Tried-and-True Tips for Surviving a Turbulent Economy

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By the author of Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City and The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook.

After my articles about Brazil’s battle against inflation during the 1980s went live (here and here), I got some requests for more practical, day-to-day tips to defend from soaring prices. Here are a few more recommendations for living in a turbulent economy. 

First, a disclaimer: this is not financial advice. These are just common-sense, real-life ideas and advice. The world is absolutely crazy, and everything is highly volatile, so I strongly recommend that you dig deeper into the topics of your interest to learn more. 

Also, there’s no way to predict the future. Even though history repeats, there’s always something different, something new. But history still provides enduring lessons to prepare and better survive crises (maybe even thrive). Overall, the most important is to remain flexible, well-informed, and critical. Let’s see about the rest:

Live below your means.

This is getting harder and harder due to the rapid rise of costs, lowering wages, and wealth concentration. Decades of abundance, privilege, and entitlement also make it difficult for many to voluntarily lower their standard of living, especially in developed countries.

People will be forced by circumstances to tighten the belt, and that usually implies more suffering than if done preemptively. At the very least, do some research and study ways to cut your expenses. For instance, if you have to move, previous research can land you in a better situation than if done in a rushed and forced way. It’s the same for health, transportation, education, and so on. (Check out this article on our sister site about living beneath your means.)

Cut the fat (and the crap).

That’s easier (and free): revise bills, contracts, and present and future obligations. Negotiate what you can, looking for fixed rates whenever possible. Check for hidden costs and fees, and be wary of subscriptions to services, apps, streaming, and others, especially automatic renewals and non-refundable.

Downgrade or change plans and providers. Premium services are cool and convenient but come at a price. Think “future”: it may not make much of an impact on your monthly bill now, but any saving will down the road, especially over longer periods. Do it now and start saving now.

Keep some cash at hand.

Having some cash means both opportunity (to invest) and negotiation power (flexibility). These can override inflation in some cases. More important, though, this is a real-life prepper defense for sudden shocks that tend to temporarily crash the system.

It’s worth repeating: these are not just inflationary times: we’re actually entering some bat-crazy and volatile times. Everything is hanging by a thread, so don’t get caught unprepared. When SHTF, we only have what’s in our possession.

Buy used. 

Shopping second-hand (or third, fourth…) is very common during periods of crisis. And it’s a good way to get access to important or even hard-to-find stuff (or any stuff) for reasonable prices. As times get hard, the market for used items is likely to boom.

Sure, if shortages persist (or worsen) and costs keep rising, used articles will go up, especially stuff people want. But it tends to rise less and be more affordable than new items in general (don’t get caught by what happened recently to used cars). There’s usually more margin for negotiation, too.

Sell the unused.

Get rid of stuff you’re not using. Clothes, toys, tools, everything. Doing this generates cash and frees up space. If you haven’t used something (new or old) for some time, it’s highly unlikely you will in the future. Make a list and let go.

Inflation is neither even nor linear.

Inflation doesn’t hit everything the same, and it doesn’t necessarily grow linearly. For instance, prices of essentials like shelter, food, and energy are already rising at a much higher pace than non-essentials.

This may get worse and crazier as wars, lockdowns, droughts, and other issues cause production and supply chain disruptions. Geography also affects prices (rise or drop): rent, energy, water, and taxes mostly, but also other items, including food and transportation. And it happens in cities and rural areas, only in different ways and degrees.

Dealing with these aspects requires flexibility and quick action. It’s hard, time-and-energy consuming to keep looking for and researching options, doing the calculations, and moving around. I’m bringing this up so you get prepared for this constant and exhausting exercise because it may be required at some point to save money or preserve the standard of living of your family.

Beware the data.

Official numbers and statistics are heavily manipulated for reasons of social control and political interests. It’s always like that during crises. Besides, today the system is so complex, vast, and fractured that it’s hard even for benevolent institutes to get actual, reliable data out (and it will likely be discredited and/or censored). The only numbers that matter are in the stickers and bills: keep an eye out, but focus on your own real-life data.

Debt: friend and foe.

As a general rule, debt is bad. One exception is if it’s used to buy assets that increase in value or generate income. That’s what wealthy people do. Also, if rates are fixed or kept low by contract, inflation will eat away the burden of debt payments. It’s wealth transfer in reverse.

It’s not easy nor as straightforward to calculate these things, especially when everything is changing fast. Besides, we live in a debt-based system, so it’s hard to break rank. Unless this can be handled properly, it’s best to avoid debt in general and bad debt in specific (e.g., rolling credit card debt), especially as rates and fees are sure to rise to keep banks happy.

Hard assets

Land, real estate, precious metals, fine art, jewelry: hard assets can offer some protection against inflation. Even vehicles tend to appreciate in value, keeping some purchasing power (though they also require maintenance and other costs, just like land and real estate). Stocks are viewed by some as a good investment during inflationary periods.

