By Daisy Luther
I really don’t like to make predictions.
I’m not Zoltan, the fortune-telling dude in the machine – you know, the one with the turban who waves his mechanical hands dramatically over a crystal ball and tells you of your future in a heavily accented voice.
But, I think there is something coming in 2015 that we all need to be concerned about, and I wouldn’t be doing my job, writing these posts, if I didn’t warn you.
Some people are going to roll their eyes and call me a doomer. Some people are going to say, “You warned us about stuff all the time, and it hardly ever happens.” Some people are going to revert to cognitive dissonance and say, “Life is too short to worry all the time.”
But there is something very troubling on the horizon, and it’s going to affect us all. From most reports, the outlook for 2015 is not particularly bright.
Economically speaking, the bottom is falling out.
Sometimes to see the future clearly, we need to look at the past.
The most recent economic disaster that the US has suffered was in 2008. In just a few weeks, trillions of dollars of American wealth was simply vaporized in what was classified as “The Great Recession.” Over the next 3 years, American financial well-being was diminished by 40%.
Despite what the White House would have you believe, there’s been no significant recovery. And the signs that portended the 2008 crisis are all there, warning us, if we’d only pay attention.
Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog wrote a post with a grim warning last week. Although we’re all being told to spend, spend, spend, because everything is wonderful, the same thing happened in 2007, right before it all hit the fan for many Americans.
Sadly, what we are experiencing right now is so similar to what we witnessed in 2007 and early 2008. The stock market had been on a great run, people were flipping houses like crazy and most people were convinced that the party would never end.
But then it did end – very painfully.
The signs of trouble were there, but most people chose to ignore them.
Sadly, the exact same thing is happening again. (source)
The biggest indicator of impending financial catastrophe can be seen at the gas pumps. While it seems like a great thing to be spending fewer of our hard earned dollars getting from A to B, it is a deceptive sign that all hell is about to break loose in the financial world. An article on SHTFplan warns:
On the surface the recent drop in the price of oil has been a huge boost to America’s pocket books. But according to some analysts we shouldn’t be to quick to celebrate. The U.S. Oil and Gas industry has seen incredible job growth during the recession, with nearly 800,000 new jobs being attributed to domestic fracking and drilling expansion. At over $100 barrel, there was plenty of money to go around.
But with a sub-sixty dollar price point, it’s quite possible that all economic hell is about to break loose.
Thousands of recently highly paid workers have been laid off after the oil price plummeted 50 percent in 2014. At least four American oil-producing states are already facing budget problems due to decreasing oil revenues.
In a study published last year, the Council on Foreign Relations warned the largest job losses caused by sharp decline in oil prices are going to take place in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming, where the number of drilling rigs is decreasing.
According to Tom Runiewicz, a US industry economist at IHS Global Insight, if oil stays around $56 a barrel till the middle of the next year, companies providing services to oil and gas industry could lose 40,000 jobs by the end of 2015, while oil and gas equipment manufacturers could slash up to 6,000 jobs.
These workers can earn more than $1,700 a week, much higher than the average $848 a week payment for other workers, the WSJ reported. When experienced workers lose their highly paid jobs, they stop paying their bills.
Those are the conservative estimates and they are based on a $56 price point, which is almost exactly where we are today. But Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations have suggested the price could drop to $40 or even as low as $20.
In such a scenario we could easily see widespread layoffs in an industry that currently employs over 10 million Americans.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the worst of it. It’s only the most noticeable first domino in the row. Snyder points out that these low prices could have even more brutal ramifications than massive job losses:
The big banks are holding trillions in commodity derivatives that could blow up if the price of oil does not rebound. Overall, there are five U.S. banks that each have more than 40 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives of all types, and the total global derivatives bubble is at least 700 trillion dollars at this point. (source)
That’s not all. According to an analysis by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, job security is ephemeral.
It appears that the confidence in the economy may be another over-inflated attempt at masking the true state of affairs. In fact, some of the largest U.S. corporate conglomerates are planning for massive layoffs in the coming year.
CEO of the Coca-Cola company, Muhtar Kent dubbed 2015 as a transition year and notes that 2015 will most notably be “the most important year for us to make the changes in terms of a leaner, better-operating model.” He adds, “The consumer is challenged everywhere around the world,” Kent said in a conference call. “There is a lot of volatility in the world, in currencies, in interest rates, in growth rates and in geopolitical issues.”
In order to cut losses due to a disappointing quarter, the popular soda company plans to cut at least 1,000-2,000 jobs in coming weeks to try and rein in costs. As well, other major companies have also felt the buoyancy of the world economic markets. Halliburton, USPSand even IBM are also hinting at layoffs in 2015.
There’s concern that the coming year will also be the beginning of the energy sector layoffs. Crude oil has plunged to nearly $50, and energy companies have begun announcing cuts to their 2015 capital budgets of as much as 25 percent. As well, rig counts are falling in Texas as companies shut down drilling operations. Source
Since 2008, prices of products have continued to rise in order to adjust for the declining economy. As Mac Slavo of SHTF Plan points out, the Baltic Dry Index, a key indicator of economic health and stability, has collapsed to nearly the same levels. (source)
It certainly doesn’t sound like the outlook for 2015 is the rose petals and sunbeams that Washington is promising.
How will the financial collapse affect you?
Maybe you aren’t an investor. Maybe you don’t have real estate. Maybe you are absolutely certain, without a shadow of a doubt, that your job is secure. Perhaps you have money in the bank.
The trouble is, the money you are working overtime to make, the security you feel that you have by saving it…it’s imaginary. It’s nothing but a giant fraud that keeps you a slave to the system. Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple wrote about the dollar:
But what is it really worth?
Nothing. It’s worthless, and that’s the godawful truth. I’m not exaggerating to make a point either. It’s not just overrated, overinflated and backed by nothing but confidence. It is quite literally worthless. Less than worthless in fact! Our fractional reserve banking system spews out “money” that is nothing of the kind.
