I’ve always been into prepping. From setting traps and tying knots as a kid, to my days in the Canadian Infantry. I’ve always invested in skills rather than stockpiles. But one day I realize the biggest threat facing me was surviving debt and increasing my economic self-sufficiency. … and I needed to fix it fast.
The thing about surviving debt is that its a slinky and sneaky enemy. It’s a covert ops kind of threat to you.
See, it’s sexy to load up on .45ACP and argue about if it will be a flood or nuclear winter that will take everyone out. It’s not so sexy to suggest simple budgeting or developing self-sufficiency skills to get your ass out of debt.
But let me ask you this: How do you collect $8000 worth of MRP’s and $5000 in 7.62×39 when you have trouble paying your electrical bill and your 23% interest credit card is maxed out?
Where do you store all your preps when your home gets foreclosed and you can’t rent because you have no savings and you just lost your job in the economic collapse?
Surviving Debt Then Moving Towards Economic Self-sufficiency Is The Primary Mission
At it’s core, what is prepping really? It’s a means of maintaining control of a situation that arises that puts you and your family at risk.
Surviving debt is a preventable situation that is in your power to prevent. Nuclear holocaust isn’t. But debt is a real threat that can wipe you out or at the least leave you at the mercy of an outside enemy. A slave.
I know this position.
If you’re attacked with a machete, do you go all Bruce Lee? No. You run like mad.
Often, the best prep is having the money to get the heck out of dodge at a moments notice while having enough money to live without working.
In the Alaskan wilderness, the threat assessment is easy. You could starve, freeze, or get eaten by a bear. Easy enough to understand and overtly present.
In town, your time spent prepping might be better spent on getting house insurance, a fire extinguisher and making sure that the IRS doesn’t garnish your wages leaving you eating polished white rice for the next 12 months.
I’m not joking. Worse has happened in both the U.S. and Canada before. Take a look at the great depression. Remember Hurricane Katrina. Some people couldn’t leave because they didn’t have money to travel.
Bad Times Can Come Out Of Nowhere – Fast
Take a look at the Newfoundland Cod fisheries history. Your grandparents hoarded shit for a reason. They understand the importance of economic self-sufficiency because they’ve been scared. They know what it’s like not being able to soak more money out of an unemployment check when things get really bad.
People have lived in shanty towns before in our Countries. They’ve pulled their cars with mules when they couldn’t afford gas. You don’t see patches on jeans any more but you may very well in the future.
Can you sew?
I knew so little about the history of bad financial times. How easily you can get yourself in a bad situation without the obvious Hollywood movie warning giving you a heads up.
Learn to skin a rabbit AND balance your cheque book. In a world of sticks and stones, you need a sharp stick of your own. In a world of taxes and banks, you need to be debt free.
That’s the situation. The task is to fix it if you’re in it. Now what actions can we take that will result in better financial preparedness?
Take stock of your inventory. Get out good old excel, and list all your monthly bills. This means cable, eating out, groceries, gas, minimum monthly payments ect. Everything.
Now put your after tax income from your main job plus any other sources of income you have. Do a sum. See if you have anything left over and then decide your best course of action with that money.
If you are in the negative and constantly going further into debt, then there is a problem. You need to make more money with side hustles and stop spending on anything that isn’t the necessities.
The Key To Surviving Debt Is To Stop The Bleeding
You want to stop the bleeding and then heal up. You want to spend less and earn more.
It’s obvious, but most of us would rather spend 4 hours researching iodine vs chlorine dioxide instead of getting out and cutting grass in the neighborhood for $20. Now that’s an easy move towards increasing economic self-sufficiency and getting our financial asses out of the fire.
A real warrior will face and overcome ANY threat with whatever force is necessary. Not only the ones he’s comfortable with addressing. A real warrior will put the same energy into earning some extra dollars that she would defending her family against a vile rapist. If a lack of dollars are the “clear and present danger” threatening your family’s safety and comfort, then this is the dominant threat.
It’s very hard to prepare for a threat you can’t see or isn’t glorified in a survival movie. Some threats you don’t even know are coming. What you can be sure of, and do something about, is a threat that is standing right in front of you, staring you in the eye every time you pay interest.
How To Make Some More Scratch
Here are some ideas about making more money that will continue to pay you without working longer hours forever. Your time and energy is limited. Working harder is often the answer but you get tired. Setting up a few passive income streams can help.
Examples of income assets you can create include:
A book or song you write.
A service like coaching or freelance writing
A popular website
A product you invent
A software program you develop
I know about writing books on amazon, how to get freelance writing work and coaching. These side hustles continue to help pay the monthly bills and will continue to help me increase economic self-sufficiency instead of just surviving debt.
No income is completely passive. But the further it is from an hourly wage the more leverage you have to get other income streams going. It’s like trapping game vs hunting mountain goats. The first doesn’t require you to do anything but collect the food past the initial set up and tending.
If you want mountain goat then you’re always going to work hard for it.
If you have questions please ask. If you have helpful tips, please share. History shows that people do bad things when they get desperate. A nicer world starts with less desperate people. Money helps with that.
What’s your Financial Prep? What are you doing to earn extra cash/prepare yourself financially? If you have a post on your your site or an idea, please share in the comments below so I can tweet it @RayBurton.