Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
A Free Press is the Guardian of a Free People
In This Issue:
1. Lower those utility bills
2. Lower your property tax bill
3. More, useful self-sufficiency sites, Vets into Farmers
4. Overlooking small money matters can cost you plenty
5. Wall Street continues its bad practices
"Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money—only for wanting to keep your own money."
-- Joseph Sobran
-- Joseph Sobran
Here are simple ways by which you can significantly lower your exposure to rising utility bills:
• Turn your thermostat down 8 degrees before you go to bed. Use heated mattress pads or heated blankets to keep yourself toasty while you sleep. This could easily yield savings of 10%.
• Turn your thermostat way down when no one is home. Yes, it will feel chilly for a few minutes when you come back home, but avoiding all the wasted heat during the hours or days while you are gone will translate into big savings.
• Get an insulation jacket for your water heater (assuming it’s not recommended against by the manufacturer of your particular model). By wrapping up your water heater, you can cut heat losses by 25% or more. A simple wrap kit from a home improvement store will pay for itself in less than a year.
During the day, open your shades to let the sunlight help warm your house. Close your shades at night to help your house retain heat.
Find more useful tips here:
PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources
More useful resources for living a frugal, self sufficient life...
Free ebooks on Self Sufficient Living - Handy
Interesting site and good article on working from home
Homesteading Information Directory - A directory of homesteading sites including topics such as animal husbandry, self-sufficiency, and more.
Well Kind Of – With Self Sufficiency & Frugal Living Tips Plus Musings from the Mountain.
Veterans to Farmers
Non-profit group that teaches vets the skills they need to begin a career in agriculture; includes paid training at one of their network farms in organic farming and growing techniques. Can be completed in nine months or less. Get more information at:
Don’t take any “official” appraisal of your home as the final word. If you believe you have been over-assessed, you can appeal. The county assessor’s office will inform you of the process upon request. Substantiating your appeal may be as simple as printing out recent sale prices of similar properties in your area culled from a five-minute Internet search
Two of the leading property tax reduction services are:
• EasyTaxFix 888-292-5050; www.easytaxfix.com
• LowerMyAssessment 877-908-7191;
Overlooking old library fines or parking tickets can cost you…
Big complication: To raise revenue, many U.S. libraries and municipalities are turning unpaid debts over to collection agencies. Once an agency takes over your debt, even if it is only $20, you can count on a big dent in your credit score―100 points or more, according to Craig Watts, a spokesperson for Fair Isaac Corp., the financial-management company that developed the FICO credit score, a number that determines a borrower’s credit history.
Big complication: It can increase your monthly premiums, and you could be dropped as a customer. If dropped, it could be hard to find other coverage, as most companies share claim information.
Cut your losses: Before filing a claim, talk to your agent to help you decide whether to make the claim, advises Lamont Robinson II, a Chicago-based insurance agent for Allstate. You should pay small repairs (those less than $1,000 or less than your deductible) out of pocket. Also, raising your deductible to around $2,500 may lower your premium and deter you from making small claims.
Maine, New York, and Hawaii exact the highest average levels of taxation. Alaska, New Hampshire, and Delaware offer the lowest tax rates overall. For a comprehensive and up-to-datelisting of the highest-tax and lowest-tax states for retirees, visit the web site of the Retirement Living Information Center (www.retirementliving.com).
The Nanny State Updates…
Can You Hear Me Now? Everything’s free in America
The federal government is giving out free cell phones and free cell phone minutes to welfare recipients? It may be hard to believe, but it is true. Right now, there are companies that are running advertisements specifically targeted at low income Americans informing them of the fact that all they have to do is sign up and they can get a free cell phone and hundreds of free cell phone minutes every single month and it will all be paid for by the federal government. Some have referred to this as "The Obama Phone", but that is not exactly accurate. The outrageous federal programs that are paying for this were initiated before Barack Obama entered the White House.
For most people, drinks are a substantial expense that can add up at the end of the month to a lot more than you might think. Is it really worth spending $3.50 at Starbucks every morning
($105.00/month)? Or $30.00 on cocktails when you go out every Friday evening
The Parting Thought – No one does the time though
Bill Moyers of PBS aired a show recently in which the players behind this influence were interviewed, admitting this was a big element leading to our downfall. Further, they admitted this repeal was a done deal while they filed papers announcing the merger of financial firms which allowed what was to become CitiBank, even though they knew it was against the current law.
Yet, to the best of my knowledge, none of these insiders were ever brought to justice. Indeed, it has showcased the revolving door of Washington bigwigs and Wall Street CEOs, who have taken over the country. This is why I call them the Washington-Wall Street Cartel See more at:
The Journal: Achieving Financial Reform
How did Big Finance grow so powerful that its hijinks nearly brought down the global economy -- and what hope is there for real reform with Washington politicians on Wall Street's payroll? Authors Simon Johnson and James Kwak, two of the nation's most respected economic experts and authors of the new book 13 BANKERS: THE WALL STREET TAKEOVER AND THE NEXT FINANCIAL MELTDOWN.
“Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man
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