None of this is clear-cut or simple as it seems, though. Also, some assets can actually crash in value during volatile periods. Prices can rise faster than wages, and most safe investments can’t keep up. Big moves in these areas should be made with care and study to avoid costly mistakes and losses. If in doubt, consult with someone who really understands the math, the rationale, and the market.

Don’t buy bulk (not yet).

I’ve already told many times how everyone would hit the supermarket on payday and buy everything they could. Otherwise, the money would end long before the month (or even week) did. We’re not at that point yet. We may not even get there. But inflation is already eating up purchase power.

Notwithstanding the threats to the supply chain, I’m already purchasing a few extras of selected items whenever I hit the grocery store. This is beside my emergency stockpile to save a little month-to-month on everyday stuff like house cleaning items, pet food, medicines, and personal hygiene.

Stock up on spares.

This differs from the above as it applies to stuff used for housekeeping, vehicle maintenance, hobbies, and others. Having spares of items that require periodic replacement can help save money and extend the usage of devices and appliances. It’s better to be a year early than a day late.

As an example, in 2020, I purchased extra parts and replacements for my bikes, my scooter, my tools, and other home devices. Items like tires, chains, brake pads and batteries, oils, etc. Some of those have doubled in price since then. Others have become unavailable. That saved me some money and – most important – kept the stuff running.

Wants vs. needs

I hate to break it, but the time for wants is over. It’s been over for a while, actually, just hasn’t sunk in yet for most. People should already be in a mindset of austerity. Everyone needs food, shelter, health, energy, clothing, and so on. The rest? Not so much.

Resist impulse buying. Think long and hard about taking up new hobbies, expensive vacation trips, and that latest-model EV or smartphone. A good strategy is to postpone the decision or financial commitment. Keep in mind that non-essentials tend to drop in price during these periods. Sacrificing now can pay later.

Generate income flow.

This always pops up, so it doesn’t require an explanation. Start now, as these things usually take time to start paying back. If, for whatever reason, you’re not feeling like taking action now, at the very least, look into potential forms and alternatives for generating extra cash in the near future.

If doing so will require equipment, like tools, machines, courses, or other stuff, it might be a good idea to invest now (also because shortages could make it impossible to find these in the near future). Just don’t go out overspending on unnecessary stuff. Keep it real.

Prepare for secondary effects.

Inflation and economic upheaval tend to cascade and bring all sorts of secondary developments, exactly the kind that affects our lifestyle and everyday routines: overall decadence, widespread misery, unemployment, crime (yes, even in rural areas), rises in drug and alcohol abuse, home violence and so on.

This is the time to make your property more secure and less attractive to lawbreakers. They will come, and this will happen without warning, as most crime waves do. Add prevention measures now, and get into more “third world” habits like keeping your home and vehicle locked at all times, and so on.

(Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to the four levels of disaster to learn more about how this could all play out.)

Read the fine print.

Hard times require extra attention and care with small letters and hidden pitfalls. Everyone, from common people to businesses and corporations (and the government), tends to look at the details because marginal gains and hidden costs/gains matter a lot more than during periods of abundance. This can lead to unforeseen expenses and headaches with disputes and legal counseling.

Beware of camouflaged inflation.

Prices may remain stable, yet quantities may drop. Or, as is more frequent, prices increase and quantities are reduced. This is common in the early stages of crises and even has a name: “shrinkflation.”

Most times, it will be camouflaged by companies in the most creative ways, so pay attention when shopping. Services tend to get stripped down, too, among other “shrinking” tactics. Again, always read the fine print. 

Beware of scamflation.

Pay attention because this will become big in the near future, and knowing about it may save you time, money, and lots of headaches. When the economy goes bust, people get desperate. While the system also becomes a lot less efficient, there are still laws and consequences.

Hence, while many will turn to crime (many), others (a lot more) will walk the fine line and try and increase their gains and margins through frauds and scams, both virtual and real. Believe me here: a lot of people and businesses will go that way soon.

The best defenses are being well informed and constantly aware. Shop at known places and remain attentive at all times to avoid frauds (such as gas station skimming and tampering, utility worker robberies, and so on. Also, lay low and invest in systems and strategies to protect against identity theft and online financial frauds. Constantly research these topics to stay informed about new frauds and scams.

Look outside for opportunities.

Everything is changing fast, and it’s hard to see clearly ahead. But crises don’t mean destruction only. Even a global downturn can bring great opportunities, especially for those living in wealthier countries.

The USD is the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry and still the WRC. The EUR and other currencies also hold strength relative to others. Some countries with great potential are currently heavily undervalued. This might be a good time for Americans and others to look abroad for investing options.

Playing safe isn’t always obvious.

There was a time when people switched away from gas to diesel vehicles as a way to spend less while driving more. Then, a crisis in fuel hit, and diesel became scarce. The government prohibited the use of diesel for private’s autos, channeling the entire output to transportation and essential services. Cars and trucks stayed in garages for months.

