Outdoors, Green Living, Homesteading, Sustainable living, Green Building

Finance and Economics

Java Ledger a simple free accounting program that I wrote

WANTED! Comments. Not wanted! Compliments. If you want your comment to be accepted first you must not be a spammer that WordPress recognizes and second you need to comment specifically on some of the article’s specific material or facts.

The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net

*** Version II Is now available. So this post is out of date.. you an find the version
this post talks about in files ver1 folder on sourceforge page.

Need a simple free accounting program? I wrote one using the Java Programming Language. It is at Java Ledger at Source Forge This project uses two other projects. JCurses is at JCurses at Sourceforge and JDOM JDOM.org  And you may want to read my post on Java In Ten Minutes This will help you to install Java so that you may run this app. And as a prerequisite for the accounting read my post Home Accounting

JDOM is for reading the journal.xml and accounts.xml files. JCurses is for displaying colored text in the dos console. I downloaded both of these and put one under c:\dev\jdom and one under c:\dev\jcurses

Next I set the classpath with

set classpath=;.;c:\dev\jdom\*;c:\dev\jcurses\lib\*;

Next download and unzip the accounts.zip file. The install.zip file download contains the zip files for JDOM and JCurses. This is actually an Eclipse workspace. If you unzipped it under c:\dev then it will be in c:\dev\workspacejcurses and then

Here you will notice accounts.xml and journal.xml as example data files. You may edit these with dos edit command or notepad or vi on linux or jedit any other favorite text editor. Below are some samples from the files.

Sample Journal.xml

  <year value="2013">
    <month value="jan">
        <day value="1" />
        <credit account="400" note="Onhand wallet" />
        <debit account="100" note="cash onhand" />
        <amount value="78.64" />
        <day value="1" />
        <credit account="400" note="Onhand bank1" />
        <debit account="100" note="checking onhand" />
        <amount value="350.71" />
        <day value="1" />
        <credit account="400" note="onhand bank2" />
        <debit account="100" note="checking onhand" />
        <amount value="40.58" />
        <day value="1" />
        <credit account="100" note="Denny's 2 meals" />
        <debit account="501" note="2 meals + tip" />
        <amount value="26.50" />
        <day value="2" />
        <credit account="100" note="Flying J" />
        <debit account="501" note="Food, coke, water" />
        <amount value="4.65" />
        <day value="2" />
        <credit account="100" note="Van Insurance" />
        <debit account="507" note="Van" />
        <amount value="66.64" />
        <day value="2" />
        <credit account="100" note="Vending Candy" />
        <debit account="501" note="Candy Bar" />
        <amount value="1.00" />
        <day value="2" />
        <credit account="100" note="Flying J Pizza/Chicken" />
        <debit account="501" note="Pizza/Chicken" />
        <amount value="10.58" />
        <day value="3" />
        <credit account="400" note="WSE Deposit" />
        <debit account="100" note="WSE Pay" />
        <amount value="371.92" />

And Sample Accounts.xml

  <type name="asset">
    <account number="100" name="Cash"/>
    <account number="101" name="camper"/>
    <account number="102" name="boat"/>
    <account number="103" name="van"/>
    <account number="104" name="home"/>
    <account number="105" name="Camping"/>
    <account number="106" name="Hunting"/>
    <account number="107" name="Fishing"/>
    <account number="108" name="Gardening"/>
    <account number="109" name="Homestead"/>
  <type name="liability">
    <account number="200" name="CreditCards"/>
    <account number="201" name="CreditUnion"/>
    <account number="202" name="Ford Motor"/>
    <account number="203" name="Family"/>
  <type name="capital">
    <account number="300" name="Larry's Capital"/>
  <type name="income">
    <account number="400" name="Income"/>
  <type name="expense">
    <account number="500" name="Work Misc Expenses"/>
    <account number="501" name="Work Food"/>
    <account number="503" name="Work Phone/Internet"/>
    <account number="504" name="Work Entertainment"/>
    <account number="505" name="Home"/>
    <account number="506" name="Home Food"/>
    <account number="507" name="Insurance"/>
    <account number="508" name="Medical"/>
    <account number="509" name="Utility Gas/Electric"/>
    <account number="510" name="Rent"/>
    <account number="511" name="Vehicle"/>
    <account number="512" name="Satalite/Internet"/>
    <account number="513" name="Misc Internet"/>
    <account number="514" name="Taxes"/>
    <account number="515" name="Ministry Support"/>
    <account number="516" name="Camping"/>
    <account number="517" name="Hunting"/>
    <account number="518" name="Fishing"/>
    <account number="519" name="Gardening"/>
    <account number="520" name="Homesteading"/>
    <account number="521" name="Misc"/>
    <account number="522" name="Banking"/>
    <account number="523" name="Gifts"/>

Next cd bin to get to the bin folder. In here you will see some .class files.
Ledger.class is the main class. In this file you will see a comment which I
will give you below.

