Episode-194 The Modern Survival Philosophy — 29 Comments

  1. Jack good show you talked a little about the swine flu .The good and the bad here was the groc stores took advantage some people were in panic not me i took advantage of all the good sales.Pepsi swanson pot pies everything was on a blowout sale. People flooded the groc store i stocked up a little more and saved a ton of money.

  2. Great show – one comment regarding the use of credit cards – they’re great when used responsibly and for the user’s benefit. We have one credit card that we use for as many purchases as possible. The card balance is paid in full at the end of each month, so we’re not using it to spend money we don’t have (we also have no debt other than a mortgage which we’re paying off early). We earn 2% cash back on most frequent types of purchases (groceries) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card has no yearly fee. We wind up putting several hundred dollars extra into savings every year by doing this. Further, an unfortunate fact of life in our society today is that if you want to rent a car, buy online, or reserve a hotel room a credit card is usually required. So, personally, I wouldn’t discount their use entirely. Just make sure if you use them, use them ONLY to your advantage.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. @Tim, if you want cash back etc and it works for you great. I am not a credit card nazi to the level of Dave Ramsey. That said the rest of your statement is simply inaccurate.

    I just booked airfare for three to LA for DirtTime09, I booked a hotel for the days before and after, I booked a rental car for the duration and even booked a boat trip out to Santa Catalina Island. 100% of this was done with my Visa Debit Card.

    You absolutely do not need a credit card to book airline flights, rental cars or a hotel, unless you don’t have the money in which case well………..

  4. “You absolutely do not need a credit card to book airline flights, rental cars or a hotel, unless you don’t have the money in which case well …”

    Or you live in Canada. We don’t have the credit/debit combination cards here, so if I’m booking a rental car/flight/buying something online/etc generally I need to use the credit card.

    I know, we’re the exception what with our milk in bags and “aboot” and “eh” and metric system. 😉

  5. Metric, maple syrup and cheques (milk in bags is the only way to get milk, no?) … Isn’t it great being a Canuck! 😉
    Chris, I understand and know that pain; Jack, we don’t have the Debit/Credit Card combination at the moment here and might I suggest that such a combination isn’t any better then having both separately. Especially in line with potential fraud related to either card. I am not sure I would want one and doesn’t it in a way increase your risk by having the single card? I think the risk is increased because (you might not have this; but some might) if the card is cancelled, you maynot have a backup card (either debit or credit) to fall back upon (oh, the irony), if cash isn’t at hand?

  6. @BlackMac,

    I don’t think you guys understand how these work, which is understandable because you don’t have them. A credit/debit card is really a debit card only. The Visa or MC logo simply allows the card to be processed like a credit card, allowing a debit card owner to provide a credit card to a vendor that doesn’t take debit cards. It really isn’t two cards in one, there is no “credit line” attached to it only your underlying funds.

    The good part from a protection stand point is if stolen and used as a credit card you get the same fraud protection, etc as any credit card. Further you can set daily spending limits on it at your choice to limit your own risk. Most banks will even let you raise and lower the limit is you need to, so you can raise it for a vacation and lower it when you return.

    You can not get into debt with a credit/debit card, and not one penny over your available funds can be spent. Hence another way to control/mitigate risk is to keep most of your funds in a savings account and you can always transfer funds by PC if you want put more into the check account for a given reason.

    They are flexible, secure and limited in risk. I can’t understand why Canada won’t let ya’ll have them.

    One possibility is merchant lobbying. We do have what is called “steering” now in the states. If you are at say WalMart and use your card they always try to get you to use your pin and do it as a debit. Why? So they don’t have to pay fees for processing it as a credit card. That is the most logical reason that a lobby would oppose them.

  7. I stand mistaken! I assumed a credit card was required since rental places always ask for one. I’m the opposite of you guys – never use the debit card at all and wouldn’t really considered it an option for making reservations. Question – does the online fraud protection you usually get with a CC extended to debit cards as well?

    Anyway, thanks for the good work.

  8. You answered my question before my response was posted – that’s being prepared …

  9. @tim, See my above answer to BlackMac, you and I must have been posting at the same exact minute.

  10. BlackMac,

    You brought up one more very good point, what if you have to cancel your credit/check card and don’t have cash because it is lost or stolen.

    I had never thought of that! I do have the answer though, what we should do is get a credit/check card and a true debit card as well. The debit card can be kept separate location but accessible. If you cancel the credit/check card the debit card would still work.

    This is a really awesome thought and a great way to keep prepared on the road. Very good point, thank you!

