So for the purposes of completing


the baby steps as outlined by DR, gold/silver does have value but they are both rather clunky to work with (literally and figuratively). Paper assets are a lot more convenient. But for folks who want to round out their investment types, particularly in the case of worrying about what the economy is doing, gold/silver can provide a potent alternative. Gold/silver also holds value for non-conventional trading. And I think at the end of the day, any well-rounded investment person would suggest a well-rounded investment portfolio, which included non-paper assets. If I were to win Lotto this very instant, a lot would go into the typical investment instruments that DR talks about. But some would go into alternatives – gold/silver, real estate, food, durable goods, etc. This entire farm could be considered an investment vehicle because of all the durable goods we have at any given time. So there’s a lot of ways to look at building wealth, which go way beyond paper assets.The one thing I’ll caution folks to do if they’re interested in this, is to go do their homework FIRST. Don’t just go buying the first gold and silver coins you find on eBay. Learn about the different types of coins, and which ones are trading for what value and how that value has changed over time. There are entire books written about this topic, and more than a few periodicals devoted to the gold/silver trade. Invest in that education first so that you’ll know what you’re getting into, what to look for, where to do business, where NOT to do business, and why. As with anything else, there’s ways to make money at this and ways to lose money. If you want to go this route, be ready to undertake the associated learning curve so you can do it well. Which is a valid strategy for any type of investment.

The are some downsides


while gold/silver is very stable in overall value, meaning it is not subject to losing value during economic hiccups, the other side of that coin (no pun intended) is that it also doesn’t gain value as quickly when other forms of investment do. I think I recall from DR’s class that a person should be able to reasonably expect mutual fund accounts to appreciate at a rate of 10%-12% per year, year in and year out, when things are clicking along reasonably well. Even when events like 9/11 come along, or the 2008 crash, those figures might stumble a bit but they generally recover. Gold/silver might not have quite that performance during generally stable economic conditions. As such, they are not a first choice investment vehicle when things are clicking along nicely. But they can be a very nice alternative, particularly for folks (like me) who get uncomfortable with some of the layers of complexity involved with other modern investment vehicles. 2) it is easy to accumulate gold/silver incrementally, but it can be hard to spend it all at once if you want to divest yourself of that particular asset. So for instance, if I wanted to buy a $100,000 house with gold/silver coins, yes the value is there and I could easily say I have X quantities of gold/silver, and it’s worth X amount. But to actually physically deliver larger volumes, you start getting into the logistics of moving heavy objects. $100,000 at today’s rates is about 4lbs of gold. It’s over 200lbs of silver. That’s a lot to lug around for day to day transactions. And while banks could potentially handle that, they much prefer paper.
3) It’s hard to count, because you have to weigh it, and most folks don’t have certified scales. That’s why the certified gold/silver coins are so valuable; those weights are fixed and published and generally regarded as rather difficult to modify. But if you don’t have that certification in hand, all bets are off until you actually weigh the item in question.4) when times REALLY get tough, and you’re hand to mouth, having a pantry worth of food and/or the means to produce food becomes the hot commodity. You can feed yourself for a time with whatever is in the pantry, and you can feed yourself forever if you can grow food somehow. But you must have a trading partner in order for gold/silver to have any ultimate value, because gold/silver have no inherent value other than to be traded for something you need. That is ultimately true for all currency, and gold/silver is the most durable currency ever invented. But it does, at the end of the day, only allow two people to trade back and forth. If a person were desperately hungry with only the clothes on his back, and one seller had a meal and the other seller had gold/silver coins of equal value, the hungry person would probably trade the clothes on his back for the meal rather than the coins. To push this analogy to its extreme end, if you were the last person on earth, gold and silver would by definition become worthless. Food, however, always has value.

