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Financial Crisis: Economic Strategy for Survival

Updated on February 5, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

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.

(c)maryeaudet2009 all rights reserved
(c)maryeaudet2009 all rights reserved

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?

  • Security
  • Food/water
  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • Skills

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:

  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Crochet
  • Working with hand tools
  • Gardening
  • Cooking/baking/canning
  • Basic home repair
  • Hunting
  • *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.

Let’s Recap

. 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.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent points made - needs wider audience

    • BrightMeadow profile image


      7 years ago from a room of one's own

      Hear!Hear! Great article. Well said!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I dont even have the basic skills that you mention. I dont know how to knit, cook, sew or whatever skills. Anyway I think most Singaporeans dont have these skills either.

    • dwaynewade3 profile image


      9 years ago

      I really enjoyed the article and thanks for the tips.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great article - the point about income streams is particularly interesting. Many, many people will find that their pension funds (seriously obliterated by the financial crisis) will not now be sufficient for their retirement. Therefore, more people will have to take things into their own hands and develop income streams for their retirement ..whether it's affiliate earnings, article writing, or anything like that.

    • Juliet Christie profile image

      Juliet Christie Murray 

      9 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica


    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 

      9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Nice hub. Very practical tips.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      very informative and insightful article. wealth is really not measured through money alone but though your knowledge on how to survive with the basic necessities in times of crisis.

    • profile image

      Susan M 

      9 years ago

      Very good hub. Thanks for reminding us that wealth is not all about money and material things. In the 21st century so many of us have college degrees but do not have a 'real world' skill that we can put to use in times like these -(such as gardening, hunting, sewing, knitting)....Having multiple income streams especially those that are off line can help us all to get through this recession. Thanks!

    • retirementhelp profile image


      9 years ago

      Great Hub!!! This is information that is useful in any time period, but even more in our current situation. Thanks for taking the time to share.

    • cindyschulson profile image


      9 years ago from San Diego, CA

      You offer some sound advice. Of course, with the Internet all kinds of opportunities are opening up for people, including opportunities for creating passive income. Learning the right skills, as you say, is important to ensure your efforts pay off. I'm also a big advocate of living within your means and not going into debt to acquire "things". Thanks for sharing!

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 

      9 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      We complicate life - Food Shelter and Clothing is all we "need" of the material - - - Love, Respect and appreciation we need of the emotional - - - hope and faith in the spiritual.....

      Love - Light - Laughter


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great article. It all comes down to back to the real basics.

    • CharBrar profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      I really enjoyed it. great tips

    • C.S.Alexis profile image


      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      This is the information people need to learn but putting it into practice is the key to success. I have been in survival mode for 6 months because of a flood and I know it works. I also know that people need to learn to take care of themselves and stop relying on the system or other people to do it for them. Great advice here, thumbs up!

    • daveearley profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Great article, and great tips!

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Good thoughts. Knowing how to survive, and thrive, even without money, will never be a waste of time or skills.


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