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06/12/2005 Archived Entry: "Preparing for the Bad Times Coming"

It occurs to me that yesterday's entry touches upon a subject which has occupied my thoughts lately: Preparing For The Bad Times Coming.

Let me first recommend Bill Barnwell's If I Were a Financial Advisor for a Day, which appeared on LewRockwell.com this week. This is superb advice for those who don't have their finances under control. I strongly suspect that if you're reading this blog, you don't need this advice yourself, but chances are you do have friends or family who could benefit. Send them the link.

We're expecting a general economic downturn in 2006...possibly starting in late 2005. Wendy has commented before about the investment strategy of a full pantry, and we are certainly continuing to follow that policy. While the times are good, we're also trying to "bring forward" any major expenses that we can anticipate in the next few years, such as house and auto repairs, replacing worn-out appliances, and upgrading our computer (thus, work) capabilities. Hence the up-front investment in satellite Internet.

Actually, our computers don't represent a lot of cash, since our computers are in good shape, and we're off the Microsoft upgrade-till-you-die treadmill. I'm sure Bill Barnwell would approve my attempt to use a hand-me-down printer on our network. As it is, we're using my old OL400e printer with the broken paper tray, which I repaired by finding a "second paper tray" on eBay. Sure, it's only 300 dpi, but for most print jobs that's more than enough. Even though it's in perfect working condition, the OL400e is old enough that it's easier to find supplies on eBay (at bargain prices) than in my local office supply store. Sure, someday those supplies will dry up, and then I may be forced to relegate it to the scrap heap. But until then I'm saving on a new printer, and on supplies.

The day may come when I want to buy a wireless router with all the whizzy features. But our house already has Ethernet cable runs, and I can use a $10 router/firewall/print server.

I may start shopping for a replacement computer, but only because I still require an ISA slot for my work, and computers with ISA slots are becoming hard to find...even on eBay. (Well, computers faster than my existing one, at least.) That'll set me back maybe $140 Canadian. (I do love using recycled computers.)

If the coming downturn impacts us directly -- as it might, if work dries up -- we'll be prepared. If not, we're ahead of the game.


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