I’ve been waiting for an economic collapse since I started prepping. In fact, the economy was my main concern when I started my preparedness journey. You can even see this focus when I started Prepper Website. The first article I linked to was one from SHTF Plan called, “How to Spot the Triggers of a Socioeconomic Collapse.” I’m still waiting!
Every year, every financial quarter brings new warnings. Many preppers are waiting for the hammer to drop, but some are starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf. SHTF should have happened so many times by now, it isn’t even funny.
The problem that we might have is that we are looking for ONE BIG EVENT to cause the house of cards to come tumbling down. I’m starting to believe more and more in what Jack Spirko said years ago, that we are going to experience a slow economic spiral downward.
If you look back at your finances over the last few years, haven’t you felt a little bit more of a pinch? Things are more expensive. Your money doesn’t buy as much. You’re not putting away as much! Things aren’t SHTF, but every year we lose a little. One day we’ll wake up and realize we are smack dab in the middle of the SHTF scenario we were looking for on the horizon!
Start Adjusting Now!
One of the best things we can do is to start prepping now to stem off the erosion to our finances. It’s simple, we need to adjust what goes out and start making better decisions.
There have been many articles written on this topic already. So, I don’t want to rehash all that here. But I do want to point out a few helpful things and then focus on the main purpose of this article.
Smart Financial Moves
- Budget – If you don’t tell your money what to do, it will do what it wants. Just like you need a preparedness plan or a bug out plan, you need a money plan. A budget is a money plan!
- Cut back on Services – You don’t need all the cable channels available to man! You might not need the big cell phone plan you have! I recently called my insurance company and saved a nice chunk on my auto insurance. Take a little bit of time and see what you can get rid of.
- When you buy something, purchase a quality item so you don’t keep re-purchasing junk!
- Pay everything with cash! Not using credit cards should be a no brainer!
- DIY – Learn how to fix things yourself!
DIY – Skills that Are Needed in Our Future Economy
I want to devote the rest of the article to the need for learning and knowing how to fix things. We have become so accustomed to just throwing away things that can be fixed for running to the store and buying that new item out of convenience. But in our spiraling down economy, we might not have the luxury to just buy something out of convenience. And usually, most things can be fixed for a fraction of what the item might cost new.
There is also the need to learn how to repair or replace things ourselves. For example, recently I replaced the toilet in the boys restroom. It was a nasty, dirty job. I had to run to Home Depot a few times to get the right part, but it saved me the cost of scheduling a plumber to replace it for me. What would that have cost me? I don’t know. But I saved that money, plus felt good doing it myself.
We’ve lived in this house going on 11 years. I’m pretty sure this is the original garbage disposal. You can see the rust in the screws and around the reset button. This sucker was leaking from places it wasn’t supposed to!
It was a messy job. Old putty and gunk were coming off and getting everywhere!
These pictures don’t let you “appreciate” the nasty gunk on the collar.
The job would have taken 1/2 the time if I didn’t have to replace the collar. The old garbage disposal didn’t have a quick connect!
Give it up for the amateur repair man! 😉
How Am I Learning How to Do This Stuff?
How does one know how to fix things? You learn! Everyone has to learn at some point! And today, we have great resources available to us on the internet. Before I attempted the repairs I listed above, or others for that matter, I checked Youtube. That’s right! I sit down in front of my computer and pull up a few videos on the subject. In the case of my wife’s tablet, I sat in front of my laptop and watched the video as I mimicked the repair in real time.
To change out the garbage disposal, I watched these two videos below first.
In the first video, the guy doesn’t punch out the dishwasher drain. I realized that important piece of advice by reading the comments. You can learn just as much from the comments when you watch a video!
The Other Missing Piece
One of the other reasons people don’t DIY repair is because they don’t have tools. Tools are tangibles that you can hold on to. If you purchase a quality tool, it will last forever! If you don’t have a good set of tools, it would be a good idea to start adding and building a good set. You can even find good deals at garage sales and some pawn shops. If the SHTF, tools will be valuable!
There are a few other resources that you might want to consider if you are choosing to start DIY repairs to save money. These resources are DIY books that have a proven record of good reviews and they are still in print!
