In Sony's new disaster flick, "2012," an end-of-world prophecy is being fulfilled which leaves some people more prepared than others. In a Facebook Poll on the movies fan page they ask users what they would do now if they knew that 2012 is the end, and so far 90,000 users have responded.
With three years to go until "The End," most poll respondents said that they would spend more time with friends and family or pursue a crush. But 22% said that they would max out their credit cards before the world ends.
While you could max out your card on big screen TVs and other items to make the next two years comfortable like many users will, you could also take advantage of your knowledge to max out your credit cards on things that will actually help you survive.
With that in mind we spoke to Neil Strauss, author of "Emergency: This book will save your life" and the soon to be in paperback "Rules of the Game," to find out some practical items to max out your credit card on if you know the end is approaching as well as, when pressed, a few more out-there suggestions.
Survival Shopping List:
Strauss was quick to point out that while "stuff" can help you survive, the real value comes from proper training that's honed with practice. In a phone interview with WalletPop he recommended the following training classes.
- Wilderness Survival - $2,000
- Tom Brown Jr's Tracker School - $900
- Urban Survival - $600
- EMT/CERT/Paramedic training - Free on up to $3,000 depending how much training you want
- Emergency Antibiotics from Mexico - $500
- Mini EMT kit - $200-$500
- A stockpile of MRE's - $1,400 for three months' worth
- Water and or a purification system - $900 for a desalinator
- Honda Generator 2000 - $1,100
- Board Games - $100-$250
- Rokon Trail Bike - $6,000
- Gyrocopter - $5,500
- Second Citizenship (Help you cross borders, use un-named bank accounts and generally be like Jason Bourne) - $30,000-$60,000 in legal fees.
Editor's note: The linked examples where chosen to illustrate the training and examples that Neil Strauss suggested; they do not imply endorsement by Neil Strauss or WalletPop.
Since we're already going out on a limb by suggesting that you'll know when the world is going to end and that you should max out your credit card based on an ancient Mayan prophecy, we decided to explore what would be worth maxing your credit card out on in the event of a zombie uprising.
John Joseph Adams, a blogger at Tor.com and author of many anthologies including the World Fantasy Award finalist "The Living Dead," prepared the following list of essential supplies you should put on plastic before the undead come looking for you. Picking these items up before hand is of utmost importance since zombies will often congregate at places of commerce like the Mall; plus your credit card won't be worth much when the blackouts come.
Zombie Survival Shopping List:
- Pump action shotgun & shells (250) - $300: Requires less skill than a handgun.
- Glock 9mm & bullets (500) - $550: You probably won't be able to hit much with it, but it's small and lightweight, and best of all, Glocks don't jam.
- Aluminum baseball bat - $25: Because you're going to run out of shells and bullets eventually, and the bat is something you already know how to swing.
- Damascus FlexForce Riot Control Suit - $600: Let's see a zombie bite through that.
- Lighter fluid & matches - $4: So your friends less fortunate than you don't rise up and become your enemies.
- Fire extinguisher - $20: In case you go overboard with the lighter fluid.
- Lumber, hammer, nails - $300: Got to board up those windows and doors once you pick a place to make your stand.
- First aid kit -$60: If you're bitten, you're probably done for, but you're likely to sustain other injuries given all the other people out there with guns who don't know how to use them.
- Ax - $25: As I said, if you're bitten, you're probably done for, but if it's just on your arm or leg, might as well try to chop the appendage off. Also handy for escaping your boarded up house after the zombies break through.
- Food - $ WHATEVER YOU'VE GOT LEFT: Hoard as much food as you can. Who knows when the government will get the zombie menace under control?
If your credit limit isn't high enough to get through either of these shopping limits you can still prepare for the apocalypse, you'll just need to ask for a higher limit. While credit limits have been slashed over the last year, if you have good credit you can call up your company and ask for a higher credit limit; just don't tell them you're going on an end of the world shopping spree.
EHow has several other steps you can take to increase your credit limit; including leveraging existing relationships and making sure your income is communicated clearly.
A word of warning about maxing out credit cards when you think you're living on a fixed timeline. According to Steve Rhodes, who provides free debt advice at GetOutofDebt.org, if you die with a credit card bill anyone who is a joint account holder could be stuck with the bill.
However, Rhodes warns that, "Historically, creditors did not try to go after the estate but in the last five years they have gotten tougher about it."
Visa, for some reason, did not respond to our request for real life examples of individuals who have maxed out a credit card before a predicted apocalypse.
It's not very often you'll find a personal finance site talking about items to buy on credit but, if 20,000 people are planning to max out their cards in the event of an apocalyptic event, we figure they better have a buying guide to make sure they max out on the right items.
You can see how your survival plan would stack up against the Mayan Prophecies when "2012" hits theaters on Nov. 13.