The other night (when I should have been going to bed) I was watching a few Youtube videos and came across one from Prepper Princess. Now I’ve watched several of her videos in the past, but this one was about Hyperinflation where she states that you cannot beat inflation (unless you have a specific investment that profits off of inflation). I actually disagree with this statement, so let’s take a look at this new societal beast and see if I’m correct….
What Is Inflation?
To be honest, I’ve never particularly believed inflation really existed. It hasn’t shown up in my own life in the last 30+ years. But then I was born at a particular time when inflation was just slowing down (late 70’s early 80’s) and remained pretty stagnate for my entire childhood and most of the decades I’ve been an adult.
I am a student of the book Your Money or Your Life from early on. Unfortunately, interest rates sank so low in my 20’s and 30’s that the plan in the book was rendered pretty much obsolete. There were no longer 30 years Treasury bonds producing 9% interest anymore. In fact, you were lucky to get them above 2%. I spent a few years dabbling in the stock market (I did not like it at all). I looked at other avenues, but nothing felt safe or right.
I woke up one day, though, and realized that I was old enough that the money I have so far saved (primarily in my house which is paid off and raising in value year after year) paired with the minimalistic lifestyle that I had adopted from YMOYL would allow me to do several interesting things.
1. I could go from full time employment to part time employment immediately.
2. If/when I sold my home, I could retire completely until age 62 when (hopefully) social security kicked in. Because of my minimalist lifestyle, social security (even with the projected 25% reduction) would actually be a 60% increase from what I would be comfortably living on from my savings.
I pulled the trigger on downsizing my job about 3 years ago. I went from working 5 days a week with all the stress and health issues associated with it to working 2 days a week. I never once noticed the reduction in pay. 2 days a week with my given pay rate (plus annual raises) kept me in virtually the same lifestyle, provided a task to do at work to keep from slipping into that retirement slump, and yet every “weekend” was like a mini vacation.
By this time, I had been convinced by several people online that inflation was actually real. But hyperinflation was the killer I needed to avoid. Granted, we hadn’t seen hyperinflation in the US since the early 80’s if that could even be considered hyperinflation like has been seen in other countries around the world.
But, I thought a lot about my particular situation, my resources, and what I would do if inflation really did come to America as they all claimed. And you might be asking: what is inflation anyway? Well, the simple answer is it’s when an economy heats up so much and there is so much demand that there is not enough resources to fill the need, and this in turn jacks up the prices of everything. Of course, there are other kinds of inflation, such as the kind that are artificially manufactured by governments to destabilize an economy, usually so that destabilization can be used to strip the populous of their rights and essentially hijack a nation out from under itself.
Yes. I think this is what is happening today with our inflation. And, I think it is completely manufactured. They are purposefully running the US economy into the ground expressly so they can take away more sovereignty and impose an oligarchy, where a small group of elites are in control of the means of production, and the rest of us are serfs.
But, regardless of why or how inflation has be brought about, it is clear we are paying more for everything from gas to pizza and groceries and flights (like I travel).
In fact, they state that inflation has become worse than it has been in the last 40 years, which means I was 7 when it was this bad before. I really had no idea inflation was that bad back when I was that age.
The Only Way to Beat Inflation (that I know of)
So, in Prepper Princess’ video she stated there is no real way to beat inflation. But I disagree. And, no, I’m not talking about investments that profit off of inflation or some crazy pyramid scheme. But I have found that few people are willing to exercise this tactic to beat inflation in the real world.
As I started looking at the ability to cut back to part time and maybe even retire outright in the next few years, I ran hypotheticals on what I would do if inflation began. What if gas doubled in a year? What if groceries doubled? Sound familiar? What if there were shortages on the grocery shelves?
I discovered that, because of the way my income and expenses are set up, I could withstand a double of my whole monthly expenses and still be able to live on my salary from work. This does not include any wage increases, such as my annual raise I just got that virtually paid for the increase in my monthly gas bill.
Double is quite a bit of cushion if you ask me. In fact, since inflation began a year or two ago, my overall monthly expenses has actually gone down due to other factors I’ve implemented. I’ll talk about those, too.
The greatest way to beat inflation, though, is through prior planning and a strategic investment into alternative systems. I’m not talking bitcoin. I’m talking skillsets.
