Episode-239- Starting Out as a Young Survivalist — 28 Comments

  1. Jack, That was spot on today. I have a 16 year old daughter just getting her first job. She is going to listen to today’s pod cast just to prove dad isn’t stupid, and other people believe the same way.

    Save a little today, don’t get stuck in the credit mess and don’t look back.

    Thanks Jack

  2. I have been listening to TSP for a few months now and, in my view, not only is this the best podcast so far, it’s the best use of 40 minutes a younger person (I am a still young 32) could spend. This podcast is free, but is worth at least the first years’ tuition at a university.

    I agree 100% with Jack’s view of credit cards and agree that no younger person should have one…period.

    I also would like to second Jack’s idea to learn how to design a website and learn website marketing. I don’t know this and it is holding me back. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE 32 TO LEARN THIS!

    The nomadic lifestyle is another great idea.

    If you’re 18-25, it doesn’t really matter what you do, just do something. Be useful and provide value to others and good things will happen.

  3. Jack,
    I’m 21 years old and the podcast today made me step back and realize how ahead of the curve I am. I have food storage, low debt, and when i was listening to the podcast i received my letter of acceptance into the Electrician’s Apprenticeship. Thank you for the great advice today. It was priceless as your show are always. Thank you Jack.

  4. Hey Jack,

    Just wanted to thank you for doing this show, its always challenging to take the conversations and arguments you present and filter them to fit into my personal demographic. alot of the time its not too hard, but investments, ridding of debt etc… is a tough one as im steadily piling on the debt at college. I think the fact of having a plan is the best part because thats the only way this massive college debt is going to go away anytime soon is with a thorough and rational plan both being smart with my money now and having that solid plan when i get out. Thanks.

  5. Great show today Jack. Thanks for tailoring a show for us youngans.


  6. New listener here. Enjoy the show and just bought some cases of food from one of your show’s sponsor “ready made resources”. You may have covered this before but since I just joined I dont know, but being a first responder what advice do you you have for guys like me that cant “bug out” when the sh*t hits the fan because I have to stay here and go to work and handle it?

  7. Great topic. Thinking outside the box. I might break my 14-year old daughter into the podcast with this show.

  8. Regarding the 2009 Lincoln pennies, \"each cent is now struck from 99.2 percent zinc and 0.8% copper\" sourced from CoinNews.Net

    What I didn\’t realise was that there are four different designs, I\’ve only seen the cabin one.
    Also some \"special\" 95% Copper Cents will be coming out, not quite the same as silver coins if you ask me, but and interesting side.

    As a 23 year old I really appreciated today\’s podcast. I\’ve have some friends that kinda laugh and sneer at the survivalist outlook but I have others who are much more open and they see the practicality and value of it all. Remaining hopeful for the others.

    Thanks – Dave

  9. @Dave,

    On the pennies I don’t mean to tighten down my zinc foil copper clad hat but something is a amiss here. The mint says the new pennies are the same as the old in content. I don’t know what I did with the one from the coffee shop but when I find it I am going to put it on my powder scale and find out the truth. They are either a lot lighter and not the same or some part of the process in minting them creates that illusion.

  10. Great show, as usual. Two comments. My first is on credit cards – I still think they are useful if used properly. We have one card, use it for everything, and pay it off the end of every month. Get 2% back on the most frequent category of purchases (for us this is groceries) and 1% back on the rest. When used responsibly, there are benefits. Second comment is on education. I’d push education, especially advanced education. In general, I would not waste time in college with degrees that lead to opportunities with salaries only marginally higher than you could get without the time spent in school. However, most technical disciplines necessitate a formal degree. Further, I’d encourage young folks who think they might want to get an advanced degree to go all the way without stopping. I went on to receive advanced degrees in engineering. After getting out and getting used to having money and a significantly easier lifestyle that graduate school in an engineering discipline I know there is no way I could go back now – just don’t have the mental fortitude or time now that I have a family. I’m a firm believer in the principle that Jack sort of implied to youger folks (correct me if I’m wrong, but this was my takeaway from your closing comments on younger employees appreciating their salaries) which is you can pay now and play later, or vice versa. Many of us truly paid our dues through a lot of hard work, dedication, and focus in executing a well thought out plan for our futures. Now, life is significantly easier thanks to that planning, hard work, some luck, and providence. I know many folks that played hard back then and have it significantly harder than I do now. One more plug for advanced degrees in technical disciplines – there are many jobs out there that require such degrees coupled with the requirement that you are a US citizen. My observation of the majority of graduate programs in any engineering discipline is that they are largely populated by foreign students. Many of these folks will not be able to apply for a large number of the available jobs out or will loose out due to communication skills. Unfortunately, most of the domestic students I came in contact with when teaching them undergrad level labs/classes when I was in school had no interest in continuing – they wanted the instant gratification of getting out and getting that “high” engineering salary to go and blow on custom golf clubs, leased vehicles, etc.