* This main method is the interface for this app. At least for now. Later
* I may make a GUI interface using Swing.
* example command line commands are
* 'java journal month nov2012' prints the journal for November 2012
* 'java accounts type asset'  prints the list of asset accounts
* 'java accounts type expense' prints the list of expense accounts
* 'java ledger month nov2012 100' prints the ledger records for cash account
* 'java ledger month nov2012 501' prints the ledger records for work food expenses
* 'java balance month nov2012 asset' prints the balance for the asset accounts
* 'java balance month nov2012 income' prints the balance for the income accounts
* 'java balance month nov2012 bal' prints the balance sheet
* @param args
public static void main(String args[]) {

Note that shows month nov2012 which is some bogus sample data I made up. I have real
data from my own life in jan2013 and will continue it for the rest of the year. You will get
to see how stupid I am with my money. Or how smart I am hopefully.

Next I will run some commands on Jan 2013 which covers data from 1/1/2013 to 1/22/2013.  22 Days.  I will grab some screen shots and show you the command and output below

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger accounts type expense

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger balance month jan2013 bal

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger balance month jan2013 asset

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger balance month jan2013 expense

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger ledger month jan2013 100

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger ledger month jan2013 501

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger ledger month jan2013 400

c:\dev\workspacejcurses\accounting\bin>java Ledger journal month jan2013

So you can see that this application does actually work. It still need some work however. I will be updating it over time. The latest source will be in the SVN code repository on the sourceforge site. This source will now make a good base for a Windows Desktop app or a Web Page App, maybe even a Phone app.

*** Version II Is now available. So this post is out of date.. you an find the version
this post talks about in files ver1 folder.


Investing, Business, Stocks, Money, Metals, Land

WANTED! Comments. Not wanted! Compliments. If you want your comment to be accepted first you must not be a spammer that WordPress recognizes and second you need to comment specifically on some of the article’s specific material or facts.

The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net

1 Trillion Dollar Platinum coin.

How much investing have i done? Not much. I have studied and thought a lot about it however which qualifies me to talk about it. Investing and gambling what's the difference? Both are gambling, so one might say risk. However some investing is not much different than placing a bet on the roulette wheel at the casino. In reality we all gamble in this money game to some extent. Even farmers on a self sufficient homestead are not immune to gambling. I don't invest my money at casino's however because I gamble enough in life without them.

I'd say that the average person's investments are wild ass guesses without the scientific part (SWAG) or in that case (WAG).  Their returns are a complete gamble and the losses are written off as expenses. I'm talking about daily living. Most people play the money game as if they were at a casino to have a gaming experience.  They expect to loose all their money in month to month living. All income comes in and and goes out with nothing remaining. I've spent the last 20 years doing a wonderful job in supporting our economy, but little in supporting my future (with money). Though I have been working to build skills, education and career training as time invested.

Wealth as money isn't easy to obtain. This is because we are all in a friendly competition for it. Income creates wealth, expenses and debt do not. Money is a hard worker. When you look at investing and you see small gains over long periods of time you think its not much. But you didn't have to give up your time and energy to produce the returns. It even worked for you while you were sleeping. Then when we reinvest the interest this creates a compounding situation or snowball effect. It takes time for the snowball to build however so patience is necessary.

Business is where we earn money. Business is income. Even if you work for someone else, then your "Business" is your home or family. In a marriage its a partnership. We haven't seen incorporated families yet but that sounds like something that's coming (pun).  I suppose there are incorporated family run businesses. In the past up until about 1900 we had  Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships for businesses. Some were called companies. Maybe there were privately traded shares at that time. But after 1900 the stock markets were born which were and are publicly traded shares. Anyone can be a partner if they purchase a share.