This thing that we spend our whole lives desperately trying to accumulate; that builds our roads, feeds our bellies, pays our mortgages and fuels our dreams. This glorified token that puts our kids through school so that they may spend their whole lives trying to accumulate it as well, is not really money. It’s debt! And it’s not even your debt. It’s somebody else’s liability. ( source)
Not only is your money worthless, here a few more ways the current economic trends may still affect you.
- Prices will go up. We’ve seen an almost unprecedented increase in the price of food over the past couple of years, even as the quality of the food available plummets. This is due to massive droughts, early freezes, and basic cost-of-living increases.
- Unemployment will continue to ripple through the country. Those without jobs now are equal to the number of unemployed during The Great Depression. As the economy plummets, that number will almost certainly exceed the previous highs.
- Obamacare mandates will continue to impoverish the middle class. The most ill-conceived policy in history, Obamacare has increased monthly payments while decreasing coverage for nearly every person who is gainfully employed. And, if you refuse to procure coverage through Obamacare, expect attempts to penalize you into compliance. This is adding to the unemployment rate as employers struggle to keep their doors open and drop full time staff to avoid having to pay their portion of the O-care payments.
- Rents will increase. If you don’t own your home, prepare to pay higher rent as landlords try to cover their losses of income in other sectors. Foreclosures will be on the rise, which means there will be fewer homes available.
The bottom line is, income will remain the same, decrease, or even disappear entirely for many of us. Meanwhile, the price of darn near everything will go up. Expect to pay more for things like keeping your utilities on, feeding and clothing your family, keeping a roof over your heads. Aside from that, those dollars you are carefully saving? They are only providing you with the illusion of security.
How about another refresher on recent history? Remember the economic collapse in Greece? People were digging through garbage to find food. Suicides were rampant as people discovered that they literally could not afford to stay alive. Desperate parents gave up their children to orphanages, just in the hopes that those kids might be able to survive. This isn’t something that happened in the distant past. This occurred in a beautiful, apparently thriving country three short years ago.
If you ever prepped for anything that “might” happen, please understand that this current rate of spiral can only end one way: in financial collapse. There is a much greater statistical likelihood of your family suffering from the effects of this than being subject to a nuclear disaster, an EMP strike, or a devastating natural event. I’m not saying that these other things won’t happen, but the odds are much greater that you will be affected by the economy in 2015.
For many people the economic collapse has arrived. Their “end of the world” event has already occurred in the form of a job loss, the foreclosure of the family home, or an illness that has caused such massive personal debt that there is truly no way out of it. Less than 60% of Americans who are of age to be in the work force have a full time job. When you tally that, it means that more than 100 million people are out of work. More than 100 million people in the United States have no jobs. For more than 100 million people, the economic collapse has arrived in full force.
Meanwhile, as people all over the globe (think Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, the UK) struggle with high rates of unemployment, the prices of everything have gone up. People are struggling to keep such simple necessities as running water and electricity. Grocery costs have skyrocketed – the World Bank released a statement that global food prices increased by 10% in ONE MONTH – July 2012.
How can you prep to weather this economic disaster?
If you’re here, reading this, it’s probably because you are of a preparedness mindset. You are ready for all sorts of disasters: huge storms, earthquakes, civil unrest, small personal SHTF moments like a hiking trip gone bad.
But are you prepared for the one thing that is the most likely event to affect your family? Are you ready for an economic collapse on a grand scale?
Prepping for an economic disaster bears some similarity to prepping for other types of disasters. The main difference is
figuring out how to make ends meet while making less and spending more. It’s time for a crash course in “Preppernomics”.
The answer to weathering the economic collapse is to make some radical changes to your lifestyle.
If you are in a position where all is well right now, you are one step ahead. Heed the following and make adjustments to allow yourself to be prepared in the event that your personal finances take a hit.
If you are already suffering from the financial downturn, then look at the following suggestions and see what changes you can make.
The key to economic survival is requiring less of things that cost money.
First, you have to take a stark look at what necessities really are. It is not necessary to life to have an iPhone, a vehicle in both stalls of your two-car garage, or for your children to all have separate bedrooms. People in Southern and Eastern Europe right now will tell you, as they scramble for food, basic over the counter medications like aspirin, and shelter, that necessities are those things essential to life:
- Food (and the ability to cook it)
- Medicine and medical supplies
- Basic hygiene supplies
- Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
- Simple tools
- Defense Items
Absolutely everything above those basic necessities is a luxury.
So, by this definition, what luxuries do you have?
Some are more important than others, based on your lifestyle and might be considered secondary necessities. You might require transportation, work clothing, a computer and an internet connection, electrical appliances, a cell phone – you are the only person who can define which are these are luxuries and which are secondary necessities. It’s essential to be truly honest with yourself and separate “wants” and “I really enjoy having this” and “the kids will complain without it” from “needs”.
You may have to make some brutal cuts.
What can you change about your life? Where can you reduce expenditures by several hundred dollars monthly? This is the point at which most people say, “I can’t.” Most people don’t want to move to a smaller house, get an old car, or go without premium cable. But this is where you can truly dig in and create a lifestyle to survive an economic mayhem scenario.
Everyone’s situation is different. You may be locked into a mortgage on a huge house in a market that won’t even cover the balance of what you owe. It could be the same with your vehicle. Explore all of your options, though, because paying a few thousand dollars to get out from under it could be worthwhile. Some people could have reached the point where they must begin to default on payments. That, too, is a personal choice. I’m not recommending that you blow off your obligations. (However, do consider the fact that large banks get bailed out by the government, and everyday people do not.) Before making decisions like that, be sure to discover all of the potential ramifications, such as repossessions, garnishing of bank accounts, and ruined credit.
Here are some cuts to consider:
- Move to a smaller house. Contrary to popular belief, no child ever died because he or she had to share a room with a sibling.
