How long do you have to prepare?

Well that is the $64,000.00 question isn’t it?  While I have no particular insights to offer, in fact I was certain the crash was going to happen in the fall of 2011.  As you can see I have no gift for prophecy, all I know is based on research and looking back at history and I know a crash will happen I just don’t know when.  No special insights, it’s just math!

Now having said that there does seem to be a growing consensus among financial people I do trust that we are looking at 2-4 years before the economic collapse is unavoidable. The PTBs are riding a tiger and at the moment it looks like the are in some control. But if they ever step off this tiger it will turn around and eat them and they know it.  So they will do everything they can to stay on the tiger and avoid being eaten. There is a certain amount of hubris and ego the PTBs have and they believe they are the smartest people in the world. I’m sure a few of them have a difficult time considering they might be wrong.  But,  I have seen very smart people do very dumb things!

Now this isn’t to say the crash can’t happen before that time.  A “Black Swan” event is remarkable because no can forecast when a black swan will happen!  But all of you know that the economy is not getting better, food and energy  prices are still going up and it’s getting harder to make ends meet. That is reality for most people not the Stock market!

I don’t want you to think you can set a date in 2014 and buy everything the day before.  We have all seem plenty of disasters happen the last couple of years that you need to prepare for, but “DON’T PANIC”.  My own adventure started with getting enough food stored that I didn’t need to shop for a couple of weeks and as I got one goal met I would learn more and a new goal of one month of not needing to shop  started. Or how I could start saving money if I could bake my own bread or have small garden for fresh veggies and herbs. I think one power outage of  6 hours showed me how great having a little camp stove to make a pot of coffee as well as heat up a room on a cold day got me thinking about backup heat for my all electric home.

You may never feel you are completely ready if your are just getting stuff! But when you start adding the skills to save money and make the most effective use of your supplies it helps you feel more in control. Marking off one item even if it just having enough laundry soap for six month or a year can give you a real boost and you already know how many loads of laundry you do per week.  For instance I do 2 loads of laundry per week on average, so I buy a big bottle of laundry soap that will do 120 loads. Two loads per week for 52 weeks equals 110 loads of laundry for a year. Simple and not at all expensive if you get laundry soap on sale!

I like to BBQ by learning to cook a turkey on the grill helps free my oven for other baking needs during Thanksgiving.  This is not a zero-sum game.  You can learn all kinds of great things to help in your daily life. Cooking outside in the summer will help keep your house cool and reduce energy costs is just one example. Trust me I have a phenomenal tailgating/picnic setup.  It such a great feeling knowing you got it already in the pantry when you have run out of something. The first time  I didn’t have to run out to the store when something ran out and all I had to do was go to the pantry was a huge morale booster!

Not to long after I got to my 3-6 month point of storage I had a massive vet bill. I was able to skip two months of grocery shopping and with the vet working with me on how the treatments were timed I was able to pay cash as my dog’s treatment occurred. I didn’t have to ask for loan from my parents or just have my dog put down because I couldn’t afford his medical bills.  I think it was after it was all done,  I had proof of having preps could make a positive impact on my life!  I’m not knocking having an emergency fund. I just didn’t have one at the time but I had plenty of stuff from the grocery store.  Remember, I did almost everything the wrong order starting out! I’m lucky I had time to learn.

I know what you are going through if you that are starting out or don’t feel you will ever be ready. I’ve been there and it truly sucks, but I can tell you as you keep working at it and you gain more skills and confidence it gets better.  Don’t forget to celebrate when you make a goal.  Take some time to do a quick inventory and see how far you have come in the last 3,6 or 12 months and write down all you have accomplished.  I often get some happy surprises in my stash like finding all those socks and t-shirts I’ve been picking up on sale.  I now is up over 15 brand new t-shirts of various sizes and 25 pairs of socks. Not a big deal for most people but in a pinch I won’t need buy socks or shirts for a couple of years, or I could go over 3 weeks without doing laundry and still have clean clothes to put on.   Heck I even found a couple of small bottles of stabil and the price they charge for those small bottles is a reason to celebrate!

Count your blessings and know you are doing the best you can in a tough situation. Have a little pity party, whine and moan and get it out of your system if that’s what you need to do!  My blog let’s me do that and write out how everything sucks and I’m peeved. Or everything is great and coming up beer and skittles.   Then you get back to work!

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