What if you woke up in the morning to discover that your bank account had been wiped out, your cupboard contained food for only a week or so, the electric bill was due as well as the mortgage payment, car payment, and credit card bills, and you had no idea how to cope? Think about it. This scenario is not as uncommon today as one might think, and will become more common-place as people lose their jobs, prices go up, and interest rates rise. In fact, this is the type of scenario that must be prepared for if we are to survive the middle class crash, and the time to prepare is now!
Some of the things we can do to prepare are:
Purchase a used vehicle and pay cash. You now have a car without payments.
Pay off your credit cards. Late payments incur charges that will quickly lead to an increase in the balance of your loan that will become impossible to deal with.
Invest in solar for your home.
Start a garden.
Start a food storage program.
Some of these things are more expensive than others, and thereby cost-prohibitive, so do the things you can. Prioritize according to your abilities, then start working on completing the items on the list.
What is more important, a shiny new vehicle with large payments, or an older vehicle that will not end up in the repossessor’s lot when the money runs out? Credit is not the way to go. If you cannot afford it now, don’t buy it. Just stop shopping! Solar can be put together one piece at a time. Here is a link to a site that shows you how to make a solar generator for $350 or less. A garden is not difficult. Even if you do not have a yard, herbs and some vegetables can be grown indoors in pots. Food storage consists of collecting staples such as wheat, dried fruits, canned vegetables, and any other things you can think of that will store safely, and that your family will actually want to eat. Just remember to rotate your supplies so that they do not go bad, and don’t forget water. Here is a link to a site that will calculate what you need for the number of people in your family.
It is time to spend our time wisely by planning an alternate lifestyle. We need to become more independent and wean ourselves from going to the grocery store every other day and shopping for things we simply cannot afford. By becoming more self-sufficient, we not only become healthier and stronger, but better-prepared to meet the coming financial crisis.
In the next column, we will start to talk about what happens if a catastrophe hits before you have had time to prepare. Believe me, it can happen and does, every day. My husband and I are experiencing this right now! You are welcome to join us as we learn to cope and share our experiences.
Copyright 2008, Barbara H. Peterson