Economic Collapse 101: Ten Ways to Prepare for the Unknown

Most folks are really good about making sure they have the proper amount of insurance for their home and automobiles. But when it comes to ensuring the survival of their family in rough economic times, well … not so much.

I recently explained why I believe an economic collapse is inevitable and what it would look like.

If history is any guide, the good news is that economic collapse won’t result in

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True Story: How a Broken Washing Machine Fixed My Finances

Readers: Awhile back I received a message in my inbox from Steven, who lives in the United Kingdom. He agreed to share his story with you. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. — Len

Last November my washing machine died. Because I make decent money (the equivalent of about $35,000 US dollars), that should have been a trivial event. However, it turned out to be much more

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Economic Collapse 101: What It Will Look Like, and How It May Start

It takes courage to face the bogeyman.

I bet many of the good folks in Great Falls, Montana, were more than a little worried earlier this month after a local television station there sent out an ominous message warning viewers that the dead were “rising from their graves and attacking the living.”

Hold on, hold on. Before you grab your shotgun and hunker down in the basement, consider this: It turns out

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9 'Oops' Moments That I Ultimately Paid For (One Way or Another)

Last week I needed to venture into my attic to check on some rat traps, so I grabbed my flashlight to help me navigate my way through the rafters. As luck would have it, the flashlight wasn’t working; the last person who used it forgot to turn the darn thing off, so the batteries died.

Oops.

Anyway, with no spare C-cells in the drawer and an unplanned trip to the store in

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How to Tell If You’re Dating a Deadbeat

I’m very fortunate that the Honeybee and I rarely have a disagreement regarding money. In fact, I can only remember it happening once in over 16 years of marriage — and it was all due to a silly misunderstanding.

A recent study affirmed the conventional wisdom that says money is the most likely point of conflict in a marriage. This is especially true when one spouse tends to be a spender

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The Unconventional Wisdom of Household Strategic Planning

My son, Matthew, is quickly approaching his 16th birthday and so I’ve been giving him a few driving tutorials.

I haven’t let him get behind the wheel just yet — that’s on next month’s agenda — but it’s gotten to the point now where every time Matthew and I are in the car together, I take a few moments to pass along a tip or two regarding the rules of the

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3 Essential Tips for Finding the Best Home Loan

Going through the mortgage process can be an intimidating, overwhelming experience, even for people who have done it before.

For newcomers, it can be especially difficult. It’s easy to understand why:  you’re facing the prospect of entering into an agreement that puts you on the hook for huge amounts of money over a very long period of time.

Mortgage contracts are long, complicated and filled with minutiae. The entire process can be

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A Few Thoughts from Aunt Doris: A Cat's a Cat and That’s That

This is another post in an occasional series from my dear nonagenarian Aunt Doris.

Aunt Doris (circa the good ol' days)

A dog will always greet you with eyes glazed with love, and a tail that nearly wags itself off.

A cat merely tolerates you.

My family has always loved cats; I’ve had some great ones too.

The one I remember fondly was an orange colored cat named Taffy.

Every afternoon, when school was in

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Economic Collapse 101: Comparing Costs of Emergency Food Supply Options

Sometimes it’s not easy being an ant. Especially when you’re living among a bunch of grasshoppers.

There’s a well-known Aesop fable about an oblivious grasshopper who spent his summer days living the high life and mocking an industrious ant, who was busy building a shelter and storing food for the coming winter.

Of course, we all know how that worked out for the grasshopper. After winter arrived, the well-prepared ant found himself

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True Story: How to Cope When Your Spouse Skips Out with All the Cash

(Readers: In February 2012, I received a heart-breaking message in my inbox from Spedie, a long-time reader and frequent commenter here at Len Penzo dot Com. Her husband abandoned her and their marriage — but not before he callously drained the household checking and savings accounts of every last penny. This is her story.)

I’d always considered myself pretty street smart. You know, the kind of girl that didn’t have an

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