Showing posts with label Chris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Deals at PSA

If you know anyone that needs a trunk gun...

PSA is selling their bargain basement PTAC (read:  el-cheapo kind of junky) uppers for $189.  

They are selling a PTAC kit with optic, everything sans lower, for $449.

I would prefer a higher quality AR but for a trunk gun or someone on a serious budget I'd prefer a PTAC AR-15 to an SKS.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

AK and AR Initial Entry Prices

I know you were an AK guy for awhile...  Aim has M70s for $529.

Of note, Palmetto State Armory has been running some deals that would let you assemble a sub-$500 AR.  Looks like the AK price advantage has finally been crushed.

Ryan here: We talked about the AK vs AR price situation awhile back. Prices have changed slightly upwards since then but the point is still valid. Since it's almost a wash just buy what you like.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pairing Pistols For Field and CCW Needs

On my recent road trip the two pistols I chose to keep handy were a pair of Glock 9mm's, large and small. A friend of the blog Chris once described their "his and hers tactical/ carry setup" of subcompact and compact pistols. They chose .40 cal M&P's. The .40 S&W is a fine round (even ball ammo is pretty hot) though it can have issues in some pistols (like they blow up). In any case the point here is not to get into a cartridge or pistol debate but the idea. It could be Glock 9mm's which would be my preference but you could also do XD 45's or whatever.

The advantages of this setup are numerous. Familiarity is one. Common calibers between pistols is another. Most will take the same magazines from larger to smaller (though not visa versa). A guy with a pair of Glock 9mm's say a 19 and a 26 could buy one type of 9mm defensive ammo, and go heavy on Glock 17 mags with a few 26's to keep in the smaller gun for CC. Also (though I am not sure this is the case for all guns) just about every part except the barrel, frame and slide on a Glock 9mm (also .40) is the same. So it even makes streamlining spare parts easier.

For revolver fans I would go with a J framed .38/.357mag and a full sized 4" .357.  I would recommend for concealed carry the smaller revolver should probably be a lightweight type vs a small steel J that might as well be made of lead. A J frame in .357 magnum would be great but .38 special is sufficient. (Speaking of which here is 1k in .38 ammo for $420). Some would note a steel J will probably last longer but these little guns tend not to get much play anyway so for most the issue is negligible. An Airweight J frame like my 642 is an excellent CCW revolver.

For the full sized revolver I would strongly recommend a .357 magnum over a .38. The .38 is a fine round but .357 mag is a real stopper. Also if dangerous animals are a concern with the right load .357 mag is a solid bear killer (though not Grizzly or huge Alaskan bear's which are .44mag and up). The versatility of that setup would range from a great woods gun to concealed carry in town with plenty of plinking fun in the middle. An excellent setup for wheel gunners.

We could quibble makers and models all day long but there are numerous good options. As my finances become a bit more comfortable over the years Smith and Wesson revolvers are becoming the norm. However that's largely because Ruger's haven't been available PP when I was looking. For sheer ruggedness a Ruger SP101, though a brick to carry, and a GP100 are probably the way to go. In any case I would be careful with Taurus's and inclined to avoid other makers.

I'm not saying you absolutely need to have more than one pistol but it is certainly nice. The second gun buys you a lot of options. If the gear and ammo for them is compatible that's certainly a benefit. Worth thinking about beforehand so you do not end up with a Glock 9mm carry pistol and a Sig .40 for tactical stuff with nothing compatible between the two.

On an unrelated note.  The emphasis on large "tactical" type pistols in modern training for civilians sort of bothers me. Folks going to the range and doing classes with a full sized or almost full sized pistol that has a tac light, maybe a red dot and extended magazines. That is cool but most of those folks do not actually carry those guns around. Spending all your training time on a full sized handgun then carrying a .32 in your pocket which has half a box of ammo through it a decade ago is called missing the point. While banging out a bunch of rounds and doing cool guy stuff is satisfying folks need to put a significant portion of their pistol training time and resources into the pistol(s) they actually carry on a regular basis.

Anyway the point I'm getting at is to think a bit and try to choose a set of pistols that compliment each other to suit all of your needs while keeping an eye on simple logistics.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

From Around The Web

Arma Borealis is a blog by a couple who are regularly show up around here. Good stuff. Not at all related to the other links today. Just wanted to mention it.