First, let me say


that I have an ongoing inherent distrust of a lot of forms of paper assets and paper currency. So when I’ve had sufficient money to invest (it’s been awhile but once upon a time I was in that position, and plan to be there again), I was uneasy with the idea of investing in Wall Street. I had no control over what some CEO was doing with any given company, and how those decisions would affect my investments. Yes, I know, there’s a lot more to it than that, and you spread the risk over a wide number of companies to thin out the ripple from any individual company’s performance. I also know that during the history of this nation’s stock market, it has very generally done well and trended up. But if you take another step back and look over the history of civilization on this planet, economies have come and gone. And they have taken their paper assets with them when they fell. But gold/silver has outlasted them all. So I will admit right up front that I have always wanted to make room for gold/silver in my overall investment strategy.
Having said that, I’ve looked into this a fair amount, and when I get enough money coming in/saved up such that I’m ready to invest, gold/silver will be a part of (but only part of, and not all of) that investment plan. Here’s why:
1) both gold and silver are very long-standing investment vehicles, possibly one of the oldest investment vehicles available, and they are both universally recognized as having value. No other form of currency can say that.
2) when economies are clicking along, a variety of investment vehicles are created and used as part of that comprehensive economy. But when economies either struggle or fail, most of those investment vehicles can (and have) lose value almost overnight. That’s exactly when gold and silver are at their highest value.
3) They are extremely portable, and at the moment still non-traceable. Meaning, there’s no regulatory oversight to track how much gold and silver folks have. Most other investment vehicles have federal reporting requirements. That freaks out some people, that Uncle Sam knows what assets you have.
4) Silver is consistently very conveniently roughly 1/10 the value of gold, which provides almost a built-in system of currency. If things every really went south, gold and silver coins would still hold a lot of their value even as other forms of currently wouldn’t. Anyone who doubts this, just go look through how societies have handled currency values during national upheavals, such as during/after major wars like civil wars, world wars, etc. National denominations often fluctuated, and were sometimes eliminated entirely. Gold/silver was the standard during those moments of transition until the new currency was mature enough to stand on its own.
5) Even if things never go south, and let’s hope they don’t, gold and silver still appreciate in value, although at rates which might not match other forms of investing. More importantly to some, they might fluctuate up and down a little, but they don’t fluctuate as wildly as other investments can, and they rarely ever (trying to think if there’s a single instance) where they’ve seriously tanked. I’m not a precious metals historian, but I don’t think there’s an instance where they’ve ever lost a significant portion of their worth.
6) While most folks think of gold and silver bars as THE form of precious metals investment, that’s not the only option. One of the safest and most consistently active forms of gold/silver trade is in certified gold/silver coins, which are a convenient and comfortable way for folks to “dip their toe” in the precious metals investment pool. Go check out eBay sometime to see how lively that trade is. Suffice to say that even when the DJIA is having a bad day, gold/silver is still being traded very actively and rarely at a loss. No brokers, no investment houses, no websites to navigate and figure out. Just buyer + seller and then you have the tangible object in your hand. Some folks find that a comforting alternative to brokerage firms and paper assets.

I don’t know about you but I’ve not seen a single gold/silver scale at my vet


the grocery store, power company, or any other place I do business at. How would you cash it in? How would you be certain you are getting the proper value? Where would cash it in. Plus do you have any idea how heavy gold is?

Another bit of irony I’ve noticed, and it could be just me, but I think it is ironic that the people selling all that gold and silver are taking in US paper currency from you for payment? So if the US dollar is going to be so worthless, why would they want it? Why wouldn’t they just keep the gold and silver for themselves?
Inflation is inflation and nothing is going to change that. If it takes $6 to buy a loaf of bread at a store it’s going to be $6 whether it is gold, silver or cash. $6 is $6 at whatever the prevailing rate is. You would be far better off to invest in your families future right now, while the exchange rate is lower. Get debt free and you won’t need near as much cash. Build a stockpile of non-perishable goods when you can purchase them on sale, they will NOT get lower in cost in the future, they will not deflate. Rotate that stockpile so nothing ruins and most importantly get an education in a marketable skill that you can barter with.Currently my family could, if necessary, live without electricity and running water. Might not be happy about it but we could. I personally can trade butchering, sewing, leather work, needle crafts and teach numerous classes on self sufficiency as well as math and some other skills to help educate our youth if things really went south. Dh and ds have other skills they could easily barter with. We had a “trade blanket” for years so we know how to barter as well. We are the type of people that would get kicked off of “Survivor” because we can build a fire without matches in more than one way, we can forage for food as well as grow our own, and we know that if you decide to eat the chickens that are provided you it is the rooster that hits the pot not the hens, because the hens will give you eggs to supplement your food while the rooster will simply wake you up crowing when you most want to sleep.These are the things we’ve chose to invest in, not silver and gold.