  11. Jack, thanks for the clarification; if that is how the operates, I am all for it and would chop up my CC asap. To bring up a concern that timfromohio awoke in me, with the new credit cards being distributed in Canada and probably there in the US already; the concern is that though very well hidden, the new cards (with the new chips and also PIN number requirements) are more dangerous as the cardholder is increasingly responsible for any fraud committed with the card. The PIN is a second security component that links it to you, so the likelihood of fraud is decreased. But also increased it the chance that any fraud committed will be harder for the cardholder to argue, I suggest (maybe I’m just being abit paranoid though). As for the new cards and their online fraud protection (I’m speaking of the credit cards, I don’t now about the credit/debit combination cards), that thankfully still exists.

  12. Thanks for the clarification Jack – perhaps I worded it wrong, I didn’t mean to imply that the “credit” and “debit” accounts were tied together somehow, just that you have the ability to use the debit card as a credit card and pull the funds straight from your chequing account.

    I’d love to have a system like that because as it stands, many places still will only accept a credit card. There’s more and more online stores accepting online debit, but it’s still the exception rather than the norm.

  13. Another great credit card! is the prepaid version!
    limits your risk and although will act as a normal credit card its restricted by the amount of cash your preload on it!
    Benefits over Debit/visa is the security of not using personal account details protecting you from fraud.
    plus can be loaded with cash and available straight away for use!
    Have used them as back up for travel and kids!

  14. Jack, you’re going to Catalina? that’s awesome, my Grandma and Pops retired there, we used to go every summer when I was a kid. Now my Mom & Dad live there and my kids are getting the same experience.

    2 recommendations-

    Go to Antonio’s on the pier, awesome pizza, and they dump a big pile of peanuts on your table. Just throw the shells on the floor. The kids love this.

    Whatever stupid movie is playing at the theater, it’s worth a visit because the building is one of those cool old art deco ones with a pipe organ that they just don’t make any more.

    Hope you have a blast!


  15. @ Dean, Be careful with those prepaid cards. Some car rentals wont use those even if you have enough money on them to cover the deposit. I tried once so the rental place wont have access to charge at their will(dont trust them), but they wont accept it. Also most have a higher deposit/hold on debit cards. Hotels seem to be ok with prepaid. As for online purchases, I use a seperate checking account at a different bank. I can go deposit cash in the atm and have access the next day. Helps with impulse purchases 🙂

  16. Jack, oops, I should have read that back before posting, I meant Antonio’s on the waterfront…


  17. Thanks Jack for opening my eyes and make me really think about this. I think I may still have some of my old ways in me. Having been through some pretty rough times in the past dealing with debt. I would call it more like quicksand than cancer because it pulls you down the more are struggling, and unfortunately unlike cancer you can get a hold of debt and get out.

    That being said I think CCs are a tool to use until you can be totally free of them. I personally don’t use them anymore, but wouldn’t hesitate to use them in the right situation and when that times comes it would be needed very quick. I’m building up an emergency savings slowly but surely, but there might be a time in the near future that until I have enough saved up, I’m not going to close them. Since I changed my ways and started paying it down I havent touched them once so I feel pretty confident that I wont get sucked back in. I think the main thing is to do what you say Jack, take one mans opinion apply it to your life. I think you are 100% accurate on where we should set our goals to be, but its not an overnight process and there will be some middle ground until someone gets there.

    Maybe we should take this conversation over to the forums since it seems to have highjacked todays topic.

  18. RE: Be careful with those prepaid cards.
    Prepaid cards also charge fees and when you get to the end of the card\’s value it is almost impossible to spend. My husband\’s boss gives him one for his bonus at Christmas and it is a pain. In the past we have been denied car rental with a debit card. Also, have you heard the Bank of America is being used to issue unemployment debit cards! The first withdrawal per week from a Bank of America automated teller machine is free, but others that week would impose a $1.50 charge. BOA also charges $1.50 for withdrawals from other banks\’ ATMs, 50 cents when a withdrawal is denied because there is not enough in the account and $15 for emergency cash or a withdrawal that results in a negative balance. Sweet deal from the government, huh? Anyway, we cut up ALL our credit cards are paying them off. Our biggest challenge is our auto payment and home equity loan! Can\’t sell our home or truck in this market so we are stuck with our mistakes for now.

  19. We have allowed our country to be ruled by large banks and corporations that promote us to be in debt. This is not good for a free country. Serving in the military and living in 3rd world countries people that are in debt are forced to work as slaves. Many women have to work off the debt as sex slaves. These people can never pay off the debt because of the surcharges and are offered more credit to stay in debt.
    We in America have disfranchised classes of people as well that it is all right to treat them in the same fashion such as the deadbeat dads and people that fall behind in their taxes or have a long-term sickness or illness.
    I agree with Jack we need to be more educated on depending on ourselves and demanding the government to stop large social programs that create people to be generationally dependent on government for support.