Chicago: Americas gun free killing fields  

America Doesn't Have a Gun Problem, It Has a Gang Problem

5 Lessons from the Panic in 2012 at Teotwawki Blog. Have what you need on hand. Know where your shortages (a relative term) are. If supplies may become interrupted act without hesitation to fill said shortages.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Guns For Me But Not For Thee

As Chris pointed out If armed security guards are ineffective, why do anti gun people send their children to schools with lots of them?

Why do their kids deserve to be safer than my kid or yours? 

How is it that some cops who get to carry all the time off work anywhere and public officials or rich folks who have armed security think I should not be able to have a weapon?

The only conclusions I can come to is that A) they think they are superior to normal folks and B) gun control is not about guns it is about control.

Also on another note if I ever get to rewrite the Constitution I will add an amendment that all elected officials are required to send their school aged children to the worst performing public school in the area they represent. Maybe then they would get serious about fixing education.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Relooking Cost AR vs AK #Whatever

Longtime reader Chris gave us a blind flash of the obvious about this ongoing debate over at his blog. One of the benefits of the AK platform has always been price. For the price of an AR you could have two AK's or an AK with some ammo and mags or whatever. Even 5 or 6 years ago AK's cost half to two thirds as much as AR's. Accessories such as mags and ammo were cheaper too.

With the massive explosion of the AR platform in recent years (for goodness sake they sell them at Walmart now) many new folks have gotten into, or expanded their role in, making AR's. This has driven down the cost point of real quality mil spec type fighting guns too which is pretty great.

As Chris pointed out it is pretty hard to touch an AK for under $600 these days. I did some checking and confirmed this to be accurate or close enough. There are some basic but solid AR's at or very near that price point. Some nitwhit AR hater or fanboy might argue that only a $1,600 big name AR is capable of being a decent fighting gun. That nitwhit's AK fanboy buddy could argue with equal effectiveness that only an Arsenal AK customized out of a big name shop is capable. They are both stupid and equally wrong.

I did wonder if accessories for the AK platform were still cheaper.

As to ammo this 7.62x39 Tula FMJ in a spam can is running 24.8 cents a round. You do pay a premium for getting ammo in a spam can (though it is already properly stored which is something to consider). You can get it closer to 20 cents a round if you don't want or need it already packed.

PMC .223 ammo is available for $350/1,000. At first glance this is more expensive than 7.62x39 but we are talking modern manufactured brass cased ammo vs com block steel cased stuff. If we compare apples and apples steel cased .223 can be had for a tiny bit more than 7.62x39. Conversely brass cased 7.62x39 is pretty expensive both because it is relatively rare and it requires more metal than .223.

[Personally I do not shoot steel cased ammo in the AR platform. I shoot steel cased ammo in AK's and Glocks but not other guns. The only hassles I have had with AR feeding were with steel cased ammo. While not in any way scientific the answer to use brass cased ammo was obvious to me. YMMV]

So ammo is really a wash in terms of cost.

As to mags I can answer this somewhat easily looking at recent purchases. I got a bunch of PMAG's from Brownells for $14 a piece. Mil spec type (new) AR type mags are running around twelve and change if you buy in any quantity. The excellent to good condition surplus eastern European milsurp AK mag's I use are running $15 right now. Then again they do pop up cheaper sometimes, I bought some for $11 back in April.

Mag prices are also a wash.

Spare parts are one area where AK's still have the edge. You can get a full AK parts kit (the whole gun minus receiver and barrel) for under $200. I am not willing to look up prices and make estimates but you cannot do that with an AR.

Chris's point that AK supplies are drying up (at least in part due to import regulations on Chinese guns) is valid. AK prices are going up. I would guesstimate AK's and AK stuff is up about 40% over the past 5 or 6 years. AR stuff, except ammo has generally stayed flat or dropped in price.

This is not meant to be a comparison of the two platforms. John Mosby made a very compelling case for the AR which is worth considering. That being said if you have an AK (especially if you bought it at $250-350) and are happy with it then keep on keeping on. My point was to take a look at the cost to purchase, equip and train with an AR and an AK today. It is fair to say that when considering the strengths of either platform (real or mythical) you can pretty much remove cost from the discussion as it is very comparable.

Take care of each other,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harder Homes and Gardens for Renters

I wrote about home defense awhile back. A longtime reader Chris rather accurately mentioned that lots of otherwise practical options are not so viable for renters. I unintentionally stumbled back into this topic and it seemed worth revisiting.