    Stay disciplined, formulate and execute a good plan, resist the “gotta have it now” attitude that is pervasive in our society, and you’ll be much better off in the long run.

  11. Ok, about credit cards. My wife and I have one. We pay it in full every single month and have never carried a balance. It also earns us points. Periodically we go online and redeem these points for gift cards to Target and restaurants we like. We have saved hundreds of dollars over the last few years on eating out, diapers, formula, etc. As long as you never carry a balance, a card is not so dangerous.

  12. I am sorry to all that feel the need to defend plastic money but there is no place in your life for a credit card, none.

    Talk about points all you like they are not worth it. Americans as a whole are not paying off their balance, not even the monthly interest. Those of you who do are no better off then the guy that bare hands rattlesnakes every day and never has been bitten.

    Nothing good ever comes from a credit card, including “points”, no free rides and no free lunches.

    We are all adults here we can all do as we please but NEVER expect Jack to in anyway justify your use of plastic because it isn’t going to happen. Those of you who think you have mastered this beast are only fooling yourselves. If I had a dollar for every person that said, “I pay my balance in full every month” that eventually ended up in debt trouble, I would be one very wealthy man.

  13. Oh one more thing on plastic money, this is from Dave Ramsey’s site,

    “When you pay cash, you can “feel” the money leaving you. This is not true with credit cards. Flipping a credit card up on a counter registers nothing emotionally. If you use credit cards instead of cash you will spend 12-18% more. This is money you could have saved.”

    And there is the big point! I challenge anyone who thinks credit cards are ok to spend JUST ONE MONTH where you pay cash for everything except your bills, compare your spending then to the prior month. Then tell me what you think of them. Interest and debt are not the only heavy weights attached to the chain of credit cards. Over spending is the bigger problem, it is flat out an unseen cancer.

    And PLEASE don’t tell me you don’t spend more with a credit card until you actually try a 30 day fast of no credit and NO DEBIT cards first. Just pay 100% cash for a month and tell me you don’t save at minimum 10-15%. Oh and those fancy “gift cards” they also make you spend more.

  14. Hi Jack,

    If you could do a show on self directed Roth IRA’s like the ones you mentioned in this show that would be great. Even if it was just a jumping off type of segment where you listed a few places to go and do research that would be awesome. I tried to do a search on them and found mostly only ones where you could choose the risk level or choose a plan based on the amount of years until retirement – there wasn’t much information on self directed ones at all.

    Thanks for the show!

  15. Per your quote:

    When you pay cash, you can “feel” the money leaving you. This is not true with credit cards. Flipping a credit card up on a counter registers nothing emotionally. If you use credit cards instead of cash you will spend 12-18% more. This is money you could have saved.”


    That is probably the primary rationale for CHIPS being used in a casino as opposed to cash (though not the only one)
    — Steve C

  16. One thing you did not cover that I feel is very important.

    Get fit and stay fit your whole life. Don’t fall into the donut and desk job trap. When you are fit you feel better, usually eat better, handle stress better and just plain live longer. I am convinced that being fit has gotten me better jobs over the years, employers can feel the difference.

    After we had a kid I gained a ton of weight and felt like crap, got depressed, hated myself… the whole bit. Lost the pounds, started being active again and I feel great! Back down the the same waist size I had my Junior year of High School (30 inches).

    I am curious where you stand on Student Loan Debt…

    Thanks for the show


  17. To everyone who loves their credit card, uses it, and pays it off, remember:


    I’m sure there are a lot of people who can juggle chainsaws without losing a limb, but just because you saw one guy do it doesn’t mean that everyone can or should. 😉

  18. I have no problem being the exception to the rule regarding credit card use – nets me quarterly checks!

    We’ll all have to agree to disagree. If you don’t want one – fine. But blanket statements like “nothing good comes from them ever” is foolishness. Done the Dave Ramsey program, having set amounts of money in marked envelopes for groceries, gas, etc. For me, balancing the books at the end of the month is no less real than handing cash out of my hand. Further, we don’t spend more using a CC than cash. We have budgeted amounts for groceries, gas, etc. Whether we spend it in cash or CC, still have the same budgetary limitations. Right now we are getting a free ride on the backs of folks that don’t pay off their cards every month. If the CC company does wind up either (1) instituting an annual fee or (2) doing away with the cash back program I’ll be the first to cut up the card and toss it. Until then, I’ll take the quarterly checks and further my preps.