Another example: moving to far places might impart in lower rent, energy and food costs, but extras for transportation, health services, education, etc. This is very personal, but the lesson is to try and look further ahead and weigh the pros and cons (and total costs) of all options before making critical decisions.

Stay informed about finance and the economy.

As the situation in the economy and finance changes, the institutions (banks, funds, investment agencies, etc.) will come up with new and different products for investors, more adapted to the context. Early on, it tends to be messy, especially if shocks and crashes wreak havoc on the market. Being conservative may be a safer strategy.

Eventually, though, it can be a good idea to look for ways to invest according to your profile, keeping in mind that there’s no miracle to beat inflation. As general rules, if something seems too good to be true, it probably ain’t – and during hard times, more than ever, if something smells fishy, it probably is.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have any tips you’d like to add to Fabian’s list? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

About Fabian

Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class worker living in São Paulo, Brazil. Far from being the super-tactical or highly trained military survivor type, he is the average joe who since his youth has been involved with self-reliance and outdoor activities and the practical side of balancing life between a big city and rural/wilderness settings. Since the 2008 world economic crisis, he has been training and helping others in his area to become better prepared for the “constant, slow-burning SHTF” of living in a 3rd world country.

Fabian’s ebook, Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City , is a practical training method for common city dwellers based on the lifestyle of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be more psychologically, mentally, and physically prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the streets during normal or difficult times. He’s also the author of The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook.

You can follow Fabian on Instagram @stoicsurvivor

Fabian Ommar

Fabian Ommar

Leave a Reply

  • “We’re not at that point yet. We may not even get there. But inflation is already eating up purchase power.”

    Hate to disagree with you Fabian, I respect your experience and insight immensely, but this statement at the end of your paragraph is, IMO, not good advice.

    We are most certainly, in fact, have passed that point. Bulk buying is the only way I can save money on necessities I can’t produce on my own for both the farm and the households here.

    A small sample of what I mean: actual cost breakdown for necessary items in 2021 to 2022

    2021. 2022
    OR diesel bulk. $2.69/gal. $3.89/gal
    48” netwrap palat. $220/10k roll. $299/10k roll
    30” bale film palat. $79/roll. $115/roll
    Cydactin 2 pack. $32/36oz. $52/36oz.
    K-9 advantix 6 mo. $23.99/3 pack. $49.99/3 pack
    Wheat berries(white)$22.95/25#’s. $77.95/25#’s
    Coarse kosher salt. $15.99/20#’s. $24.99/25#’s

    To keep in business both the farm and two households I’m responsible for, bulk is the only way to cut costs. And I have no debt. I feel so sorry for others, farming or not, carrying a debt burden. Buy in bulk those things that will cost dollars in gasoline to get. Stack now, preserve and save. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned.

    • Thanks for the reply and for the remarks, Jim.

      I had more the regular consumer on mind when I wrote this, but you touch a very important point here.

      Absolutelly, some sectors are getting hit harder. PMI is not like CPI, with the added problem of masked and lopsided data from government agencies and all.

      Like you said, those dealing with supply and purchasing for manufaturing and production should adopt a different strategy because it´s a different requirement.

      For consumers, it´s hard to stock up now on things that are rising more, like gas, wheat, etc. But yeah, it´s a good idea to buy some stuff like medicines in bulk now.

      • “Like you said, those dealing with supply and purchasing for manufaturing and production should adopt a different strategy because it´s a different requirement.”

        Hey, thanks Fabian. I admit, I look at my business as my home. So, in rereading your intent, I’m picking up what you’re throwing down now.

    • ~Jim,
      Read a good article on inflation/hyperinflation.
      According to the economist who wrote the article, the only difference between the two was time. By some definition (sorry, dont recall the source), when inflation increased by a degree within a given period of time, that was hyperinflation.
      However, the author also noted that by then, inflation had already done the most damage by degrading your purchasing power over a longer time period.
      That is what we are seeing now, and have been over the past year or more.
      I fully expect inflation to get worse over the coming months and possibly years. While insulating oneself from inflation by buying in bulk is good advice, the ability to not have to buy certain things (like food/grow your own) and produce your own is even better. Granted those of us with livestock, we may be dependent on outside sources.
      I am considering paying someone to come in, raze a section of overgrowth to turn into hay production.
      One thing we may need to consider is the ability to produce our own tools. Read an article about how the US used to be a nation of inventors and tinkers. Now, we just go to the store to buy that item that tool that traveled half way across the world. We need to return to a nation of producers and not just mindless consumers.