What Chris said that options are pretty limited for renters is valid. You can't do whatever you want in somebody else's place. You certainly may get screwed around on the deposit and I wouldn't do anything significant without getting permission (get it in writing and make it clear what standard the place will be left in). In any case the point of looking at lower visibility/ physical impact options is still worthwhile. Like other military issues this is compounded by frequent moves. Sucking up the deposit to do what you want at a place you will live for years is a rather easy decision. Doing it every year or two could get problematic.

First and foremost as with all real estate location, location, location. While not as cool or sexy as steel doors which stop rifle fire or barbed wire it is much more practical to just avoid places that are statistically less safe. Do some research on the area and check the place out. Look at the place and the area that surrounds it. Coming back to drive around the neighborhood at night is not a bad idea either.

 Seriously just live in a place that doesn't suck. Of course violence can happen anywhere but it happens a lot more in some places than others. If you aren't willing to pony up the extra $100 a month, drive another 10 minutes to work or livei n a slightly less nice residence to be in a decent area then it may be worth reconsidering how serious you actually are about your families safety. 

[It is also worth noting that most both burglars and home invaders (or the day and night guys as Mr. Yeager calls them) typically do not just target a place at random. They think you have cash (or drugs) or a bunch of electronics or guns or something else valuable. Either folks see stuff or they hear stuff or whatever. Being very discrete about the valuables you have is prudent. Avoid obvious displays of stuff like flashy cars or having new fancy electronics delivered all the time. In other words live a modest lifestyle and try to keep things worth stealing quietly put away at home.]

I really would not want to live in the nice apartments/ condo's/ houses in an iffy neighborhood. Gentrification or the "good block/ bad block" situation or whatever is not a good thing for your safety. Being the folks who seem to have money in a poor and crime ridden area is just stupid. Also it is even worse if there are racial/ cultural differences that further bring resentment and anymousity. We looked at some great apartments with cool amenities and everything. However they were right in the hood. Like overlooking one of the low end corner stores where teen and 20 something's stand around drinking and smoking pot in a bad ghetto life movie right in the hood. Needless to say we did not move there.

Living off the first floor helps or at least I think it does. It limites the amount of entrances a lazy person (most crooks) would use. You are looking at a door and maybe a window instead of every opening.

For door security the classic door bar is better than nothing. These require no modifications and are also good for hotels. It would take an extra kick or so to knock the thing in (I tried it) which might buy a couple seconds that could matter.  Not perfect but better than nothing. Also I would look at replacing the screws in the existing hardware with longer ones that will bite into more wood. All you would need is a drill and a quick trip to home depot.

A product which I saw for the first time today called the bar-icade seems pretty cool. It seems to be two bolts and a chunk of square tubing. Stick the bolts into the studs and put the metal bar over them, easy as pie. Best of all it seems very realistic to use in a rental. You could use it, slap on some putty and paint and probably not have anybody notice the two holes. Also the price of about $60 it is hard to beat.

Alarm decals are always doable and lights might be an option depending on how strict the landlords are. I can't speak to the ease of installation or quality of video but security camera's have gotten a lot cheaper in the past few years. It looks like you could have a few camera's with a big hard drive to record a lot of footage for about $300. Best of all you could just take it with you when you move.

For structural improvements beyond that you are probably going to have to ask permission or suck it up on the deposit.

As a final thought I wouldn't get too wrapped up about the deposit. If a couple holes or whatever will not kill you on the inspection. If you are anything like me you spend a decent amount of money on a lot of things far less likely to actually keep you safe than the basic physical security of your home. A bit of money spent in hardware (and maybe lost deposit) will make your place more secure and thus your family safer it is probably a worthwhile expense.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Recommendation


I just read "Seven Deadly Scenarios" (Seven Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century - by Andrew Krepinevich) from the CSAF's reading list. I found it interesting that two of the scenarios -- in a book explicitly about the DoD -- involved civil defense/disorder scenarios in CONUS. One pandemic ("What if the pig flu really killed people?") and one terrorist ("What if a terrorist group got ahold of some WMD and used them on US cities?").

Anyways, while I usually enjoy the books on the Army reading list as much or more than the AF ones, this one was thought provoking and possibly worth a read. I am looking forward to starting Washington's Crossing from the Army list (seemed appropriate for the season) next. You may be able to convince your unit to fund acquisition of the books as they are on the approved secretary reading lists.

