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By November 30, 2012 Read More →

How multigenerational family units can help preppers to survive financially

September 2011 report by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that the U.S. poverty rate now is more than 15% of the population.  That is the highest that the poverty rate has been in over 50 years.

As if that were not bad enough, economic conditions are predicted to worsen soon.  In March of 2012, for example, John Paulson, a billionaire hedge fund manager, told the New York University club that we soon can expect double digit inflation.  That already seems to be starting with the price of gas and now food spiraling ever upward.

The bad news is that those preppers who already are financially stressed need to quickly make some lifestyle changes to lower their living expenses.  The good news is that, when preppers’ families have parents, adult children, and grandchildren living together, preppers can save money in many ways.  For example:

  1. Family motorists can sell one or more cars and double up on the use of the remaining car, especially if family wage earners can use carpools or public transportation.
  2. Retired parents can save their adult children expensive childcare costs by taking care of their preschool grandkids.
  3. Adult, unemployed children can be caretakers of their parents and can save their families the costs of nursing homes.
  4. Each family will pay less money for shared housing, utilities, and property tax expenses.
  5. Bulk purchases of groceries will be cheaper.
  6. Retired parents will have the time and flexibility to clip coupons and to go to sales, even those during the 9-5 work day.

Saving money in this way has multiple advantages.  These savings can allow preppers to get out of debt and to avoid it in the future.  Also, with the extra money, preppers can afford to stockpile the food and equipment they will probably need someday.

There also are many non financial advantages to extended family living.  Some examples are that:

  1. Retired parents can lower the stress of their working children by doing household chores such as shopping, cooking and cleaning.
  2. Retired parents can supervise their grandkids between the time when the grandkids are out of school and when the parents come home from work.
  3. The family home usually will be occupied continually, thus discouraging burglars.
  4. A city, county, state, or international crisis will not require risky travel to unite the family.

Only recently in our national history has nuclear family living seemed normal.  Until very recently, multiple generations of families usually lived together under one roof.

The past seems to be repeating itself.  Multi-generational families are back.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2005 and 2011, the number of young men living with their parents increased from 14% to 19%, and the number of young women living with their parents increased from 8% to 10%.  There also is a similar trend that involves parents moving in with their children.

In family unity there is strength. Tap into this strength during the coming hard economic times.

[guest-author]

Daniel Vale

Daniel Vale has a black belt in Seibu Kan Karate and has taught three credit self-defense courses at three colleges and universities.  Over the years, he also has worked as a police officer, caseworker, security guard, and state hospital security attendant. He has 21 semester hours and 9 quarter hours of criminal justice related of courses.[/guest-author]



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17 Comments on "How multigenerational family units can help preppers to survive financially"

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  1. Angel Rny says:

    Small communities/compounds, kinda like the amish communities would be a good idea as well…

  2. Gerina Figg says:

    Angel Rny, I have always loved the idea of having a prepper community. Living amongst people who share the same ideas as you would make your community a stronghold. You make a great point!

  3. looking for preppers in missouri. Message me if you are. Cant seem to find any preppers in my area.

  4. Zach, where in MO are you??? It really is a big state. ;)

  5. stevenswilkins says:

    my ‘older’ mother moved in with us 2 years ago…and this article is dead on! :) when we bought our house we thought that probably one of our parents would eventually move in with us. i would like to add that in many countries through out the world multi generational homes are the norm.

  6. Many people are moving onto “Eco-Villages”. Many have started all over the world. There is one in Missouri called “Dancing Rabbit Eco-Village”. There are also Eco-Villages started based on religious beliefs for people who like faith based living. In my younger years (1970′s) I enjoyed communal living and this was the changing point in my food patterns towards a more healthy lifestyle. I have maintained this through most of my life.

  7. jedi1111 says:

    I can tell this article was written by a man. You are clueless to how the female mind thinks. Sounds like a good idea in theory, but there are a few problems with it.  Have you ever met a man or women who wanted their mother in law to live with them? I didn’t think so. I’m sure it brings shivers to most.  Unless you have really even tempered parents, there will be a lot of emotional strain. A lot of parents and inlaws are very critical.  Either they dont like the spouse or they are critical of their own kid. A female likes to be the head of her household. With a mother or mother in law there it’s not possible. The strain of the living situation would make it a short lived solution. Another aspect is the age of the parents.  Most preppers are probably in their thirties and at the prime of their health, who have parents who are not that old. Maybe late fifties, early sixties.  But jump ten to fifteen years to the preppers who are forty five and have parents in their seventies and it is a whole different ball game.  You’ve just turned your house into your own personal nursing home. And the burden of taking care of a sickly or senile person always falls on the female. A woman in that age group is already burned out from working and raising children.  If you want to put the nail in her coffin, add that burden. It is a 24/7 job. Many women get sick themselves and die young from the strain. I’ve seen it myself. It’s bad enough when it’s your own parent.  No women is going to do it for an  inlaw. The idea of doubling up might work with a younger family, but may become a problem later on. I think it’s a good idea temporarily , but whenever you have so many adults in a small space you are going to get too much conflict as each chimes in with their opinion on how things should be run. If you have to do it, pick the wife’s parents. It will be less strain than a mother in law.  Men get along easier so I don’t think the fathers will be as much of a problem, unless they think their son in law is a deadbeat. Overall the theory is a good one, but I don’t think you took human nature into consideration.  Either that or you have parents and Inlaws who are saints.