What is the greatest cost to anyone’s monthly expenses? It’s typically either food, medical expenses, or housing. So, I decided several years ago I wanted to tackle the housing issue once and for all. I did this by 1. Buying a very small house that was run down and needed repairs, but that could cost very little to pay for. No 30 year mortgage. I paid this house off in 2 years. 2. I bought the house not as an investment but as a means of short circuiting any future housing crisis. Yes, I pay rent in the form of property taxes every year, and yes my property taxes do seem to go up every year. But they do not go up anywhere near what rent has gone up in the last two years. I pay approximately $1000 / year for my “property tax” rent to the government. I think it’s gone up $40 in the 7 years that I’ve owned the house and the lake property (yes, this is for all my real estate). Utilities can go up, but if they skyrocket under hyperinflation, I have the choice to cut the power and the water off. I can collect rain water (it does rain a lot here). I can use blankets to keep warm. Surprisingly, I do not need electricity to survive. But, realistically, I do not foresee it getting this bad. Maybe. But, I doubt it.
The second aspect I wanted to deal with was medical expenses. For most of my life I had no need for a doctor. I was relatively healthy. I was active. So I just did what I wanted and occasionally went in for a check up. But then I became ill and needed medications and regular checkups, etc. Luckily, I had made the decision to secure “theoretically” free health care for the rest of my life by selling myself into servitude for 4 years to the US government. I enlisted in the military. Granted, the VA is not a Cadillac medical plan. If you’re not careful they will bankrupt you, put you out on the street, and might even kill you if you catch them on a bad day. But, it is better than what my coworkers are paying ($300 / month +) for insurance they still have copays on and annual deductibles). Securing my medical care when I was 17 allows me today to work part time, because I don’t have to connect my medical insurance to full time employment (which is kind of ridiculous in the first place).
Lastly, I wanted to tackle food, since it was now the greatest expense on my monthly budget. Before COVID, I was paying $200-$300 per month on groceries and fast food. After inflation hit, I saw my fast food go up. I saw just about everything in the store shrink in it’s size. Then I saw prices for meat, milk, and everything but vegetables go up (they can’t seem to give away vegetables). The first thing I did to tackle this was switch to Walmart instead of my local store. It’s quite nice because I can now order my food online, then just drive over and pick it up after I get off work (both my job and Walmart are a 40 minute drive from where I live). I pay about $40 / week on groceries, plus $80 for fast food, which is approximately $240 / month. There is simply no way I could get this price at the local supermarket in the town I live in.
Other ways I’m trying to reduce my grocery bill is 1. Cutting back on fast food. 2. Cutting down on the amount of food I eat each week. 3. Selecting different foods that are cheaper or foods that need to be prepared rather than boxed foods. But my long-term strategy is to grow 80% of my food by gardening and fishing for meat. I knew that the latter was a long-term goal (not something I can just start doing successfully tomorrow, so I had to implement the other cost saving methods first.
I have experience gas prices most significantly. They are the most noticeable. But, gas prices are not due to inflation, they are do to political malfeasance. This should be corrected in the next election, voting out most of the liberals who are in office. This will allow conservatives to implement corrections that the President cannot veto. Once his term is up, he will be voted out and hopefully a conservative will be voted in and the country will economically and culturally swing back again, correcting all these problems the liberals created.
Of course, there is no way to know for sure that this will occur. There are risks and issues to it all. And regardless of who is in power in Washington, the culture and the economy seems to always have a creep toward chaos perpetually.
Long term, whether I’m living out on the lake property as a solitary, or I’m married with children, I hope to have the majority of my livelihood build around a home economy on a subsistence level. I do not really want to make things that I sell for money. I do not really want to provide services to my neighbor. I want to grow my own food, live in the house I paid for, live a simple, minimalist life on very little money, but with great wealth in my freedom, my family, and my relationships. It may not turn out this way. Hyperinflation may come and wash everything I built away and I might have to retreat into the woods with my hammock and eat grubs and worms and slugs to survive. If such is the case, I know my God will provide.
Why Most People Won’t Do It
Most people are simply not accustomed to hardship. Even the poorest of us in the US live like kings compared to just 100 years ago. Our lifestyles and our technological advancement is unlike anything seen before on planet earth. The fact that I can just drive up to the grocery store and they have people who will bring out my groceries for me is ridiculous. If I lived in that town, I could have my groceries delivered (they won’t deliver to me yet). I chose a town that has virtually no crime. The cost of living is ridiculously low. There are no natural disasters to speak of (though we do get occasional storms). But that doesn’t mean this system of things that we have going will continue as it has been for the last 40 years. Things do change.
Living to fight against inflation when there is no inflation is difficult and often uncomfortable. The problem of not doing it, though, is you are left to try and sort it out when you’re in the mist of inflation and can’t afford your rent or gas for your car to get back and forth to work.