Hope all is well with you and your family this holiday season.

A Reader

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Investment, Prioritizing, Insurance and Asset Allocation.

It is a bit past midnight my time and I can't sleep. Guess that is what I deserve because last night I had the nerve to get 8.5 hours of quality uninterrupted sleep for the first time in 3 weeks. Anyway I was going to the pad of paper I keep by the chair to write down my 2rd post idea for the night and decided I might as well just write the darn thing. I'm up anyway.

I want to talk about  investment, prioritization, asset allocation, and insurance. Far too often we muddle and confuse these terms, much to our detriment. Thinking something is what it isn't can often have less than desirable results.

The term that gets tossed around the most incorrectly is investment. According to Wikipedia "Investment is the commitment of money or capital to purchase financial instruments or other assets in order to gain profitable returns in form of interest, income, or appreciation of the value of the instrument."  I am sure there are numerous other definitions which vary slightly but this is good enough for our purposes. Basically an investment is something you do with money in order to make more money. It might be a stock or a CD or a 10% stake in your buddies business venture but the fundamentals are the same.

In the preparedness community people often say "investment" when they mean prioritization. They will say something like "I invested in some rope and socks today".  It is difficult if not impossible to imagine a situation where they will make any money from 50 feet of manila rope or a bag of tube socks. This is just how they chose to prioritize their resources today. Maybe it is a good way to prioritize because they have some stuff to tie together and a bunch of nasty worn out socks, but it still isn't going to make them any money.

People also regularly say "investment" when they mean "insurance". Back to our friend Wikipedia "Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss." In simple guy talk insurance is something we buy to prepare for something bad. Car/ home/ renters/ health insurance are the easiest to classify but I would also argue that the purchase of beans/bullets/ bandaids/firearms/precious metals often fall into this category. It can however get a bit muddled.

For example lets say I buy 1,000 rounds of 9mm (or whatever) ammunition. If I do not have a lot of ammunition and am purchasing this to ensure I have the means to defend myself in a time of need. This is insurance. Buying 50 sealed cases of rifle ammo at a good deal to take to the gun show in 6 months and make a tidy profit would be an investment. To me with some of these commodities (guess ammo could be considered a commodity) it is more about how you plan to use them than any other single factor. Also remember that taking the time and energy/ research to do the whole buy low sell high thing on a scale which is meaningful is a lot closer to a business which is a whole nother topic.

Lots of stuff that is very prudent to do falls into the insurance category. It is rather unlikely that you are ever going to sell all the canned food in your pantry to somebody from craigs list. It is far more likely that you would eat it if you couldn't go to the store. I have no desire to buy and sell ammo to make money but I do keep a reasonable amount of the stuff around. I keep it as insurance against needing ammo and not being able to purchase it.

Lets get back to our friend with his $17. He is a smart young fellow and wants to invest his money. He goes and talks to an older kid he knows who finds beat up bikes, fixes them up and sells them at a profit. He INVESTS in the business. In return for $17 he gets 25% of the next 4 bikes which turns out to be a nice little profit.

Maybe our friend is a bit more short sided (or in need) and just wants to spend his money. After careful thinking he decided to buy a bunch of tube socks. He did this because he prioritized those items quite high.

Maybe our friend is a bit worried about the future. He is worried he will need to buy something and not have the money to do so. He takes that $17 and puts it away in his sock drawer (which depressingly enough can sure use some new tube socks) so that when that time comes he will have money. This money is saved to be insurance against something bad in the future.

When we misuse the term investment we can make ourselves think that we are doing some sort of smart money thing for our future. While often the things people are doing are prudent, they do not make money. Having a solid handle on the difference between investment and insurance lets us better allocate our resources.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Inflation and Food Dehydrators

I got a couple questions recently. Saddle Tramp asked me a very complicated question which I will address this afternoon or tomorrow. In order to address Saddle Tramp's question I think it is worthwhile to talk a little bit about inflation. Chris from AK asked how the dehydrator is turning out as he is in the market for one.

It took me a long time to really understand inflation. I of course understood that when stuff costs more it is inflation and when it costs less it is deflation. On a very individual Joe everyday trying to pay bills, save and generally live that is enough. However what about the rest of the story.

