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69 Percent Of Americans Do Not Have An Adequate Emergency Fund June 20, 2017

Do you have an emergency fund?  If you even have one penny in emergency savings, you are already ahead of about one-fourth of the country.  I write about this stuff all the time, but it always astounds me how many Americans are literally living on the edge financially.  Back in 2008 when the economy tanked and millions of people lost their jobs, large numbers of Americans suddenly couldn’t pay their bills because they were living paycheck to paycheck.  Now the stage is set for it to happen again.  Another major recession is going to happen at some point, and when it does millions of people are going to get blindsided by it.

Despite all of our emphasis on education, we never seem to teach our young people how to handle money.  But this is one of the most basic skills that everyone needs.  Personally, I went through high school, college and law school without ever being taught about the dangers of going into debt or the importance of saving money.

If you are ever going to build any wealth, you have got to spend less than you earn.  That is just basic common sense.  Unfortunately, nearly one out of every four Americans does not have even a single penny in emergency savings…

Bankrate’s newly released June Financial Security Index survey indicates that 24 percent of Americans have not saved any money at all for their emergency funds.

This is despite experts recommending that people strive for a savings cushion equivalent to the amount needed to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses.

For years, I have been telling my readers that at a minimum they need to have an emergency fund that can cover at least six months of expenses.  It is great to have more than that, but everyone should strive to have at least a six month cushion.

Unfortunately, that same Bankrate survey found that only 31 percent of Americans actually have such a cushion

The June survey also found that 31 percent of Americans have what Bankrate considers an ‘adequate’ savings cushion — six or more months’ worth of money to pay expenses — which means that nearly two-thirds of the country isn’t saving enough money.

That means that a whopping 69 percent of all Americans do not have an adequate emergency fund.

So what is going to happen if another great crisis arrives and millions of people suddenly lose their jobs?

Just like last time, mortgage defaults will start soaring and countless numbers of families will lose their homes.

If you do not have anything to fall back on, you can lose your spot in the middle class really fast.  And in the case of a truly catastrophic national crisis, trying to operate without any money at all is going to be exceedingly challenging.

Just recently, the Federal Reserve conducted a survey that discovered that 44 percent of all Americans do not even have enough money “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”.

That is almost half the country.

And a different survey by CareerBuilder found that 75 percent of all Americans have lived paycheck to paycheck “at least some of the time”.

Unfortunately, in a desperate attempt to make ends meet many of us continue to pile up more and more debt.  According to Moneyish, Americans have now accumulated more than a trillion dollars of credit card debt, more than a trillion dollars of student loan debt, and more than a trillion dollars of auto loan debt.

We’ve racked up $1 trillion in credit card debt — and that’s just a fraction of what we owe. That’s according to data released this year from the Federal Reserve, which found that U.S. consumers owe $1.0004 trillion on their cards, up 6.2% from a year ago; this is the highest amount owed since January 2009. What’s more, this isn’t the only consumer debt to top $1 trillion. We now also owe more than $1 trillion for our cars, and for our student loans, the data showed.

Overall, U.S. consumers are now more than 12 trillion dollars in debt.

We often criticize the federal government for being nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt.  And that criticism is definitely valid.  What we are doing to future generations of Americans is beyond criminal.

But are we not doing something similar to ourselves?

When you divide the total amount of consumer debt by the size of the U.S. population, it breaks down to roughly $40,000 for every man, woman and child in our country.

When someone lends you money, you have to pay back more than you originally borrow.  And in the case of high interest debt, you can end up paying back several times what you originally borrowed.

If you carry a balance from month to month on a high interest credit card, it is absolutely crippling you financially.  But many Americans don’t understand this.  Instead, they just keep sending off the “minimum payment” every month because that is the easiest thing to do.

If you ever want to achieve financial freedom, you have got to get rid of your toxic debts.  There are some forms of low interest debt, such as mortgage debt, that are not going to financially cripple you.  But anything with a high rate of interest you will want to pay off as soon as possible.

And everyone needs a financial cushion.  Unless you can guarantee that your life is always going to go super smoothly and you are never going to have any problems, you need an emergency fund to fall back on.

