One Of The Best Preps To Have Is…


Food & Water, Shelter & Security, Firearms & Ammo… are all great prep categories for SHTF. Here’s another thought… One of the best preps to have is ZERO DEBT.

This concept is quite contrary to that which is promoted today, and here’s why…

The System Wants You In Debt

The system wants (needs) you to be in debt. The system ‘works’ on debt. It’s ALL based on debt. As the saying goes, “The joke’s on you”.

There is such a thing as smart debt (for smart responsible people). But the problem is that ALL debt is portrayed as smart, good, or necessary. This is so terribly wrong, and is contributing to our perpetual slavery as a people.

Today, as one example, lots of young people are strapped with enormous debt upon leaving school (e.g. college). So much that many cannot afford to live on their own. How many are back home living with their parents?

Many of those same young people will continue to strap more loans on their back as they begin their adult life (a new car, credit cards, etc..).

Children are brainwashed from a VERY young age to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, and to covet ‘shiny things’. It’s so easy to pay for those things today with invisible electronic debt digits…

The system wants you in debt.

Bombardment of Materialism

As the young adults get older and enter the prime of their life while working their careers, there is constant bombardment to compete in the game of materialism.

The so called winner is the one with the most ‘shiny things’. The BIG house (and the BIG mortgage). The problem is – the perceived winner (at any given moment) is in debt even more than you are! They are not really winning at all – most are losing big time…

Saddled With Debt Up To Their Eyeballs

With rare exception, most of those who appear to have lots of things, the new cars, the big house, the lavish vacations, lots of ‘toys’ – most all of them are saddled with debt up to their eyeballs. They actually have nothing at all. These things don’t really belong to them – unless and until they pay off their loans. And then, at what cost?

Induced Pressure & Stress

The more loans that you have, the more pressure and obligation to work hard in the system – so that you can keep paying…

The fewer loans that you have, the less pressure you feel. And if and when you reach the day that you have zero debt and no financial obligations, you will become unbelievably enlightened – and powerfully independent compared to your earlier life of enslavement.

Zero Debt

Your mindset will change from one that feels the burden of being trapped (perhaps feeling locked in to your current stressful job situation and geographical position) to one in which you have options.

You may no longer feel permanently tied to a particular job or career which is paying well – but with a high price and personal toll… You will have new choices and more freedom of movement.

With zero debt, the money that you do earn will go to YOU and not a bank loan. You will no longer be ‘supporting’ the current system. Instead you will be your own banker, making your own decisions. The things that you buy will be YOURS.

With zero debt and a little patience, you can save cash ahead of time for your purchases (rather than immediate gratification from a loan).

You might use that cash to build a nest egg for emergencies. Some recommend a nine month cash supply to cover all your expenses (just in case). Save cash for car repairs (which ALWAYS happen). There are all sorts of reasons to have a nest egg of cash. When you have no debt, it’s so much easier to do…

Financial Freedom

I encourage you to consider your personal financial freedom. Consider reducing and eliminating your debt. Even though today’s economic policies do not encourage savings, cash is still King.


  1. We learn our money handling from our parents.

    Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. 7The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

    Debt and lack of understanding of money handling is why so many “Instant Gratification” low information voters voted in “Cancel our Student Debt” and Free *hit Mr. Sock Puppet and Queen Kamila.

    When a Nations outgo is greater than it’s intake it’s money becomes trash in the yes of the world.

    How did I go broke, “Slowly at first then ALL AT ONCE”.

  2. Ken, a very good topic. It is still the one best piece of advice to give the young. Though for many it is like the old question “When is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago.” Once in debt it requires self discipline to get out.

    We were taught delayed gratification, wait until you can pay cash for it or don’t get it.

  3. THAT is one thing i never did i dont even a have a credit card at all

  4. The wife and myself paid our last bill off about 10 years ago. The freedom you (Ken) are talking about is real! We still have to pay property taxes and license fees witch are another form of debt. If we (the American citizens) can ever control our government and force it to operate within it’s budget then we as American citizens will be truly FREE.

