Self-Sufficiency Series

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our next Entry in the Safecastle Freedom Awards

Husband of the Boss communique'

Here is our next entry in the "Safecastle LLC Freedom Awards Self-sufficiency Essay and/or Video Contest" and as such in our "Rural Revolution Essay Contest"

Just a reminder:

While the prizes are certainly better over at SafeCastle LLC., we're only allowed to pass on one finalist in the essay and video catagories at the end of the year for judging.

But...

In the Rural Revolution sub-contest, we have 10 prizes to give out to those of you who submit your original essay or video on self-suffieceny, survivalism, and prepping, specifically the coveted Rural Revolutionary Tankard.


So here's our next entry from The Orange Jeep Dad!


How I Earned Extra Income To Help With Prepping


One of the major hurdles to creating a survival cache or long term food supply is the lack of money to buy it. I'm going to outline some ways to earn extra cash above and beyond the traditional paycheck that might be easier than you think. Next, I'll outline how we established a year supply of food for our family of eight.


It is real easy to find yourself living paycheck to paycheck. Cars breaking down and unexpected bills seem to always creep up on us right when we think there will be a little extra cash left over from payday. The best way I've found to make a purchase that seems out of reach is to first: figure out how much money is going to be needed to make the purchase and then second: determine how to earn that specific amount of money.


Determining the amount of food supply can be as easy as looking it up on the internet. I think we determined how much we needed using calculations found on SurvivalBlog and the LDS website. Both are terrific sites for learning about types of food storage, maximizing calories, and creating lists of what is needed. Figure out how much food and drink is necessary then add some comfort items. We added fruit drink mix, hot chocolate powder and spices to the common list of wheat, beans, rice, dehydrated milk etc.


So, WHAT we needed/wanted was the easy part. Then we had to figure out how to raise the money to purchase it. There are SEVERAL ways to add income to the house and I will only list the ways I actually used. I work in a hospital setting and some tips may not be suitable for your type of job but it may give you ideas nevertheless.


First, I cashed in my PTO time. We're given two weeks of vacation time per year and I turned it into an extra paycheck. Not all companies will let you do this but mine did. I had done it at a previous job years ago and at that time, that particular hospital allowed vacation time to be redeemed at around 65% face value (to discourage employees from burning the vacation for cash, I suppose).


Second, since we're ALWAYS short staffed in my department, I started staying late when feasible. 15-60 minutes or more will add up quicker than you think. If you can get over 40 hours, it should be paid at "time and a half" or overtime pay. Again, your results may vary.


Third, I would work through a lunch now and again during our busy season. This nets another 30 minutes of work time on the clock (unless you get an hour for lunch). Its pretty easy to munch on protein bars during work rather than take a full 30 minutes off the clock to eat.


Fourth, I stopped my 401k deductions. This may not be for everyone but I think if we look back now at all the retirements that were crushed by wallstreet we'll see that 401k's aren't for everybody.


Fifth, I increased my tax deductions so that LESS was taken out of my paycheck for taxes. This may be nothing more than a shift of the tax burden to another day but it puts more in your pocket immediately if that is your goal.


Sixth, I would pick up "on call" hours at my hospital on my days off. "On call" means that if someone who is covering the department needs help, they call in the "call tech" for help. It is typically only for two or three hours but can also mean covering an entire shift if someone calls out sick. Being "on call" also means getting paid a minimum of $2-3 per hour just to carry the pager and be on call. So even if you don't get called in to work, you still make a few extra dollars.


Lastly, pick up an extra shift. Sometimes I would work an extra shift at my hospital, sometimes for another hospital. Either way, its extra cash. My hospital would be paying me overtime pay (think higher hourly pay) or the other hospital would be paying me PRN pay (think higher pay since I'm not a full time employee there.)


Over the course of a year, using these methods, we were able to purchase a year's worth of food storage. We also beefed up our survival supplies with a Berkey water filter, twelve 55 gallon water drums, an outdoor shed for extra storage, a shotgun, tons of gardening supplies, three molly bags full of bug out supplies and more.


Helpful tip #1: Figure out WHAT you need and write it down. I used a CraigsList application on my phone to look for things on our list. If I was looking for a shed, I plugged in an automated search for the keyword "shed" and set the price range to what I could handle. Then set the proximity to your house or how far you are willing to drive to go get it. Then I set it up to check posts every ten minutes. This is how you become the FIRST person to call a seller after he posts an item. We bought 90% of our items this way. The other 10% was either on sale at Amazon or Walmart. Some items took a year to find, others were pretty easy. It took almost a year to get a notification that someone was selling a Bosch mixer for $250 with all the attachments. Those are hard to find. Garage sales are a great resource too.

Helpful tip #2: The other side of the equation to putting money in your pocket is KEEPING money in your pocket. Write down all of your expenses and go through them one by one to see what you can reduce. Remember, every dollar you DON'T spend is a dollar earned too. We called Verizon Wireless and found a more affordable cell plan. I installed motion sensor light switches in the kids bedrooms to keep them from leaving lights on when they aren't in the room. We cancelled our $50 per month satellite tv and bought a Netflix subscription for $7.99 a month. We watch Hulu and Youtube movies for free instead of going to the expensive theaters. I even called our bank just to see what would happen if I asked for help with our second mortgage and auto loan payment. They offered a modification of sorts and have reduced our monthly payments by hundreds of dollars. I was shocked to say the least. It never hurts to ask!

So there you go. Like Larry the Cable Guy says: Get R Done!

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Thank you  uh...Dad.

Now folks, please consider sending us an essay on your plans, thoughts and experiences in self-sufficiency and prepping. I know a lot of you have skills and training on these important topics. You have a real shot at some great prizes (ours and especially theirs) by simply putting on e-paper or video, things you've already considered and practiced that might be of great help to others just starting out. I've always been into helping others. (And a chance to get "paid" to do it doesn't hurt either.)

Send your entry to: shrewsburydon@hotmail.com

1 comment:

  1. First guest post ever and zero comments. This must be what it feels like when a comedian tells a joke on stage and nobody laughs :-( [facepalm]

    ReplyDelete