Additionally, I think the whole of the country is under the sway of a spiritual warfare that we cannot see or hear or even believe exists. But I think it does. I think it is just as real as you or I, and I think all of our leaders are possessed and the culture is so similar to the demons Jesus found in the man in the tombs. They were driven mad by the thought that at any moment they could be cast into the abyss, they begged for anything but their actual fate. The world is going mad. I think it’s unavoidable. The shootings. The wars. The rumors of wars. The ecological damage. The moral slide toward Sodom. It’s all signs of the coming end. To be honest, I really can’t wait.
Inflation is just par for the course and it’s rarely bad enough on any given year for anyone to really do anything about it. At some point, though, the masses will wake up and realize that something has to be done. Unfortunately, that’s when it’s too late.
What Will Not Beat Inflation
There’s always talk that this or that scheme is what will tackle inflation and take care of it. But the truth is, nothing aside from changing your buying habits, and hedging against inflation by investing in yourself and your family will do anything with inflation long term (or even short term).
Buying gold or silver is a terrible idea. Investing in the stock market does nothing for you in the short term when gas prices are doubling before your eyes. It’s always a bad idea to move to a more expensive area, even if you have a job offer. Selling a house is also a bad idea if you plan on renting instead, especially while the rents are pricing people into living in their vehicles or on the street. Likewise, just doing business as usually and hoping it will all go away does nothing but make you feel better in the short term. In the long term, it can be deadly.
Inflation is apparently here to stay, at least for awhile. But, with the investments I’ve made in myself and in some assets like a house (to live in not as an investment) or my car (that I purchased 7 years ago and it just now has 100k on it) or switching to a cheaper grocery store or learning how to grow your own food, etc, I’ve gone through the last year with inflation being a bizarre anomaly that really hasn’t changed my bottom line or my lifestyle. Maybe I chose not to take that vacation to Hawaii this year, but lets face it, I wasn’t really going to take a vacation anyway. Every week I have 5 days off. I don’t need a vacation!
So far I’ve beat inflation. So far. There is no telling how far it will go. They are now predicting by the middle of summer gas will be at $5.50 a gallon. That means I’ll be paying over $6. But, even if it hits $10 / gallon, that’s only $70 a tank for my car, $140 / month, which is $100 / month more than what I was paying 2 years ago. That would kill other people who are living paycheck to paycheck. But I live on less than half of what I take home each month. So I still have some room. If the elections don’t cure inflation then maybe my garden will.
Until my next post….
Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.
Excerpt from In the Meadow:
A second later, the engine roared to life, and Dawn glanced back, one last time, at the trailer she’d grown up in.
The empty yard.
The trail she’d blazed through the blackberries.
That gaunt looking trailer.
Everything she saw now looked so dirty and run down, almost a shambles.
It was like a dream.
Paul circled wide, then threw the truck in reverse and backed up. As he braked and put it back into drive, Dawn could see Harold’s place a few slips down.
Paul gave the truck some gas.
As they went by, she could see Harold standing outside, near his front door, motionless, watching them.
She didn’t mention the earlier conversation to Paul.
Why would she?
He was just a creepy ass guy, and one of the handful of things she didn’t have to deal with anymore.
They drove out the front gate of the trailer park, down the side street to the corner, Paul stopping for a moment as he waited on the traffic to clear.
He took her hand and smiled at her, then pulled out onto the highway, heading west.
They drove past the Ray’s Grocery Store, past the gas station, where Bart was out front, talking excitedly to the Desmond boy.
Paul kissed her hand and she smiled, laying her head back against the headrest.
There was nothing else standing in her way now.
As Dawn began to relax, she watched as her old life quickly dissipate into vapor in their wake.
For the first time in her life, she was leaving Oakridge. She was moving to an entirely different state, a new home, with the man of her dreams.
She’d never even been out of Oregon before.
“Now or never,” Paul said, as they drove past the trailhead sign, on the right.
Dawn tightened her grip on his hand.
She’d finally gotten her wish.
She was leaving Oakridge.
Buy my book In the Meadow to find out what Dawn will do as her perfect fairytale life begins to unravel. Are the girls calling out from the banks of the Skagit River trying to help her? Do they want to hurt her? What secrets will she find?
But, trust me when I say, this is going to be a roller coaster of a ride. People are dying all around her, and you have no idea what evil lurks in the meadow! Get started in this thriller story today and find out why they’re warning her…calling out to her….trying to tell her…to RUN!