    1. Left Coast, what you said is very true. The sad part is, that once we pay off the mortage on our home, we still have to rent it from the government. Who will take it almost as fast as a Bank if you don’t pay the government your yearly taxes/rent. Even just a median priced home will cost you $200 to $400 a month in taxes depending on what State you live in. But being from the Government, we know they are here to help us!!! Trekker Out

      1. OH I have a feeling that once the Socialist take over the reins, anyone who is and has worked their entire life will have a tax bill that’s going up. Sorry to say that I also don’t have very much sympathy for all these people that have high amounts of college loans because the majority of them are the one’s that vote for Socialism. Most young people that get out of High School and at the age of18 to 20 years old and go to work making $30,000 a year shouldn’t have to pay taxes to bail out those college grads that will then be making 80 to a 100 thousands a year. You Takes The Loan, You Pays The Bill! Trekker Out

      2. I moved and got away from 5.5k property tax bill in Pa. from the 90’s to MN where my property taxes are now $700 a year. My ex still lives there in Pa and he is paying 8k a year now. That and his grocery bill is double for the same things here as well as everything else.

        I moved here because it is cheaper to live, and offers much more than Pa. That was a survival decision I made like many from NY, Il, Ca, NJ moving to cheaper states because the socialists policies are driving people out.

  5. Not entirely true.
    My biggest dept is car insurance, it nags and irritates me to no end because it never ends.
    Aside of that the credit card atm less than $300.00
    But being perpetually poor any large bills cause anxiety.

    Currently the transmission in my car is failing and needs replaced and that’s a huge bill. totals about $8,400.00 that I can not afford at this time.

    I can never tolerate owing people anything, especially money.
    Several months back someone I know only from the net offered to ship me several of his older solar panels completely free to me because he upgraded.
    I would feel like I owed him forever so I declined.. just the way I am.

    Reoccurring constant annoying bills are stress in the mail I suppose it’s better there is no mortgage or car payments.

    1. Caring for the car is my second largest recurring expense. Between taxes, insurance, registration, it takes up a huge amount of my “disposable” income.

      As far as “owing” someone, reciprocity is built deep into our culture. Psychologically, we are programmed to want to “return the favor” and the feeling of being in debt is actually stronger because it’s a person and not an institution.

  6. The only debt we have is a golf cart payment, and it’s almot paid off. We have no morgage or car payments. We never had credit cards. DW has not worked for almost 2 years. We were strugling to keep the regular monthly bills paid. Thank God we had no debt. DW’s disability was approved recently and it has reveived a LOT of stress. We have always lived within our budget no matter how tight it has been. If we don’t have the money to pay for it we don’t need it.

  7. In my opinion, student loans should be co-signed with the university that the student attends. It would keep tuition costs in check while making sure that students cannot rack up enormous debt for a major where they can’t earn enough in a reasonable time to pay back.

  8. I quit my job in 2010 and I’m still “free.” No WAY I could have done this if I had any debt. I saved. I have never had or used debt. People make noises about how debt is a tool, blah, blah, blah, but it’s a tool I’ve chosen not to use. I had the advantage of learning from other people’s mistakes.

  9. According to certain politicians, we should simply run the debt up until the debt clock clicks over back to $0.

  10. You are so right! I am 76 and I learned this when I went belly up at 46. I learned the hard way. Today,( If I don’t have the money I don’t need it.) I have no debt. I have peace of mind that money can’t ever provide. I have learned to; Make a list of all you think you need. Prioritize, set the list aside till you have some extra cash. Then check the list and see if you still think you relay need it. I find I tend to forget about things on my list and when I check it later on I find I don’t feel as strongly about that thing. Living with out debt has so many benefits. I live life a free man.

    I learned not to be vague about money and to budget my expenses. Ask your self what is your fixed cost? That is how much you need to pay all your bills each month, including paying down any credit card debt, When you are clear eyed about your fixed cost you can set a side what you need for other things like food and gas, close and so on. I call this house hold expenses.Deduct fix cost and house hold expenses form your income. What is left I like to call discretionary money. You can save some and spend some as you like. I have this layed out in my check register and one more thing I keep a log of all credit card expenses.

    Ken, sorry I got carried away.

    1. Fixed costs as I mentioned before are going to go UP as the Socialists have to steal even MOAR to fund their “Promises”, Bread and Circuses as well as feather their own nests.

      Thus while not being in debt is excellent, knowing how to reduce your fixed costs with skills, gardens and friends you help each other out is important.

      They can inflate your Social Security into worthlessness but they cannot reduce the value of your skills to keep a beater truck going for example.

  11. My best prep is the saying I adhered to, “There’s Nothing Beyond the Reach of Determination”

    I was as poor as a church mouse when I started prepping and was in serious debt ,. Now because of my determination and with help like Dave Ramsey and prepping blogs like this one, I have no mortgage debt, no more bank loans, with all that extra cash I bought a years supply of food storage, I pay off my CC every month, and saved money for my lazy new job, trading stocks. I never had it so financially good with what I have saved. I am glad Ken brought up being debt free in his article as the most important prep for me.