Two truths shape my beliefs in inflation as they are now. First is that it is a hidden tax. How is it a hidden tax you ask? Simply because the government (ours or some other one) prints money and spends it. This money makes the value of the money in circulation lower. Politicians like this because they get the benefit of spending more without having to raise taxes or decrease spending neither of which voters like. There is no need to take money out of peoples paychecks or extract it from them annually when they can reach into our pockets and just decrease the value.

Lets say you keep a few hundred dollars in cash at home because well that is what you do if you are smart. If we have 5% inflation the money in your sock drawer or gun safe is able to buy 5% less stuff. No guy who was too low in his accounting class to get a lucrative private job and thus has a big chip on his shoulder is going to show up at your house backed by the implicit threat of force. They just print more and it decreases the value of what you have.

The second is a bit more conceptual. Dave Duffy said it best "Inflation isn't so much that prices go up—because that would imply that groceries and stuff like that have somehow become more valuable. Inflation is when money becomes less valuable so it takes more money to buy a sack of potatoes, a gallon of gas, or hire a babysitter. It's a distinction most people don't seem to get.". 

Inflation isn't stuff becoming worth more through companies adding features to something, having increased costs or God forbid deciding to just make a little bit more profit. Inflation is the value of money going down. 

 Anyway I felt like revisiting those foundations is important for what I will talk about later. 

Not too long ago I purchased a 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator.  There were two features I initially wanted, the ability to set the temperature and a timer. Because of cost considerations I decided to get one without a timer. As Angela pointed out you can just plug it into one of those Christmas tree timers. 

I am really enjoying the dehydrator. If we had a bigger family I would have purchased a bigger one but since we don't the smaller and cheaper model is just fine.  Not having a timer is a bit of an annoyance but I just time it so I will be around when the stuff should be done. The trays just get tossed into the dish washer and come out clean. There is no need to rotate trays as with some models. 

I found it well worth the roughly $100 it cost. Hope that helps.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PCSing with Physical Precious Metals

One of the annoying parts of moderating comments is that you can read a comment, click to approve and then have it vanish back into the archives somewhere. That happened this afternoon. Anyway Chris from Alaska asked my thoughts on moving with physical precious metals, he said a bit more but that is the jist and well the comment is back somewhere. Anyway here it goes.

Personally I would be inclined to hand carry precious metals during a move. If for some reason that didn't seem like a good idea another option if you have a PO Box or very trusted individual on the other side would be to ship them in the mail (or UPS/FEDEX) insured up to their full replacement value. Well those are my thoughts. There will be a normal post later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Comment Moderation Fun, Savings and Debt, Life Choices and Education

 I moderate comments and have been doing so for some time. IMO comment sections on a relatively popular (ie read by other than immediate family, friends, etc) open blog often regularly turn into a huge mess of flame wars with spam and extremist hate speech in between.  I really tried and it just doesn't work. I don't know a blogger who has had success with it. At the end of the day I am Captain of this ship so I sail it the best I can, or at least the way I want. One of the biggest downsides of moderating comments is that they slow down the flow of ideas and make those great sideline discussions which either nail down a point or move in an otherwise interesting direction harder. However you take what you can get.

I do like that I get to see all the comments. Usually if it is about a fairly recent post I know what is going on. Sometimes I go back and comment. Other times something jumps out at me, maybe it is interesting or brings us in a new direction or whatever. This is one of those times. Here was a comment from my recent post on Savings and Debt.

5:59 said "Chris: It's easy to say, "they made their bed", but it's not that simple. When an 18 year old is leaving high school, everyone in the world in telling them "you should go to college"; they don't know any better. They go and get a piece of paper and end up with 50k in loans and an entry level job and realize by about age 30 that they should have taken up a trade. It is a problem with our society, and you can't blame an 18 year old for listening to "older, wiser" people.

It is damn near impossible for a family to pay off 50k in student loans, have a decent used car, a house that is out of the city enough to be somewhat safe, and still put away a 3 month emergency fund.

That is not an accident, it is all by design of the government to keep everybody underfoot, and I realize that, but it still pisses me off. We make decent money and are not living above our means, but I can barely afford to buy a little extra food to put back every month let alone put back 3 months savings."

TOR here: Well  now it is time for my thoughts. This comment reeks of a lack of accepting responsibility. It is full of they and them and everybody and society in an effort to somehow pass on responsibility to everyone else. We will revisit this theme in a minute.