What is a stock? When they begin a stock there must be some basis for a price. I'd assume they base it on the equity of the corporation at the time, or what its book net worth is. Finally when the company sells and is liquidated its final net worth would be what the stock value is worth. At any point in between the value of a stock is based on speculation and trading alone. Its value goes up and down and has little to do with the companies actual net worth. It merely represents what the people trading feel it is worth or will be worth. And it reflects the popular opinion of that corporation. Its value reflects the confidence that people hold in the organization. To be honest buying stock literally is not a lot more than placing a bet.

Mutual funds? Someone puts together a list of companies that are proven to be consistently good investments over years. When you invest in the fund you invest equally in all companies in that fund. This minimizes the risk and levels out the ups and downs since all eggs are not in one basket. Mutual funds have averaged around 12% returns over the years beating USA inflation by 8%.

Money acts in a similar way as a stock in that its like stock in a country. Some people play the money investing game, buying up a foreign currency and hoping the exchange rate will change in their favor. Let say you buy 1000 Canadian dollars today and the exchange rate is 1USD = 2 Canadian dollars. You paid $500 USD for $1000 Canadian. Next month something major happens in the world and the exchange rate changes to 1:1.  Now you can exchange back to USD and have $1000 USD.  You just turned $500 USD into $1000 USD in a month. This scenario is not real but you get the picture. This is an old “stock market” that has been around for a very very long time.

The bad thing about money is that just like stocks it can become worthless. We all play this game because we all use money. The only way to not play it is to well, not use money. There are ways to limit your reliance on the monetary system. This might be called becoming more self-sufficient or self-reliant. There is a lot to talk about on the money subject. Fiat money for example is an imaginary money the government makes and loans. Money can be based on something such as silver and gold, but in our case ours is not as of the great depression in the 1930’s. What is our money based on? Nothing really, its more like stock than gold based money. This means its value is highly susceptible to popular opinions about the money and country and economy itself.

Metals are a worthy investment. Gold and Silver as most of us know were the first money. I noticed after looking on ebay and the net that one may get bullion in quit a few metals that you would not ordinarily think of. Apparently bars and ingots are marked with purity. 99% is 99%, .9 is 99.9%, .99 is 99.99% and .9999 is 99.9999% pure.

In the chart below I show a value for rarity of  metals on earth taken from scientific estimates just to give you a frame of reference. For each type of metal we have grams of that metal for every 100 grams of iron. Iron being the most abundant. However most of the Iron is in the core. Aluminum is the most widely available. And these values show gold to be more abundant that silver. However silver is more available than gold and therefore cheaper.

I’m trying to find info on how widely available one metal is vs another. This is difficult to find. I’m sure there are web sites and magazines that report on individual metals sometimes. Especially Gold and Silver. I’m also looking at using price history to get a general comparison value. The precious metals pricing is based on 5 year history. Other metals I found from online sales sites. Take the values with a grain of salt. Though they are helpful in comparing the value of one metal or alloy to another.

Copper Cave
Amierican Elements
Element Sales
Element Coins(rare coins)
Element Collections and Samples

Type Images Rarity On Earth Value per Troy Ounce
Gold (Element Precious Metal)  50 Micro $1240
Brass (Alloy 6:4 Copper/Zink)  N/A $1-$4
Bronze (Alloy 9:1 Copper/Tin)  N/A $7-$13
Copper (Element Base Metal)  1.9 Centi 20cents-$2
Rhodium (Platinum group Element Precious Metal) 75 Micro $5500 Most expensive metal
Platinum (Element Precious Metal)  600 Micro $1500
Silver (Element Precious Metal)  16 Micro $30
Stainless Steel (Alloy of steel, chromium and nickel)  N/A $8
Titanium (Element Base Metal)  2.5 Deci $7.5
Pewter (Alloy 9:1 Tin/(copper, antimony, bismuth, and sometimes lead or silver)  N/A $7-$10
Chromium (Element Alloy Metal) 1.5 Grams $25
Nickel (Element Base Metal)  6 Grams 70 cents
Aluminum (Element Base Metal)  5 Grams  Most Available 7 cents
Tin (Element Base Metal)  78 Micro 70 cents
Iron (Element Base Metal)  100 Grams 10 cents 2nd Most Available
Lead (Element Base Metal)  72 Micro 7 cents
Magnesium (Element Minor Metal)  48 Grams 60 cents
Zink (Element Alloy Metal)  1.3 Centi 7 cents
Sets  N/A
Indium (Element)  280 Micro $83
Molybdenum (Element Minor Metal)  5.3 Milli $50
Niobium (Element)
or columbium
 140 Micro $90
Palladium (Platinum group Element Precious Metal) 300 Micro $500
Tantalum (Element)  9 Micro $61
Vanadium (Element Alloy Metal)  3.3 Centi $57
Tungsten(Element Alloy Metal) 52 Micro $25
Mercury(Element) 52 Micro $43

