What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for durable goods and other ideas

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suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
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What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for durable goods and other ideas

I'm contemplating the decline of the dollar and still on the fence about buying more PMs at the moment (an inaction I may deeply regret, I realize). I'm also on the fence about pulling more cash from our IRAs, but if I did, I'm trying to figure out where I'd put it. From some reading I've done thanks to this site (an ITulip piece from last month and the ghost fleet of cargo ships story in the Guardian), it seems we may well be facing retail inventory shortages quite soon.

Arable land would be my first choice, but it's still pretty expensive in Colorado and water's an issue here, so I haven't pursued that option yet. I suppose it's time to talk to our realtor about it a bit...

We drive clunkers and I'm inclined to continue driving them into the ground and then buy a decent used car, but I'm wondering if those might not be as available or affordable in the next few years, as other folks are driven to buy used instead of new. Perhaps we should replace a clunker now, even though they're still running well enough.

We've picked up a woodstove off of craigslist and are stockpiling wood as it comes up for grabs on CL. My husband is about to begin the task of installing the stove (along with new flooring under it and throughout the house -- I know it's not a necessity, but we bought a fixer and I'm not convinced that bare concrete floors and stained, holey carpets are a necessary aesthetic just yet. I think we can splurge on some hardwood that will last).

Should we be buying a backup clothes washing machine? A backup water heater? Our furnace is far from new, but runs fine and I'm inclined to use it sparingly and rely on wood stove if it should go at some point in the future when we can't replace it.

We're well stocked with chicken housing and are set up to co-own two dairy goats housed by a friend on her nearby horse property. I'll continue to expand the food garden at our place, and may add a bed at the friend's property as well.

I don't have a gun yet and haven't learned how to use one, it just occurs to me. I'm not expecting or willing to spend too much energy preparing for a MadMax scenario, but I think this is still a useful skill for either myself or my husband to have, for hunting purposes alone.

Solar panels are another big ticket item that I keep debating. Arggh, I wish I didn't feel so paralyzed about so many of these options.

Well, I'd love to read about recent purchases you've made that you're satisfied with, and I'm curious about what others think of the timing on replacing vehicles and with new or used.

Sue

Tycer's picture
Tycer
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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

I started with items I use every day and don't want to live without. Food, TP, green coffee beans, a couple years worth of socks/shoes/clothes....

I put new rubber on one vehicle even though the old tires are 40%. I kept the old tires. I bought the lumber for a shed I want to build in the next year. I tuned up all my gas powered equipment and bought an extra plug and filter for each. I bought belts, hoses and filters for both vehicles.

I put together 72 hour survival packs for both vehicles using the book 98.6 Degrees: The Art Of Keeping Your Ass Alive as a guide.

I bought a Honda 2000 watt generator. 15 hours on a gallon of gas...... 

Two 6 volt golf cart batteries and an inverter and a solar charger.

I bought several different styles of very good flashlights and dozens of batteries for them when they went on sale.

I bought a small amount of pre-65 silver coins each month off eBay.

That was my start.

I already had many books on survival and fieldcraft and back to basics left over from Y2KEmbarassed

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

green coffee beans! I'll have to google that. I take it they store longer than roasted ones. And replacement tires. Great idea. I've been thinking about a little solar array like yours also.

Thanks for the ideas!

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Tycer
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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

Green coffee beans last as long as dried pinto beans - virtually forever in Mylar® bags with O2 absorber.

I got my first beans from http://www.thecaptainscoffee.com Great guy. He was very knowledgeable and informative.

He told me that organic coffee is kind of a misnomer as most coffee farmers are way too poor to afford any herbicides and pesticides are not necessary because humans are the only pests that will touch coffee. No bugs. No rodents. 

Maybe we should take a lesson from that.......Ummm....maybe not.

Nancy and I had a favorite FairTrade coffee we loved called Mind Body Soul. I looked the blend up on the 'net and asked the guy at The Captain's Coffee to help me choose two of his beans that came close to MBS. I got five different coffees and played with them until I found a blend we like even better than MBS.

I did not order my bulk order from him as he does not offer any bulk discount. I ordered the same beans from Sweet Maria's

Here's how I cook them:

http://www.homeroaster.com/heatgun.html

And I bought a $30 wall mount hand grinder made in the early 1900s to grind it. Best coffee I've ever had!

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

I have the same concerns and the same paralyzed feeling. I did can some flour, sugar, oats, rice, etc in gallon cans that are supposed to last for 20 years. I pick up extra socks, clothing items etc whenever I hit a sale. But this is small potatoes! I know I'm going to look back on this time of relative prosperity and kick myself for not getting a ton more everyday stuff.

