Its a question of priorities usually : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Over the time I have been in this forum I have seen a lot of posts as to those stating they were not in a position to prep. Some of the excuses being living paycheck to paycheck. I will buy just a small part of that. My mom who is 92 and myself 59 live on 883.00 plus and additional apartment rent of 420 a month. What I have found over my life is the word "priorities". Everyone has them!!! They may be good ones or not so good but how many take stock in what they spend and on what?

When I was a child we had one car, one tv, one radio, one telephone. I grew up with "one" to have any more was redundant. I still have "one". Things were used till they were no longer useable run into the ground sort a speak. We saw our parents buy middle of the road that is not the high of the line or the low but middle. I remeber the washing machine my mom had it was a Thor it had a washtub and a wringer and she had that long after the washer dryer combinations came onto the market. Why? Because it still worked. Our home had a coal burning furnace long after the oil burners came out and dad went down into the basement and shoveled coal in the furnace several times a day. We did buy a new house in 1954 for 12,400.00 but the coal driven furnace was still there when we left.

It was a different think then. We did not look at lifestyles then as being important. It was a matter of priorities. With my mom it was going to the bank every week and making a deposit into her savings account. She cooked from scratch every meal and made us sweaters scarves and mittens. Yes, she did work she was a nurse. But if you knew how much she made you would fall over. My first job in high school paid me 47 cents an hour. I worked every day 7 days a week for three hours a day in a hospital a few blocks from high school. I served the dinner trays from a hot cart up on the floors then broke them down and took the dirty dishes to the kitchen to be washed and set up the trays on the floors for breakfast.

That money I used to buy my lunch at school 25 cents a day and any supplies I needed. My mom and dad taught me to be independent and how to function on a budget at an early age.

Priorities take on many forms. It may be electronics, or cars or sports or shoes whatever. When it came time to take my mom in with me I had the job of cleaning out her home and one walk in closet looked like a grocery store at its finest. Having lived thru the stock market crash the depression the wars they learned about shortages and scarcities. It forced them to look at priorities differently.

As the standard of living increased in this country so did the debt factor. My mom and dad had one debt their mortgage. They didnt grow up with credit cards or debt. Do you know how credit originated its interesting. It was the Singer Sewing Machine. Thats right, they were the first to offer credit. Buy your sewing machine now and pay for it after. This became the novel idea you could own something now and pay for it as you used it. That would work as long as you didnt do it more than once. In other words pay that off before the next offer came along. It wasnt long before everything went that way. and debt became a way of life.

The point to all of this is priorities. What is truely important! Once the decision is made of what is a priority the rest becomes easy. We all have our priorities at any given time and maybe we have lost site over the years as to what priorities should be. It isnt designer clothes or the latest car or how many credit cards you have. Its determining what you need to survive and passing that on to your children. For each family it may be different of course. But it isnt hard to get off track and find that the things we held as near and dear were stuff as George Carlin calls it and not really important in the stream of things.

So maybe Y2k will put us in touch again with the important! Finding the values we held near and dear and the home and family. Putting things in perspective again. That I would have no difficulty with.

I remember in school the debate of what was progress and what was change. Remarkably after much debate it was found that more was change over progress. We need change again. Change for the better.

-- Susan Barrett (, December 28, 1999


I have seen the "I can't afford to prep argument" first hand. Last year, an older couple who are friends of the family were concerned about Y2K and wanted us to give them some information. The more we detailed the possible threats as well as the solutions (things that would be well worth the money anyway given they live in hurricane prone NC) the higher the price tag. By the time we left they had come to the conclusion that Y2K would not be a problem because they couldn't afford it to be. Or in other words, they would be unable to prep without affecting their lifestyle. What is so sad about the situation is that the gentleman has a hobby of collecting clean used cars. (I don't get it either.) At the time of this conversation, he probably had $30,000 to $50,000 worth of cars sitting on his front yard that could have been liquidated in short order to pay for the preps. The lady of the house was in the middle of redecorating (to the tune of about $10,000) and basically didn't want to put it off. A question of priorities? I'd say so.

"Luke, yer mind ain't right."

-- Chris Tisone (, December 28, 1999.

Priorities, that is the secret word that one and all overlook. For example, I am on a very low fixed income, I am 68 years old and so is my wife, we have an adopted daughter ten years old, (And knows everything in the world HAHA). What I am getting at is this, my finances are very limited. But I weighed the consequences, at stake were the lives of me, my wife and our beautiful daughter. So I did what I could to prep. To do that I plunged myself even further in debt to the tune of nearly three thousand dollars. Hell what is that compared to three lives? What I have we might be able to survive, I don't know, but I not going to risk these precious lives for a few measly dollars. What is their importance anyhow, if all TSHTF? I may be in the hole to my neck, but I have a fighting chance, and that is my highest priority, to hell with all else, new clothes, Christmas, or what ever, they all pale in comparison to survival.

-- Notforlong (, December 28, 1999.

Good post Susan. At the very least, those
who had to prep with a restricted budget
learned priorities, i.e., what you can live
without and what you truly need. We need
very little of what we think that we need.
Food, water, shelter and love from those who
are close.

-- spider (, December 28, 1999.

Incidently I may add that those darn credit card companies will probably be down anyhow, and erase my debt by accident. If the power is out and their machines are down they can't mail the bills anyhow, and more than likely the PO wont be able to deliver them. So when I weigh the odds, debt is the lesser of the two evils.

-- Notforlong (, December 28, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