This 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.