      • “I am considering paying someone to come in, raze a section of overgrowth to turn into hay production.“

        Don’t know whereabouts you’re at, but I’d hazard a guess it ain’t far from us ????, that said, I’d fence it in and graze it, not raze it. A few more Boer’s on that ground of yours will naturally raze it in time. Wethers are bringing good right now off market in new holland:

        WETHERS – Selection 1 (Per Head / Estimate Wt)

        Head Wt Range Avg Wt Price Range Avg Price Dressing
        1 60 60 165.00 165.00 Average Pygmies
        22 70-79 74 335.00-360.00 348.64 Average
        56 80-89 83 340.00-395.00 355.98 Average
        31 90-99 93 350.00-365.00 353.06 Average
        21 100-149 121 355.00-395.00 371.43 Average
        6 150-175 161 450.00 450.00 Average

        The goats will browse off that ground, make some coin, sell off the herd and keep back the best. Then raze it. Then come buy a starter flock of sheep from me????. Let your neighbors bale hay. Soon many are going to have to downsize their homestead to keep pace with inflation. Then hay price will level.

        • ~Jim,
          Yep, got Boers. Considering another round of breeding this fall/winter to enlarge the herd.
          And, then maybe adding sheep into the mix.
          We will see what the coming days may have in store for us.
          Thank you for the sound advice, friend.

      • “One thing we may need to consider is the ability to produce our own tools.”

        (applaud) though not “may”. “will”.

        • Those folks that live full time in campers, some mobile homes, trailers, condos, apartments, villas and high-rises DO NOT actually have that option. Some might have a balcony where they can grow some tomatoes etc. but most NO…IF you rent even a house or an apt. you are most probably not allowed to plant and grow on someone else’s property…And if anything is outside when the SHTF it will most likely be stolen (even if in the middle of the night)…Planting and growing is usually ONLY for those in the rural areas with land and a place to do that. GOOD thing to do if you have the room and the time and the know how !!!

      • Excellent point about making tools. My grandparents lived through the great depression, and I learned a lot from them, including improvising our own tools based on what we had available.

        • My dad works in a huge farm down here in Venezuela (he’s an electrician) and they have a LOT of personnel like welders, mechanics, all of them 100% busy the whole time. Mind you it is a 5000 hectares farm. They built some tools too, have seen them. And next to the processing area there is a huge workshop owned by other guy with all kind of milling machines. Getting a spare part all the way from the nearest dealer could mean a great difference.

    • Excellent advise JIM…I am dropping cable. Gonna save $48.90 a month so for the year…$586.80. Not bad…I needed a pocketbook. Found a Liz Claiborne one that was probably originally $150 or more brand new and I bought it at the thrift show yesterday on sale. She had a sign ALL PURSES 1/2 OFF …wow ONLY $2.50. and my friend had bought me a new DVD player for my birthday and I had about 22 DVD’s but saw them for $1.00 each. Dove into them and found 2 and bought them…SO that saved me money. Just a regular cheap purse at Walmart would have been at least $15.00 or more (think inflation) so I now will have my NEW ONE (b/c it’s new to me) and it will serve me for awhile and I will enjoy my NEW (new to me) DVD’s b/c they will put a dent in the fact that I will no longer as of tomorrow have my television. SOOOO, we can make do…Some wealthy people donate some very expensive items to the Goodwill and the Salvation Army, the Habitat for Humanity and all of the local thrift shops and the New to You stores. Find one and you will be surprised as to what you can buy for A LOT less than you would pay at even Walmart or any discount stores…This one has everything from socks and clothing to dishes and furniture etc….I could spend 1/2 of my day there and still not see it all…In hard time we CUT BACK and we MAKE DO and we DO NOT SPLURGE…We are cautious and watch the spending…Live and learn…Life has NOT return to normal. Will it? DOUBTFUL!!!

  • Fabian,
    A lot of good advice there.

    Wants vs Needs.
    Every year the wife and I discuss that very issue. Identify things that we need for the house, the barn, livestock, etc. This year, a more efficient wood stove with a purpose built cook top.
    Wants, we usually save those for birthdays, or Christmas. I recently had my own birthday and I had a real hard time coming up with something. Looking around, there is nothing wrong or that I would want to spend money on. Sure, the computer is 7 years old. Runs perfectly fine for my needs. Tablet is 5 years old. I mostly use it to play music on.
    I usually opt for books or music.

    • Thanks 1StMarine.

      Same here, old laptop that still serves me well. Will keep. My tablet though is 5 yo and even though it’s still in good condition, I’m considering a new one.

      The battery isn’t what it used to be, but mostly because I use it for everything: work, write, edit, produce (music, photos, videos, etc.), to read ebooks, surf the net, etc.

      I guess anything that gets good and constant use or generates revenue or some return at that level is justifiable. I can sell the old one for some good $ here, too.

      Besides, it’s still within reach both in terms of cost and availability, so there’s that too. lol

      Stay well.

    • Hey 1st Marine, if you are looking for a great woodstove upgrade I can highly recommend what you call in the US a Vermont Bun Baker wood stove. They are made in my home state of South Australia by “Nectre”. I purchased one 3 winters ago after the 2019 bushfire that left me with tonnes of firewood after I cut down / cut up all my burnt trees. I swear by it. I purchased the smaller one as it is only my son and I on the farm and it is perfect for anything a regular stove can do. I notice they are quite pricey there in the US but you may be able to organise a direct import from the factory or a local distributor in Australia.

