Should the American dollar fail–and it is always a possiblity–are you prepared to be able to provide for your family’s basic needs of food, shelter, clothing and other essential items?
There are many articles on the Internet that advise people to invest in precious metals, most of these articles are placed with links to sell you gold or silver, so it’s hard to take some of them seriously when the article is geared towards promoting fear to get you to buy their coins or bullion.
For those who don’t know the difference between coins and bullion, it is quite simple. Coins are currency. Bullion is not. Bullion may have a design, but cannot be taken to a bank and exchanged for other forms of currency. However, bullion and coins alike can be used to pay for essential items should the American dollar fail.
The value of the precious metal itself will continue to hold value and even rise in value if the dollar fails. So, even though those ads are aimed at selling you something it is wise advise to have some sort of precious metal on hand to purchase items you need. How much is entirely up to you and what your budget can afford.
Many people have not planned ahead or even considered how they might put food on the table. So, what do you do if you don’t have precious metals? There is still the possibility that you could trade, barter or even exchange work for things you need. You can prepare for this without a lot of expense and you might be surprised just how much you have to trade or barter with. Below are some suggestions to help you be prepared for an unfortunate event.
- Get Your Finances in Order: Get out of debt and payoff your debt. Build up a nest egg and keep it in a safe at home. Diversify and have some of your finances in precious metals. Pay off your house as quickly as possible. Your home is your shelter. You will want it over any other large ticket item. A vehicle isn’t much good without fuel, so pay down the house first.
- Grow a Vegetable Garden: Do it now. Learn how to grow your own food. It takes practice to do it right and you want to learn these skills before a major event occurs. Learn how to save your own vegetable seeds as well. It’s not difficult, but does take practice. Saving your own seeds will give you a lifetime supply and even help your extended family, friends and neighbors grow food.
- Preserve Food: Build up your food supply with wholesale, organic foods by growing and preserving your own foods. There are many ways to do this and lots of people out there who already have the knowledge and are willing to share it for free. Ask a friend to help them can. It’s the easiest way to learn–by doing it. You can preserve foods by canning, drying, dehydrating, smoking, pickling and fermenting it. The library is loaded with books on preserving food. Copy articles, purchase books and keep these at home. Your vegetable garden can be a major source of excellent trade and barter stock.
- Wild Food Foraging: A person can’t starve if they are well aware of their surroundings and the edible wild foods growing all around them. Did you know dandelion roots are a close substitute to coffee? Or that pesky weeds like purslane and lamb’s quarter are edible? Have you ever picked wild mushrooms or berries? If you develop the skills to identify edible foods you can feed your family. You could also pick and trade wild foods or barter your skills to train others for something they might be able to teach you.
- Learn how the pioneers did things. From baking bread to plowing fields. Do a little historical research and learn how to do things without electricity or gas-powered machines.
- Use your current skills and occupation to trade or barter with others. For example, a lady who makes jam could trade for a haircut with a hair stylist. A mechanic could fix a tractor in trade for beef.
- Consider your hobbies, skills and knowledge. Write down all the skills you currently have that could be exchanged for other items or work. Try to increase this list each year. Keep learning and growing. It is fun and it doesn’t usually cost much to learn.
- Take Classes: Learn valuable skills like basket weaving, sewing clothes, crocheting/knitting, farming, gardening and other fun things. You will have a great time and those skills might be the key to getting what you need one day.
- Prepare Your Home: Your home should have alternative (non-electrical) sources for heat, water, bathing, light and a wood stove or other non-electrical/non-gas method for preparing meals. Just think about the last time the power went out. How did your family do? What would happen if you didn’t have a generator to crank up? A wood stove is one of the best alternative heat sources. Be sure to get one that you can cook on top of. Many people have even built outdoor baking ovens. Pioneer women baked bread in those. Consider worse case scenario. No electricity, no gas and no propane. No water. Do you have a safe alternative water source? A rain barrel? A pond or lake nearby? You can purchase hand-cranked water purifiers online, which would greatly increase your chances of avoiding any illness or sickness from unsafe drinking water.
- Get to Know Your Neighbors: This is something a lot of people don’t do much of anymore, but it can be very important. You need to know your neighbors so you can both help each other. It is good to know what type of occupation and skills they have to offer. They are your potential traders and barterers.
- Transportation: Alternative modes of transportation. Invest in some sort of transportation that doesn’t rely on fuel to power it. Bicycles are a great option and will keep you fit as well. Get exercise. Keep in shape so you won’t struggle to pedal it later. Get a large basket for packing items as well. If you live where you can keep farm animals– a horse and buggy is a great idea too.
- Livestock: Many cities allow a few hens. Fresh eggs would be quite valuable and a useful trade item. For those with lots of land–raise beef, pork, goats. They not only give you fresh meat, but they also provide you with a source for milk. Extremely valuable trade stock.
- Learn to Hunt and Fish: Fishing and hunting are also good ways to put food on the table. Fishing is easy and inexpensive to do now–and a relaxing sport as well. While hunting may not be your favorite sport, it is good to at least learn how to shoot a gun so you are able to do so if you need to.
- Weapons for Defense or Hunting: Defense is something to consider to protect your family. Many people have guns and ammo stocked on their shelves. If you aren’t comfortable with this, then don’t do it. Other weapons like spears and even a wrist-rocket (slingshot) could be useful items to bring down smaller game. Target practice with your family and make it a fun competition–you will all be good shots. Learn how to trap as well. A lot of small game could be snared.
You can either sit back and enjoy the luxury life now or learn some basic survival skills and educate yourself so you can be prepared for a trade and barter society. Those without any skills or something of value to trade will suffer if worse comes to worse. Don’t be one of those people. Make the changes in your life now to move towards a more self-sustainable lifestyle.