- Relocate to a small town. Is it worthwhile to commute to a job in the city from a smaller, less expensive location? This can give you the added opportunity of homesteading and providing for many of your own needs. Click HERE to read about what you need to know before making such a move.
- Get rid of your late model year vehicle. Look for a decent used vehicle that you can purchase with cash.
- Cut back to one vehicle or even no vehicles. Sometimes public transit and your own two feet can provide all of the transportation you really need at a fraction of the price of owning a vehicle. This varies by location.
- Stop using credit cards. This goes for any type of lending system that requires you to pay interest. Stop accumulating debt.
- Pay off debt. If you are already deep in debt, you need to try to pay it off. The fewer bills you have when things go sideways, the better off you will be. (Check out this book for great advice on straightening out your finances
– I found it life-changing.)
- Don’t eat out. Limit meals out to no more than once a month or special occasions. Even better, don’t eat out at all. Dining out, even at a fast food place, is at minimum 4 times more expensive than the same meal prepared from scratch at home. (And far less healthy!)
- Look for free or low-cost entertainment. Consider a family YMCA or community center membership instead of gymnastics clubs or private tennis lessons if you need to enroll your kids in some activities. Go hiking, have picnics, explore parks, go to the library, and find out what’s offered for free in your home town. Learn to enjoy productive hobbies like canning, carving and needlework. Switch from cable to Netflix.
- Use the envelope method to budget for shopping trips. For back-to-school shopping or Christmas shopping, decide how much you want to spend. Put that money in an envelope. As you shop, place each receipt in the envelope. When the money is gone, it’s gone. If there’s something else your child desperately wants, then they need to decide what item they’d like to take back to get it. Be firm and stick to your guns. This has the added benefit of teaching your children to budget.
- Reduce your monthly payments by cutting things like cable, cell phones, home phones, and/or gym memberships. Look at every single monthly payment that comes out of your bank account and slash relentlessly. (Click here to read more about cutting fixed expenses.)
- Shop using the stockpile method. Shop only the sales and simply replenish your stockpile. (Learn to build a one year food supply in 3 short months!)
- Eat leftovers. Have you ever stopped to think about how much food you throw out every month? You can often provide a few “freebies” every month by carefully repurposing your leftovers.
- Stay home. By spending more time at home, you will spend less money. You won’t be grabbing a bottle of water, going through drive-thru for lunch or putting fuel in the car. Learn to treasure you time at home with loved ones – it’s worth more than money.
- Learn to provide for many of your necessities alone. Grow food, join a co-op, raise chickens and rabbits. Even a small salad garden in a kitchen window can help you to offset high food prices. Learn to sew, mend, repair, preserve, and build. Decrease your dependence on consumer goods and services. Embrace your frugal side and opt to be cheap by choice.
- Reduce your dependence on the power grid. Use rain barrels to collect water, direct the gray water from your washing machines to reservoirs, hang your clothes to dry, and use solar lighting whenever possible. The less you depend on public utilities, the lower your bills will be, which could mean the difference between having some services or being totally without them.
- Find other ways to stay warm. This can be difficult if you rent but it can still be done. Consider making modifications to allow for the use of portable wood heaters, look into different types of camping heaters and make your plans and purchase your supplies well before you need them. Learn how to safely store fuel for these secondary devices. Invest in battery operated C0 monitors (and extra batteries). Get sleeping bags with a warmth rating for low temperatures, consider a small tent where you and family members can sleep in your living room to pool body heat, and stock up on cold weather clothing like hats, fingerless gloves, long underwear and heavy sweaters. Find ways to insulate and separate one main living area off from the rest of the house by closing doors, hanging curtains in doorways, etc.
- Watch the prices of your utilities. As the prices begin to rise, more and more people will be unable to pay their bills and eventually their power will be shut off. Check your bill each month and as prices increase, use less power. Redefine necessities. You can hand wash your clothing, cook on a woodstove or outdoor grill and can foods to preserve them instead of relying on a large chest freezer. None of these are the way things are commonly done these days, but if you can manage to keep power on for the most basic necessities, like running the pump for your well, running a refrigerator, and maybe powering up a laptop, you’ll be living in luxury in comparison to those who have no power, no heat and no running water.
- Prep, prep and then prep some more. The end of the American way of life is upon us. Stock up on beans, bullets and band-aids. If you’re new to the idea of prepping, check out some sites like Ready Nutrition (especially the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series), Survival Blog, Graywolf Survival, Survival at Home, Survivehive, Prepper Website, Lew Rockwell, and SHTFplan. The clock is ticking, so buy as much as you can, while you can. Despite what many veteran preppers may tell you, it’s NOT too late!
- Build a preparedness library. While free information from websites is great, if there is a point in the future that you can’t access the internet (or your computer) hard copies of useful books will be vital. Here are some of my favorites:
- The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster
- The Prepper’s Canning Guide
- The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months
- Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When Youre on Your Own
- Life without Refrigeration
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself
- The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers
- The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Introducing the Preppernomics Series
Watch for more articles in upcoming weeks about how to position yourself to survive the upcoming collapse. We’ll take a closer look at the points recommended above, with practical solutions you can adapt to your family’s situation.
Have you had situations in which you had to dramatically reduce your expenses? Where did you slash your budget? Share your stories in the comments below. You just might inspire someone going through a difficult time.
I live in rented accommodation so when the SHTF I’ll not make make the rent and will be evicted, so I’ve got my tent and bug-out-bag ready. It’s heavy but I intend to stay away from people for at least six months while those who didn’t prepare kill each other off. I also have some spare gear geocached, and my place backs onto a national forest so easy escape is no problem. I’ll be out of sight within minutes. Even if there isn’t cannibalism there will be killing, so I have enough survival gear to get by solo for a year or two if needs be.
I have no connection to the company on the link, nor do I use them in any way, but I always thought the section of the article titled, “How Investments Fared” was worth reading. If we end up in hyperinflation, that section will answer your question.