      • Joe Silver,
        We already put half down on a Vermont Castings wood stove.
        But thank you for the suggestion!

  • Buying a few extras every time I hit the store is better than buying in bulk, at least for me. There are still decent sales on canned goods and I don’t draw attention to myself. And yes, I believe the data coming from my lying eyes a lot more than official sources! And for us urban dwellers, remember that an ounce of OPSEC is better than a pound of lead! I believe that keeping my mouth shut about my preps and strategies will be far easier than telling my hungry neighbors I don’t have food to share. Remember what Selco says: the hungry neighbor you give a can of food to today will be back tomorrow! Sad but true.

    • If it gets to the point that your neighbors are hungry, I reckon it’s the time to go somewhere else. It’s far less likely to go hungry in the countryside than in the city. Trying to survive in a city where lots of people are going hungry is rather tricky.

      • Not true. My skills are city-adapted. I don’t drive due to poor vision so I have no way to get around out in the countryside. I don’t know anyone out there and humans aren’t really friendly to strangers during hard times. And anyone who thinks the country will be safe from hungry city slickers should think again! I don’t doubt there will be a mass exodus from the cities if times get hard enough. Crowds of hungry people with delusions of food fields sparkling in the sun, surrounded by inbred hillbilly yokels too dumb to protect it. I’ll leave it to you to disabuse them of their foolish notions while I navigate the treacherous waters of home. LOL

      • “It’s far less likely to go hungry in the countryside than in the city”

        actually, more likely. cities will get first delivery on any goods that remain available.

        • In 2020 toilet paper insanity, the State Capitol ran out first and a month or a couple weeks after that, the country areas ran out.
          I don’t know why that is, but somehow, rural areas seem to average better fin times of shortage in my state.

          • I live 30 miles from my state capital outside of a small rural town with just one supermarket and an interesting observation regarding the “2020 toilet paper insanity” was that our store was out of stock within the first 24 hours because “city slickers” came through in a large tourist bus and literally bought it all on the way through. Still makes me laugh at the thought of it, but a good lesson noted for the future. You could say, I won’t be caught with my pants down when the real SHTF.

          • It is a population density to supply issue.
            You have say 10,000 people per square mile all trying to buy a limited supply of toilet paper.
            In the country you might have 20 people per square mile.
            As we have seen and continue to see, supply chain issues persist. At some point in time, we may see even more empty shelves than we have thus far. Real panic buying starts, social and civil unrest cannot be ruled out.
            As more than a few truckers have noted during the Great 2020 Summer of Love, fiery but mostly peaceful protests, it gets to that point, they are not going to make deliveries.

            • I remember being in a grocery store during the beginning of the plandemic looking into people’s carts thinking and asking myself if I was missing something! I looked and it was huge jugs of Kool aid, vegetable oil, huge boxes of cereals, white breads, buns, sugar flour based junk. Told myself they certainly aren’t helping any possibility of keeping cov*d away or healing their bodies. Luckily as a commercial cleaning company I had stock of paper goods, rags, cleaning supplies and shopped my usual aisles of DF, GF goods without much traffic and had to laugh…no one WANTS to eat this stuff.
              But in all seriousness, if anyone on here has decent advice on what one can do to prep GF DF food (for allergies) since most must be freshly made and spoils easily I’d be grateful!

              • Jennifer, we have DF GF people, too .. I’ve bought quinoa ahead of price increases, and will focus on omega 3 rich canned fish, etc. for salads. We plant succession planting of greens, and in winter I sauté more mushrooms, onions, etc. I would also stock saturated fats (coconut, ghee, tallow, lard) for a variety of purposes in case you are short on carbs. Cans and tetra pacs of coconut milk, plus HEMP! Hemp is crazy nutritious re health-promoting fat ratios and essential amino acids, and has become more prominent in our future prep plans. Downside is no one talks about how to store these things outside of cold storage, so we’re looking at a possible unobtrusive solution out back.

        • We think that the cities will be hell on earth. WHY? b/c the more people you are around at that time, the worse your life will be…Looting, and all of that will really be no fun for anybody…Robberies will be rampant. Lawlessness will be found on every corner. Where will city folks be safe? Ahhhhh, food for thought.

  • This year we have expanded our garden as a way to combat inflation regarding food not only by eating what we grow, but also to sell at farmer’s market. It is our way of fighting inflation. What we don’t eat fresh or sell at farmer’s market, we can freeze or dehydrate and extend our pantry.

    • That’s a great strategy! IMO our centralized food system is unsustainable and provides unhealthy food to boot. Good luck!

  • I appreciate Fabian being a part of this community as much as any of us. To spare us a blizzard of details … the simplest or most compact way to express that is that if the opportunity ever arose, I would be honored to have Fabian as my neighbor.