That increases the hassle factor


for actually getting your money. Gold and silver, on the other hand, are treated as possessions rather than currency. If you want to sell them, go sell them and you’re done.As for the inheritance issue, the issue of a person dying without his/her relatives knowing what he/she has, has nothing to do with what form the assets are, and has everything to do with the will that person created (or failed to create). Anyone can go to the grave and take all sorts of bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc to the grave with them if no one else knows they exist and/or has the legal authority to work with them after that person has died. We’ve talked about that on the list too. So that is not a reason to forego investing in gold or silver (or anything else for that matter).
As for the legal tender issue, some forms of both gold and silver are still legal tender. So whether your particular grocery store would accept them as legal tender is between you and your grocery store. That, however, would be a waste of the coin because their assessed value for their metal content is a lot higher than their printed value. Yet another demonstration that if the dollar loses value, the value of the gold or silver goes up. Which was the whole goal.
Again, if you don’t like the idea of working with gold/silver, then don’t.But let’s please make sure that if we give reasons for not doing something, then those reasons actually apply to the scenario being discussed. I mean no disrespect, but I felt compelled to show how those objections just didn’t quite add up.

Remember that the value of any given currency is always changing


unless artificially set by the government which issued the currency (and that in and of itself gets really complicated really fast). A lot of economists have argued for a lot of years over what any given currency is truly worth. The fact that they all compare modern currencies against gold is one of the issues I keep coming back to in terms of my own comfort level. If the world’s best economists are continually comparing different currencies against gold, then it’s the gold that has the solid value and the different currencies which are changing over time. Since the original post was whether to invest in gold as a potential protection against a falling dollar, that would seem the ideal instrument for that purpose, since gold’s value is inversely related to the dollar’s value. In other words, the worse the dollar performs, the better gold performs when measured in dollars. All the arguments about whether it gains value compared to other stocks is irrelevant under the scenario that the dollar has become catastrophically devalued. And that was the scenario given in the original thread.As for the risk of it being stolen, I had to chuckle at that (in a dark humor sort of way). If you’ve been on the list awhile, you’ll perhaps recall that I wrote about how my dad came very close to losing all his paper assets last summer. In the space of 45 minutes, he got calls from bankers at 2 different banks, and brokers at 3 different investment firms, trying to get confirmation that he had actually ordered the transfer of all his accounts to some other bank. The ONLY reason he got those calls was because the receiving bank was in a foreign country, and as such had to submit to extra notification requirements. Had the transfer taken place on American soil, he never would have gotten those calls and all his paper asset accounts would have been emptied. So no, physical gold is no more at risk of theft than paper assets. Identity theft is as real a risk to paper assets as a thief in the night breaking into the house. For that matter, in some ways gold/silver can be stored a lot more securely than most other forms of currency. You can lock it up anywhere you deem secure. With paper assets, you only have that firm’s or bank’s security to assure you of its safety. For my dad, who thought he had his accounts very nicely secured, it very nearly wasn’t sufficient. Ironically, given the amount of identity theft going on currently, banks and investment firms are having to take more and more precautions to ensure that you are who you say you are when you want to withdraw money.

I bought my first gold in 1988


as a young newly married woman. We didn’t have very much and I only invested roughly $300, which even then was too small to really get into any other kinds of stocks or bonds. I bought another $300 worth a year later, for slightly more. I think the cutoff point for most forms of investing at that time (as far as I had checked anyway) was at least $500. So gold was one of the few things I could actually buy with the money I had to work with at the time. When my first husband and I divorced, he took half. Bummer.When I sold my half of the gold approx 20 years later, I needed the money and I needed it fast. It served EXACTLY the purpose I needed it to serve. I hated to see it go, but yes I made something on that investment. Not only did I get the money I needed when I needed it, it sold for a lot more per ounce than I’d originally paid for it. Compared to the options I had at the time, it out-performed my savings account by a lot, and it kept me from taking out more debt. So, it served its purpose quite well. I don’t regret selling it, even though I wish I still had it.Also, based on what I’ve read, it’s rather backwards to think of what gold is worth in terms of dollars (or any other currency). Rather, the real question is what that given currency is worth when compared to gold.