  20. Quick question for the group:

    How does everyone feel about doing a credit freeze as a practical survival / protective measure (for those of us who do NOT use credit, of course…

    I’m about to freeze mine and my wife’s credit to prevent anyone from opening accounts in our name.

  21. Another point to the destruction and survival of American families and is the Social Security Taxes are being used as federal incentives to destroy families and make them weak by dividing them and putting them into debt and creating entitlements that one parent expects to get a check from the other parent. this is the Title IV-d welfare program that includes everyone even if you do not receive welfare so the states can bill $3 dollars for every dollar of support collected for breaking up families.

    Check out 42 USC 666 and this law was passed 5 years before 9-11 and see how much rights we have lost slowly making us indentured servants to the state weakening us from preparing for our own survival. We need to remove this laws and get our independence back.

  22. On buying real estate for a bug-out site I would like to suggest another option for those of us who would never want to do that for whatever reason. But here are some:
    1). More property taxes to pay
    2). Who can say this location will be safe?
    3). What if I don’t want anyone to know where I am?
    4). Too many irons in the fire, spreading yourself thin over two properties. If you plan on making that your eventual homesite, or retirement home, will you then have to acquire a new bug-out location?

    I suggest a nomadic solution: an RV, pop-up camper, a tent, etc. The advantages of being mobile is that you are mobile. You can up and leave from any site within an hour. If the situation is over there you can go the other way. No property taxes, nobody has to know where you are, who you are. No neighbors, you are anonymous and autonomous. The best part is vacations need not be spent at the same bug-out location every outing, you can explore new places every single trip. You can daisywheel from your home base to places close by and get to know the facilities and opportunities to support survival. You are free to travel at a moments notice with your home on your trailer hitch/trunk/pickup.

  23. @Thox Spuddy

    Interesting idea. It seems like fuel would be a problem, though. RVs use a ton of it. It seems that you would actually be limited to where you can go by the availability of fuel. If you can’t go where you want, and where you are doesn’t provide what you need, I would think this would be a much worse situation than being chained to an off-the-grid bugout location where you have power, water, food, land to grow more food…and a perimeter to patrol/defend.

    Still…it would probably serve as a great option for many emergencies. For example, if the cat event is to the East, you can go West (and vice-versa).


    Good Show Jack, but i have to say the above statement is also inaccurate.

    1. The Transactions made to the accounts these cards represent are backed to an extent by the institution who’s name appears on the card ie VISA/MASTERCARD.

    2. And Because of this Jack, A person can withdraw funds from an ATM thats in excess of the actual amount in the account. And the Amount that can be Overdrawn is only limited to the single withdraw limit of the ATM. (They All Differ with the limits set).

    All it takes is to have a positive balance in the account. The amount does not matter.

    3. It cannot be done Continuously, When the account updates, the account will reflect the negative balance and that is when the system puts a stop to it.

    I got this information from a report presented by a local news station out of Tulsa OK.

    I checked it out with my Bank, my bank confirmed the information. Seems to be common knowledge within the financial institutions. One of those little pieces of info they don’t routinely share with there customers.

    Thanks Jack

  25. Jack,

    As always a great show and the one part of survival I need to work on the financial aspect. I could blame it on the evil ex-wife, but that would lower me to her level!

    Thanks again Jack!

  26. I just wanted to say bravo, this show really resonated with me. You’re a great speaker and the points towards the end came together so nicely. Thanks for doing what you love Jack!

  27. @Ransom: good point about not growing food… land ownership of course has more self-reliant possibilities than being on the road, but it is to be considered as an option for those who do not, will not, own a second property. And there are many scenarios in which you are evacuating a localized disaster, not region-wide, where a pop-up, or camping equipment makes evacuation basically a camping trip. Foraging food is a possibility, taking ample food storage with you is something you’d do camping anyway. I always try to get food that doesn’t need refrigeration so there’s enough room for the beer in the cooler. 🙂

  28. And how does food storage SAVE you money?

    You buy 6 jars of peanut butter when it is on sale for 99 cents. And thus you are not buying one jar every week when the price literally changes each week from $2.59, $2.29, $1.89, $2.59, 99 cents, $2.59.

    It is amazing how much prices of a single item – same brand/same size – change from week to week.
    So when an item is on sale, buy a bunch. You save money, have food storage, and get to avoid the stores the day before the snow storm when everyone rushes to the grocery store even when the roads will be completely cleared 24 hours later.