    Back to survival in difficult times. In times and in countries where honest dependable money can be relied on, conducting one’s personal and business affairs is much easier than otherwise. For thousands of years there’s a long history of what happens when tyrants and/or war-mongers come to power over nations. Their classic crimes often include stealing purchasing power from a nation’s money supply — typically by debasing the precious metal coinage or counterfeiting paper money.

    The result of such crime is to transfer wealth to the earliest receivers of such newly created money (that’s unbacked by commodities of value). Those earliest receivers (whether spendthrifts inside a government or their closest political buddies) spend that new money on goods or services before the inevitable price rises can spread throughout an economy. Later receivers of such money suffer a loss of purchasing power when they eventually have to confront the vastly higher prices. That theft and transfer of purchasing power by de facto money counterfeiting is called the Cantillon effect, a term well established in the Austrian Economics community but never mentioned in the thieving government system, its sycophant media, or its highly controlled “public” school systems. The latest cover-up label for inflation in America is “transitory,” a blatant lie since the losers of purchasing power in their money will never get it back from the thieves.

    So how can one defend against such establishment theft? It should be apparent that such counterfeiting rules out using money as a long term store of value. Despite the need for current bills to be paid only with such money, that should not get in the way to store value by using commodities such as grains, alcohol, precious metals, and ownership positions in businesses likely to thrive despite such chaos. All of those have a history of such use given their varying characteristics of divisibility and portability.

    Such a perspective would suggest that if one needs to either borrow or lend money, an honest and dependable contract to respect the legitimate purchasing power of the repayment stream would be to specify some mutually agreeable amounts of non-debased money substitute such as commodities, ownership positions in businesses, or even mutually agreeable services.

    Another relevant coping defense against governmental money counterfeiting could be to add to, or replace, one’s current earning methods with one or more where you have the ability to set and raise the market price of your services. People in the worst possible positions would be employees or fixed-income retirees — neither of which have much voice in adjusting their income.

    Usually such tyrants will lie to the citizenry about the causes of the resultant price rises — often of a skyrocketing nature. Honest discussions about such thefts of a currency’s purchasing power will never be allowed in government regulated school systems for obvious reasons.

    As a momento of more honest money times before the Federal Reserve was created in late 1913 to facilitate such government thefts of purchasing power, I have a photo of a museum-preserved bath tub with a price sign in it from a Fort Worth hotel in the late 1800s. That price sign says “First Water 15¢, Used Water 5¢”.While amusing, it’s also a sad reminder of how much purchasing power has been stolen from the US dollar over the last century plus.


    • I’ll make Jim’s words mine, and also thank you for the kind words. Judging from what I read on your replies, I’m sure it’d be great to have you as a neighbor too, on my side in a post-SHTF team or even for barbecue in normal times lol.

      You’re right, it all points to this starting with the creation of the Fed. It’s a way to finance wars and other crazy adventures with the printing of easy money.

      Some will point to 1971 and the un-pegging of USD and gold. But I guess it was inevitable because of what happened in 1913, don’t you think?

      Every cycle of exploitation and abuse of the system must come to an end. I’m 50 already, big trends take a long time to unravel. Maybe I’ll see this transition, maybe not. Crazy and interesting times no doubt.

      Stay safe y’all.

  • “Land, real estate … can offer some protection against inflation”

    not against property taxes. the fed government alone has run up over $30 trillion in debt in our name – they’ll come looking for it.

    • True, that’s why I added the following:

      “ None of this is clear-cut or simple as it seems, though. Also, some assets can actually crash in value during volatile periods. Prices can rise faster than wages, and most safe investments can’t keep up. Big moves in these areas should be made with care and study to avoid costly mistakes and losses. If in doubt, consult with someone who really understands the math, the rationale, and the market.”

      They’ll also come for pensions, savings, gold, crypto, probably even our thoughts and our blood, right?

      Stay safe.

    • Property taxes are local. Fed govt. is federal, well, debatable, yes, but,! Not a federal issue nonetheless.

      The federal government has zero interest in local tax code.

      The ability to claim a deduction on interest paid for a mortgage on filing federal taxes is not the same as property taxes.

      • Agreed with your comment Jim….especially if one considers inflation to be a tax, which it really is when the money grubbers manipulating things are the ones who created the inflation in the first place.

      • Correct me if I am wrong, what I think Ant7 is saying is that with hyperinflation when your property is worth $50 million and your local tax bill is $1 million then it becomes problematic to pay that on 500 bucks a week. That’s a ridiculously over exaggerated example of course – you would by then be on more than 500 bucks a week but wages always lag greatly in a hyperinflationary event especially for those on a fixed income.

