Financial planning for beginners

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by The_Prepared, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    I love that SM has a dedicated subforum for money, because it's too often overlooked or considered not a part of prepping. Yet 25% of Americans have a money emergency every year, and all of the numbers are pointing in the wrong direction.

    Don't be the kind of prepper who puts freeze-dried food on their already-high credit card balance!

    I put together some (honestly) shocking facts about just how bad things are for the average America and a bunch of best-practice tips for money management:

    Personal finance tips for preppers

    For example:
    • 43% struggle to pay for a reasonable level of food and housing.
    • 57% have less than $1,000 in savings.
    • 26% have $0 in emergency savings. 77% don't have enough to cover six months of expenses.
    • 25% have at least one emergency caused by money troubles every year.
    But it's possible for an average person to get on track if they prioritize and stick to it. The basic steps:
    • Pay yourself first by automatically setting aside 10-30% of your take home pay for future savings/retirement.
    • Pay down high-interest debt, like credit cards.
    • Build up a rainy day fund that can cover 6 months of your average expenses. This includes the SHTF cash/metals/crypto you keep around your supplies.
    • It's OK to buy prepping basics in parallel with the previous two, but don't get into bunkers and higher-level stuff until you're standing on a solid money foundation.
    • If you struggle with budgeting, start by just looking at how you spent your money in the previous month. When you measure or look at something, you tend to make better decisions going forward, even without a budget.
    • We like the 50/30/20 budget: 20% pay yourself first, 50% needs, 30% wants.
    I have a bit of experience with this topic, so I'm happy to answer any questions!
    Motomom34, Dunerunner and HK_User like this.
  2. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Yeah I call that personal shtf.
    Between personal shtf, "cash is king" after a disaster and the looming possibility of financial collapse or market down turn I don't know why the o might dollar isn't higher prep priority for people.
    HK_User and The_Prepared like this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Agree. A problem is that most folks have some difficulty setting priorities. The second problem is that intense feeling that the frn value will fall out the bottom and that "things" will have better value for trade. I get the idea that there is a general impression that the bottom will fall out before preparations can be optimized and that has not been so for about 50 years. I think getting finances sorted out should be pretty nearly top of the list after a couple days of preps are in place for say, storms and outages.
  4. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Totally agree.
  5. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I look at the young people I work with, most of whom are half my age. They're eating expensive carry out lunches every day (not McDonald's, places like Panda Express, Chuy's, Mission BBQ), drinking $5 Starbucks fat coffee every morning and driving brand new cars.

    I want to show them that they're losing time and money that they'll never be able to make up if they don't start investing wisely now. To them I'm just that weird old dude that runs up and down the stairs at lunch time and drives that ancient Mercedes. or the beat up old Malibu. ...and he laughs to himself.
    Too weird.

    I'll try again. With the Dow at 25,058.12 today, it might get their attention if I tell them that I can remember when it was just over 2000, remember the day it broke 10,000, and 20,000... Maybe then they'll understand why I laugh to myself.
  6. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    If anyone wants to bet that trade is going to be better off than cash for goods then be my guest.
    I'm more of a past performance indicates future results type of person so I'm holding cash.

    I figure if you buy a bunch of junk to trade and you need cash to get out of some kind of personal shtf jam then you go to sell your junk for cash quickly you are probably only going to be able to get 25% to 67% of what the item cost new.
    So I'm going to start off with cash and still have the same amount of cash there when I need it.
    Every single one of us is guaranteed to need money for some emergency thing multiple times in our adult lives.

    The only goods I have identified that you can buy and resell or trade quickly and almost as good as cash are gold and silver coins/bars and common types of large live stock.
    The_Prepared likes this.
  7. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    It depends on who you know. I can think of a couple guys who might pay cash for a cow, but I know a load of guys who would pay cash for bricks of .22 Long Rifle, sleeves of rifle primers and cases of surplus rifles.

    I agree with you on keeping a balance of cash/silver/gold, but at the end of the line they are shiny trinkets. The guy that has the cow, along with the land, rifles and ammo to keep the cow will be the winner.

    The most haunting line I ever heard about investing was: "You can't eat a Hummel."
    The_Prepared and Yard Dart like this.
  8. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    No one wants 22lr any more.
    Unless you are selling it at a loss.
    Then there are always people like me with money looking for people who need money and have something to sell at a loss.

