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Monday, September 24, 2018

Worried About Rising Prices? Use These Frugal Resources!

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


15 Frugal Habits You Need in Your Life

We live at a time when the middle class is shrinking and most families are barely making it from month to month.  The cost of living is steadily rising, but paychecks are not, and that is resulting in a huge middle class squeeze.  I really like how my good friend MN Gordon made this point in his most recent article

The general burden of the American worker is the daily task of squaring the difference between the booming economy reported by the government bureaus and the dreary economy reported in their biweekly paychecks. There is sound reason to believe that this task, this burden of the American worker, has been reduced to some sort of practical joke. An exhausting game of chase the wild goose.

How is it that the economy’s been growing for nearly a decade straight, but the average worker’s seen no meaningful increase in their income? Have workers really been sprinting in place this entire time? How did they end up in this ridiculous situation?

The fact is, for the American worker, America’s brand of a centrally planned economy doesn’t pay. The dual impediments of fake money and regulatory madness apply exactions which cannot be overcome. There are claims to the fruits of one’s labors long before they’ve been earned…Below you’ll find a variety of useful tips and resources we’ve garnered that will save money for your family.  Remember to take advantage of our special FREE report featuring more than 110 ways to save and/or make extra money!The economy, in other words, has been rigged. The value that workers produce flows to Washington and Wall Street, where it’s siphoned off and misallocated to the cadre of officials, cronies, and big bankers. What’s left is spent to merely keep the lights on, the car running, and food upon the table.

Frugal living used to be practiced from necessity.  Now?  Frugality is almost trendy as more and more people embrace a less wasteful, more mindful existence.

Living frugally doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything you love, however. Truly wealthy people often embrace frugality while also enjoying the finest things in life. These things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Looking to be more frugal in your daily life? Ahead, find some easy frugal tips anyone can copy.

Use everything until it dies

Have you ever seen someone with a six-figure salary driving a beat-up Toyota Camry? There’s a reason for that.

People who practice frugality as they build wealth know that using an item to its full potential is crucial. That’s why spending a little more on a high-quality item is usually cheaper in the long run. Whether it’s a car, a cup, or a couch, using things until they wear out is an important part of being frugal.

Whole Foods' Prices Barely Reduced One Year After Amazon's Hype to Lower Them

It is now exactly a year after Amazon promised to lower prices at Whole Foods. According to a new survey by the man who has been tracking prices there, a basket of 108 items purchased just before the takeover last year cost $412.76. Today, those same groceries only dropped in price a total of $3.39. And, if you are a Prime member, you would only get an additional $1.50 in savings. [Note, the NY Post story has factual errors - they compared the cost of the March 2018 basket to the current one, rather than the August 2017 basket.]


More Older Americans Are Turning to Marijuana: Members of the generation that came of age in the era of marijuana are reaching for weed in their golden years. NPR, Sept. 12. 

5 Great Gig Economy Jobs for People 50+:Here's how to match your personality with the right side hustle. Source: Next Avenue


U.S. consumer confidence for the year is the highest it's been in more than a decade. Unemployment is as low as it's been in almost 20 years. The stock market is once again approaching record highs, bouncing back from its correction early in the year. 

Listening to talk radio, you hear people talk about how strong the economy is now. And this confidence is being reflected in consumer spending. 
Americans spent more than $12.8 trillion in July 2018, a new record. 

But this consumer confidence is coming with a price. Even though 90 percent of wage earners saw an increase in take-home pay after the recent tax cuts, real wages remain low. The average hourly wage today, though almost 10 times what it was 40 years ago, has the same purchasing power as it did in the 1970s.
 But the reality is different…


The Average American's Income Is Falling


There is compelling evidence that the average American family is still in worse economic shape than in 2007 and that income is falling.



If you’re worried about higher prices…

if you've been worried about inflation, stop worrying. Inflation isn't coming. Inflation is here! And it looks to heat up going forward.

Gas prices, housing and transportation costs all jumped in the past year, taking a bigger bite out of people's paychecks.

Speaking of camels nosing into tentsLet me give you something to really worry about. Adjusted for inflation, wages are going down …


·         Roughly 75% of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck, with essentially zero savings (according to a recent study by Bankrate).

·         JPMorgan Chase has just predicted that economic growth in America over the next few years will be a paltry 1.25%.

The world is changing very fast, and for many it’s scary.


Wealthy people own valuable assets.
The middle class and poor simply rely on salaries.


Household debt has never been higher, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt is at record highs, and the U.S. national debt is wildly out of control.

U.S. consumer credit just hit another all-time record high.  In the second quarter of 2008, total consumer credit reached a grand total of 2.63 trillion dollars, and now ten years later that number has soared to 3.87 trillion dollars.  That is an increase of 48 percent in just one decade.

#2 Student loan debt has surpassed 1.5 trillion dollars for the first time ever.  Over the last 8 years, the total amount of student loan debt has shot up 79 percent in the United States.