  • I’ve been a prepper my whole life – raised by depression era parents. My dad’s father was a Mormon pioneer – crossed the plains in 1863 as a child (yes we live very old). He lived off his farm – made his own tools, etc. So I’ve had this mindset my whole life and have always been hard-working & frugal. I’m telling you this as a preamble to what I’m saying next so you don’t quickly discount it.

    This advice is good but you have to look at your own circumstances. The biggest thing I was grateful for when COVID hit in March 2020 was that I had just come home from a great two week vacation – not that I had masks stored. I was renewed in spirit going into it. I didn’t fall apart worrying about the pandemic/dying or now as some people are worrying about WWIII. I had a spiritual foundation to know God was there for me.

    So here it is – yes get out of debt & watch your expenditures, yes stockpile what you can, but if you have the finances, time & ability then enjoy your hobbies, friends, family, and go on a vacation! Even when we were poor we managed to go camping for free. Don’t make your life a drudgery just living for when the SHTF! If I’d done that I’d been miserable my whole life.

    I’ve doubled down on taking care of my health & immune system, my spiritual foundation so I can hear when the spirit of God warns me about something, continue to learn all the new skills I can, and collect all the information I can on what is going on (which isn’t what you think if you just listen to MSN especially concerning Ukraine). Thank you all for what you share on this site!

    • “when the spirit of God warns me about something”

      how do you experience that? how do you distinguish it from mental noise?

      • Do you really want to know Ant7? This is not for you to do your usual mocking. There is a price to be paid and that is read scriptures daily so you know what God’s voice sounds like. Pray to God, your Heavenly Father, for help as He loves you, is concerned about you, and wants the best for you and will also forgive you which you need to routinely humbly ask for. It’s cleaning up your life – no drinking, porn, try to do what’s right the best you can, help others, and be honest so you can hear His voice. Go to a good church so you have the support of others and also give that support. That’s it – simple – pray and ask for help (He won’t violate agency so you need to ask), clean yourself up so can hear His voice, and know what His voice sounds like vs mental noise.

        Many times I’ve woke in the night and had impressions of what I need to do to prepare or in other areas of my life. I’ve had warnings about things and they have been spot on every time. Recently I was told I needed hamburger and more batteries. I don’t know why the batteries but I’ll probably need more than I think – and I’m not arguing – learned the hard way not to do that multiple times. When I checked my hamburger in the freezer it was almost gone and I thought I had plenty. I took care of both within a few days. The most important thing is I feel peace despite the absolute mess this world is in and evil people that think they have the upper hand. God is in control. The scriptures say they are going to fall into the pit they dug for others and destroy each other. I’m just a regular person bumbling along trying to do my best. I hope this helps someone.

        • In all respect Kay, one correction. We DON’T need to clean ourselves up…He takes us wherever we are at the moment He calls. We will WANT to ‘clean’ ourselves up once we are saved & have the Holy Spirit in us. That’s the beauty of it. No ‘GOOD” church will save you, only a Bible preaching one that will lead you & teach you & perhaps place others older in the Word there to guide you. It’s a hard one to describe Ant7 because it is as individual as we all are how God calls to you because it can be quiet (a dream, vision, thoughts) or loud in your face experience (accident, a death) or otherwise uneventful (‘I need to get back to/go to church’). Ant7 read Romans 10:13, John 3:16, Romans 3:23 to start. Also please understand that everything that is currently going on right now has been foreshadowed in the Bible (still crazy to think how it has transpired). The book of Daniel & Revelations foretell of the One World Government, one currency, the Mark of the Beast to buy & sell, etc. I do hope you are sincere in asking Kay how to tell the ‘noise’ from warnings. I do contemplate the same to know what steps to take next.

      • For an t7: It’s an INNER feeling. It may be also coming from a good gut that just warns you. I think it’s a combination of the HOLY SPIRIT along with my GUARDIAN ANGEL and some of my good GUT and alert common sense coupled with some wisdom (which comes from above) and then some age added to that…The years and knowledge do make a big difference…We were told to be ALIVE, ALERT, AWARE, AWAKE to ALL of the signs of the times that we now live in…Our spiritual health an t7 is the most important. It’s better than working out to build our muscles at the gym. Muscles are good yes, but our spiritual and mental alertness are the best b/c they won’t fail us when the going gets rough…

    • Right on Kay! We traveled via travel trailer more during shutdown than ever (5x that year). We simply told ourselves, ‘Screw this!’ We were open to getting to a ‘red’ state and see what we found. Normally we are extremely reserved at taking risks so this was fun. Went to SC, FL, SD and multiple weekend softball tourneys for our daughter who was a junior. So it was definitely related to where u live and where u are traveling how u will be impacted. We definitely could tell when we were driving through blue states since the highways were EMPTY and depressing (nice for us since we made great time!) ????

  • “Hence, while many will turn to crime (many), others (a lot more) will walk the fine line and try and increase their gains and margins through frauds and scams, both virtual and real.” Help me to understand this point as fraud and scams are crimes as well.

    • Good point. I should have made a more clearer distinction between violent crime and property crime, misdemeanors, and other offenses and so on.