I have the same thinking, my tent and home made covert camouflage shelter out in the wilderness will be my home WSHTF. I’ve practice being homeless a few times in case I can’t pay rent. Living in the wilderness is freedom! It will be nice when the government can not collect taxes because people will be broke and not working and Obummer Care will collapse which it is doing now. I am not complying with Obama Care, it can go to hell, not filing anything, the bastards can keep my refunds! The war is coming!
Why do you let the government have any of your money so that you have a refund? They can only take penalties for Obamacare from refunds. Change your W-2 or estimated tax payments so that you owe them instead.
Sorry. W-4 not W-2.
One of the best posts you’ve ever written.
“The end of the American way of life is upon us.” I know most will not accept this since they have been taught America is somehow “exceptional”. It’s not.
Most preppers believe they can store up buckets of this and ammo cans of that and somehow sit back and wait for a “reset”. It’s good to do this, but a longer term view is needed. There will be NO reset…at least not to what we now have. The end of Industrial Civilization is just over the horizon.
The worldwide production of conventional oil peaked around about 2005. The expensive stuff is now more than the worldwide economy can bear. The debt based monetary system that is a proxy for energy needs constant growth to survive. Growth is over with the demise of cheap oil. All commodities are soon to be net negative on EROEI (the value returned is not worth the energy invested to mine). A deflationary spiral is here.
Glad to see you didn’t advocate hoarding gold. Gold is also just another proxy for calories, btus, joules or watts…if there is no surplus energy, there will be no need for money.
If you’re still alive after the chaos, no one will have any surplus to sell. They will need it all for themselves.
On that note…Happy New Year…it’s time for a drink.
One should have a mutual means of trade. That was the idea of coinage to begin with. I won’t sell or trade my ammo. Depends on the time of year as to whether or not I’d trade dry goods or food, although I would not let anyone go hungry if it’s within my means. People who act selfishly in hard times generally get what’s coming to them sooner or later, they’re really no better than the banks or politicians. Our society/world is collapsing because of greed and fear. It is rampid especially in the cities…me, me, me. If we start killing and robbing one and another, what the hell’s the point of living anyhow.
Thanks, Chicken Little.
If/when the dollar collapses (which I’m sure it will eventually) just why is it important to be out of debt?
How will creditors be able to collect their monies owed if their is no currency? If a Zimbabwe like inflation occurs will I be able to pay my mortgage off with those inflated dollars?
How about some real answers for those of us all prepped out!
As I mentioned earlier in the post, some people may opt not to pay debt at all. That is a personal decision. However, if you ARE trying to pay your debts, you are better to pay them down as quickly as possible. Otherwise your home and car may be foreclosed on, if those are the debts you don’t wish to pay. Again, as long as your fine with the ramifications of this, it’s a personal choice. Paying off debts allows you to lower your monthly output, which is the reason I recommend it. Even more important, though, is avoiding debt whenever possible.
Very best wishes ~
Oh – one other thing. 🙂
I think that oftentimes when people think about economic collapse, they envision a Mad Max type of scenario. I don’t. What I foresee is poverty so crippling that the wealthy live in a totally different sphere than the rest of us. I see a situation more like the Great Depression, with a lack of jobs and money. In that type of situation, owning your home or vehicle free and clear will be a definite advantage over having monthly payments looming overhead.
Even in a time of extreme inflation, if you don’t have a variable mortgage, your payment now will be your payment then, if I understand this correctly. Your problem will be accumulating those dollars you need while paying exorbitant prices for a loaf of bread or a gallon of fuel.
Best wishes, and thank you for bringing up some very interesting points.
I hope you’re right…but in truth, I suspect ‘economic collapse’ will be, but one scenario..among many..that will cascade thru society / Western Civilization…in the near-term future!
..with each new horror..spawning yet another horror / calamity..on humanity’s descent into a…collective –system reboot–
..nor do I believe the privileged / wealthy…will be spared.
Great article dear…keep ’em coming!!!
Once again Daisy, a great post!
Over the last few years I’ve been able to whittle away at my monthly expenses and now can survive on 800 US dollars a month not counting gasoline purchases.
How? No cable TV except for my hi speed internet that i need for my business. I own my home outright and the vehicles are paid for. I have no debt which does present a problem, if i wanted to take out a loan for something then i’d have to put up my humble home as collateral because i haven’t had a credit card for almost 20 years or more and i’m not letting a possible bank failure guide my life.
I have been very blessed. I’m used to earning well over a 100K take home yearly and in 2014 I had the worst year in business ever. In 2014 I took home 30K. If i hadn’t planned and stocked up for the last three years I’d be in serious financial trouble.
I have learned to garden and can my produce the last few years.
We stretch our food by cooking more stews and soups.
While i really dig the lower gas prices I do realize that the ripple effect of a lower petro dollar per barrel is going to cause havoc here and globally. The unfortunate thing is that as preppers we can take all the best precautions yet events beyond our control could drag us all down as a nation.
Be frugal, be aware, be safe and keep your stick on the ice!!!!
The rich already do live in a completely different sphere then the rest of us, and will manage to make money out of a collapse. A couple of points.
The idea that all of the derivatives will fail at once is rather unrealistic.
The lower price of oil is problematic for the parts of the country dependent on expensive oil, but the steep rise was problematic for a large part of the country. This will lead to a small boom for the middle class.
However, the issue of empty space on vessels is a big concern.
I think over all we are in a precarious position, and a significant event will cause the economy harm a lot easier then if we all were living within our means.
Even in a time of extreme inflation, if you don’t have a variable mortgage, your payment now will be your payment then, if I understand this correctly.
Nope, actually you’ve got it exactly backwards. While your payment is the same, you’ll be paying them in less valuable dollars. Which is the best thing you can possibly do.