#3 According to the Federal Reserve, the credit card default rate in the U.S. has risen for 7 quarters in a row.

According to Professor Larry Kotlikoff, our unfunded liabilities are well in excess of 200 trillion dollars right now.

If individuals, corporations, state and local governments and the federal government all stopped going into more debt, we would plunge into the greatest economic depression in U.S. history immediately.

David Stockman warns that the global economy has reached an "epochal pivot", a moment when the false prosperity created from $trillions in printed money by the world's central banks lurches violently into reverse.

Stockman's main warning is that there's no bid underneath this market -- that when perception shifts from greed to fear, the bottom is much farther down than most investors realize. In his words, it's "rigged for implosion".

  • The Signs Of Limits Are All Around Us
    • Depleting resources, stagnating wages, weakening economies
  • Few See The Signs Though

·         Happy, Healthy Economy 

·         There was a dark side to the Progressive Era—middle-class reformers often adopted patronizing attitudes toward the poor; in their zeal to root out corruption in elections, white, native-born Progressives overturned political machines that were among the few ways immigrants achieved power; they supported literacy tests that disenfranchised black voters; and many backed eugenics, helping to legitimize the forced sterilization of tens of thousands of “unfit” people. The evils done in the name of social improvement should remind us that the voices of the most vulnerable must always be heard when developing policy geared toward making everyone’s lives better.

·         California today provides a model for America as a whole. This model of politics and government is by no means perfect, but it is far ahead of the nation in coming to terms with the inexorable digital, global, sustainable transformation of our era. It is a thriving work in progress that gives hope that America can pull out of the political mess we’re in. California today provides a playbook for America’s new way forward. It’s worth contemplating as we enter 2018, which will be a critical election year.

·         The mood in America is arguably as dark as it has ever been in the modern era. The birthrate is at a record low, and the suicide rate is at a 30-year high; mass shootings and opioid overdoses are ubiquitous. In the aftermath of 9/11, the initial shock and horror soon gave way to a semblance of national unity in support of a president whose electoral legitimacy had been bitterly contested only a year earlier. Today’s America is instead marked by fear and despair more akin to what followed the crash of 1929, when unprecedented millions of Americans lost their jobs and homes after the implosion of businesses ranging in scale from big banks to family farms.

·         As a result, the rate of bankruptcy among Americans over age 65 has doubled over the period studied by the researchers. "For an increasing number of older Americans, their golden years are fraught with economic risks, the result of which is often bankruptcy," their report noted.

·         Consumers are on pace to end 2018 with over $4 trillion of debt. And $1.5 trillion of that is student debt (more than credit cards and auto loans).

·         According to the latest stats, the average student loan debt in the US is nearly $40,000.

·         But that’s just average…

·         There are more than two million former students in the Land of the Free with more than $100,000 of debt… around 415,000 people have more than $200,000 of student debt.

·         Yet while the cost of a college education and student debt loads are soaring, wages are stagnant.

·         So you’re paying more and more for something that delivers stagnant value.

·         It’s the definition of a bad deal.

·         Still, every year, hordes of young people line up for this punishment. Then they graduate, indebted to the state, with no clear path forward.

·         Luckily, students have options.

·         You don’t have to be a debt serf for the rest of your life to receive an excellent education.

·         Going abroad is one option.

·         Enrolling in a foreign university will definitely spice up your resume. But it also gives you a global network, exposure to new cultures and it vastly expands your job search.

·         But one of the biggest benefits of international study is the low cost.

·         There are plenty of countries where you can study at a top-tier university for a fraction of the cost back home.

·         And, as an added bonus, studying abroad is a great way to obtain foreign residency and perhaps even a second passport.


Certainly gives one points to ponder…

Your Free Middle Class Survival Kit


Researched by our editors and include 100s of tips, tricks and insider methods of saving money, earning extra money [many from the comfort of your home], the best places to live,  How to find little-known freebies, discounts and other benefits-over 2,000 programs!






11 Unusual Uses For Milk That Can Revolutionize Homestead Life 

Milk can provide other benefits beyond its use as a beverage. Here are 11 unusual uses for milk if you’re a homesteader.          


Essential Survival Prep You Can Do Right Now For FREE

Gear is great, but knowledge and practice are more important. Here are five free survival prep practices you can do to be better prepared.         




A Final Note…

Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.


Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…




A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Democrats Reach a New Low in the Kavanaugh Case

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

I Don’t Believe How Underhanded the Democrats Are

I don't believe Christine Blasey Ford was assaulted, sexually or otherwise, by Brett Kavanaugh. I don't believe that he and somewhere between one and three others — she's surprisingly hazy on the details, considering their import — stood by while he locked Ford in a room and slobbered and pawed over her like a Kennedy on mescaline. I don't believe that Kavanaugh, about whom no other allegation of anything more serious than liking basketball has ever surfaced, has ever assaulted anyone. I don't believe that uncorroborated accusations of high school tomfoolery by witnesses who are hazy on the details ought to be enough to stop Kavanaugh from renewing a library card, much less joining the Supreme Court. 