    Of course it was hard, but it became enjoyable learning how to do it all because it worked and every goal reached was a jump of joy, yelling as I was running naked in the woods faster than the mosquitoes could catch me or the cold could freeze my hinney.

  12. If you think you are out of debt, I’m sorry to tell you that the monster built by the greedy incompetent rulers will bring their debt to your door. This monster is insidious and unavoidable. The name is “inflation”, created by the money printers.

    How many of you have already cut discretionary spending to near zero? How many are now trying to trim even the necessary expenses, just to get by? Now look at the segment of our society that has no concerns about rising costs – government hogs at the trough.

  13. If you had put that $10,000 into Tesla March 18th, buying you 30 shares, and waited 8 months you could have had $78,450 if you sold it today. Then you could have paid your kids education and gone on vacation!

    1. I view investing in common stock as slightly more rational gambling than blackjack or poker at the casino. (Both of which I do rarely as entertainment.) As a CPA, I read their financial statements and understand what GAAP is and isn’t reporting. For a lot of companies, it’s an interdependent house of cards. Like the dollar, only worth something if enough people believe in it at the same time.

      I have really smart kids and grandchildren. Kids went to college with only one finishing. Both made/make as much without a degree and with pretty good benefits. Without a degree, there’s a ceiling in advancement. I am telling my kids not to have the grandkids go to college but just find a company in their interest area and work their way up. If they reach a point where a degree is needed, the company is likely to help pay for it or pay for it entirely. And they won’t have the 4 year on campus brainwashing.

      1. Really good strategy on the college issue, MamaLark. A college degree is not worth what it used to be. I went as far as a Master’s Degree back in the early 80s, and it served me well at the time. Don’t think it would be worth beans today, and I sure wouldn’t have finished either degree if the professors were spouting the kind of Marxist junk they are now.

  14. Another way to avoid debt is to think of how many hours of work it will take to purchase whatever you are considering. Thousand dollar fancy TV? – if you’re lucky enough to clear $20 an hour, it’s 50 hours of working to pay for it without interest. Purchase it on credit and it’s likely 150 hours of work or almost a month of working. In that light, many purchases lose their luster.

    1. I do just that mama. Drives my wife crazy at times because she’ll say you should buy that and my answer will be 25 hours. Not to say I never buy things but by putting it in this perspective ypu will say no to more things than yes.

    2. I agree. I find it very helpful to look at thinks from a perspective of how many hours of my working time am I willing to trade for the item.

      The book Your Money or Your Life, by Vicky Robbins, discusses the idea in detail and is highly recommended.

  15. As Old Remus used to say , “debt is the money of slaves”. Being debt free is one great form of freedom. It takes strong discipline to be as debt free as possible. I feel it is one of the best things that children should be taught at home so that it will become a habit in adulthood.
    We have not had a mortgage for 25 years, what a blessing.

  16. I quit my job 18 months ago, without another job in sight. My job was very stressful, and my boss was abusive. I’d stuck with it for five years, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. The only way I was able to quit was because I had no debt. I knew I could take a minimum wage job (or two) if necessary to get me by until I found something that paid a little better. The job I have now doesn’t pay well (though better than the minimum), but it has room for advancement, and the people are great to work with. Do I want something that pays more so I can save more for retirement? Of course! Even so, not having a mortgage or a car payment make this job fine for me for now, as it pays all the monthly bills. Getting and staying out of debt is something I’d recommend for everyone.

  17. I think of my past step daughter, LEO, and when she received her part of her fathers inheritance, I asked her what she had planned. Going to Sallie Mae she said. Nursing school loan would be paid off. Not a new car or house but pay her student loan.

  18. In the good old days, I used to keep a brief case filled with various credit cards, which had a cash advance equivalent of about $250,000.00 dollars between them. The balance of all these cards was very low, as only a few would have any current debt upon them. I would rotate these cards to show use, and to show repayment on time..over brief periods of 6 months or so. Then, I would replace these with others to do the same thing.

    Like clockwork, each bank would keep increasing the cash advance value of their cards, as my credit scores and payment history was always excellent. For the small fee of the interest on the small amount I flowed thru these cards, I received the instant ability to place a quarter of a million dollars in my hand, any time I wanted.

    This allowed me to take advantage of deals when I discovered them. I could offer ALL CASH while others negotiated and tried trades. Offering ALL CASH would allow me to offer LESS to achieve the deal, too.