- New Fix-It-Yourself Manual: How to Repair, Clean, and Maintain Anything and Everything In and Around Your Home
- Black & Decker The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair: With 350 Projects and Over 2,000 Photos (Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide)
- The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual Newly Updated
Final Thoughts – Start Now, Get Some Experience!
Taking the time now, when you might have a little financial wiggle room, is the time to start learning how to fix and repair things on your own. By getting a few projects under your belt, you will build confidence and feel comfortable tackling bigger projects. You never know what you might be called on to repair in the future!
This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.
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Home Handyman magazine has great DIY tips on their website. The magazine is great, too. I’m just a subscriber. I do not work for them.
Can you provide a link?
This is an excellent article, Todd! Thomas told me to go read it when he was going through links to post on Survival Pulse this morning. Glad he did.
So much good information here but this piece is probably my favourite: “Budget – If you don’t tell your money what to do, it will do what it wants. Just like you need a preparedness plan or a bug out plan, you need a money plan. A budget is a money plan!” Yes! I read that and I actually found myself nodding! It’s so true – and you put it in words I hope every prepper will feel like they are drawn too. A financial budget is exactly like a prepping plan – you do need to plan out budgets, can’t just wing it! Even if you’d rather cut back to as much as you can, you have to have an idea of what will and won’t be worth it before you can see yourself making those savings over time.
On DIY-ing, I’m so glad I have Thomas to do this. It’s so important but something I know I wouldn’t be comfortable with DIY-ing by myself. I feel I make too many mistakes. I do feel it’s a lot easier to learn by watching YouTube videos, though, so honestly, I can’t really imagine life without them. The comments of any video are usually very good for troubleshooting and to prepare you for any hurdles that might come your way. Found this to be very true.
And you mentioned buying quality so you don’t have to replace again and again – this is probably my favourite lesson learned. No one needs junk around the house – you need the things you buy to live long lives – as long as possible – and while quality products have a premium, they’re often quite worth it.
Anyway, just great advice that I hope everyone reading will take to heart.
Thanks Elise! I’ve kicked myself so many times for not buying quality! I’ve learned my lesson!
I gotta admit, Todd, this is an area I really need to start focusing on. As the wife will tell you, I’m terrible at handyman stuff. I also realize, however, my dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather all were carpenters and plumbers. Post-SHTF, I’ll not have a choice.
Excellent article. Thanks for sharing!
Good article. I would like if you would address those of us who are on fixed incomes. I have as feeling that most folks on Social Security are not doing so well. We have no mortgage, etc. We have a small savings account. Since there is virtually no interest paid on it as we had expected, that does not help with any extra money. Social Security has pretty much not had a raise since Obama took office, since he says there is no inflation. Medical insurance and prescription drug costs, even with insurance are going thru the roof. We have gotten to the point that fixed (taxes, insurance, medical, utilities) take up all our income. We are as frugal as they come. Hubby has always done all his own repairs, etc. We eat home from scratch, hang out clothes, don’t use paper products, etc. etc. Luckily there are good food banks in our area to supplement our garden. Otherwise, we’d be going hungry. I don’t like going to the food bank, but it’s better food than I ever bought! What are other people doing? Hubby is in the process of adding a kitchenette to our basement so we can rent it out to a friend. He has COPD so he has to pace himself. I was retraining when I got cancer and although I can do ok around the house, working is out of the question for right now. Don’t mean to whine. We have a roof over our heads and food. Just curious to know how others are doing.
Thanks for your comment. There are many people who are prepping in their senior years, probably because they know how things have been and how things can be. There are experiencing some of the same things you have mentioned. I wish some of them would share what they are doing in this economy. I would be open to share their stories and advice.
Although you are experiencing your income being eaten by taxes, insurance, etc… I applaud your efforts in all that you do.
I do think that people moving in with each other is a trend that I think is helpful and might be needed in this economy to just survive. So I think that is a good idea.
Again, I’m willing to share what others are doing, i just need them to contact me.
I hope you hear from other folks and can combine their stories into an article.
You’re right, Us old folks can remember how things used to be. The changes are mindboggling!
Thanks for your site. It’s so helpful