Bullion comes in ingots(thick bars), bars(thin bars), rounds(coins)  and even shot(balls or beads) and maybe flakes, pellets or foil. Metal can also be bought in wire, rods, plates, bars, tubes(pipe) etc. and in the case of mercury a liquid. What sets bullion apart from scrap metal and stock metal is that it is supposed to be certified with a given purity between 99% and 99.99999999…%. A good scientific scale will tell you if the bullion is real. Volume might be checked with some type of water displacement method. This is a good start on checking the purity however counterfeit bullion has been produced in the past. The best assurance is in getting it from a reputable source. Bullion has an image and information embossed or engraved on its surface usually. Bullion is usually polished as well. A given bullion will have a given mass per volume. It cost more to make bullion than to make stock metals. This means bullion goes for a much higher price as in 5 to 10 times higher than scrap prices. Bullion should always be traded at bullion prices.

If you are going to keep metals around the house I’d say they need to be kept in a nice heavy gun safe that has been bolted down to a concrete base. I guess it might depend on how much of it you have as to what lengths you go to to protect it. We shouldn’t invest too much in things that rust and that thieves steal as the good biblical spiritual and financial advice goes.

Gold as an investment doesn’t really appear to be that great as it’s gain is about 4% over the years. That’s the same as the US average national inflation rate. Inflation in the USA doubles the cost of living about every 20 years. My grandfather saw the cost of living double, then quadruple then finally 8 times what it was when he was young. Gold and Silver are good indicators for the value of the USD and the economy as a whole. When gold is going up the value of the dollar is going down. Another way to look at precious metals is that they are a much better place to keep your money than a savings account. They might be a way to hold your money’s value in place. Silver I’d say is the better investment for the average person right now.

How about investing in element collections? You can collect elements. Metals are elements, some are alloys. Most of the elemental chart is metals. On the left we have Alkali Metals, and Alkali Earth Metals. The majority in the middle are Transitional Metals. Then on the right side of the middle Ordinary Metals and Metalloids. We have Non Metals, Noble Gasses, Halogens, Lanthanides and Actinides as elements as well. There are over 4000 minerals on earth and counting. Chem Search is a site where you can enter element name and it will list all the minerals that contain that element. All gasses and liquids could be found in solid form as part of a mineral. For example the sandstone beneath your feet is more gas than metal. Yes Silicon is a metal and when combined with 2 parts oxygen forms a grain of sand. So I add the collection of elements and minerals to the metals for investment purposes. Might as well throw in fossils too. Now all we need is a vault.

Land is the single best investment in my opinion. I’m not talking about land with structures either. I don’t believe structures are typically a very good investment myself, though if careful they can be. Land is the one thing that they are not making any more of. As long as you have a stable government that can protect your rights from foreign invasion land is the way to go. Sure there is the forceful taking of your land by government with eminent domain but what are the odds?  If you are worried about that then buy land in multiple locations. Have you ever seen any land go down in value? Sure houses do, but the land doesn’t usually. There are some situations where pollution or crime activity could reduce the value of land temporarily. My grandfather bought 100 acres in the Dallas area 20 years ago at $1000 an acre which wasn’t cheap then. He sold it 5 years ago for $5000 an acre earning $400,000 profit on it.  That’s $26,000 per year in interest which is an average low income for an individual over that time. That money was a hard worker indeed.

I want to talk a bit about the national deficit from what I understand. This is money loaned to our government. States and cities have deficits as well.  They are supposed to repay this with interest same as individuals. One way our national government can handle paying this back is in printing more money. But if they printed one dollar for every dollar in circulation guess what happens? It will soon cost you double for everything making your dollars worth what 50 cents was worth prior to the money printing.

Countries have a couple of ways to handle bad money value situations. One they can revalue as Kuwait did in the 90’s after they got back on their feet from the invasion and gulf war. Internally I’m not sure how the revalue affects things. But what it does is to create a different exchange rate. In Kuwait’s example they went from around 1 USD for over 1000 Dinar to 3USD for 1 Dinar. That’s quit a jump. I think the USA  revalued the USD once in our history back in the 1930’s maybe.