Imagine you have a home loan for a million dollars. Once inflation goes through the roof, and “a loaf of bread costs 20 thousand dollars”, well you have a home for the cost of 50 loaves of bread.
Being a borrower is the BEST thing you can be during an inflationary phase. If you really believe the dollar is going to be worthless, borrow to the freakin’ hilt, purchasing real goods with it. Pay the barest minimum, because every point of inflation is that much better for you. Many people made a killing in the 70’s just that way.
If you really think the dollar is going to collapse, load up the boat with debt!
What worries me is property taxes.
All well and good… as long as you don’t lose your ability to earn money. And, you had the foresight to put away a whole bunch of food and supplies, so you won’t have to choose between a loaf of bread and your mortgage payment.
The real reason to be out of debt is it takes away the hold that bankers have on this country. But first get self sufficient as possible. Get educated. Get into shape. And no, round is not a shape. No one can take that away from you. Have sturdy clothes. Go to the thrift stores for that. Figure out how to store water. Obtain foods that you won’t have to cook. Mine is spam and crackers. You get the idea. If you run out of room in your home rent a storage garage. The most important thing is GET YOUR MONEY OUT OF THE BANK. Buy postal money orders to pay your bills. I know it is a hassel but JUST DO IT. Weapons: that falls under education. Each person has thier own limits. Remember the war is against the Banks not your fellow man.
Excellent advice! I too can feel the momentum building. I wish MORE people were taking steps to prepare and protect their family.
This reminded me of a recent article posted at Zerohedge.
The Destruction Of The Middle Class Is Nearing The Final Stages
“The events of the past few months seem astounding when taken in all at once. The plan to destroy the U.S. dollar and the American middle class is moving at an ever increasing speed.
There are three lessons that many people will learn in the coming months.
-If you do not have it already you may not be able to get it. -If you do not have it physically in your hands you do not own it.
-If you cannot protect it you will not have it for long.”
Great article. I’m planning for 20-40 super depression (aka Soviet living).
I don’t think I’ll live to see the rebound, so I’m prepping for gardens to feed me, will raise ducks, chickens too. Got enough canned & bagged/boxed food to hold me till the crops are ready etc.
Here in FL., no good soil, I had to buy 400 bags of garden dirt, bags of fertilizers etc. Plenty of seeds. Got me some solar panels & firewood, well & setic tank etc. Did I forget to mention the silver? 🙂
EBay sells “fish antibiotics” (all the good stuff.). Don’t forget the worming meds and bug & flea fighters. Mosquito netting for bed-tenting. Decent heavy duty bicycle for transport when cars won’t run.
Clear plastic solar pool covers (HD bubble wrap) makes the best, low price greenhouse or patio enclosure. Guns, OK. Pellet rifle for quiet shots. Sling shot. Crossbow. NO generator! (Their noisy mufflers will attract the starving killers to your home.)
Canning jars, pressure canner, solar oven (diy). Did I miss much?
Prepping for 20-40 YEARS of super depression.
P.S. 25 Gallons of vinegar (pickling), 200 pounds food grade (pool) salt, 25 pounds pickling spices, 150 pounds sugar etc.
Preserving, pickling canning brine salting or booze production! Have tobacco seeds to (grow for trade). Plenty of spices too. Nobody likes bland food.
I believebelieve many of us will live without grid power.
My area is 200Ft above sea level & gets plenty of rainfall.
Living the RURAL life. 8 miles to the nearest settlement. Escaped from DETROIT.
Portable wood heaters? More information on that would be useful. I rent and cannot have a wood stove. If itis portable, could I stealth it into here?
Check out kerosene heaters.
I bought 2 kerosene heaters before 2008 as ‘prepper’ items. The idea of using them in place of heat from the grid was surreal at the time. I lost my ‘good job’ in 2012, income slashed to less than half. I have since turned down the heat from the grid. Waaaay down. I have found that my large kerosene heater, (first used in 2013) will keep the living room warm, but it’s not cheap. A gallon of kerosene will heat for about 5 hrs on low. I could never afford to purchase enough kerosene for an entire winter. I have a smaller kerosene heater, that I use to heat my personal space. Very helpful and runs on propane canisters. I do have a fireplace, and use it sparingly, to save firewood for extreme conditions. I live in Florida after all. I see alot of ‘Im going to’ when it comes to prepping. Do it now, to learn from your mistakes (confusing fantasy with reality) and while you have time to correct or compensate. You can’t purchase creativity, and you are going to have to get very creative.
Also…discontinue trash pick up. I exchanged $40.00 per month pick up for a $3.00 trip to the dump about every 6 weeks. Burn trash, compost, cans etc go to the dump.
I didn’t know you do do this. I only have one or two small bags a week so I end up putting it out once a month. My trash pickup gets more expensive every year but still reasonable at about $15 per month. If I had to pay $40, I’d take it myself too. My sewer bill is worse, at $40 a month. Don’t have a choice with that one.
Venezuela is a current example of what happens when a currency implodes. I lived there in the 90’s when the exchange with the dollar was around 270-1. Today, it’s 174,000 to one. Granted, their government lopped off 3 zeroes to make it more palatable to the masses, but in spite of the highest inflation in the world, long-term “stores of value” like real estate is worth about half what it was, in constant dollars, to what it was in the 1970’s.
A good income used to pay around $500-750 US a month; now it works out to around $35.00(!) each month. So we’re talking about the impoverishment of literally everyone except the wealthiest fraction of 1% and/or the most adept criminals. Meanwhile, their government continues to play “let’s pretend” with artificial exchange pegged at 6-1, much like our BLS with their fantasy stats about 5% unemployment and 2% inflation.
Great article. For many people the economic bottom has already fallen out. Unlike the people during the Great Depression, very few people today know how to survive without the grocery store. Back then people knew what plants in the woods were edible, how to start a fire, and how to trap, skin, and cook a rabbit. Today, people do not fair well because they do not have the skills anymore. I know kids that think milk only comes from a plastic jug in the store and don’t know how to cook without pushing a button. It’s sad that people end up starving because they don’t know they can obtain free food right in their yard.
