An important part of prepping is wise budgeting. After all, our homes and families will never be secure if we ourselves are not financially secure. For a prepper, keeping a careful eye on your finances should be of the utmost importance.
Drawing Up a Budgeting Plan
A money management plan can be as simple or complicated as you like, but should always include details of both your income and outgoings. Many people like to use an Excel spreadsheet to manage their finances, but others find it simpler, and easier, to use a ledger.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to include all the relevant details which will help you to manage your budgeting checklist. This might mean looking weeks, months or even years into the future, to get a comprehensive overview of how much you have coming in and going out.
The Budgeting Checklist
Budgeting as a prepper will never be the same as budgeting for a non-prepper. Preppers have so much more to think about, in terms of obtaining and storing supplies which can be used in a disaster scenario. Creating a manageable budget will help you to allocate your prepping finances wisely, and may reduce the cost of your prepping.
- Take stock of your household expenses, including all utilities. Discover ways in which these can be reduced. Don’t forget that sometimes you have to spend money to save money. This might mean investing in solar panels to reduce your energy costs. Solar panels will also be of enormous benefit after TSHTF!
- Vehicle costs, including fuel and repairs, can be high, but you can reduce this cost by learning about auto mechanics. This is another great skill to have in an emergency situation.
- Food costs can be lowered by buying in bulk. Instead of purchasing supplies as and when you can afford to, put some money aside each month and make one big purchase every quarter. You can also save money by growing your own food, and knowing how to live off the land is an invaluable skill for preppers.
- Reduce the cost of clothing by shopping around. If you’re after survival gear, places like the Regatta Outlet sell some amazingly low cost clothing which is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions.
- Reduce your debt (food storage can be a great tool to help you do this) (food storage can be a great tool to help you do this). This may not sound like it’s terribly important – after all, money won’t be a factor after TSHTF – however there are plenty of things which can go wrong for a prepper in debt. If you don’t pay what you owe you may be in danger of losing your home, and all of your hard work will have been in vain.
Good mornng, LM! This strikes me as a simple reminder of “first things first”.
There are so many things we can do to manage our finances wisely. May I offer these additional suggestions?
1. Keep a small notepad and pen handy; every time you spend money THAT DAY, make a note; thus you can look back and be reminded how much of your $$ disappeared that day, and why;
2. Shop in second-hand stores – AND, especially this time of year, BE A GOOD YARD SAILOR! WARNING: know how much you can spend and use your notebook at each stop; otherwise, it can get away from you and you can blow your budget on things you probably could do just fine without; most of my clothes are second-hand and many have big-label overpriced names. I buy what I like; they just come that way.
3. Find like-minded friends and offer them the opportunity to split a bulk purchase on things you are all interested in; you may want to collect money up front, so you don’t end up being the group banker, however;
4. Save your grocery/supplies money for when there are sales; if you are a prepper, it should not be hard to do this – you should have enough of what you need to get you to the next big sale, then buy all you can and put it in reserves;
5. Remember that China..er…Wal-Mart price matches; if you see a better price on something in your community, take it into Wal-Mart, where you’re probably buying too much of their stuff, anyway, and show them; they’ll price match at the register.
6. Swapping and Bartering: now is the time to hone your skills – not when IHTF. Take things you no longer want, need, or can use and let your “circle” know they are available; see what’s out there you need.
7. Last but not least: Learn the freedom found in the word, “NO”. “No, I can not afford it; No, I do not truly need that..I want it…but that’s not a need”. No is empowering. It teaches us to sift the diamond from the coal pile. (A diamond is a lump of coal that made good under pressure!).
my dh and I are in our 50’s and we had a lot of debt not so long ago; we had credit cards that went from single digit interest to double-digit when the first round housing bubble burst, cards we had held for 20 years or more. We wanted to pay them off, but could not, and after the interest rates doubled on 4 of them, we knew we’d never get them paid off.
We tried to “negotiate” the rates back down, given our longevity and good credit history, up to that point. I’m just going to come right out and name Sears as one of them. When I told the “representative” that we simply could not pay such exorbitant interest rates, the answer I was given? “I’m sorry…we’re not negotiating rates at this time”.
But, we found a way. It’s called “Debt Management”. This is not a debt consolidation loan, it’s not a loan at all. We turned all of our debt over to the Debt Mgt Co. (DMC). This meant surrendering all but one credit card, which we retained, because it’s impossible to rent a car or pay for an airline ticket without one, and we do both, on occassion. We have been paying our DM for 3 years; it will be paid off in one more year; the monthly “payments” to the DM are substantially less per month than we would have been paying, otherwise. In 3 years, we have paid off thousands in debt; it would have been impossible, otherwise.
Not all DMs are equal. We did some homework, and chose to work with CredAbility (and, no, I’m not promoting them – I’m just saying, “they’re good”). They are very nice to work with, but do be advised that no matter what any DM tells you, they ALL have the same bottom-line negotiated rate with debt holders. One can not get you a better “deal” than another; but one company can do a better job than others.
If the Lord so wills, one year from now, we will be debt-free. I do recommend Debt Management programs for those who truly want to get out of debt as quickly as possible, and can’t simply come up with cash to make it happen.
I should tell you we have had to borrow money to take advantage of a land purchase opportunity during that time; the DM had little, if any effect; the bank did ask us why we did it, and we told them. Made sense to them, too, and let them know we are serious about paying our debts. Got the loan, paid it back, everybody’s happy.
If you really want to be debt free, perhaps a Debt Management program will work as well for you as it has worked for us.
@flutterby, please be careful…I got screwed by a debt consolidation company not too long ago…they never made any payments, and the supposed ‘refund’ check they sent me bounced…
Good grief, creedryn! How did that happen?! Did you contact your state’s Attorney General office, Consumer Affairs Division, and get them involved? If you have not, it may not be too late.
We have been with this company for 3 years, as I said, and have been very pleased. I check my account online with them on a regular basis and watch our debt fall. I also get monthly statements by mail (as I always have) from the companies we folded into the debt management company, so I am able monthly to see the progress both from CredAbility and from each of the companies involved.
I hope you are able to get this resolved and get your money back.