Yes, you may need to make some sacrifices in order to make that happen.  Nobody ever said that it would be easy.  But just about everyone has somewhere that a little “belt tightening” can be done, and in the long-term it will be worth it.

When you don’t have to constantly worry about how you are going to pay the bills next month, it will help you sleep a lot easier at night.  Many of us have put a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves by spending money that we didn’t have for things that we really didn’t need.

And now is the time to get your financial house in order, because it appears that another major economic downturn is not too far away.

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A List Of 100 Things That Liberals Hate About America May 31, 2017

Why do liberals seem to hate just about everything that is good and true and right about this country?  Earlier today I was writing an article about Kathy Griffin and the hate-filled ideology that she represents, and it got me thinking about a lot of things.  I truly believe that her now infamous photograph will turn out to be a defining moment in American politics.  It has become exceedingly clear that Kathy Griffin and those like her have nothing to offer but anger, hate and violence, and that is not a message that most Americans are going to embrace.  So if true conservatives can start communicating a message of love, peace, prosperity, liberty and freedom that is based on the principles and values that this nation was founded upon, there is no way that the left is going to be able to compete with that.

If we want to make America great again, we need to embrace the things that made us great in the first place.  Unfortunately, the left tends to hate most of those things.  In fact, many leftists will actually tell you that America was never great.  These “progressives” want our nation to be fundamentally “transformed” into an entirely different place than our forefathers intended, and they plan to use big government as the tool to conduct that “transformation”.

If they ultimately win, the country that you and I love so much today will be gone forever.  I want you to read the list below and imagine what the United States would be like if all of these things were eradicated.  The following is a list of 100 things that liberals hate about America…

#1 The U.S. Constitution

#2 Liberty

#3 Freedom

#4 Success

#5 Big Trucks

#6 Capitalism

#7 Free Markets

#8 Wealthy People

#9 Economic Prosperity

#10 The Rule Of Law

#11 Traditional Values

#12 The American Flag

#13 The Founding Fathers

#14 Guns

#15 Limited Government

#16 Religious Freedom

#17 Homeschooling

#18 Private Schools

#19 Christian Schools

#20 Entrepreneurs

#21 Ronald Reagan

#22 Donald Trump

#23 Mike Pence

#24 Country Music

#25 Rush Limbaugh

#26 The Tea Party

#27 Lower Taxes

#28 Old-Fashioned Light Bulbs

#29 Jesus

#30 The Bible

#31 The Christian Faith

#32 The Drudge Report

#33 John Wayne

#34 Alex Jones

#35 NASCAR

#36 Tupperware

#37 Big Cheeseburgers

#38 Football

#39 Clint Eastwood

#40 The Army

#41 The Navy

#42 The Marines

#43 The Air Force

#44 Ron Paul

#45 Rand Paul

#46 Marriage

#47 Family

#48 Babies

#49 Wal-Mart

#50 Flag Pins

#51 Steakhouses

#52 Chuck Norris

#53 Bottled Water

#54 George Washington

#55 The 1st Amendment

#56 The 2nd Amendment

#57 The 10th Amendment

#58 The Pledge Of Allegiance

#59 McDonald’s

#60 Coca-Cola

#61 Fried Food

#62 Muscle Cars

#63 Charlie Daniels

#64 Dolly Parton

#65 Duck Dynasty

#66 Johnny Cash

#67 Sarah Palin

#68 Cheesesteaks

#69 Sean Hannity

#70 Rodeos

#71 Cadillacs

#72 Barbie Dolls

#73 Ted Cruz

#74 Fiscal Sanity

#75 Charlton Heston

#76 Israel

#77 Benjamin Netanyahu

#78 Miners

#79 Loggers

#80 The Coal Industry

#81 National Sovereignty

#82 National Borders

#83 Uncle Sam

#84 The Washington Redskins

#85 Small Businesses

#86 Self-Employment

#87 Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

#88 Military Veterans

#89 The Phrase “Islamic Terror”

#90 Big Families

#91 The Bible Belt

#92 The Creation Museum

#93 The 10 Commandments

#94 Anyone That Is Pro-Life

#95 Anyone That Disagrees With Them

#96 Hard Work

#97 Patriotism

#98 Winning

#99 The Truth

#100 The American People

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This Hidden Crises Could Leave Thousands of Households Without Drinking Water May 22, 2017

Most people expect a crisis to break out suddenly and with obviously devastating effects. In fact, when you hear words like “crisis” and “disaster,” you probably imagine quick, shocking events that leave a trail of bodies and destruction. However, it’s often the case that crisis will unfold at a snail pace. And when they do, most people don’t even notice what’s happening until it’s too late.