I’m reading all over the place about investing in silver and/or gold


because the dollar could possibly soon be worthless. What do any of you think about this? I know Dave’s not too keen on investing in gold, but I’m not sure about silver.I know we all have our opinions on the government and what’s going on in our country, but there seem to be a lot of signs pointing to us needing to get our ducks in a row in case something happens, economical or other.Should we be reserving some of our “emergency fund” as something tangible like gold or silver that do not lose their value? I’m worried my emergency fund won’t be worth it’s current value if something happens down the road.

That’s a big question


and the quickest answer is “it depends”. Very generally, raw meats are OK, cooked meats are OK but can cause some digestive upset. Cooked veggies are OK. Limited cooked grains are OK. Sauces, jams, fruits, dairy products, etc should only be fed sparingly if at all. Raw bones are OK but cooked bones can shatter and cause splintering.

We have done raw homemade dog and cat food for years, and there are recipes you can follow which will provide complete nutrition for dogs or cats. Whether it’s cheaper or more expensive is something of a debate. Yes you can feed costco kibble (or the like) very economically, and that’s probably the single cheapest option unless you raise your own meat and veggies and feed your dogs/cats out of your own garden. But many folks claim that you eventually “pay the price” for cheap kibble, via higher vet bills. We saw our vet bills drop dramatically after switching over to homemade raw foods but it’s not something which I can measure and quantify. In essence, you get what you pay for. Garbage in, garbage out.

I would suggest there are a variety of books and websites that you can read, to learn what’s safe and what’s not, and what is ok when fed in small amounts, and which recipes will give your critters complete nutrition. There are also Yahoo groups which are for folks feeding raw and/or homemade diets, either in full or as a supplement to purchased pet food, to help answer more involved questions along these lines.

As I posted in early October


we became debt free on September 28, 2015 after being in debt since the mid 2000s. Four months have pass since the chains dropped and we’ve been able to begin building our FFEF. The money has been building up in our checking account. Our FFEE is up to around $8,000 and the bank recently rewarded us with $0.08 interest for the month of January.

We’re looking for recommendations for a Dave Ramsey bank to send our FFEF money. I recall there being one or two banks that offered 2% return, but that was when we were on BS2, so things may have changed.

We’re open to suggestions on where to put our FFEF money. Also, it would be nice to receive a run down on what we need to be doing on BS3. We’ve mostly been laying low healing from our year and a half BS2 process and, now that we have some FFEF money, I probably need to get us going on the BS3 steps.

WOW!!!!! Dan this is awesome


We’re definitely in snowball stage, and this past weekend we actually had one of our first heated arguments since being on DR, because of disagreements and misunderstandings about where the money goes. Yes, we’re still struggling with that, here at 1 year down the road from taking the DR class. I’m going to forward this note to my DH as a beacon of hope. We, too, will find our way, and someday be able to send out a note like this. Thanks for the great news!

Credit Unions are the way to go…


I set my kids up at a Credit union years ago…$5 vs $250 to open an account at BOA. Since my DH traveled with his job, a nationally recognized bank was easier to deal with if he needed to use his debit card, why we had BOA for so many years. I’d get rid of the account, but we started a business and don’t want to add that stress to the mix and we still have the mortgage with them…I deal with BOA and the credit union and my DH deals with the business at the credit union. I think the business loan he needs is also going to be done through a CU.

Wow, Dan that is fantastic!


What a wonderful peace you will feel over the next couple of months knowing all that debt is gone.
And knowing that you will never be in that deep of a hole ever again gives you new gazelle intensity to move forward to the next steps!

We’re Debt Free!


As of September 28, 2016, we became debt free and are now BS3ers!

We’ve had student loan debt since 1993 and threw in significant credit card debt in the early 2000s, probably all together amounting to well over $180,000 (i.e. Payday Loans in Florida). We ramped up on Dave Ramsey beginning in March 2015 and dedicated everything we had to first and foremost getting out of debt. This year, we paid $52,800 towards our debt, largely due to spending below what the government identifies as the poverty line by a family of four.

I won’t receive my next paycheck until Friday Oct 12, so we haven’t yet tasted that sweet, sweet snowball going into our pocket instead of our servitude creditors.

Through the BS2 process, we learn about ourselves and how to improve our life together as a family. A best part about the BS2 process is what we learned about family finances and budgeting and how to use that to maximize the snowball as a way towards financial freedom. We will be using that budgeting system the rest of our lives and we are teaching it to our kids.