    I would turn over the commodity I purchased quickly, usually in less than 2 months, which would result in a substantial profit over the incurred credit card dept. I usually turned the commodity over for a profit in less than 30 days. I would pay off the cards involved, never making a payment, and avoiding the extra interest costs. I would then rotate the cards used, with less used cards, and continue…

    Debit is not a bad thing. Did you know you do not have to pay taxes on debt? Did you know taking all of the $250,000.00 cash advances….and buying a house free and clear with it…would be perfectly legal…and the unsecured card dept would be split up into tiny chunks owed to different banks…and defaulting would not require bankruptcy?

    Rent the free and clear home for $2,300.00 a month, as its value grows, and you rent an apartment for $800 p/m…and deduct the interest on your $250,000.00 debt, which you have never made a payment, from your taxes….

    Those were the days…

    1. Again this works until it doesn’t. The real estate investors mid-deal in 2006 were sweating bullets. If you were able to close and unload your last properties, you survived. Get stuck with one or more overleveraged properties, you probably didn’t. The other consideration is risk tolerance. Almost everyone should avoid any debt they are unsure they can service ie make payments if the related transaction falls through. And if you can service $250,000, most of the time you can find a cheaper loan than a credit card advance.

  19. Imagine being at a point in your life, where you can buy anything you want without problem, but you desire to buy nothing…as you already have what you want.

    1. Ision:
      How very true, but most will never understand what your meaning is.

    2. I have been amused at that thought several times recently. It has seemed the inability to get what I thought I wanted when I was young made it more desirable. For most people, it takes deferring gratification to get there. Facing a very uncertain future, being debt free increases your options. Being debt free with a dependable cash flow and good credit history really increases your options.

  20. I’ve been trying to explain to my grand children the fact that 25 or more years ago collages were somewhat of value. Now they are simply money making intuitions with political agendas. I tell them not to be fooled by glamor stories of old. Just ask your mother how much she owes to be an ICU nurse, and how long she has been paying on it. I’ll give you a clue, since before you were born! (the kid is 14y/o).

    I try to explain how learning a good trade, that you truly enjoy, will likely be more satisfaction, and a decent living, not rich mind you, but comfortable. More so, you will learn infinitely more then you can imagine. Do two years at the community collage, get out of there what you need, for your desired job or trade, along with some recommendations form you instructors get your foot in a door and getting a pay check rather then paying for thousands of dollars that you will be burdened with for years, maybe decades. I know a lot of people who did a 2 year Associate degree, and enjoyed 2 or 3 careers. Those are the people who stay 10, 20 or more years with a company. I know of one lady who has just a high school diploma, and is #2 in a multi-million company doing very well, the thing is, she has been there 34 years. She has forgot more than most of the youngsters there will ever know.

    Ha! I haft joke that when she retires, the doors will be chained shut within 3 months!

  21. I truly believe the best way to enjoy your life and reduce your stress is to actively manage your income and outgo. Always have an emergency fund. Don’t put on a credit card (that you pay in thirty days) what you will poop out the next morning. Don’t make any purchase without carefully considering the impact it will have on your finances.

    I love Dave Ramsey and followed his advice many years ago – it has served our household well. Although we were always careful with our income, he provided the incentive to take it to the next level. I applaud anyone who has been able to achieve a debt free lifestyle and those working towards that goal. It allowed us to obtain and develop our farmstead without debt and live a more rewarding life.

  22. I live on debt. I borrow money at next to no or no interest and use/invest it at higher rates than borrowed. I use the float on credit cards and the 1.5-5% free money to further this. I use cashback sites and gift card games to further this circus of debt management.

    $3-5k a year in my pocket by smart debt management. Granted, it’s all paid for by idiots that can’t manage their money but a fool is easily parted with their money regardless. Might as well take advantage of the system designed to trap fools.

  23. Debt free is the only way to go IMHO. There are ways to speed up debt payment, like paying the same amount on a home loan ,but pay half of the payment on the 15th the rest on the 1st when due. I know this sounds futile but over long term in gains a lot. On a 30 year loan it will cut as much as 5 years off. I absolutely would never recommend a 30 year!! One thing we have done for years is continue to always make a car payment, to a savings account. We used most of our savings to pay off the house last spring, emergency in june. I plan to be free again in February.

  24. Unfortunately, at the rate that the government is printing money (purportedly, more in the last ninety days than the previous 90 years) “cash will be trash” at some point- and likely not that far off.

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