Another is to simply create a new money as Mexico did in the early 90’s. When I was in high school the exchange rate for Mexican Peso was about 600 peso to 1 USD. They created a new peso and lately its been around 10 peso to 1 USD. I think when they create a new currency they say the old one may be turned in and replaced with the new. For example lets say the USD gets replaced and they say you can trade in 100 old USD for one new USD. I mean this is something they might do when you are having to spend $100 at a vending machine for a Coke Cola.

In the end invest in things you know about and like. Learn about the things you invest in and don’t trust anyone to manager your money for you but only to handle the business and answer questions. Your property and money are your responsibility.

Home Accounting (Doing the Bills)

WANTED! Comments. Not wanted! Compliments. If you want your comment to be accepted first you must not be a spammer that WordPress recognizes and second you need to comment specifically on some of the article’s specific material or facts.

The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net

Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity

Assets(You control) = Liabilities(Other entities share of the equity)+Owners Equity(Your share of the equity)

Equity is the liquid value of. Liquid means the going sale price more or less.

Assets – Liabilities = Owners Equity (The part that is yours)

This is a very elegant way to express the flow of money against the value of things. And the most complex math required is addition and subtraction. Just think, your whole financial status can be shown in an elegant algebraic equation.

Its difficult to do business without debt, but if we did then the equation would be…

Assets = Equity (Owners)

Actually Equity is (Liabilities + Owners Equity) So the most basic form of the equation is Assets = Equity.  Equity is broken into Liabilities+Owners Equity. Owners Equity is broken into (Income-Expenses). And it keeps breaking down further as it is designed for your situation. Finally into exact accounts.

In a double entry book keeping system there are two entries for every transaction into accounts (books or ledger). This has a purpose in that it checks against human error in the system and in the record keeping itself.  After making all the entries the equation is calculated and both sides must be equal. This is called being balanced. Its called balancing the books. If they are not equal then there was an error in the recording or the system(where they were recorded). Even if they are equal there might still be logical errors, but at least some errors are already eliminated.
Its simple and elegant. Any business should use book keeping if they want to stay in business. And computers are the tools to use these days. Though I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for using paper and a calculator. In 1996 I kept up with my home finance using this double entry  book keeping method for a year and a half. I wrote a QBasic program that would handle 100 accounts and it would fit on a floppy disk along with the one and half years data and room to spare. I did all of this as an exercise.  I also worked it up in a database and a spreadsheet as well, and ported my data. Again as an exercise.

I found that I typically generated about 5 to 10 transactions per day.  Daily habits in keeping records and documents make all the difference if you do this properly at only 5 to 10 transactions per day. Proper book keeping may take you only 15 to 20 minutes per day. If you enter transactions daily its not a huge job. If you let it pile up then it might become overwhelming fast and kill the system.  This is a part time job actually and it can pay off, sometimes more and sometimes less. But probably more in the long run. Managing receipts and types and places of transactions can make a lot of difference. Simplifying by eliminating types of transactions can make a huge difference. One thing a person can do if you want to categorize expenses is to sort things by expense category at the checkout stand. This gives you an easy way to come up with totals for each category. Otherwise a huge Walmart(retailer) receipt can be a nightmare to figure out. That goes for Krogers (grocery) and Home Depot(hardware) as well.

For sorting documents I used stacked office trays, legal size. I had 3 stacks of 12. I could use those 3 stacks for 3 years of paperwork. I could also use them for a month of paperwork because 31 days fits into 36 trays. Binder clips held each 1/2 month in order by day. I circled dates and amounts on receipts with a highlighter or pen. On many receipts if you run a high lighter across the value or date it wipes it so that its not readable. When operating a cargo van in expediting I kept every receipt in a shoe box just after any purchases. This box was kept right beside the driver seat. A wallet is a terrible place to keep modern receipts because the printing will wear off. And sun light fades many modern receipts so that they are unreadable. Some modern receipts should be copied because they will even fade with time, as if disappearing ink was used.

The accounting system has to be designed properly with the proper types of accounts for your situation. It can be altered over time but is best if setup properly the first time as conversions can require a lot of work. If you design it with too many accounts then you create extra complexity and more transactions. This means more work in the end that you may or may not have time for. So it is best as in many things to keep it simple. Probably the best time to change the system is at the end of the year.

