area, but I plan to anyhow to have either one. I would not camp permanently around here and you cannot know the kind of damage done to those who camp like that around here when we had floods here, and all that water goes down to Lake Champlain.... Hurricane Irene was the second major flood problem for anyone near our watersheds and our end result Lake side campgrounds and the storms involved... this is not an area you do permanent camping in. So I would want to establish myself somewhere else entirely any how. But because of my eyes, its not feasible to try and do it the rest of my life. It would be one thing if I had a dh or partner in life that was healthy that way who wanted to join me and we could work it out, but I do not.

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Agreed...not everybody's cut out for the RV lifestyle. That's why we'll keep the "homestead house" ... it's where we'll land if and when we're needing some time off the road. Being a woman alone on the road, they need to stay close to other RV'ers that they trust (Escapees, Good Sam etc.) along with road warrior friends and family. Have a friend who has been on the road in her camper/van (a class B type) for many years. One important rule...ALWAYS LET SOMEBODY KNOW YOUR ROUTE & CHECK IN DAILY, don't put your name on your rig, never give travelers information on where you came from and where you're going. Always get to camp so you can unhitch in the daylight. Never pull at night! Never pull in inclement weather of any kind...unless you absolutely have to.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With sequestration starting my area is going to see a downturn. Our own household is looking at a reduction of salary of about $10k this year due to it. DH's company is going to be laying off people as well. I'm jumping on finding a job (we homeschool and I haven't worked in 2 yrs). Something nights or weekends to help bring up the difference. We've always lived 'below' our means. However we have friends of ours who have always spent what they made and struggle with paying bills month to month. I know several of them are behind their payments. It's going to be a rude awaking for them.


Suguestration 'downturn' won't hit our house for about 5 weeks. So while we still have 'normal' pay I am stocking up where I can. We are prepaying bills where we can and cutting services.

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