Educational costs, debt and career prospects/ income are an interesting discussion. Our society seems to want people to do hard jobs (education and social work come to mind) for modest pay and require expensive degrees. We can't seem to understand why these jobs often (certainly not saying it is all of them but if you work in either you know there are some) attract lazy or not particularly capable people and that the turn over is high. Don't know what the answer is but I imagine either things will keep slogging along dysfunction-ally as usual or something in the equation will change. In any case getting back to the point.

On average a college graduate (BA/BS) earns a heck of a lot more in their lifetime (think it is a million dollars) on average than non college graduates. I do think those statistics are somewhat skewed for two reasons. First in general (remember we are talking about millions of kids, not onesies and twosies) the young adults who graduate from college are far more motivated, smart and hard working then their non college peers. They could be locked in a closet for 4 years and still demolish the other kids in earnings. Secondly I think we are talking about one fairly narrowly defined group and a very poorly defined one. We are comparing adults who went to and graduated from a university or 4 year college with all other adults. Those other adults include highly skilled craftsmen, union workers, various professionals, laborers, small business owners, service employees and shiftless layabouts. The stats would probably not be so skewed if we compared say college graduates and highly skilled craftsmen.

Revisiting my first point. I have a suspicion you were talking about yourself but that doesn't really matter. I do not know you and am going to make some generalizations. Maybe they apply to you and maybe not but they likely apply to some other people. Certainly I do not want to make you or anyone else feel bad. Well except when I obviously bash somebody for being a jerk which is rare these days. I have never heard of Tony Soprano and his friends coming to anyone's house to force them to go to a certain college or take out a bunch of loans or go into a certain career field afterwords.  Eighteen year old kids can get married, sign legally binding documents, buy firearms and fight in wars. They certainly do not make perfect decisions and often don't even make good ones but that is called life. For heavens sake take some personal responsibility.

Far too often people box themselves into a corner and then complain that they are trapped in a corner. Every individual decision they make might be reasonable on its own merit but together they are not reasonable.  Lets break this down with commentary. 5:59's words are in italics and mine are not. 

...It is damn near impossible for a family. Consider your financial situation before getting married, let alone having kids. Like many things in life it is not romantic or feel good but inherently practical. pay off 50k in student loans, have a decent used car, a house that is out of the city enough to be somewhat safe, Here is where many people box themselves in. They say they 'have to have' a certain sort of car and live in a certain type of place and then turn around and blame society and "the system" for their choices. They got those loans to get that degree from that school. They also chose that car and decided they just had to live in a certain place. Nobody put a gun to their head and said to drive a 3 year old shiny SUV instead of a 10 year old Honda Civic with a dented fender or forced them to live in a nice house in the burbs instead of a trailer park or a little apartment.

I really hate when people talk about how there is some sort of a system by our government to keep them down in terms of life expenses, bills, housing, etc. To be blunt that is a very unsuccessful attempt to somehow pass ownership for ones decisions to anyone but their own self. I can get how people back themselves into a corner or stay in a less than ideal situation because of work/ family/ etc. I do have empathy but that doesn't mean they didn't make and aren't still making those choices. Don't get me wrong there are all sorts of legitimate criticisms such as inflation and zoning but that is a different discussion. Pretty much everywhere Americans can make broad and diverse choices about lifestyles and housing. You can go all Dakin and shred your monthly expenses with the purchase of a travel trailer and a bit of land. If that isn't practical because of your urban setting or zoning you can get a tiny apartment and have room mates. Yeah, neither of those options are any fun but that is a reoccurring theme of most practical decisions.

...and still put away a 3 month emergency fund. Lets revisit the last point. Of course you can't save up 3 months of household expenses when you spend almost everything that comes in. In order to be able to save real money or aggressively pay down debt you are going to have to earn more money or go crazy slashing expenses. [Not saying this applies to you but it is a thought I have right now. It amazes me how people don't understand how they stay stuck just barely getting by but haven't changed anything like say; increased their income or slashed their expenses. Somehow the same pay and the same bills come out more or less the same every month. Isn't a definition of insanity continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result?] I agree that with what was laid out as your/ the above situation the math on an emergency fund just doesn't work. If one diligently saved  the surplus 2-4% of their income towards an emergency fund it would take a really, really long time (not willing to do the math) to save 3 months of income.

Do whatever you want, it is your life. I would like to leave you with two questions to mull over. First, are you willing to take some responsibility for where you are? Second, are you willing to do some unpleasant things in the short term to make your life better in the long term?

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