I agree. The economic bottom has already fallen out. Even during the Great Depression ’29-’39, the effects of the depression was a slow crescendo until its peak somewhere around ’34/’35.
“Today, people do not fair well because they do not have the skills anymore.” While it is true, that, as a society, we are becoming more and more de-skilled, this is really nothing new in history. Shockingly enough, it happened during the Civil War, the time period that everyone would assume had a society of a high skill base. Not so. Be assured that the average person may balk at trying to repair clothing by sewing (as my one DIL who refuses), but when the rubber meets the road, and it is a necessity, they will learn the skill at least on a pass/fail basis and they will function. Those with skill will probably thrive.
“Unlike the people during the Great Depression, very few people today know how to survive without the grocery store. Back then people knew what plants in the woods were edible, how to start a fire, and how to trap, skin, and cook a rabbit.”
Having a grandmother b 1892, and parents in the 1920’s, I listened to many many stories about that depression. Here the kicker: my maternal family did *not* know what plants were edible, how to start a fire, or how to trap, skin and cook a rabbit. They lived in the city in a house that contained inter generational members. Everyone contributed to the household. Living in one of the NYC boroughs allowed them to buy underwear. I mentioned this because my DIL’s grandmother could not make underwear comfortably during those years with the ration on rubber elastic. Where you lived in the US contributed to how you lived during those years and what skills you had.
An animal that seems to be overlooked is the Rabbit.
Chickens produce eggs, BUT cold will stop them from laying, so will cold, lack of light, pests, the wrong type of feed, lack of water or food for even a few hours.
I know this because I have 300 of them.
The rabbit is much better suited. They can be raised inside, the breeding instincts have not been breed out, the produce a lot of meat eating what we can’t (grass, apple cores etc.)
I used to raise rabbits and I completely agree. they have more meat pound-for-pound than chickens and they are quite tasty. my kids grew up thinking they were eating chicken all the time. have a few hundred did make for a lot of work but it was worth it, much easier than chickens.
Rabbits are a lean animals that provide protein but not enough fat to subsist on. It’s called rabbit starvation. Ducks, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle, provide food that primitive cultures have proven people can thrive on even in the absence of food from the plant kingdom.
I don’t buy groceries, I pasture some animals to butcher, and buy animals from local farmers to butcher, and eat. I quit eating nightshades, which cured my arthritis. So I decided why eat any vegetables, so I don’t eat vegetables, just animal fat, and meat. The amount of time I save not to mention money by not gardening is substantial, and better spent fishing, or hunting.
Dave, that’s certainly true of wild rabbits, but domestic rabbits often have stores of body fat. It’s an important distinction to remember when planning.
Animal fat contains very little else other than animal fat. At 9 calories per gram, that’s 4000 calories per pound, combined with dried meat, weight wise, and space wise, it’s the obvious choice for a survival food. food.http://hal_macgregor.tripod.com/rabbit/whats.html
Domestic rabbit is at the bottom of the list, but I’m sure that the organs, and the brain were not included in the analyses. Likewise on the poultry the skin, and organs may not have been included.
Fat is a necessary nutrient, beans, rice, or any food derived from the plant kingdom are not necessary for people to thrive. Fat, and protein are all that is required.
Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple wrote about the dollar: But what is it really worth? Nothing. It’s worthless, and that’s the godawful truth
Then send me yours.
I’m not joking. I really mean it. Since the dollar is so very worthless, send all of yours to me. I will be happy to take it off your hands. I’ll send you a big empty box to put it all in. Heck, I’m feeling generous- I’ll even pay for the shipping.
Now all of you who DON’T immediately take up my offer, I have one question.
I am Australian how will it affect us You always talk about Americans but there other countries ,We also dont own guns the laws are strict except for terrorists that go underground to obtain guns illegially Kind Regards A Concerned Aussie
Jennifer, I met some Aussies when I lived in Germany and they were experts with knives, hatchets and the boomerang. They could cut an apple in half from 50 to 100 meters! They used to challenge the Brits and Americans to competitive games. Losers had to buy the drinks afterward!!
Ps We cant buy Fish antibiotics on ebay in Australia either they are illegal as well
If you can’t get fish antibiotics, go for herbs and essential oils. Have you looked into chicken and horse medicines? Same meds but different dosages; you just need to find the right conversion for human by weights. Should be some where on the internet.
Its good advice no matter what to pay off debt and live frugally. To be prepared for a disaster like earthquake major power outage etc. Is also just prudent planning.
But i wonder how much has actually changed. I grew up with a dad through the seventies and eighties who continually expected the end of the world (economic collapse anyway). But it always seems at the end of the day we manage to inflate our way out. Also, China is completely dependent on us and they are willing to live without while propping us up. Remember also that if things actually get as bad as ur talking about we will go to war with someone and that distracts and employs more.
Cut your cable TV. Internet is better anyway.
Lower your heat (alot) at night and while you’re at work. Dress warmer. Add bedding, including wool blankets.
Learn to make bread–cheap, easy and waaaay better. artisanbreadwithsteve.com (I like his no-knead method and simple ingredients.)
Get a reusable travel coffee thermos.
Catch rain water and garden. Use edibles for landscaping.
Keep chickens. I took butchering classes.
Learn to can. I joined a canning club to learn. Invest in all the stuff for canning.
Shop in bulk and learn how to repack for long term storage. Shop grocery discount stores generally, and stock up on super-sales.
Bonus: homemade bread and canned goodies make great gifts for others.
I cannot agree with this part: “Rents will increase. If you don’t own your home, prepare to pay higher rent as landlords try to cover their losses of income in other sectors. Foreclosures will be on the rise, which means there will be fewer homes available.”