That certainly seems to be the case with America’s water supply, which appears to be a slow-motion train wreck unfurling before our eyes. A recent study from Michigan State University has made light of how expensive water has become in our country. The researchers who produced the paper projected the future costs of water and found that more than a third of American households may not be able to afford their water bills in just a few short years.

If water rates rise at projected amounts over the next five years, conservative projections estimate that the percentage of U.S. households who will find water bills unaffordable could triple from 11.9% to 35.6%. This is a concern due to the cascading economic impacts associated with widespread affordability issues; these issues mean that utility providers could have fewer customers over which to spread the large fixed costs of water service. Unaffordable water bills also impact customers for whom water services are affordable via higher water rates to recover the costs of services that go unpaid by lower income households.

It’s important to keep in mind that different cities may have different rules about how they treat households that can’t pay their bills. But it’s usually the case that if you can’t pay your water bill, the city will shut off your supply. Though the federal government will often help pay water bills for impoverished families, many households still slip through the cracks.  So we’re looking at the possibility of tens of thousands of Americans (and perhaps more than that) not having access to tap water in the very near future.

As for what’s going to cause water prices to spike, the researchers cited climate change and our crumbling infrastructure. However, the cost of repairing our water infrastructure is going to have a far more devastating effect on our utility bills over the next generation.

A variety of pressures ranging from climate change, to sanitation and water quality, to infrastructure upgrades, are placing increasing strain on water prices[8]. Estimates of the cost to replace aging infrastructure in the United States alone project over $1 trillion dollars are needed in the next 25 years to replace systems built circa World War II, which could triple the cost of household water bills

Another issue is the fact that many metropolitan areas are being hollowed out, as people pack their bags and move to the suburbs. This trend isn’t happening across the board, but in the cities where it is happening, it’s leave the remaining residents with increasingly expensive water bills.

A hidden pressure on urban water systems is slow or even declining population growth, which reduces the customer base over which the high fixed costs of water services are distributed, and places increasing pressure on household water bills. This is the case in Detroit where a declining population has left fewer customers to pay for water. Another critical issue is the suburbanization of people, which also leaves providers in core central city areas with fewer customers to pay for water services. This means that for cities across the United States, shrinking populations in particular metropolitan areas and in downtown areas, combined with other pressures on urban water systems, present a perilous future for water utilities and their customers.

You may be wondering how this is possible? If fewer people are consuming water from a given source, then there’s less demand for water in that area. Sure, the water companies aren’t receiving as much money, but they also don’t have to spend as much to deliver water, right?

Well, the infrastructure still needs to be revamped and repaired, and now they have fewer customers to pay for it. And perhaps more importantly, many of the cities that are facing population declines, also owe a ton of money to retired workers who are now collecting pensions. It’s likely that many of these water utility companies are publicly run, and face massive pension liabilities. Those costs will likely be placed on the remaining residents in these cities (the research paper makes no mention of this).

In any case, this isn’t just happening in large cities. It’s happening across the country. We have to face a startling new reality. Here in the United States; one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world, there may soon be tens of thousands of households that don’t have access to clean tap water. This state of affairs won’t be caused by a war or natural disasters. In this case, it seems that financial mismanagement is the real disaster. And how so many of these people are going to find clean drinking water once their taps are shut off, is an unsettling mystery.

Additional Resources:

Emergency Water Storage Ideas for Every Type of Disaster

How to Find and Purify Water Sources You Never Considered

Simple Ways to Purify Drinking Water in Emergencies

Survival Skills: How to Find Water In the Wild

Smart Survival: This is How You Find Water When There Is None To Be Found

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 22nd, 2017
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