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May 2017

Camping / Living in a Prius

We moved to a tiny house in 2015 and got rid of the tent, portable toilet, and other camping gear. I thought we were done with primitive camping until I was inspired by the videos below.

Tried it out this past week (1 private campground and 2 national park campgrounds) and it has more benefits than costs! Little setup or tear-down. Bad weather like snow doesn't collapse the tent or freeze us all night long. Prius acts like a power generator. Music in the car does not affect the neighbors. Inspires others to think outside the box. Can arrive at your site later and can leave at checkout. And no worries like you have with an RV (fuel costs, tricky roads, grey water).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89dqnJn3fUg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W86B-6BHrJA


Alternatives to Trumpcare and Obamacare

Get insurance out of health care altogether, except for catastrophic, unanticipated injuries. After all, insurance is about managing risk. You wouldn’t have your car insurance pay for routine oil changes, or your homeowners insurance pay for a new coat of exterior paint on your house. The very idea is absurd from an economics perspective, cost-prohibitive, and goes against the very definition and purpose of insurance. Having one’s insurance pay for a routine tooth cleaning or simple physical checkup makes no more sense than having insurance pay for a new tires or a home termite inspection.

General Insurance Coverage:
Join a health care sharing ministry. These are voluntary, charitable membership organizations that agree to share medical bills among the membership. Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Christian Care Ministry. They operate entirely outside of Obamacare’s regulations, and typically offer benefits for about half the cost of similar health insurance. Members are also exempt from having to pay the tax for being uninsured.

Critical Illness Coverage:
Acts like an insurance policy if you have kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, etc. I'd get the highest benefit amount possible.http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/critical-illness-insurance

Accident Coverage:
You should max out your medical and uninsured/under-insured driver coverage amounts
under your auto insurance policy, which can pay medical bills if you are hurt in a car accident.

Concierge Medicine
Contact local doctors and see if they offer services for a monthly fee. In my area, $60 gets 24/7 access.


Governing Downside Economic Risk

A governor, or speed limiter, is a device used to measure and regulate the speed of a machine, such as an engine. I have taken that concept and applied it to finance. You put in place a governor that limits the speed at which you could potentially lose money.

Here is how I apply it:

  • I do not buy disposable products. Why throw money in the garbage?
  • I place stop loss orders for every stock/ETF I own at 4.5% below its cost basis. My upside is not capped but my downside is.
  • I use alternative income streams rather than bet everything on a single business venture.

A great way to get free products

Readers may want to check their local thrift stores. Near my town, a thrift store called Caring and Sharing offers volunteers $4 of store credit for each hour volunteered. You can accumulate hours to save up for the item you want.

The work entails placing donated items on shelves and putting a price sticker on them.

Looks like we will be getting a free crock pot!