Monday, February 9, 2009

Should I be worried?

Ok, there is a lot of rumbling out there about TEOTWAWKI.  I don't know where I fall.  I really don't think things will get THAT bad but I'm sure they will get worse before they get better.  After hearing the president's first press conference, I'm not any more hopeful that things will get better quickly, either.
I've been giving some thought to our long term plans here.  Last fall, we were actively looking for an acreage out of town so we could be more self sufficient.  Those plans were instantly put on hold when V lost his job.  With little or no job prospects out there, we have to be realistic that we will be relying only on my income.  Now, don't get me wrong, I make a decent wage and we have always had our healthcare through me so we're doing well there.  We don't have a mortgage so the only outstanding debt is the car payment.  I have enough set aside that I could pay it off in one fell swoop but I was saving that money for our down payment on somewhere new.   If worse come to worst, we can stay here, fairly financially secure.  We still have access to our garden at Roger's house since we don't have much yard here.  Things stay status quo and we don't get any closer (or farther) from our dream.
The other option is that we put this house on the market and hope it sells, then take that money and put it toward a new place.  That would be ideal, if the timing worked out well.  I would hate to have our house sell out from under us with nowhere to land.  Conversely, I would hate to lock in on a new place just to have this house sit on the market for forever.  We do live close enough to campus that I do think it would probably sell fairly quickly, or we could rent it if necessary, but that doesn't help the cash flow and I'm not sure we could swing a mortgage payment as well as all the other bills. 
I guess, if things get really bad we could up stakes and move down with my parents and take over the family farm. But that is definitely a plan of total last resort.
I'm just musing over the possibilities.  I definitely like the second scenario the best but it also concerns me the most.  This whole economic mess really sucks right now.  I'm feeling cranky and uneasy for some reason tonight.  Tomorrow will be better... writing out some of the options helps me clarify.  Any feedback is appreciated.


  1. I wrote about this feeling, too, and some things my husband and I had discussed. When he read it, he had a HUGE fit, really the first time I think he's been upset over anything I wrote. Not that he felt it was inaccurate, but that I had put so many personal details out for the public to read.

    I don't want us to buy into the fear, and we do need a plan for the different contingencies. We, like you, want land and need to decide as we go just how wise it is to take each step...a lot of it is timing. We're opting to just take the most conservative course each step. But I do feel better having had the hard conversations and knowing that we've looked our fears in the face. I guess the assumption that something will always "work out" is less and less a safety net these days, but we're going to be proactive in our own decision making and walk reaaallllyyyyy carefully for now.

    Take have a great deal of wisdom and an ultimate goal. Yes, these are sobering times. We just have to give them the ol' college try :)

  2. P.S. I pulled my post about TEOTWAWKI. Before my husband had a stroke ;-)

  3. Oh I know exactly how you feel - and after watching his speech last night, we are even more leery! Fortunately, both of our jobs are about 99% secure - we have land - we just have a mortgage. But I'm starting to think about all the possibilities and wondering if they could become realities and how we would react......I think I'd be looking for land - then you could become more self sufficient and be able to rely on yourselves, and no one else.

  4. Gosh, I didn't listen to that speech. Dumb me...better go listen at or something.

    Things WILL always work out, but maybe not the way we think. It is so good you have the option of your parent's farm, but of course as last resort. Still, that is wonderful to have.

    I can't tell you what to do with your money, but I would never put all that cash into a car. Worse comes to worse, you can abandon the car. Credit ratings won't matter much longer anyway. I'd keep working toward property if that's what you feel strongest about.

    Things will be okay. Have your pantry stocked, do your gardening, save your money. You're on the right path, Judy!

  5. I had a big ole comment here last night, and when hit publish it said duplicate action and didn't take it. Sigh. What the paragraph boiled down to is be prepared for both. We thought we had a year's worth of savings, we thought we were well prepared, but you know how that ended, 9 months was it.

    Don't freak out over the REMers out there. The President just wants his way, and fear is the best incentive out there. Just keep up your homesteading skills, and if push comes to shove, you have a place to run to.

  6. Just thought I'd stop by as the purveyor of the VGD (very great depression).

    It's a coming. It's going to be bad. And it's going to hurt. We'll be living with our families, we'll be living hand to mouth.