    That's how I get a lot of my gear.
    For example my bulk propane tanks. 100lb tanks I could have gone to the store and bought them for $140 each and had to have gotten them filled and purged.
    But I waited till someone needed money got 3 tanks that still had some pressure in them for about $170.
  9. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    If / When it comes to TEOCAWKI, I am fairly sure that paper currencies are going to be worthless. Even now, we would rather barter more than to buy or sell something for cash. Local farmers and others in the area have already learned that. So, if they don't money to buy something they need, often, we can strike a deal with them, that is fair to both them and us.

    So, currency or coin isn't a very high priority for us. I am focused more on having tangible things to trade for other goods or services we may need, if / when the SHTF. We already trade livestock or stored rice and other goods, for goods and services not currently available to us. And, livestock is far easier to increase here, than cash reserves. We just sit outside with an adult beverage in hand, and watch the drakes and roosters chase their beloveds around - courting? This is almost a daily event. Boy, are they energetic!
    GrayGhost and Gator 45/70 like this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    See that's the problem.
    When is teotwawki going to happen, will it even happen in our life time?
    Guarantee every one is going to have personal shtf.
    Not being prepared for personal shtf can wipe out layers if not all your teotwawki work and preps.

    Then if you have to live in a earthquake tsunami zone, hurricane or wild fire area having a bunch of land or stuff that takes longer than 5 minutes to grab and go likely doesn't make any sense.

    I find there is little shortage of people who buy stuff they didn't need when they should have been spending that money on things like rent, power bill, child support or saving it.
    Then have to sell these items to pay what they should have been spending money on in the first place.
    Idahoser likes this.
  11. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    If it is an actual end of the world event, I guess it won't matter either way. Few of us, if any, would survive it. To be honest, would we really want to? I mean, what would be left for others anyway? Living in the Stone Age?

    Aside from that, any lesser events, that is what it is all about - being prepared. We may not be 100% of the way there. But, who ever is? We work daily, though, on being closer to complete self-sufficiency.

    I probably have stated it before on this very forum. My primary reason for all we do, is for the "Boss" to be able to carry on after I croak. She will not have to depend on another man to provide for her, if that happens. If a similar event (not as bad as an end of the world event) were to occur prior to that, we are still good to go.

    Trust me, we get plenty of "prepping" practice in this country. Mains go out on a semi-regular basis. Then, there are the water cuts, massive floodings in the cities, etc. So, if anyone wants to "practice" their prepping abilities in a real life situation, come to Cambodia for a visit. I assure you, you will get plenty of it!
    Dunerunner likes this.
  12. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    All of this depends on the depth and scope of the SHTF event. When you have to stand in line at the grocery and the shelves are nearly empty, or you are in line at the gas station with a 5 gallon container waiting to buy $20/gal. fuel to run the generator on the house, having something other than cash to back you up isn't that bad an option.

    Gold and Silver is going to only have a value established by the local economy, just like the paper currency in a global SHTF scenario. In an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, or other natural disaster that is localized, your cash will retain value.

    A global catastrophe, like a super volcanic eruption, or meteor impact would probably cause an economic crisis, making cash pretty much valueless. That said, having the ability to produce food, Bake bread, make mechanical repairs, produce electricity, or purify water, manufacture clothing or portable shelter could be traded for cash, gold, silver, or any other item you may need.
    Gator 45/70 and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  13. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I think we wouldn't have any problem spending down personal shtf cash while it still had value.

    Let's say there is a financial melt down, but not what you expect, say shtf is like a repeat of the European banking computer system f-up.
    You can't access you bank, pay bills, or use your paycheck, credit card or savings account to buy anything not even fill your car with gas.
    How is having a bunch of guns and ammo going to be a direct solution to that?
    Plus everyone who has guns and ammo and needs cash is going to be trying to do exactly the same thing you are.
    No one is going to give you cash for something if cash is what everyone needs not too many people are going to be willing to pay more than a fraction of pre-meltdown market value for something they don't need.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  14. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    That is why you need to be able to defend yourself, your family, your property and your stash. That is what the guns and ammo are for. The stockpile of goods (prepped stash and cash) is what they will be after, if those you are talking about have nothing to trade but bullets.
  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I think trading guns and ammo during a melt down is stupid anyways.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  16. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    All of the above simply underscores why rational prepping means having a mix of things to cover your likely bases. You can't predict what will happen, and shouldn't be overly dependent on anything, whether cash or gold or bartering or crypto.
  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    As we say in the South
    A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.
    techsar, GrayGhost and The_Prepared like this.
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