At thehousingbubbleblog.com they showcase how massive overbuilding of apartments is overwhelming demand in many areas of the country, which results in lower rents. Combined with the idea that many of those new single family home foreclosures add to the rental pool, landlords face increasing competition, and rental prices are capped by income, so landlords can’t get more for their rental properties.
According to the guys at thehousingbubbleblog houses are overpriced by 250%. It’s more than likely that if you bought a house after 1998 you paid too much.
With Foreclosures on the rise – there will be More homes available – which will lead to even lower purchase prices and lower rental rates.
Rocket stoves — they return an enormous amount of heat, for warmth and cooking, from a trivial amount of wood (barely more than twigs), and their exhaust is barely warm (not hot) and virtually smokeless. People who can’t have wood stoves sometimes sneak in a rocket stove with no one the wiser. And they can be home-built, very cheaply.
The bitter truth is that economic collapses, have occurred throughout history. According to this article:
They created a “worst” list of 13 of them starting from 1797 and ending with the current “Recession.” That means, according to this site, we have withstood the worse of the worse recession/panic/depressions, on average, *every* 16.7 years! I used 2014 as the last date.
According to this site: http://www.usagold.com/reference/panicsmaniacrashes.html
Crashes, panic, depressions, and collapses have burdened the USA from 1779 to 2008. Using this information, we have experienced 15 crashes and the like, on average, approximately every 15yrs!
I have lived through some of them, and in general, they were just inconveniences.(One example was the OPEC gas problem.Not only were we restricted to purchasing gas every other day, but deliveries were delayed for businesses. You were not necessarily going to get what you need with a two day shipping!) We even purchased a home in the 1980’s with a 10.5% interest! My husband had a “good” steady job. We did payed off the mortgage, sent the kids through college without debt, all by living a frugal life. Not so today.
While I do not think I will be seeing Zombies or the Golden Horde coming out of NYC (I appreciate FerFALs blog), there have been many devastating changes to our “infrastructure”, such as NAFTA, that will make things much for difficult for all of us in the trenches.
We all should have been in a constant state of preparedness from our adult years! Maybe some of us were.
(I have no affiliation with the two sites I referenced whatsoever!)
I loved this article, my wife and i just went through finacial hell with hospital bills. And were still on our feet. Had we kept the second car payment, the cable and credit cards this emergency would have sunk our ship. I think the grocery store is the hardest bullet to take. As a home canner and meat raiser and procceser we still spend 100 a week at a store. Sometimes i think toilet paper would have been a better investment then silver. Any thoughts on 401k’s, i mean pull the money, take a tax hit or leave it in and play roullet. As a younger man im betting mine will be “nationalized” and replaced with junk bonds before i get 65. Thanks.
Suggestion for Aussies? Fish antibiotics illegal? Then try shopping for pig, sheep, cow, dog, cat, chicken meds at various places. Farmer & rancher supplies. Home pets? Even some agriculture-plant and crop suppliers deal in some of the same things. Be clever.
What if you register as a GROWER of something? Would you get permission to buy?
Would it be crazy to register as some business that supplies farm or vet meds? Sometimes the regs give a big loophole if you follow a few steps. Food processors may be allowed into something too? In places where vifimins are illegal, food producers or packagers often add vitimins to breakfast foods or drinks. This may be another loophole.
Got any friends with farm / ranch connections? I can’t believe it’s easier to buy street drugs (heroin, cocaine, etc) than to get antibiotics?
Grow your own meds, herbs, etc.
Jerusalem Artichokes/Sun chokes are both food & controls diabetes. Easy to grow perennial with edible roots looking like ginger.
A Lot of people seem to want antibiotics. I wouldn’t want them in me, they’re destructive to the human immune system and other body parts.
Antibiotic Alert: The Drug the Doctor Ordered Could Cause Deadly Side Effects – By Joseph Mercola:
“Fluoroquinolones (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox) are among the most commonly prescribed class of antibiotics in the United States, but they carry severe side effects that can harm your central nervous system, musculoskeletal, visual and renal systems, sometimes simultaneously. […]
Tendon rupture, retinal detachment, hallucinations, personality changes, kidney failure, brain fog, psychosis and loss of memory have all been reported following use of fluoroquinolones.” …
Effects of Antibiotics on Good Bacteria – by Kathryn Muratore:
“A very interesting study has been published that shows that it takes a month for your gut flora to recover from antibiotic treatment, and up to 6 months for a full recovery to the pre-antibiotic state.” …
Natural Immunity: 8+ Natural Antibiotics to Replace the Pharmaceuticals for Good – by Christina Sarich:
“Instead of making yourself weaker, and depleting your body’s natural ability to cure itself from any number of ailments, try utilizing natural foods and herbs to ditch the Big Pharma meds for good.
Here are 8+ foods which harness natural antibiotic properties.” …
Using Natures Remedies for Health and Wellness – By Gaye Levy and Rebecca Schiffhauer:
“Natural Antibiotic Remedies & Why They Work
“The ability of oils from various spices to kill infectious organisms has been recognized since antiquity. Natural oils may turn out to be valuable adjuvants or even replacements for many anti-germicidals under a variety of conditions.” – Harry G. Preuss, MD, Professor of physiology and biophysics, Georgetown University […]
why is it that doctors readily write prescriptions for ineffective antibiotics that break down our immunity instead of fortifying it and are inferior to what has been under our feet and noses for centuries…NATURE?
I could write a short novel on this subject however instead, I’ll encourage you to do your own research and, ask questions! Always ask questions when seeking medical help and keep asking until you’re satisfied with the answer.” …
And, as lou_lou wrote at neurotalk:
“Germ Theory was all wrong: “It’s the terrain, not the germ.” quoted louis pasteur on his death bed…
It’s not the bacteria or the viruses themselves that produce the disease, it’s the chemical by-products and constituents of these microorganisms enacting upon the unbalanced, malfunctioning cell metabolism of the human body that in actuality produce disease. If the body’s cellular metabolism and pH is perfectly balanced or poised, it is susceptible to no illness or disease.
