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How to Practice Financial Self Sufficiency

slogan2This is part two of a three part series that bounced off of a post I wrote about the three parts of self sufficiency. I wrote about part 1, Spiritual (also called “Emotional”) self sufficiency here. Today we’ll talk about financial self sufficiency. Financial self sufficiency encompasses what we need to know and do to be free from financial stressors and potential financial problems that affect not just our personal situation but the world in general, especially in a SHTF scenario. 

I talked in this earlier post about what the SHTF was looking like during the Cyprus crisis and how we in America could be heading down a similar path. Many people believe that debtors’ prisons (prisons purposed for those who cannot/will not pay their debts) could make a comeback in America – some people claim they already have. While I’m not sure I agree that debtors’ prisons have already made a return to the U.S., I can see how they might someday.

Recommended reading: Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition

This is one area in which financial self sufficiency is SO important. Another area lies in general national chaos in general. This post from the SHTF Plan website posts a popular running list of the first 100 things to disappear during the Sarajevo War.  I’ll talk more about this list in the next post, but when war or chaos breaks out in a city, state or nation, it isn’t just the citizens who go nuts – the government often panics as well, invoking whatever “measures” they need to invoke in order to get done what they think needs to be done.  In Cyprus, it was raiding bank accounts to secure €5.8 billion guarantee that the EU required to bail the country out of its unsustainable government debts. Other countries such as Greece Zealand have thrown around similar ideas to help bail their governments out of trouble.

We can’t control what our government does, for the most part, but we can put ourselves in situations to minimize the effects a Cyprus-type situation or a threat of debtors’ prisons could have on us as individuals and families.

Here are some steps you can take to maximize your financial self sufficiency and minimize the effects that worldly financial chaos will have on you and yours.

1. PAY OFF DEBT. Forget the “good debt/bad debt” argument. In a SHTF scenario, ALL debt is bad debt. If you owe no debt, no one can come after you to give them their money.  Get rid of your debt ASAP and put yourself in a safer financial situation.

2. Have a cash stash. Yes, there is a possibility of a bank run and bank freezes in a SHTF scenario. It happened during the Great Depression, and it can happen again. Have a decent amount of cash stashed away in a hidden place outside of your bank so that you have cash readily available. During Hurricane Sandy, the few stores that were open were taking cash only as the electronic systems that take credit/debit cards were unavailable.

3. Consider alternative currencies. Do you research and see what makes the most sense to you. Some people prefer gold and silver. Others prefer holding currencies from other countries. I’m not going to tell you which I believe is best, because it really doesn’t matter what I believe. You need to research and come up with your own solid reasoning for what you believe and choose alternative currency holdings accordingly.

4. Have a reproducible bartering item – or two.  If the SHTF scenario that comes to a theater near you is bad enough, no one’s going to give a crap about/need/want or have a use for money in any form. In that case, stuff is what matters. We’ll talk more about this in the next segment, but it’s a good idea to start thinking about valuable bartering items that you can produce/have available for trade.

Nobody likes to think about dealing with/living in a SHTF scenario. But since it could happen (just ask my friends Lance and Shannon) it’s best to be prepared, both emotionally and financially.  So do what you need to do to make your family as prepared as possible for what may come to America in the coming months and years.



  1. I think one takeaway for me in this is having somewhat of a cash stash. We forgot how much of the world runs electronically. It doesn’t have to be much, just something to get by for a couple of days.

    • Laurie says:

      “We forget how much of the world runs electronically.” SO true, Tonya!!! This is why I worry that a disaster, natural or otherwise, would throw many people for a serious loop. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Agreed, Amy!!! So many people underestimate the dangers of debt – in or out of a SHTF situation. We need to recognize debt for the bondage that it is.

  2. I actually wonder who that person who conceptualized “good debt” is. Haha! He/she must be messing up with his/her financial journey now. Having debt-free life is what I am aiming for attain self-sufficiency.

  3. Kathy says:

    Having cash will be imperative as the government can so easily seize or at a minimum freeze bank accounts. Many people say this could never happen in America but remember back to the FDR era when he made it illegal to own gold. Which comes to my next point. I do believe in owning a bit of gold but fully expect that in a dire national emergency, once again it will be made illegal by mere executive order, bypassing Congress. Look at the executive orders implemented within the last six years. And just recently I read that one or more of the major banks (Citi or Chase?) have altered their safe deposit box rental agreements that they will not allow you to store cash in the box! I know I tend to be too much of a conspiracy theorist but I think our government is on the way to eliminating actual currency so that all financial transactions are electronic. Electronic transactions allow the government to keep track of what you have and what you do with your money.Easier to keep control of the people that way.

    • Laurie says:

      Kath, you know that you and I think along the same lines. People trust the govt too much, I think, but the sad truth is is that not everyone has the best interests of “we the people” at heart. Instead, there are many who will do whatever they need to do to have the power and wealth they want, even if it means confiscating our gold, cash or whatever. And yes, you’re right too: the executive order has been used WAY too much lately – what will it be used for next? This is why we need to get on the self-sufficiency bandwagon. The more we can do for ourselves without depending on stores, banks, etc., the better. Great comment, Kathy!

  4. I definitely think that we have to be prepared for just about any potential scenario because if nothing else, we witnessed in 2008/2009 that anything is possible. We have a fireproof safe in our home with a cash stash, and I have never thought about investing in other currencies; however, I have thought about investing in gold or silver bars. I have a good friend who did this years ago as a precaution.

    • Laurie says:

      You said it, Shannon! We just don’t know what can or might be coming our way. I think about the gold/silver thing too. I also heard about a millionaire who was stashing away older nickels by the millions due to the value of the metal. Interesting.

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