I don't believe that Ford withheld such an explosive incident throughout Kavanaugh's rise through the ranks of the federal judiciary. I don't believe that she now remembers telling her husband six years ago that she was worried Kavanaugh might someday serve on the Supreme Court. I don't believe that Senator Dianne Feinstein — who knew about these allegations months ago — held on to them out of respect for Ford's privacy, which I don't believe Ford ever actually wanted. 

I don't believe that the Democrats, who are now insisting that Ford be allowed to make these allegations without having to repeat them in front of the Senate panel charged with determining Kavanaugh's fitness, are doing so for any reason other than her story will fall apart under real scrutiny. I don't believe that the party of the Clintons, Al Franken, Keith Ellison, Bob Menendez and Harvey Weinstein gives a damn about Professor Ford. I don't believe that she means more to them than any of the other women whom they've used up and then thrown out like yesterday's tuna casserole. And I don't believe she'll understand that until she's standing next to Cindy Sheehan and Sandra Fluke in the "remember me?" line at the next Democrat hate rally. 

I don't believe that the FBI, whose jurisdiction in this matter is pretty much non-existent, should be given an unspecified amount of time to investigate Ford's allegations, especially considering Feinstein sat on them for eight weeks, ample time for the wrong agency to conduct a thorough look at a guy whom they've already thoroughly vetted. And I don't believe that the Democrats don't know that eight weeks would be just enough to put the confirmation vote on the far side of Election Day. 

I don't believe that I shouldn't care about Rep. Robert (Beto) O'Rourke (D-New York Fundraisers) and his documented episode of drunk freeway bumper cars, but I should deplore Kavanaugh and a story which is not only undocumented, but it may even be revenge on Kavanaugh's mother for an old foreclosure case. I don't believe the presumption of innocence doesn't extend to a man whose resume includes absolutely no other indications of even mildly disturbing behavior. I don't believe the most convenient accusations of all time, levied by the most convenient accuser of all time, at the most convenient moment of all time, should even slow down Kavanaugh's nomination, much less halt it. 

I don't believe that allegations, which the accuser herself admits she can't recall with any degree of specificity, are anything more than a hail Mary, thrown by the people who have turned the rest of Kavanaugh's hearings into a farce. I don't believe they deserve anything more than a curt dismissal. 

— Ben Crystal 

Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Additional Resources

Average workers in the bottom 40 percentiles of the earnings distribution saw their disposable earnings decrease over a 16-year period: In constant dollars, annual premiums for full-time, full-year single workers rose from $415 in 1999 to $1,068 in 2015, an increase of $623 per year.
Average U.S. health expenditures rose to $10,348 per person in 2016.

We’re getting dangerously close. By the first quarter of this year, household debt was at an all-time high of $13.2 trillion.
Almost 80 percent of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. In a recent Federal Reserve survey, 40 percent of Americans said they wouldn’t be able to pay their bills if faced with a $400 emergency.


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Yours for smarter living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’



Additional FREE Resources

Your Free Middle Class Survival Kit


Researched by our editors and include 100s of tips, tricks and insider methods of saving money, earning extra money [many from the comfort of your home], the best places to live,  How to find little-known freebies, discounts and other benefits-over 2,000 programs!



Other notes of interest…


Living Frugally In Suburbia
You live differently than your neighbors.


14 Frugal Food-Rescuing Tips from Grandma
These depression-era frugal tips still work today!


8 Simple Ways to Put More Money in Your Pocket
Have more money without working harder!


Knowing When and How to Stockpile Groceries
Stocking up could save your grocery budget!


How Much Does a Tiny House Cost?

Small homes are all the rage. But just how much does a tiny house cost? We have the answers, along with an analysis of how much money you can save living in a tiny home.


Emergency Preparedness on a Budget 
Affordable ways to prepare for an emergency.

Triad might reap further rewards for its persistence. It’s one of a handful of firms that are poised to benefit from a nascent comeback for manufactured homes, shipments of which have been on the rise since 2009. Consolidation among producers and the exodus of lenders have left a just few businesses -- including three owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. -- to dominate a market that looks primed for growth in the face of rising prices for site-built houses and the potential for regulatory change.

The level of U.S. consumer debt was $618 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. It was 19.2 percent above a post global credit crisis low set in the second quarter of 2013, the New York Fed said.

Outstanding education debt in the U.S. has tripled over the last decade and now exceeds $1.5 trillion, posing a greater burden to Americans than auto or credit card debt.
For many, the payments are proving unmanageable. By 2023, nearly 40 percent of borrowers are expected to default on their student loans.


Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays & free reports that I provide annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.  You can make a donation at top of this page via PayPal.

Find survival related books here!

Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…





A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production