Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saving Change

I was going through my change jar today and started to think. I have a LOT of pennies and nickels. About once a month or so I separate my pennies and nickles from my dimes and quarters. I cash in my dimes and quarters and put my pennies and nickles in a coffee can. They just keep adding up. For a long time I was taking Rawles advice and getting a few rolls of nickels every time that I cashed in my paycheck. Those rolls added up fast to the point where I probably have more than I'd be willing to take with me if I had to bug out. Sure the metal content is worth more than the monetary value of the coins but I have to wonder if it's worthwhile to sit on them. They're heavy. I have a lot of them. It's still money that can be spent. If I were cashing them in for beer money it would be one thing but when I cash in my spare change I buy silver, ammo, food stocks, etc with the money. Basically, I use that money for preps. Those preps could easily pay huge dividends a lot sooner than what the metal in the coins will ever pay.

Not so long ago I recommended that you should do just what I'm doing. Now I'm recommending that you take that spare change, cash it in and get some preps with it. You can bet that Obama is going to make SOME sort of push towards gun (or ammo) control. Guns or ammo are both safe investments. You can't have too much non perishable food on hand. Packing your pantry a little tighter is never a bad idea and if rampant inflation ever kicks into overdrive then food could get prohibitively expensive. Spot silver and gold are both low compared to where they were a year ago. While spot silver has been sitting around $10-$11 an ounce you can't buy it for less than $15-$20 an ounce if you look on ebay or walk into a shop. Gold has been hovering around $800-$900 and ounce if you pay attention to the spot price but if you actually try to buy it you can expect to pay well over $1000 an ounce. Meanwhile, some big investment firms are "baffled" over the fact that rich people are cashing in their investments so that they can take possession of physical precious metals. The fact that they won't get a cut when those rich people cash in those investments (or purchase those investments) couldn't possibly have anything to do with their trepidation about this investment strategy.

If you've been saving your pennies over the last few years then it's time to cash them in. Get something that will have real value that you can actually take with you during an emergency. I was shocked when I actually calculated the face value of all of the rolls of nickels that I'd saved up. Needless to say I'll be paying a visit to my local coin dealer within the next couple of days and it won't surprise me if I walk out with some gold to add to my collection. Just and silver aren't the only precious metals. Soon lead and brass could both be very precious as well. More importantly you can't eat ANY of those. If you're short on food storage then that's obviously what you need to be focusing on. It's time to kick things into overdrive. I firmly believe that we're at the do or die stage. It's up to you to decide what you need to do to make sure that your chances of dying are a whole lot lower than everyone around you. On a lighter note M.D. Creekmore over at the survivalist blog wrote a good post a couple of days ago about urban living during a worst case scenario. If you haven't already read it then I suggest that you go check it out.


B said...

I agree with you. Saving rolls of change is a waste. Invest that in the things you mentioned. You can never have too much food!

Rawles means well, but sometimes he's impractical.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!!!! This has been my line of thinking all along! Even if nickel's are worth more than face value, how are you going to smelt it and purify it,sell it,and to whom? It's better to spend it than haul it me! If the SHTF in a major way,a bunch of nickels won't be worth any more than a paper bill anyway. I've seen several post's saying they have ammo can's packed with nickel's,what would that weigh? I'd rather haul 30 pound's of food than that!

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Anonymous said...

Saving a lot of change does not sound very efficient to me. For one, if things evolve into a true emergency it is quite possible that simultaneously we will be facing hyperinflation making the face value of the coins worthless. The sheer weight of the coinage makes it a liability. I'm a big advocate of Gold and Silver bullion. I don't have the time to go into all the upsides but it represents concentrated value in a commonly recognizable form. That is why there is a standard of minting coins in a 1oz form. Any exchange in a post dollar scenario will be that much smoother because you can quickly look at it and recognize that its 1oz and conduct your business. No need for melting, weighing etc Sure, there is the possibility of forgery and counterfitting but that exists now and will always be part of the equation. I highly recommend at the very least converting those nickels into silver. If you have a lot of money saved or in invested putting at least %20 into physical gold/silver bullion . If you can deal with the longish delivery time I would check out these guys for their relatively cheap fees.

Smith & Binney said...

I recommend taken at least one roll of nickels or quarters to slip in an easily accessible pocket - in a very tight pinch, they add serious heft to a punch. I have heard that prison guards will often carry a roll of quarters (half-dollars are too big for the average hand) to put a little weight behind their statements. I'm not saying keep abunch, but one just might be useful. The other comment I have is that SILVER dimes or other coins are always worth having in a BOB.