Did you guys hear about that PrepperCon in Utah last week? Preppers and survivalists from all over have hopped on the Comic Con bandwagon! They had exhibits on everything from tactical seat covers to personal Humvees, and the cast of AMC’s hit show THE WALKING DEAD made an appearance! How cool is that? People are waking up, y’all, and while that’s great news, it’s also a double-edged sword. There’s only so much in the way of resources out there, and the more competition there is for it, the less better off we all are. That’s why it’s imperative we bring the “prepared” back into the equation as much as possible whenever we can in this movement. We need to make do with what we have on hand. Take our checkbooks, for instance. Balancing your finances and making a plan for fiduciary security well in advance of disaster is vital to your safety. It might sound dumb to worry about how much money you have in the bank – no civilization, no banks, right? – but calamity doesn’t always hit that hard. You can take a sucker punch that leaves somebody else unscathed. Just ask folks in Tornado Alley or Nepal if that’s not so. Having a prepper mindset about your finances can make all the difference if that happens, so take a look at the following tips to keep your budget bulletproof. Don’t Put it Off!
Nothing in this guide will help you if you procrastinate until it’s too late. Read the tips and act on them as soon as you’re able. Life won’t wait, and neither should you.
Get Your Affairs in Order
Disasters turn the world upside down, but they can be weathered. If you make it through, the next logical step is to rebuild your life and that of your loved ones. Having a solid legal framework to start from makes that process a million times easier. Have your most important documents backed up in at least one separate location – a cloud server, separate drive, or even a safety deposit box will do the trick. Having things like the deed (or, if you must, the mortgage papers) to your home and the title to your vehicle(s) safe and readily accessible will not only save you time and stress, they may even provide a means of claiming insurance or much needed loan collateral. On a more somber note, make sure your will or equivalent legal documents specify who gets what if the worst should happen.
Identity theft is quickly becoming one of the most pernicious and prevalent crimes on Earth. In today’s all-digital world, it’s way too easy to take a person’s life savings with just a couple clicks of a mouse, so protect yourself! Use tools that auto-generate random passwords for your digital files, or better yet, keep things as hard copies. Thieves will give much more thought to robbing you of every last dime if they have to track you down and carry out a filing cabinet’s worth of paperwork to do it.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Keep a budget. If you don’t listen to anything else in this post, listen to this. Track every cent you spend against everything that’s coming in. It might sound tedious – it might even be tedious, but when it all hits the fan, a glance or two at a balance sheet will tell you exactly what you have in your proverbial piggy bank, which will give you two things no amount of money can buy: Peace of mind and a head start on other things that are much more important than fretting about the budget you should’ve been keeping all along. Additionally, while we’re on the subject of budgets, make sure to include room in yours for staples like non-perishable food, water, supplies, and books or other training materials related to basic survival skills. Keeping a handle on your finances is all well and good, but remember, you’re only dong it so you can leverage them to your benefit!
Make Like a Squirrel
While we’d certainly never advocate anything illegal on this blog, it’s the considered advice of its author that you stash a set amount of cash away each pay period in a secret, secure location. Think of it as a financial bug out bag. Of course, people often get carried away with this and forget to take it on the small scale. You need to keep an emergency fund on your own person at all times, too! If there’s a failure of the power grid or of a major banking system, do you really think your ATM or credit cards will work? Here’s what you do: Take the insole out of your shoes and lay $50 to $100 USD in small to mid-size bills in each one, then put the insole back in. A few twenties, a couple fives, maybe a fifty, and presto, you’ve got yourself a literal walking emergency fund. It might take a minute to get used to walking around in your new kicks, but trust me, it’ll be well worth it when the need arises.
This is probably going to be the toughest tip of all, so be ready for it. In any disaster, there will be people who are caught entirely unawares. Not only that, they’ll have made no preparations to cushion the blow. They’ll see you coping, and they’ll want (and need) what you have. Help where you can, but don’t let compassion be your downfall. In a true disaster / survival scenario, it’s you and your loved ones against the world. You simply can’t help everyone. Be and do good when and as you can, but be judicious about it – it’s cliche, but money doesn’t grow on trees.
Keeping a handle on your finances can definitely help you weather the storm, so make sure you incorporate it into your larger prepper ethos. Thanks for reading, and see you next week! Oh, and one more thing: I just want to say a quick hello to all the new people on the site. It’s great to have you!