So in other words, disease associated microorganisms do not originally produce a disease condition any more than a vulture produces a dead rabbit or rats produce garbage.” …
“why is it that doctors readily write prescriptions for ineffective antibiotics that break down our immunity?” I work in a doctor’s office. People come in sick with a common cold (that they’ve usually had for less than 24 hours) and demand antibiotics. When the doc tries to explain that they don’t work on viruses they get furious and rant about the doctor collecting their copays/deductibles and not giving them medication. Then they go home and get on the internet and write a bad review. People are out to destroy themselves and most doctors don’t have time to sit there and educate them.
Hi Ms. Daisy…
Long time… great article, as usual. I do not comment much anymore, no point. This generation is doomed, and the cause of their demise is in their own mirrors, they have eyes but do not see, they have knowledge but lack wisdom.
Happy New Year Daisy. Another good article. Too bad most won’t read it & they really need to. Today I did what I’ve been planning for awhile & that that you suggested in your article & that was add to our prepping library by ordering 9 prepping books including your “The Organic Canner”. I’m already a canner but am looking forward to some new exciting recipes.
Today I’m also trying to plan our garden for next year & as we get older the hands & knees stuff gets harder but I do want to know what goes into my canning so I want to garden as long as possible. I am therefore trying to figure out the best way to use the least space or at least use the least effort.
Thank-you for the effort you put into this blog.
Canada Gal – consider raised beds. That way you aren’t constantly bending and kneeling. Also, they’re easy to cover with cold frames to extend your growing season.
Thank you so much for buying my book and for your constant support over the years. 🙂 You’re one of those readers who feels like a friend.
how refreshing to read your remarks on the stock market! i keep telling people that all this trading frenzy is NOT a good thing, it just means that the compulsive gamblers who run wall street are getting more and more carried away with trading the imaginary goods that keep their habits going. unfortunately, those imaginary goods become very real when the inevitable crash comes and we are the ones who get devastated. i tell people this and their eyes glaze over. can’t really blame them, but i wish there were people running for office who had the power to rein in the crazies before we get into a recession that we can’t recover from–which will be the next one.
teabag, have you emailed your congressman and senators? If the
“silent majority” would speak up and resist some things, we would have a better chance of getting the change we want; at least until the bottom falls out. The “vocal minorities” scream and protest and get attention. Have you ever heard that “the squeaky wheel gets greased first?”
Yes, my rep and senators know my name and I get calls from their staffers. And yes, I have “troublemaker” stamped on my file. At least I know I have done what I could.
FIRST Thankyou for your comments, Ron I love this country We true Blue Aussies love our freedom, our bush, our beaches.I live in Sydney on the northern beaches but we are semi rural we live in the bush only 3o kls from the city,but we are surrounded by bush with a dirt road, tank water and a dam on the property.We have chooks I am learning self sufficient gardening from my 96 year old father.Helot We dont take antibiotics Willy Nilly they would be just for a bad case of bronchitis or infection from a cut But thanks for all the info on the antibiotics and Garden for living I am getting the Gerusalem artichokes plants straight away as my husband is diabetic.Are Sun Chokes the Same?Kind Regards A concerned Aussie
Food (and the ability to cook it)
Medicine and medical supplies
Basic hygiene supplies
Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
I respectfully disagree that these item categories are all that is necessary to live. Clothing, from head to toe, is very important.
In addition, all work and no play with protracted stress can be harmful. I hesitate to use the word, “entertainment,” as in our society, that usually means some type of passive activity, usually electronic. Clear examples were mentioned in the “Little House” books. Some of those activities did “double duty” such as Ma patching clothing and Pa making bullets and cleaning his rifle by the fire. I would also add ironing. Ma was mentioned ironing in a dugout, in detail. They read “periodicals” when they could get them, and books-sometimes reading them aloud. They memorized poems, knit, crocheted, and made rag rugs. They Sang together, and played traditional games such as checkers.
You suggest growing your own food and collecting rain water. Be careful when doing this as in some States it is illegal to grow your own food. The same with collecting rain water, in some States it is illegal. Regarding debt. I suggest you read the book — “Meet Your Strawman: And Whatever You Want To Know” by David E. Robinson. — It is a small book which can be bought for a few dollars but well worth the read.
Comparing Greece to USA is a little crazy…they have always been a poor country. I think you are causing a bit of paranoia here…
We are certainly facing some major issues on a global scale at this time. I don’t think it is fair to leave this mess to the next generation without attempting to turn things around. Different people have different skills and it will take a massive community effort to combat the giant corporations and the corrupt Governments that are forcing so many rules upon us.
Yesterday I bartered a small shopping bag full of kale that I grow in my garden for a dozen fresh farm raised eggs. My friends family raises chickens, horses, etc. Every year they plant a garden, but quickly get lazy and do not take care of it. My surplus of garden grown vegetables trades for their surplus of chicken eggs. Very simple.
This kind of trade has been occurring for thousands of years. It is nothing new to have a skill set, an object, or food product which one can barter and trade with. I personally do not want to keep chickens, but garden year round. So I barter my garden veggies for eggs, beef, fish, pork, and internet WiFi.
I live frugally in a 360 square foot ‘house’, pay a small amount of rent (which I negotiated for) on time every month. I do not own nor watch TV, I do not own nor use a cell phone or home phone. I have a job where I work outside at a nursery. It keeps me in shape, pays the bills, I get a discount on the fertilizer I buy, and I make connections in the community with other gardeners.
Positioning yourself now for economic volatility will help you learn the skills needed to live in a rapidly changing world. Whatever the future holds, I am not concerned.
I’ve been researching & preparing for a few yrs now and still don’t feel fully ready but you’ve really motivated me and your blog is RIGHT ON THE MONEY…no pun intended..you’ve laid out somethings I have yet to see anywhere else. God bless you