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...
plg wrote:

I have the same concerns and the same paralyzed feeling. I did can some flour, sugar, oats, rice, etc in gallon cans that are supposed to last for 20 years. I pick up extra socks, clothing items etc whenever I hit a sale. But this is small potatoes! I know I'm going to look back on this time of relative prosperity and kick myself for not getting a ton more everyday stuff.

You gotta start somewhere. At least you've started rather than just sitting there paralyzed with fear.

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

Hello SueSullivan:

Sounds all good to me. I'd highly recommend when you guys research a metalbestos flu. They are pricey, but can withstand massive temperatures and can be cheaper than a chimney fire. I'd also get your own fiberglass poles and cleaning brush. I do my flu 1 - 2 x a year. I put my stove in and put the flu in, the metalbestos is easy to install and is like Lego. I'm sure you guys read about clearances and what surfaces meet code.

You know me, I have NO faith in 401k's or the "market" or the dollar. 4 Gs. G?d, Gold, Government will make a mess of it and Guns.

My only regret is moving to the mountains and not leaving the country. Everyone of my grandparents emigrated here, one from Russia, one from England, one from Germany and one from Switzerland. I'd go to any country but England, they all could have saved me a trip.

Seems to me countries institute rules instead of positive guiding principles and everything comes unglued every so many years.

Good luck!

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

I have been agonizing over this question for the last few weeks myself. I know there is a list on the internet somewhere based on someone's experience in Argentina I believe. I have begun to write things down on a list whenever they cross my mind and carry this list with me always. Just this week I added nails of all sorts(repairs/new projects), various work gloves, especially leather(most of which are inexpensive and made in China), extra garden tools of all types, vitamins, bandaids/bandages, common medications like aspirin, soaps, and so on. I am more worried about missing one of these little things than the big stuff like energy, water, and food. I even have several can openers. How frustrating would that be to have a lot of food you couldn't access for lack of a $3 opener. Let me tell you it can be done but it is messy, dangerous, and wasteful. c

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...
PraySam wrote:

II know there is a list on the internet somewhere based on someone's experience in Argentina I believe. 

Google: FERFAL

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

I know I'm in the minority here but, does anyone think it might be a good idea to save those dollars instead of spend them out of fear? Every time I have ever purchased (or invested in) something out of fear its always been a mistake. The time to divest into assets was in March, when the dollar was much stronger. In my opinion, with the dollar much weaker now, its time to invest in the dollar, not divest from the dollar. Most certainly there will come a day when dollars are the most desired asset, and many will be eager to trade 10x the stuff for the one thing that they lack, liquidity.

Just a thought...

Jeff

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suesullivan
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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

Tycer, youve got me sold on green beans! Thanks for the website tips. And Davos, thanks for the wood stove flue suggestions. I'll show this thread to DH. He was going to have a professional installer in for a consult, to be sure we're following code and more importantly, the necessary safety rules (I'm getting a carbon monoxide monitor installed before we start running this thing.)  Your mention of each of your grandparents emigrating here from another country makes me realize that there was a time not long ago when people made huge, scary leaps into new lives to escape economic pain, and my occassional daydreams about moving to Canada or New Zealand don't seem quite so cray.

Praysam, thanks for the reminder of the other ordinary necessities beyond food and water.

And Jeff, you touch on the root reason why I have been hesitating on all these things. What if deflation continues to rule the day for a while longer? Though I'm wondering if we can count on a day when dollars are again the desired asset. Perhaps with another stockmarket crash, another round of asset deflation, if we haven't lost our reserve currency status yet....

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

I'm in agreement with Jeff about keeping plenty of cash on hand.  While I'm not 100% certain of a brief deflationary turn in the near future, I do think it's a very probable turn of events and having liquid cash reserves could possibly be a lifesaver, or at least a great way to maximize your resources.  And for arguments sake let's imagine high inflation begins immediately and doesn't stop.... you can still take that cash and spend it immediately.  Perhaps you might have lost a little value in the time it takes to spend your cash, but you still have flexibility to put that cash towards whatever you want.  Whereas if you spent most of your cash beforehand you may have got a bit more value for your money, but you lose flexibility in future purchases and in the ability to react to unforeseen outcomes.  And if you're unlucky enough that deflation hits and you have a bunch of stuff and little money, you'll not only find you miss out on some good bargains on certain goods but you're at a serious disadvantage if you need to sell stuff to raise cash.  So logic would indicate it should be much easier to move assets from a deflationary position to an inflationary position than vice versa, at least in any situation short of total and immediate (1-2 days) currency collapse.

