2014 in review

Well, 2014 hits its end in another few days. How did 2014 fare in terms of preparedness? Lets see…

It was a gun heavy year. At least four or five rifles and shotguns, and no less than a half dozen handguns. It wasn’t so much that I had any more money than usual, it was that I took advantage of some deals that came along.

Ammo was still a big deal with .22 ammo going from being ‘virtually unobtainable’ to simply ‘still overpriced’. The availability is there, if you’re willing to pony up about ten cents a round. I shot very little .22 this years, and with the acquisition of my Sparrow I now need to get a goodly stash of subsonic .22 as well.

In the centerfires I put back a little bit more .223 which is always good. I didn’t shoot very much centerfire ammo at all this year…probably less than 500 rounds total. Virtually all of that was used in function testing new guns.

Food levels remained pretty much the same. Went through one package of freeze drieds during hunting season and thats about it. Towards February we’ll pick up half a beef and restock the freezer. In short, the level of food around here stayed pretty constant.

Rotated some fuels during the year with fresher stuff. Again, zero-sum game. Fairly even amount of fuel as what the year started with.

A quick bit of math in Excel shows that the average cost, with premium, for silver acquisitions this year was $19.50 per ounce. Since the premiums can run anywhere between $1 and $3, depending on the form of silver, that would mean the spot price of silver purchased during the year was between $16.50-18.50.

Any consumables used during the year – batteries, toilet paper, soap, etc – were all replaced so we’re on an even keel there.

We did add fairly heavily to the supplies of first aid gear. That was the result of a lethal combination of eBay, a PayPal account, and late-night boredom. On the bright side 4,800 bandaids should last us a good while.

No major turmoil in the family, no job losses, dog is in good health, still married, truck still runs, house is still standing, so all in all I’d say that while 2014 wasn’t any remarkable advancement there weren’t any real losses…so I call that a win. Yay for homeostasis. Actually, thats not true…as I (poorly) proofread this, it occurs to me that we used a windfall to knock down almost 16% of our mortgage in one stroke. That shaved 2.5 years off the 15-year mortgage and really felt good.

There were no power outages or infrastructure failures that affected us this year, so it looks like the ‘fragile infrastructure’ that threatens to throw us into ‘grid down chaos’ at any moment might be a bit more resilient than we thought. Or, more likely, the appropriate challenge simply hasnt occurred yet. There was a little ebola buzz around here what with out local hospital being one of the handful of designated ‘ebola-ready’ hospitals. They are now backing away from that status and I suspect its because theyve discovered that all it takes is treating one ebola patient to bring a hospital to its knees in terms of function, readiness, and fiscal health.

I’m hoping 2015 will be a year of advancement. I’d like to make some progress on the mortgage towards paying it down early, I’d like to do some production-capacity upgrades at the shop, and a few other things. I dont do ‘resolutions’…I figure if something is a good enough idea, why wait until New Years to implement it? But I think 2015 will be a year with a focus on that ‘ol filthy lucre …. say what you will, money is the most concentrated form of energy available to the average joe and things go a lot easier with it than without.

9 thoughts on “2014 in review

  1. I keep an spreadsheet for almost all of our preps. They only real problem is that it is running total. This year I will save the end of year totals to another file. I could figure it out, but this way would be much easier. I know we will be spending a lot less cash than we did in 2014. We spend a bunch and we need to have more flexability with our money.

    I did look into another cell phone plan, ended us shaving $20-30/month off what we have and keeping the same level of service.

    • I use spreadsheets mostly just to track firearms, food, and metals. Its a handy way to do things but the drawback is that you cant lie to yourself anymore about ‘I didnt spend THAT much on …..’

    • An easy way to keep the data annually is to just copy/paste the whole sheet to a new tab and name the tab 2014. Hit the cell above 1 and before A to highlight the whole thing, hit Ctrl C, go to that same cell in the new tab and Ctrl V – copies it all over fast and easy and with any formulae. You can delete the data in your 2015 sheet, retaining any other formatting you like. This may be a DUH tip but not everyone knows about that cell’s handy Select All aspect. And, yes, you can have a 3rd tab that runs a graph or pivot table of your workbook.

  2. zero,

    I’d point out that buying “subsonic” .22 usually means paying a premium. Just but standard velocity .22. At 1050 FPS it is just under supersonic and is “readily” available in the form of CCI standard velocity and a number of target loads from everyone. Generally it is cheaper than the “sub-sonic” marked stuff from gemtech and others.

    Also you can shoot supersonic from your can, without hearing protection – it just makes more noise. Now of you are looking to cap zombies with your FV-SR. Mk2 at 100 yards and not advertise your thinning of the horde, subsonic is the ticket. 🙂

    Oh and go attend an Appleseed with your Savage. It is a lot of fun and you will improve as a shooter.

    • I actually took several brands out and ran them through the guns to see what was what. Other than the Remington Subsonic, the CCI Standard velocity stuff also worked well. The obvious stuff, like bulk Federal and bulk Win., were a little too zippy. So I am keeping my eyes open for other choices than the Rem.

      • cci makes a subsonic segmented hollow point number 0074 in small runs. it is excellent out of a can and reliably functions autos. cci also makes a “quiet” round that is pretty good but won’t function pistols reliably. it works in my 10/22’s though.

  3. Im with you on the resolution thing why wait if its a good idea or sometimes just common sense. I guess it makes people feel better

  4. Agree that if it is worth doing on the 28th of December there isn’t a reason to wait till the 1st of January.

    Personally I do the ‘new years resolution’ thing but really they are more like annual goals. Have done it for a few years now. It helps me organize and prioritize to make thoughtful decisions vs buying whatever pops into my head. Still do some random (impulse/ emotional) buying but this seems to help me make better decisions in an intentional way.

  5. ran gun heavy this year myself for the same reason. deals too good to pass up. stashed a good bit of shiny metal, and despite several small/medium shtf moments managed to stay solvent largely because i came out of retirement for a post-service job as an armorer at a military academy, thank the lord. hoping next year will be peaceful and i can refurbish the shtf fund and maybe add a backup location. we have to survive until the shtf too. one big fail this year was p.t. that will be priority one in 2015. can’t put it off any longer.

Comments are closed.