As all but the world’s elitist of rich and poorest of poor have noticed, the economic situation around the globe has definitely grown tense in a very negative manner. This has affected all nations. It has been something that has been going on for some time; at least the last 20 years that I personally can recall (sorry I wasn’t quite so interested in the economy as a teen). Years back, a very astute businessman ran for our highest office, I have to question now if America’s financial outlook would be different had he won. Nevertheless, on to the topic for today, learning to prep on a shoestring budget.
When I say shoestring, I definitely mean shoestring. Our family has budgeted around $400 leftover or positive cash each month, this does not take into fact that we enjoy eating out, or that 3 out of 4 love video games, or even a clothing and allowance budget. It covers only the bills such as rent, power, phones, groceries and gas; not even cable and internet or cell phones for our kids (who think we neglect them due to the lack of a cell phone). So if we are very careful with the income, there might be $200 left a month, and that is being very optimistic. Add in having to save for birthdays, auto maintenance, and the myriad of other small things that can pop up unexpectedly, honestly we live paycheck to paycheck. With some very simple logic, and strategic planning, I am able to prepare for the anything that might come our way.
First off, and this bears repeating in every single post or discussion about everything, have a plan. Without planning, you will do nothing but spin your wheels and waste valuable time, resources and money! So before you even purchase your first bag of wheat kernels, or that 5-gallon bucket full of powdered milk, do your research. There are so many web sites, blogs, videos and books available that focus on prepping, often this information is free of charge. Amazon normally has a ton of varied books that are free. They range from out-dated food preservation (which IMHO is a good resource to peruse) to the latest, greatest, and most expensive gadget, gizmo, and whatchamacallit device manuals. The goal here is to get your feet wet and dry off behind the ears, learn something. Many fictional works that are based in an EOTWAWKI scenario are very informative and offer some great ideas to mull over while you are deciding on the best plan for you and your family. The one thing that I must caution on though; is that you cannot, must not at the risk of your well being and safety believe everything you read.
Ok now you have read all sorts of blogs on prepping and survival, watched so many YouTube videos that your eyes are crossing, and read some of the best and worst fictional all hell breaks loose novels; you will be having nightmares of invading thugs from south of the border. What is the next step? It is simple, take everything you have read and just store it somewhere in the very back of your mind. Focus now on your family’s needs, likes, dislikes, abilities and disabilities.
This is where you have to be brutally honest; survival depends on it. Will every member of your family be able to hike from home to a bug out location, can you carry a 50 lb pack on your back for miles over rough terrain, would you or any other member of your family be able to kill in defense, not self defense but to defend others or even to protect what is yours? This is, I believe, the most difficult part of prepping, facing reality and finding ways to alter our own personal realities.
In the next section of this post, we get to the fun parts, planning and action.
Stay Safe and Keep Learning.