    • Sue says:

      Wow, jedi1111. You must not like your in-laws very much.
      Since they got married in 2008, our daughter, her husband, and now 3 kids have lived in our finished basement. They are now debt-free (thanks, Dave Ramsey!), and are saving up money for a house. For two years while our other son-in-law was not able to work for health reasons, he, his wife (our other daughter), and their 2 then 3 children lived in our upstairs. So we had 6 adults and 5 children 6 years old and under living here. Granted, three family units wouldn’t have worked if the basement wasn’t livable. I wouldn’t trade that time for the world. Much of the time, we all had dinner together. Both of the sons-in-law like to cook! There were some tense moments, but mostly we were able to work things out.

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband I and our 4 children recently (6 months) moved in with my mother-in-law. We were in a financial crisis, but she also needed someone to live with her because she has many health issues. She cannot cook or clean because she cannot stand for any length of time and has a pacemaker and therefore can not even run the vacuume. My father-in-law passed away a year and a half ago, and her other 3 sons have their own lives and cannot care for her. I stay at home cook, clean and take care of her and my children. My mother-in-law and I have issues, but we talk. I also have a firm comitment to not fight, so if our conversation heads that way I walk away and comeback to it later when we are both more open (my husband gives her the fights she craves). It is hard but it is like any relationship you have to work at it. My mother-in-law loves having her grand kids around, and another person to talk to. We will continue to live with my mother-in-law untill either she passes or is once more able to care completely for herself. We are willing to work tward a better relationship.

    • Julia Krauss says:

      In response to “Have you ever met a man or woman who wanted to live with their inlaws” well you have met one here. I have given up my own employment to take care of my mother in law and pool our resources. And when all this started my mother in law and I did not get along at all. It is all a matter of priorities. And family is family…

      Even if it came to my husband’s brother having to live here again, it is again about priorities, we would all work together for the sake of surviving and raising the kids. I would think that anyone worth spending one’s life with would take into account the fact that the other half of their relationship loves their parents as much as they love theirs. Honoring them is a must, it is all about respect and dignity, setting pride aside for the good of the family.

  8. Keith says:

    All that you mentioned, and more, should be considered before making a life style change such as this. However, for many the current economic reality forces them into drastic measures and the lesser of evils may be communal living. There are also many advantages that weren’t listed and tip the scales a bit. Children will have contact with their grandparents and the stories and history that goes with that. They will also learn many lessons about tolerance and civility in the relationship.  While it may often mean some gender bias, skills and knowledge of the older generation can be passed along and preserved. Boys will learn which end of a screwdriver to pick up and girls might learn a recipe or two. Nothing says this gender assignment needs to be absolute, but it usually trends that way. In short, the alternative to such an arrangement may be severe poverty and even homelessness for some. 

  9. Jeany Bowen says:

    You know, jedi, while I understand your point it seems a bit cold hearted. It’s only in the USA that we farm out our parents to nursing homes instead of taking care of them as they took care of us. Is it a burden? Yes I guess it is. Was raising us a burden on them? Yes it was. I don’t know about others but I have a serious problem with shoving my parents into a nursing home. Generally unless you have a lot of money nursing homes are not nice places. Not to mention there are many many instances of abuse in those places. I love my in-laws, are they a pain in the butt? YES! I’d still rather find a way to keep them in the home then send them off to die. Which is more often then not what happens. I think being in a home with their grandkids around them and with at least a modicum of dignity is the right thing to do. By the way, great article! We are doing this ourselves and yes it is mutually beneficial to all :)

    • bildberg says:

      Jedi is absolutely correct. It doesn’t work and she hit the nail with each comment. To think it would work is bliss and without experience. A better solution would be an inlaw trailer or house near the main house where they can complain to themselves. LOL

    • Summer Rayne says:

      Please don’t condemn others when every situation is different. We moved in wih my mother-in-law 3 yrs ago. She is end satge renal disease, dialysis patient, old age dementia and mentally ill. She has recently started screaming all night every night for the past week. No one in the house could sleep. The boys were sleeping at school. The teachers are calling. My daughter almost lost her baby at 19 weeks. She stated loosing amniotic fluid due to exhaustion. Please tell me what other decision could we have made. It’s never easy but soemtimes nessesary. The only other alternative was to follow the doctors recomendations and quit dialysis treatment and send her to hospice instead.

      • Julia Krauss says:

        Keep fighting for her! like you our family had to make a hard choice to care for my husband’s mother.. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hear hear to you and yours from a fellow caregiver

  10. Julia Krauss says:

    Oh and making a small community with family and close trusted friends is a good idea, pooling resources and manpower is a plus and a big one.



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