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- Understanding Finance
Financial Crisis: Economic Strategy for Survival
No one will argue it, there is a financial crisis. Strategies for survival differ from article to article and person to person. The very best advice is to read as many different ideas as you can and create a personal plan for your own family and situation.
Becoming less dependent on the government and government
programs is an important part of taking charge of your future. With an unstable economy worldwide it is no
longer about putting large sums of money away for retirement and investing
wisely. It is time to think outside the
box and stop thinking of money as security and the government as a caretaker.
Money Does Not Create Wealth
If you ask one hundred people what it means to be rich most of them will say to have a lot of money. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Money is only one way to turn your time into products that you need for life. There are other ways.
The gardener that turns three hours a week into ten bushels of tomatoes may actually be creating more value per hour than someone taking a second job. Americans have become so accustomed to focusing on money and buying what they need that they have forgotten that there are other ways to measure the value of time.
In an emergency situation where there is no food being delivered to your grocers for whatever reason, it wouldn’t matter how much money you had to spend. Your money, as far as acquiring food goes, would be valueless. Keeping that in mind, it is important to change your thinking from the post World War II economic mentality that many people still have and operate under.
Financial programs will always be, to some extent, dependent on the dollar. Government programs will always be dependent on the dollar. Creating your own wealth that has little to do with the dollar is the only way to be independent from the world economy.
Wealth Without Money
So, if money is only representative of wealth, what is real wealth?
Consider an extreme for the sake of this article. If money suddenly lost all value what would be important?
Creating Real Wealth
You hear it everywhere; being in debt is not a good thing. It is important to get out of all debt as quickly as possible, especially secured debt, like your home.
What would your life be like if you owned your home outright, you had no debt, you had a few acres with a vegetable garden and a couple of fruit trees, and maybe a few chickens and dairy goats? What would your expenses be? More importantly, what could get taken away from you in a financial meltdown?
You don’t have to sell everything and move to fifty backwoods acres in far northern Montana to create sustainability. You can take steps to createreal wealth right where you are.
Learn skills that will be valuable in times when money is not. Some skills that just make sense to know are:
- Working with hand tools
- Basic home repair
- *Trapping ( I am not a proponent of trapping, however should ammunition not be available knowing how to trap a rabbit for dinner could mean the difference between a full belly and an empty one.)
- Basic herbal medicine and first aid
Money Isn’t a Total Wash
Now, back-pedaling for a minute, money and the making of it should not be totally left behind. The point is not to forgo money; the point is to keep its value in perspective. This is not the time to think in terms of working for a company for twenty years and then collecting your retirement.
Create income streams rather than an income bucket. Develop hobbies and skills so that you can make a little money here and there on the side. List all of the different types of income you have at the moment. For example, we have numerous income streams at our house:
- Veteran’s Disability
- Several Freelance writing projects every month
- Part time job
- Farm income (eggs, goats, veggies, etc)
- Rental income from 2 investment homes
- Affiliate money from Google, Amazon, eBay and others
As you can see, if one stream dries up then there are others to maintain the flow. We are constantly looking for possibilities to increase the number of streams.
If you are looking at creating income streams then keep in mind that you can only do so much actual work and some of the streams must be passive. Choose carefully which you invest your time in and try to invest your time in those that give you the biggest return in terms of real wealth.
Should You Stockpile for a Financial Crisis?
While you may hear people push for stockpiling I am not so enthusiastic about that. I believe everyone should have a basic emergency plan and items to cover their needs in a real emergency. Stocking up in preparation for economic crisis is not the same thing.
An emergency is something like a flood, a hurricane, or some other crisis that is somewhat temporary. After all eventually your stockpile of Godiva truffles, toilet paper, and whole wheat berries is going to run out, what then?
Having a few chickens is wiser than stockpiling dried egg product. The chickens are great foragers if need be and they can also be used as meat. In the same sense, having a garden and saving your seeds is better than stockpiling dried vegetables. The things that you grow, create, or manage yourself are yours to keep. They are not dependent on anyone but you.
The Power of Being Positive
No matter what your spiritual beliefs may be it is important to be positive. For Christians this means trusting God and keeping your outlook in line with His Word.
For nonchristians positive thinking is still very important. The way you think will have an effect on your outlook and the way you respond to various situations and people. Keeping an open mind and having confidence that you can succeed will go a long way to making it happen.
. Change your attitude about money
2. Make a plan for getting out of debt
3. Become less dependent
4. Plan to provide for priorities
5. Learn skills
6. Create income streams from as many passive sources as possible
7. Invest your time wisely
8. Stockpile for short term emergencies (3 weeks or less)
9. Plan for sustainability to weather long term issues
10. Maintain a positive outlook
By working on these things, establishing strong connections with neighbors, and being willing to think outside the box you can accept whatever lies ahead as a challenge to be conquered rather than a setback.