I suppose all these scandals are shocking to those who have been asleep for the last 10 years or so, speaking for myself the IRS, NSA, Benghazi and other assorted scandals have all the impact of a scientist confirming “water is wet”. I’m not blaming you if you have been asleep, a few years ago I was asleep just like you until I got a severe wake up call in my life. What I did is different then most people of declaring it bad luck or whatever. I got to work on making sure I would never be in that position again. I would have plenty of the basics on hand so that I could live no matter what happened in the future. I really learned about the economy and how money works, actually buying food in bulk and cooking from scratch and started a garden and added rain barrels for some sustainability. Sadly, the more I learned the worse the system looked.
If you are just waking up don’t panic! I know you are going to see just how bad stuff is and you will feel the need to get ready as quickly as possible. I think you have some time to be smart and prioritize what you buy, learn and practice for being self-reliant. I would not procrastinate, but I would not go out and buy everything on a credit card either. What you gain in peace of mind on the stuff you have on hand will be off set by the credit card bill. Think like the turtle in the “race” rather than the hare. While PMs (silver & gold) might be valuable in the future. Food, water, sanitation, heat/energy, security and first aid will be valuable from day one and used daily. I have not used a credit card in years and I slowly built my preps over time and using just cash.
I just refi’ed my house and was shocked to find my credit score was in the low 700’s. My credit took a severe beating when I got disabled. I had repositions, very late payments and Wells Fargo was darn nasty about wanting to start a foreclosure on my home. My parents saved my house and car. We couldn’t save the Softail that I could not safely ride after I got sick. That was about 5 years ago and I got out of debt and got smart about savings and paying cash. I don’t like debt and use it very sparingly for any purchase. If you have a home on a low fixed interest rate and you can make the payments, I would not worry about paying it off early unless you want too and you have the basics already on hand.
I’m terrible at saving FRN’s in my house. I know it’s smart thing to do, but it is all to easy for me to find some way to spend it. I suck at credit cards for the same reason that it is just to easy to justify any purchase. For people like me, I think paying a month ahead on most bills is a good way to get ahead on the FRN game. It’s not like you are making money on any interest on a savings account as the rates are so low. Paying a month ahead will give you time to adjust if the banks go on “Holiday”.
Most of the professional Doom & Gloomers think we have 12-48 months before things get nasty in the US economy. I would get out of “paper assets” just like most of the “smart money” is doing now. Prioritize and get your basics on hand, then you can start worrying about having assets when things change economically. A “Black Swan” could happen any day, they are called black swan events because no one can predict when they will happen. When the US economy crashes and it will it won’t be a Black Swan event. It will be math and compound interest that kills the economy!