  19. @Tim,

    You said, “I have no problem being the exception to the rule regarding credit card use – nets me quarterly checks!”

    You can believe what you want but I dare you to pay cash for just thirty days and compare your reduced spending to your “checks”.

    No one is the exception to this rule, cards cost you period. Seriously I dare you to honestly compare two thirty day periods of incremental spending.

  20. The reality is credit cards cost us all. Any retailer that accepts credit cards figures the cost of transactions into the cost of goods. There is NO free ride.

  21. Modern Survival,

    We have used either cash or checks exclusively in the past for several years when I was in graduate school (checks were necessary for paying utility bills) and I can honestly say our spending patterns are not different (except in volume – kids have been added to the equation so of course we purchase more food, more household items like TP, etc.). Now, I will admit I have not done a 30 days one way, 30 days another comparison but I’m extremely confident in our budget and spending. Another thing to mention is that we do purchase a number of items in bulk that we do pay cash for such as a yearly supply of meat, honey, and other bulk food items that go into storage – these items we must pay for in cash, but if I could I’d use the CC. The last vehicle we purchased was a Honda minivan. We financed half of the purchase price and I was planning on paying cash for the other half (NEVER finance a vehicle by the way unless you have to – in our case neither of our other vehicles would accomodate the car seats…). Then I asked the dealer, “hey would you take a CC for the down payment” They did, so half of the purchase price went on the CC. Paid it off the end of the month and got 1% of 13k plus I kept the down payment in the bank and got another nickel of interest. I call that a good deal. As as aside, if you must finance a vehicle, have a 401k, and the 401k plan allows for it consider borrowing out of the 401k. Most plans will require you to pay yourself back interest. I dumped everything in 2007 before the crash so it was sitting there in a cash-equivalent fund earning a percent or two. Used it to finance the rest of the minivan – pay myself back 5% interest – additional forced savings to purchase a tangible good. Some might argue I should have purchased a used vehicle for 13k and been done, but our other vehicle is a beater, we travel to visit family out of state frequently, and I wanted the wife/kids in a safe reliable car.

    What I will consent is that using cash probably makes one really go through the “want vs. need” line of questioning before making a purchase. I can see where it would be easy to spend spend spend without going through this exercise when using a CC. However, I still maintain CC’s can be used responsibly and to the benefit of the holder so long as their use is accompanied by a great deal of discipline.

    One last un-related point – excellent suggestion about getting in and staying in shape. If you wind up in an office job it’s easy to get slack and soft. Make sure fitness is a priority.

  22. *Loved* the show, Jack. Lots of things hit home. Among them: I’ve been working for a very small online company for a few years now (I’m 24), and although I really enjoy the job, I sometimes feel like I’m not getting enough “real” skills. Hearing you tell me that web/internet/business/marketing skills are actually very important “real” skills made all the difference today.

    A couple websites that I also got some inspiration & humour from (maybe you’ve already seen ’em):

    Cosmic Bob’s Plan for your life:

    Build Your Own Home in Two Years (Get a PhD in Homebuilding):

  23. Wow, the show was great. This is my first time listening. I am 19, and my husband is 20. We just married in May. Up until about 3 weeks ago we were planning to do what our families, and most of America does today, and buy a house. The more we looked into it, the more uncomfortable we became with the idea oh him being tied down to our current location and his job for 30 years, so we made a change of plans. We are now looking for a vintage Airstream travel trailer, and we plan to fix it up a bit, find a nice piece of land and start our brand new self sufficient lifestyle.

    And to be honest I\’ve been a little hesitant straying away from the norm, but after listening to your show i feel motivated, confident, and excited for the future. 🙂

    Thank you very much!

  24. Hey jack, I loved the show a lot. I am 26 and have a wife and four kids, and was in the US Army 3rd ID, i learned a lot from the Army, never got to do the things you said to do, But i did travel the world to the middle east, That’ll change your life for ever!! It did mine, made me more aware how quickly things can go bad for a family fast. We saw a lot of families have food stuffs, firarm’s cache’s and etc.. there it paid off, because when we invaded the people’s infrastructure was immediately cut off, Good for the people who stored things, I just wanted to say to people my age, prepare!!! For you never know what tommorrow brings!! They didn’t and neither do i, but i am as ready as one can be in his mind. Thank you Jack

  25. thanks for this Jack i’m 18yo though an atheist so i guess i’ll have to pray to …nature? anyway good work Jack.