If you are reading this and are struggling on BS2, hang in there and keep pushing forward. If you work hard at getting out of debt, it can be done!

I have been looking for the original email to reply to on this topic but can’t find it or erased it


My daughter had a savings account since birth. When she was very little, I would make it my business to take her to the bank with me to make a deposit into her passbook savings account on a regular basis. She went to a private school for elementary and every year the school and the bank where she already had an account would give the children a savings account and sponsor a field trip to the bank to see the vault, to see how banking worked etc.

I also made it my business for her to see how money management worked from an early age. She liked to go to the mail box – so that was her job. She would open the mail, learn to recognize bills, and watch her dad or I pay the bills, then she went to writing out the checks, reconciling the ledger etc. In middle school she received her own checking account, this was right around the time ATM cards were turning to debit cards so she went with that process as well. For a long time the only check she wrote on her checking account was her tithe check. She could purchase a few things with her debit card and she would reconcile her account, because she learned from doing the business bills, and our personal accounts. For a long time, I just signed checks, never wrote them out, and spot checked her balancing of my checking account.

Now that she’s in college…. oops in high school she started a job, so with that came direct deposit into her checking account. Something happened, I can’t remember what, that caused her to overdraft and I thought the child had injured herself. She called hysterical and when I finally was able to understand what was wrong, her checking account was minus a substantial sum. Turned out she didn’t subtract something properly and I bailed her out – 1 time and 1 time only! She was so hurt from her error, I doubt I’ll have to do it again.

Now that she’s in college, she pays her own tuition with her debit card, (her father and I do deposit in her account for assistance with tuition only). She buys her own books, and incidentals. If I can only get her to go the grocery store instead of shopping in my refrigerator (see my recent pic on facebook), it would be better for me.

Our credit union


wouldn’t let the girls convert the savings accounts to checking until they had turned 18. They said it was a legal issue, I didn’t argue the point because I wanted them to get used to budgeting and saving.

The 3 oldest got the checking portion done not long after they turned 18…they still have me on the accounts–they feel they need the safety of mommy being there, in case of emergency–I don’t even look at their stuff. The youngest only has savings.

They budget their money well. The youngest is the only one without a steady income, but when she does work, they pay well.

The sooner the better


Our pastor gets his kids a debit card when they enter middle school. They have to pay for everything at that point. Clothes, movies, activies, sports, field trips etc.. Some money is put into the account for things like clothes, but mostly they kids have to work to earn the money. I waited until my son was a senior I wish I hadn’t. He struggles with managing things and he’s a college sophomore.

My kids had a paper route when they were 12 and have had accounts and debit cards since that time


Generally we teach them to donate 10% and then split the balance of their cheque 20-80. 20% is blow money and 80% is for education – or home down payment – or wedding (big life items).
My eldest has put herself through University (currently in 3rd year) and has the money in the bank for her 4th year already.
Our middle child just bounced her first cheque at 18 and was a mess for days. She had the money, just moved too much into savings not realizing that cheques do no come in and out in a week necessarily. Ahhh life lessons. Our youngest is very frugal and only had a paper route and babysitting jobs to date. Her Dad is taking her out today to apply at KFC, McD’s and a few other places. She is 16 but looks like she is 8 years old so I think it will be a challenge for her to get a job since she can barely see over the counters of most places. I have no idea how she is going to manage driving but she has been great with a chequing and debit card.

When should a teen get a debit card/checking account?


My son is 15 and a sophomore in HS. He gets $10 a week for spending money. Right now, it is in a kid’s account in ING (CO360) and I control it. If he wants to buy something, I use my debit card to purchase it, then transfer the money out of his account to checking.

He also has a savings account at the local CU that switched to a checking account when he turned 14. He has never used it as a checking account, but I’m thinking that it might be time to start depositing his allowance into this checking account and letting him manage his money. He would also have to budget for his cell phone/texting plan, which is $15/month and if he showed he is doing ok with it, we could start putting clothes money in there too.

I anticipate that he will be looking for a job when he turns 16, so I’d like him to kind of get a handle on it before then. My husband doesn’t think it’s a good idea because our kid is pretty irresponsible! I can’t argue with that!