It seems a lot of people have to see where they put their money. Into preps or have to spend it on things for everyday living. I know how this feels and live like that the last decades.
After war I left city with two plastic bags full of random belongings. No documents and nothing else. I was refugee. But lucky that I was able to stay with family on countryside. I had no bug out bag.
I never really thought, ok now I prepare or anything. I simply wanted to have all sorts of things I did not have during my SHTF year. So preparing came naturally to me. No surprise. First it was all about weapons. Whenever I had money I bought ammunition, rifles and guns.
When I got my own place and job again I started to get other preps. Economic has ever been bad since war. Sometimes we get paid, sometimes not, sometimes late. So I never had much extra money but even when I got paid, I made plan what I need for next month and what not and then spend most of money on buying things in bulk. For example I drive every few weeks to gas station half hour away to buy 200 liters of gas. They have it cheaper and give discount. Buying in bulk is not only cheaper I get rid of my money and have things instead. That matters for me.
From other blog posts you also might know I do not value money much and never have after my SHTF year. You can’t eat money and when I do not get paid, or not paid in time I simply live of my preps.
People help when preparing on a budget
Interesting thing might be that my area is at brink of collapse again and has been for some time. We have 40% unemployed people so black market and exchanging things is normal. People do not have money so they exchange whatever they have. I might need new jacket but have knife I don’t want anymore and call a few people and get what I want.
Most of my friends have same or similar life philosophy, actually it is the matter of choosing right people to hang with them, so I do not have friends who find meaning of life in buying big LCD TV or having fancy car. It is more about having friends with who you can go into the woods for few days with very few things to check how it is like, or to discuss with them how we can get from point A to point B fast and safe when SHTF for example.
We meet for coffee or a few beer and plan this. It is our hobby and has been ever since war. We laugh and have good time, we fear little because we know what to expect and are prepared.
People with who you hang out have influence on you, either you like it or not, so you just have to choose with who you are gonna spend your time. Most of my friends are also exchanging / trading stuff, so it is easier for me to live without money and more with preps.
My guess is if there is slow collapse your country who is now better will come down to this level of where my country is, first before complete economic collapse.
In this state of half collapse I live in I just take safe route and that is having things. So what I write might be future advice for when time has come for your country. I just share how I prepare with my limited budget.
I can trade things now and if total collapse happens I still have more valuable things than worthless money. During collapse those with 1000 $ but broken shoes will pay 1000 $ for a new pair. Just not sure if I would sell because I can not wear those paper notes.
Friends with grey market traders
Another thing that helps is to get right connections. It helps to know some people who work in darker grey areas. People who sell stuff that “fell from a truck” are those who exchange and hustle for living and will be first who become big traders once SHTF. Their job does not change much, just more customers.
Now you may or may not approve this what i say, but consider knowing people from this “grey” area of life as a perfect part of preparing for future SHTF event. Those people is not your local drug dealer who is also on drugs, but more business people who focus on “lost and found” things.
If your country is far away from having trading people like this, look out for them once things get rougher. They will emerge fast. When they are there it is more than time to exchange money and have things instead.
Even now in normal time when i want to buy something, i always look for the word on the street where i can buy something good and cheap. If you have little you have to make things happen, somehow.
If I want military type bag, I always ask few people that I know have good info about that kind of stuff. They can point me to the guy who has that stuff for me. I do not ask too much questions, I do not want to know where that comes from, it is cheap, it is good, I have far greater things to worry about. If I had money I have guy who can sell me tuna cans, in bigger amounts, I mean 400-500 cans, almost in half price. How? Don t know, I do not wanna know.
There is the people here for buying anything, and I think it is similar everywhere i mean for most of the things there is the folks who are selling that, cheaper.
Jay who lives in Thailand went to supermarket manager to make his own deal and saved a lot. How supermarket manager could give him good prices like that? Nobody wants to know. If you do not know grey guys your local supermarket manager might be the go to guy.
How far you wanna go with buying some things from some grey people is up to you. I do not suggest anything when it comes to that. Each and everyone of us have to decide about that.
You may like this way or you may not. If you are poor or have to make difficult choices when buying preps it is form of survival already. When SHTF there will be way more difficult choices and you will laugh about this.
Find those people who trade things now
Even in good times (which are still bad times here compared to most other countries) I can get what I want with exchanging stuff. Pay good attention to when things become more valuable or better investments than money.
If I buy 4 pairs of boots that I know I will use and get them cheaper now, I do this. I live like this for years now but your country might not be there yet, but know time will come.
Money is good, money is great actually, but do not get caught up in situation like in the middle of the night with 1000 $ in your wallet, and S. has just hit the fan, and your 1000 $ is worth 10 cans of food, yesterday it was worth 400 cans, but…
We all expect that we gonna recognize signs, have time.. but we actually can be suprised, all of us. Looking at some alternative media sites I’m not sure if they promote truth or themselves more.
In the end we prepare to be safer and that is something you have to do today, not tomorrow.
Don’t prepare, save money
I know from forums that some people have problem justifying spending money on preps because other family member believe collapse can not happen or the government will provide.
This was never problem for me because all family knows preparing is only smart thing to do. Still you do not have to prepare for collapse officially. I save money by buying in bulk and also save gas by not making that many trips. Also saves my time because we do not have to leave house that often for buying things.
We are slaves of money, modern way of life is doing that to us, and it is hard sometimes to prepare but all of life is full of hard choices and making right choices today might safe one of your family members life tomorrow.
Not being a sheep today
Another good advice I think is that you have to not be one of the herd. Having new iPod might be a must have, but I do not care. It might be easy to say for me because priorities have changed a lot but I do not need most things media of advertisement tries to tell me I need.
You can start having survival mindset today. Those who think they need big LCD TV or latest iPod will have even bigger challenge once times get tougher and they are left with little or nothing.
There are many ways to do this. In this article I explain mine (my 6 months supply list is in course area).
What are your ways of preparing and staying within budget?