      Maybe a good idea for another article exclusively on this. Thanks.

    • Hi there Donovan, thanks for asking.

      I took it offline a while ago because I was in the process of updating it. I’m putting the final touches as of now, it should be back early this month, but had to postpone to May.

      It’s finally as I wanted it to be, lots of new stuff there and much more streamlined and focused.

  • Hi Fabian,
    Great article, agree with everything you wrote. Just didn’t quite understand “Don’t buy bulk (not yet)”. When doing the monthly shop I always buy in bulk the things that I will always use when they are on sale. When my coffee is at normal price I won’t buy but when it is half price I’ll get 6 tins. Same with toothpaste, soap, pasta, rice etc. I’m sure most of us operate this way.

    A young friend in her 20’s, who is very much still learning (as we all are), asked if a one month supply is enough. My response was “how long do you think you will live”.

    • Hi Joel, yep this is a good point to expand a bit because “buying in bulk” is a very common countermeasure during times of high inflation. Let’s see if I can be more specific.

      Inflation is high, but even though it’s highest in decades it’s not yet at the point that buying bulk may be justifiable. But that depends on some specifics indeed.

      “Justifiable” is of course very relative. As you said, some products on sale might be worth buying in bulk. No doubt. Especially as you mentioned long-shelf-life stuff, or stuff that may disappear.

      Also, it depends on the resources available. I see some people here buying in bulk to combat inflation, but at the same time they’re paying high rates to roll their credit card debt.

      Or max out credit card to buy bulk. Others skip monthly payments to purchase stuff or buy large quantities. These kind of mistakes are common in early phases of inflation and hyperinflation cycles.

      Things stabilize and change after a while, but that depends on the duration and severity of the crise of course. Today we have a totally different supply chain, some say it’s worse.

      I confess that I’m not sure yet, it’s hard to tell with 100% certainty. It can be more resilient in some aspects, and less in others. This will affect inflation but I guess we’ll see about that as it unfolds, that’s why I added some remarks about this in the beginning.

      Whenever I have some extra $ for some reason I definitely take the opportunity to stock up on consumables and other stuff, as I mentioned in the article as well.

      In short, I guess if one has a a positive and stable income flux then spending part of the extra $ in extra stuff might be a good decision and help ease the effects of inflation indeed.

      Stay well.

  • What is best ? If you owe 31,000 dollars on your house and your house payment is about 370.00 dollars a month. You have about 80,000 in your savings. Do you keep the money in the bank or pay off the house ? I have no other bills.

    • Ray: Pay off your house. No question. Always get out of debt. The money could be gone with a cyber attack or who knows what else but that mortgage would remain and could get really hard to pay. Some people keep a mortgage because of the tax deduction but that’s a small amount compared to interest. Plus nothing beats peace of mind.

      • Hi Kay,

        I absolutely agree with you about paying off your house. I had a small inheritance when my husband passed away so I bought a tiny country house outright. Depending on your income, the tax savings of carrying a mortgage isn’t worth it.

        I live solely on Social Security so it’s definitely a fixed income. Since I don’t have a mortgage I’m able to comfortably put a little money into a savings account for house insurance and property taxes.

    • I’m having the same disagreement (eh hem, discussion) with my husband about pulling out some of pension & 401k (even with penalties) to pay off the 80k on house. I, in my gut, feel those funds WILL get hit hard (he disagrees). How does a couple who disagrees prepare for what will come?

      • I understand where you are coming from, If your house is in a peaceable / safe area, then having the peace of mind of knowing that you own your home. You will never be homeless as long as you can pay the taxes on the place. The world is changing fast, I wish you the best.


    I’m putting this here, kind of goes along with the buy in bulk thing in Fabian’s article. I’d also like to put it in a few other more pertinent articles but don’t want to be a PITA. Daisy, if you have a better way of getting this info out, I’d appreciate the help. There are a lot of folks with livestock here. Don’t know if they heard about this last year, but between the supply chain breaking down and everything else, even if everyone knew, it’d be easy to forget.

    This move by the FDA didn’t make sense to me a year ago, and makes even less sense today. No one in Congress has challenged them and all the big ag associations seemed to have happily acquiesced, so, if I had livestock (and I do) and I were you (I’m not) I would bulk order syringes in 6-10-20ml sizes, 16-18-20ga. needles, pen-g, oxytet, la-2/300 now. Refrigerate aqueous antibiotics and keep them there. Don’t sweat the expiration dates, properly maintained they will still be very effective for therapeutic use for a long time.

  • The situation you were through is quite similar to the Venezuelan one buddy. Amazing. I would do suggest to buy in bulk, though, once you have a proper place to store, and know how to preserve everything. I encourage to those with the needed skills, space and tools to produce their own fuel (not so hard like it seems if you are bold enough), as long as they don’t harm themselves of course. Biodiesel seems the best option for this.

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