    That said, it's not like it's a terrible thing. It certainly did some good stuff for our grandparents. Perhaps we all need a good bitch slap upside the head. And the VGD will be just the gal to deliver it.

    PS. I'm actually not being funny. I do think it'll get ugly ugly ugly. Of course, that's more of a concern for people who can't do for themselves, must have the latest "to die for" item and are waiting for their rich "Uncle Sam" to bail them out.

    This post of doom is now concluded. You can return to your regularly scheduled lives.

  7. Try not to get too worried. When we get overwhelmed with an unknown future concern, we tend to act to quickly before knowing the right course.

    You sound as if you're already doing the right thing. And while today is sounds bad to have to go back home to our parents' farm, that has always been humanity's reality and it sure isn't a bad choice! Multi-generational living may just help many of us survive well and better than others. So try not to be too down about that possibility. I'm already making room for Mama in case the need arises. :)

    And MeadowLark- You may be serious, but I sure do like your style in saying it!

  8. You all have such insightful comments! Yes, times are tough and things just seem to be getting more and more difficult for folks. Some geographic regions seem to be doing better than others but for how long? Best to prepare for anything and if nothing happens, you are just that much ahead.

    "There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking." Alfred Korzybski

  9. Thanks to all for your comments. I am really leaning towards moving out of town, I think, for me, it's the security of having land to 'grow my own' if I need to for survival. V is feeling much more conservative and wanting to just hunker down here and lick our wounds until things are better. I'm frustrated. There are things I love about this house (location, location, location) but we have very little storage, almost no land and no alternative heat source should we need it. At least spring is coming. That will help me feel better.

  10. I try not to worry too much. I know that, like you, we are in a much better financial place than most.
    Our car is paid for and we don't have credit debt.
    We don't have the savings you do because we spent it buying this place,and we do have a mortgage but it is fairly small for this area.

    I think we will prepare for the worst but hope for the best. That is all anyone can really do.

  11. It really is scary. Most of all, for me, is that it is limited how much I can do in terms of work to be secure. Yes, we can work on minimal debt, etc. but sometimes the rest of the world has a larger role too, and that "out of my control" thing is a recipe for a pit in my stomach. The house thing - tough one. Whatever you do, it will be well-thought-out, that is clear, and that always helps. Hugs to you.

  12. Here is what I am seeing on the real estate arena: in my area (which other, than Elkhart which is now on the map via Obama) things haven't been as bad as other areas. However, that being said, the sad truth is people are still being "told" to buy outside their affordability. People still want the things Meadowlark referred too. The media has always claimed that this area is 5 years behind the rest of the country. If that is the case, we haven't seen the worse yet here in the Midwest.

    I am, occasionally, hopeful, but I have been living between reality and fear of reality for some time. I have spoke with friends who grew up with depression era parents (both were born at the tail end 1938-1940). K. said the ones who made it through the GD the best were those who could provide food for themselves and others. "Everyone has to eat..." she said.

    Could you keep the house and buy cheaper nearby land? Somewhere not too far that you could plow up and plant food? See, I would be hestitant to sell right now because even good areas are starting to move slow. Of course, your individual area will vary and maybe this is the time to sell before it gets worse.

    OK, I am not being helpful here. We are all facing some important, life changing decisions.

    Spring will certainly brighten the outlook (especially when furnaces are turned off!)

  13. Stephany- I realize that we're luckier than many. The only debt we have is on our new car- and that we only got because my old 1984 Escort wouldn't fit all of us and was beginning to cost more to fix than it was worth. We're still thinking.
    Localzone- I know about that 'out of my control' pit in the stomach. I have been feeling it all too often. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
    Gina-Thanks for the comments- I know you have been through your own real estate nightmares lately. I am very hesitant to trust any real estate people- although there is a friend of my brother's who is a real estate agent whom we have met socially several times. I think that we may have better luck with him although I think he specializes in the McMansions like my brother owns. We have talked about just buying land but even bare land here is expensive. We're talking prime Iowa farmland- although I really want some with woods on it as well. We'll see what happens. We're secure here for the moment but I'm just feeling the need to move forward. I understand very well you saying you have been living between reality and fear of reality. I think I'm there as well.


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.