An accounting system like this has what is known as debits and credits. These are two sides of an account column. One increases the account and one decreases. These work slightly differently on the asset side than on the equity side of the equation. For every transaction you have exactly one debit and one credit. The debit affects one account and the credit another. This shows flow of money or value.

Most people don’t do full blown systems but simply do income and expenses, they even just figure liabilities in as payments(expenses).  In the accounting equation there are accounts for income and expenses under the Owners Equity value. You can see that if you ever own anything of the Assets you control its because your owners equity is growing larger than zero as liabilities are being reduced. I’ve often said the homeless man who only owns the shirt on his back owns more than I at times.

Value is a funny thing too. For anything to have value a transaction must take place. This is an exchange or trade. In real estate it is said that a given piece of property  is only worth what a willing seller is willing to sell it for and what a willing buyer is willing to pay for it. Its the same for any kind of other transaction. And its these transactions that make the currency worth more than the paper they are printed on. Transaction is the gauge of value. Transactions are the gauge of the health of an economy.

Its said that the borrower is slave to the lender and this is true. What you control is what you own. The lender may give you some of his stuff to take care of for him, you control that stuff on his behalf. He lets you use it but he expects something return more than interest which is your support and loyalty (employer/bankster duopoly). Recall the old song “St. Peter I can’t go I owe my soul to the company store.” If you take on too much debt you have indeed been bought. You have sold yourself into slavery. Being the slave of a good master is one thing. Being the slave of a bad master quite another.

If you need a free simple accounting app use the one I wrote using the Java Programming Language Java Ledger

Self Sufficiency

WANTED! Comments. Not wanted! Compliments. If you want your comment to be accepted first you must not be a spammer that WordPress recognizes and second you need to comment specifically on some of the article’s specific material or facts.

The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net

What is self sufficiency in the modern world? I hear all this talk about Bug Out Location, Bug Out Vehicle, Bug Out Bag. I can move into the woods with my BOB and live for weeks even months if necessary. I could camp beside and in my BOV indefinitely though I probably wouldn’t want too. In the 20’s we had HOBO’s which were homeless people or migratory workers who camped in the woods vs getting a hotel room. In an economic collapse do we all become HOBO’s? Hopefully that is not going to be the case for most of us self sufficient survivors. If I’m going to camp, I want my own land to camp on. If I’m going to forest bum it should be my forest and neighbors forest and national forest near my homestead.

The truth is that we all need and want things that the modern world gives us that we are poor without. Sure, much of it we could live without, but we wouldn’t want too. Should the economy fail and we fall on hard times then we want to be in the best position possible to make due until it comes back and then be more ready for the next time. The problem is that it’s possible it may not come back in a given person’s lifetime or not in time for that person to enjoy the new good times.

I think we get the order of importance of skills needed backwards sometimes. Here is the correct order. And I’m not saying that you can’t work on all these skills at the same time only noting order of importance.

#1 Personal Finance skills.
#2 Career skills.
#3 Selling and Trading skills.
#4 Homesteading skills.
#5 Wilderness and primitive living skills.

Personal finance is first because we are not yet in a state of economic collapse and there is still time to use the current economy to improve our positions. Also prepping requires money. And land is not cheap in case you haven’t noticed.

Career skills is closely related to the first. But also in that during an economic collapse some people will still be able to work. What career skills might be best to gain before an economic collapse? Its something to think about.

Why selling and trading? I have never thought of myself as a good salesman. Matter of fact the only things I’ve ever thought I’d be good at selling where things I knew a lot about and liked. I mean a good salesman should be able to sell ice to an Eskimo right? In a depressed economy selling and trading things that one produces from their own land would be important. Supplemental income or any income will be important. And bartering will be all too important when money is worthless.

So the first three are money/goods related. Next is living off of your land or homesteading. You might think this would be number one in self sufficiency but I’m betting you would be wrong. It is very difficult to be totally self sufficient, I mean are the Amish? No they rely on community. So did the first pioneers in America. Even if you organized a self sufficient community similar to the Amish or pioneers then you live at a reduced standard of living until the money system and all other systems come back online. Homesteading is important because it gives some measure of self sufficiency greater than most other situations. Its also important because it gives longer periods of complete self  sufficiency than camping and forest bumming alone.

Lastly wilderness and primitive living skills because you may need them on your own homestead. You may need to travel from your own homestead and live primitively for a day or two at a time. Or you may just choose too. There is something therapeutic about primitive living for a few days every now and then.