At a time when most people shudder each time they pull out their wallet at the grocery store cashier, it’s hard to imagine putting back a year’s supply of food and goods. It’s intimidating to even considering buying enough to make it through to the next paycheck, and mind-boggling to imagine getting extra for a stockpile!
This is where your paradigm has to shift.
People today shop paycheck to paycheck. They live paycheck to paycheck. According to a 2011 article by DSNews.com, 1 in 3 Americans report that only one paycheck stands between them and homelessness.
In a survey, 33% of responders said that if their income was interrupted they would not be able to make their next mortgage payment. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said that they could only hang on for 5 months without a paycheck. Go ahead – check your account….how long would you be able to keep a roof over your head, food in your tummies and lights at the flick of a switch?
Once upon a time, the key was to make more money. You could work more hours, get a second job, increase your workplace productivity. You could nearly always find a way to improve the flow of cash.
These days, a different strategy is necessary.
You must reduce the amount that you spend.
There. I said it. YOU HAVE TO SPEND LESS.
You may not want to make changes. You may not want to sacrifice your little luxuries. You may feel like you “deserve” them or that you have “earned” them.
That may well be the case, but one day if your cupboards are empty, the stores are closed and your kids are shivering in an unheated house, how much luxury would skipping those pedicures while sipping a $6 Starbucks have purchased for you? If you “can’t afford to prep” but you are still spending money frivolously, then you have willfully signed on for a very difficult future.
By having a stockpile of food and supplies set aside, in the event of a job loss or other financial catastrophe, then you can focus your limited money on things like shelter and utilities.
In order to finance this stockpile, you have to make some immediate changes to the way you spend money.
Different situations cause for different changes. Some of you may be able to fund your stockpile by cutting out one thing – like smoking or Starbucks, while others may need to institute some personal financial austerity.
If you are spending money on any of these things, then you can afford to prep – you’re just choosing not to:
- Soda pop
- Sport drinks
- Drive thru or barista coffee
- Movie theaters
- Fast food lunches
- Delivery pizza
- Frequent visits to the hair salon
- Gym memberships
- Credit cars
- Cell phones
- Electric tumble dryer
- Dinners out
- New clothes
- Processed food
- Dog groomers
You get the idea – these things are nice to have and a pleasant diversion, but they are absolutely not vital to your life. Not like…food. Medicine. Shelter.
Becoming a black belt in the art of frugality will net you more than just a closet full of canned goods. You will learn valuable skills that will serve you well in a TEOTWAYKI situation, even if that is just the end of your current world, and not a widespread disaster.
An independent mindset costs nothing, takes up no storage space and is easily portable. No matter what life throws at you, learning skills and self-reliance will help you through it.
Take a long, critical look at your expenditures and decide what your priorities are. For the $15 per person that you would spend on an outing to the movie theater today, you could buy enough beans and rice to see you through a difficult time in the future. Quite seriously, we are running out of time to purchase things at a reasonable price. Taxes are increasing, prices are increasing and jobs are vanishing. The time to focus is RIGHT NOW.
You can use one of these suggestions in this series or all of them. Be creative and come up with your own ways to save that work well with your life. Realize that by spending money prepping, you will save money in the long run.