Preppers are oftentimes branded as nutcases. Television shows brand preppers as crazed doomsday theorists that live out in the hills and store guns and ammunition en masse, waiting for nuclear meltdown, an undead virus spreading throughout the world, or other zany movie-inspired irrational scenarios. But being a prepper is much more than sitting at the top of a mall and firing round after round into the skulls of zombies, in fact it is much, much more. Prepping is about providing your own insurance for any and all of life’s many twists and turns. It’s about ensuring your livelihood is protected for the future. It is about independence, being self-reliant, and being able to hit the ground running regardless of circumstance. What can you do about this now? For one, deal with your finances and get out of debt.
Why debt is the enemy
Debt encourages people to spend money they don’t have. Saving money each month takes time and it is much easier to put purchases on a credit card. People often rationalize that, while they can’t make the payment on something large in one lump sum, splitting that amount up into smaller monthly payments is much more manageable. It’s when people make spending on credit habit and continue to do it regularly when SHTF.
Spending on credit is a slippery slope and eventually that type of mindset catches up with the individual, in the form of massive amounts of debt. You then become a slave to credit card companies and possibly, debt collectors. You end up paying them interest, money going straight from your pocket into theirs in exchange for delaying the complete repayment of a debt. Debt should be seen as the common enemy of all people. It is the friend of no one and only gets people in trouble. So perhaps you were able to purchase a new car you couldn’t normally afford by charging the purchase on a card or breaking it into monthly payments. Why not just buy a used car that provides the same utility as the new car at a small fraction of the cost? While this is unthinkable to many, the smarter financial decision is to purchase the used car and free up those dollars saved to go towards something else (such as paying back an outstanding debt?), additional food supplies, or other useful resources.
How to avoid debt?
Preppers should steer clear of any deals with strings attached. Debt is one of these. Getting into large amounts of debt places the figurative shackles upon the ankles of whoever owes that debt back. And debt follows you wherever you go. If you hide, debt collectors will find you. So avoid the problem before you have to deal with the pain of getting out of debt. I’m not saying don’t have a credit card, but do everything in your power to pay in cash. If you truly want a product, ensure you can pay for it up front. This will help you analyze your want and desire for a product before you purchase it. Will it break your bank account? If so, you may want to rethink how much you truly need it. And as preppers know, prepping does get expensive. Budget out how much you’re financially able to spend each month on prepping and stick to that budget. Do not overspend, if anything try to stay underspend and give yourself an emergency fund in case you get in a pinch. Here are some other tips to avoid debt:
- Refrain from unnecessary, material goods
o New cars are fun for a few euphoric weeks, but then you realize you paid $10,000 more than you could have being used
- Stay home as opposed to going out
o Invite neighbors and friends over for cards or board games. Instead of going to the bar where you’ll pay $10-15 for two drinks, grab some margarita mix or a 12-pack and enjoy the money saved
o There are benefits to restaurants. But in the end, you can make a dish just as well at home with some practice. Taste is a temporary satisfier, and in the end no matter what food you eat, it all goes to the same sewage treatment plant.
- Find a low-cost hobby.
o Biking, running, ultimate Frisbee, golf, weightlifting, writing, reading. There are low-cost alternatives to spending money and just as enjoyable in the long run. My perspective is that if SHTF, I want to be physically fit. I run before work; it feels great, gets me charged for a day of work without needing to drink coffee, and is a fantastic form of exercise. All positives and without spending needless.
What to do with all my saved money, then?
What if you lose your job? What if the economy collapses again? Saving money is a way to prepare for these types of emergencies. This isn’t your typical “prepping” but it is prepping nonetheless. While I also have ample supplies of canned foods and fresh water available if things get really bad, preparing for a less-severe societal collapse is a worthwhile investment of effort. My definition of prepping is preparing for an event that puts my family and me in danger. This doesn’t have to be a nuclear attack from the North Koreans or an apocalyptic storm as a result of global warming. I am here to ensure that my family and I will endure, regardless of the times.
Are you ready?
Frank is continually working on being a self-sufficient human being. He finds himself spending his summer days outdoors, whether that means raising his own food in his organic garden or playing cards with friends and family. He is very much into grilling meals on his old-school charcoal grill and has since lifted his addiction to multiple television series. He feels freer than ever and is truly happy. He is prepared for the future and ready for whatever happens next.