However that being said, I don't think one should save ALL one's money in wait of good bargains and better prices.  It's worth getting the essential items now and forgoing a possible, even probable, better price down the road.  Availability of certain essentials may not be guaranteed in the future, and if I remember correctly during the last great depression food and other absolute essentials dropped in price but not nearly as much as most other goods. But for the more discretionary purchases, I'm with Jeff and think it's best to hold on to your dollars for the time being.  I keep a lot of cash on standby myself, but I still periodically buy things that I KNOW I'll use in the future.  An extra bag of rice, an extra package of socks, some extra boxes of ammunition, a couple oz of gold.... I'll probably get a better price for some or all of these things in the near future, but gettng these things now brings a little peace of mind.  I think the odds of an immediate and total collapse in currency is pretty unlikely in the US, but even a low probability event is worth a little preparation if the impact is that high.

- Nickbert

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...
nickbert wrote:

I'm in agreement with Jeff about keeping plenty of cash on hand.  ......and having liquid cash reserves could possibly be a lifesaver, or at least a great way to maximize your resources. 

Whereas if you spent most of your cash beforehand you may have got a bit more value for your money, but you lose flexibility in future purchases and in the ability to react to unforeseen outcomes. 

However that being said, I don't think one should save ALL one's money in wait of good bargains and better prices. 

Availability of certain essentials may not be guaranteed in the future,

But for the more discretionary purchases, I'm with Jeff and think it's best to hold on to your dollars for the time being. 

I keep a lot of cash on standby myself, but I still periodically buy things that I KNOW I'll use in the future.  An extra bag of rice, an extra package of socks, some extra boxes of ammunition, a couple oz of gold.... I'll probably get a better price for some or all of these things in the near future, but gettng these things now brings a little peace of mind. 

I think the odds of an immediate and total collapse in currency is pretty unlikely in the US, but even a low probability event is worth a little preparation if the impact is that high.

- Nickbert

I've not read where anyone is recommending divesting all our cash on this site. For many or the reasons you and Jeff state.

Having items I know I'll need and use whether the DJI is 18k or 3k is peace of mind and I doubt deflation is going to be enough of a factor on the prices of the things I've bought to make a case for waiting.

IMHO, PMs will always be liquid and therefore a decent store of dollars for a future time, whether mine or my children's. With the compounding growth on many of CMs charts my guess is that I'll be buying more as the next years unfold. I'm at about 8% now and if Nancy were of like mind we'd be at 40%.

The dollar may fluctuate back up to 90 and I hope it does, but the fluctuations of the dollar do not translate directly into consumer prices in many markets and is most visible when you travel abroad.

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SteveR
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Staying Financially Nimble

It's frustrating to know what to do - what to invest in - inflation vs. deflation.

My personal approach is be nimble and diversified, having mostly liquid assets that can be moved quickly as the situation reveals itself.  A person could probably switch his liquid investments in a matter of a day or two to jump from a deflationary stance to an inflationary stance, for instance.

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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...

Thanks to everybody for helping me to clarify my vague sense that I'm procrastinating on large, nonessential purchases . . . It seems that now is the time to educate ourselves, and be alert, so that when the right timing presents itself, we're ready to pounce on the opportunity. 

Also, my growing discomfort with a largish percentage of my holdings in gold . . . .

It's a PIA to have to be simultaneously prepared for such divergent possibilities, eh?

 

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nickbert
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Re: What are you divesting your dollars for? Looking for ...
Tycer wrote:

I've not read where anyone is recommending divesting all our cash on this site. For many or the reasons you and Jeff state.

I haven't seen anyone here recommend that either; I've seen several people on other sites as well as in the real world who seem to think that's a good idea, though.  For the most part it seems like a panic reaction.  I just thought it might be worth mentioning for any new readers.

I should say that while I do not expect a huge, near-instantaneous collapse in the dollar or an immediate jump to hyperinflation, I did brainstorm a list of essential items and portable and easily tradeable goods in case that were to happen or, perhaps more likely, we see interruptions in the supply chain due to other factors.  In that unlikely event, I like having a plan in place and don't want to be running around just buying whatever I can think of.  In such an event I'm sure everyone who sees what is coming will be going for PM's and basics like food, so some of my list has some more potentially overlooked, but no less useful, things that might be hard to get a hold of.  Toilet paper, imported but commonly used spices, premium alcohols (ok maybe that will be on many people's minds), and condoms and other birth control to name a few Smile

Anyone else have ideas for possibly overlooked but useful goods to put on their list?

- Nickbert

 

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