Nickels & Dimes

I just finished reading a book called Crash Proof by Peter Schiff, published in 2007.  In the book, he predicts everything that has happened with the real estate crash and other things.  The only thing he predicts that hasn’t happened yet is the devaluation of the dollar.  Basically, what he says is that the US is paying the Chinese IOUs for all the imports we buy, and when the Chinese realize that the IOUs aren’t worth anything, they’re going to stop accepting them and the dollar will be worth nothing.  At the end of the book, he asks readers to think not just about themselves, but about their friends and family.  So I thought I’d share with you the simplest thing he advises–if you want to follow his advice, that ‘s great.  It can’t hurt.  🙂  If you want more info on his other strategies, you can read the book.  Or ask.  😉

I didn’t know until recently (maybe you did!) that our money is not really worth anything.  It used to be based on the gold standard–so a dollar was actually worth a dollar in gold.  When we went off the gold standard in 1971, the government just started printing money, and even our coins aren’t worth their face value. 

The exceptions are nickels, which are actually worth a bit more than their face value, about 6 cents, and pennies made before 1983 (1982 and older), which are actually worth about 2 cents (their melt value).  Quarters are only worth about 4 cents, etc.  If you can find quarters, dimes, silver dollars, and 1/2 dollars minted BEFORE 1965, they are made of 90% silver, and they are worth about 15x their face value (a dime is worth about $1.43).  Eisenhowers and 1/2s were made with a percentage of silver for a few years after 1965.  http://coinflation.com/ gives all the values. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have thousands (or even hundreds) of dollars to invest in silver and gold (the US govt tends to confiscate gold in times of crisis fyi).  But I do have lots of nickels and old pennies.  So, I’m saving all my nickels and pre-83 pennies and looking for junk silver–those old coins.  They are rare, but you can find them every once in awhile. It’s a little thing that makes sense and doesn’t cost anything.  Having our own garden & shopping locally for as much as we can and stocking up on all those items that are imported is another thing he mentions that makes sense to me (and something that we’ve been doing). 

Maybe it sounds like I think the sky is falling.  The thing is, we started doing some of these things in 2006/2007.  (not the coins thing because we didn’t know about that then, but stocking up–and I really wish we had known about the real estate crash!!! we would have saved money instead of ‘investing’ in our house)  That’s how we made it through the past few years–we had 6 months income saved and we had a ton of food and other items stocked up. I always bought our kids’ clothes a year ahead during the sales–with handmedowns, I didn’t have to buy clothes.  SendOutCards helped a lot, too! If we hadn’t been doing these simple things, a little at a time, it would have been even tougher on us.  As our lives show you, you never know what’s going to happen in the future. It’s better to be prepared than not be–not only will you be able to get through tough times, but you’ll be able to help others, too.

A great site that tells you how to stock up a year’s supply of food for $10 a week:  http://www.survival-homestead.com/one-year-supply-of-food.html

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