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Showing posts from January, 2010

Dealing With Debt: Credit Counselors

Dealing With Debt: Credit Counselors is a very good article on debt counseling. I can vouch for what he says as in the past I did consumer credit counseling and was certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
It's not a solution for everyone but can be a tremendous help to many. In the right situation I have no trouble sending people to consumer credit counselors.

U.S. Car Fleet Shrank by Four Million

It looks like more people are thinking like Frugal Prosumers.

"I haven’t had to use pedal power often for emergencies. I hope it stays that way, but using it in the mean time has enriched my life. It has provided wonderful exercise and contributed to memorable times with family and friends, enjoyment of the out of doors, being more ecologically minded, reducing transportation cost, and having a better sense of security. There were times in my life that the option to do without a car has meant some good savings for us." From The Frugal Prosumer Philosophy

Looks like a lot of other people are finding that doing without a car means some good savings for them.

Read the article U.S. Car Fleet Shrank by Four Million in 2009 After a Century of Growth, U.S. Fleet Entering Era of Decline

More on walking away from a mortgage

The tsunami may be building. The banks and auto industry have led the way. They have shown America how to solve your debt problems. How? By defaulting and not paying their bills. Last year one million Americans followed suit by "strategic defaults." That is purposely stopping payment on their homes. In a Wall Street Journal article American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent they say:
Thanks to a rare confluence of factors -- mortgages that far exceed home values and bargain-basement rents -- a growing number of families are concluding that the new American dream home is a rental. Some are leaving behind their homes and mortgages right away, while others are simply halting payments until the bank kicks them out. That's freeing up cash to use in other ways.

"It's a stealth stimulus," says Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics, a consulting firm specializing in real estate and the California economy. "The quicker these people shed their debts, the faster the…

The Suburbanization of Poverty

It's happening! The suburbs are becoming the new center for the poor. The economy and the sub prime meltdown has accelerated our predicted decline of the suburban home.

In our book the Frugal Prosumer Philosophy in the chapter Preparing for your economic future we state:

"The winds of change are blowing, and the social disruption of change, for good or bad, has already started. Many concerned with preserving the planet had moved to the country. Now rural areas are seeing major changes. Shoppers can no longer afford the gas to drive many miles to buy what they need or want. Commuters from the suburbs have started to realize their lifestyle is not economically and ecologically sustainable. They are waking up to the fact that by moving back to the city they can save on transportation costs, obtain cheaper housing, live in more energy efficient, multiunit dwellings, and have more free time.
The flight to the suburbs in the 60’s and 70’s is reversing. Without cheap fuel the large,…

Lie #1. If I win the lottery, my financial problems will be over!

In our book The Frugal Prosumer Philosophy in the chapter Myths & Deceptions That Can Ruin You we say:
Lie #1. If I win the lottery, my financial problems will be over!
Truth: Most families will earn one million or more in their lifetime. (45 years of work means your family has to earn only $22,000 per year to earn a million). Therefore you’ve already “won a million dollar lottery” and are getting the payouts. Unless you have a plan and good record keeping, you’ll waste the money away, like most lottery winners do. Most people will have nothing or very little to show for that million. My statement to you is: “If you can’t hang on to the current million you are getting, if you win the lottery, you’ll likely lose that money too.”
If, by some itty-bitty chance, you win an actual million dollar lottery, it will not make you a millionaire. Read on. A million dollar win is usually paid out over 20 to 25 years. After taxes that comes to around $35,000 a year. You're a thousandaire -- …

Electric Bicycles

Wow, while we sit and talk about electric cars and how they will save the environment, China is exploding with e-bikes (electric bicycles). I've always been interested in the idea of electric assisted bikes.
By some estimates there are 120 million e-bikes on China's roads—up from just 50,000 a decade ago, making it the fastest growing form of transportation in China.
I have done a lot of experimenting with recharging batteries for flashlights and emergency lighting for many years. Over the years my experiments covered several eras of recharging batteries.

My first experiments were with recharges for non-rechargeable batteries. They were horrible. I tried many different recharges not believing they could all be so bad. They were. The recharged battery lasted for 1/3 the time of a new one. You had to be sure they were charged in a contained area as they would occasionally burst open. They also tended to leak and ruin the device you were using them in. If you see these recharges i…

Saw Dust Toilet in Haiti

In my book The 7 Pillars of The Frugal Prosumer I talk about how the saw dust toilet can save the world.
Here is an example of how a sawdust toilet is making a difference in Haiti.


SURVIVING IN ARGENTINA

I have found that the best place to learn how economic collapse comes about, is to read and follow how an actual collapse has happened. Fernando Ferfal Aguirre has a very interesting blog I follow. It helps me understand what happens and as a result to be better prepared in the event that the same thing happened here. Check out this post SURVIVING IN ARGENTINA . It shows how Argentina in the early 20th century was one of the richest countries in the world.


He has written an interesting book The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse It addresses the economic collapse and hyper inflation that happened in 2001 and how to be prepared if it happens in your neck of the woods.

Warning: Killer Stoves. Do you have one in your house?

Just had to do some research on this one. While over at a friends house on New Year's Eve their brand new kitchen stove was delivered and set up. The installer asked the home owner if he wanted the anti tipping bracket installed too. This necessitated drilling into their nice floor to install it.

The home owner declined. No sooner had the installer left than the homeowner received a call from Sears to confirm that they indeed did not want the "killer" stove protection installed. Wow this was so important that they even called on New Years eve evening.

So today I had to find out what this was all about. As suspected, the robber baron litigation attorneys at it again. With a little bit of research I found out. One attorney web site stated:
Most Kitchen Ranges and Stoves Pose a Serious Threat to Millions of Americans … Stove tipping has become an unrecognized epidemic in our country that has caused more than 100 reported cases of death and injury from scalding and burns du…