Managing Your Budget During Preparation
Preparing for disasters of any kind can be expensive, especially on a budget. Getting food, fuel, medication, and other needs stockpiled in a safe, durable location requires a major investment. Philosophically, we know it’s worth it, but in practice, we still have to make the dollars and cents work out in a sustainable way.
The best way to save money is not to waste it. The very real urgency of threats can cause us to rush through the planning and execution of our preparation. But the things you do to prepare are the most important things you’ll ever do to provide for your family, because the whole goal is to be ready in case the world’s economic and transportation systems fail. You must be able to survive independently.
So how do we invest wisely? We must do things correctly and not get in a hurry. Think about the provision of power. If you have solar panels, is all the electrical work properly connected? Do you have spares for expendable things like fuses and light bulbs? Study your backup generators and other power sources. Make sure you have the knowledge, tools, and supplies to make repairs yourself.
What about construction projects? Do you have good drainage, proper footings, and well-built projects? Can you get by without outside contractors? Think of the full spectrum of disasters that may come, and consider how you rely on others to respond. If you have 24 inches of snow, you’ll need to be able to clear it yourself. If heavy rains bring mudslides or flooding, you’ll have to be self-sufficient. Investing in a Bobcat skid steer at Fastline will position you to handle these critical needs without waiting on someone else, and in the meantime, you can put it to work in your everyday activities.
So apart from the actual construction of storm shelters, bunkers, and so forth, how do you keep yourself financially afloat until disaster strikes if you’re on a budget? After all, it’s one thing to max out the credit cards and mortgage the farm if you know the financial system will collapse in six weeks. It’s another thing entirely to know that it will happen but not know when. It does you no good to have your house ready for an economic collapse if you are foreclosed on before it happens.
Keeping expenses in check without shorting yourself and your family largely centers on controlling the costs of expendables in your preparation activities.
Preparation stockpiles involve a number of non-perishable items, but others do have a shelf life. We know to try to keep plenty of medication on hand for ordinary aches and pains, stomach issues, and so forth. But over-the-counter drugs like these can’t be kept indefinitely. They should be replaced well ahead of their expiration. Simply rotate stock; keep your older medicine in the house for daily use, and place new purchases in your stockpile.
Gasoline is another example. While the goal is to reduce reliance on outside petroleum, there will nevertheless be a need for you to have at least some fuel on hand. And despite the fact that oil products were in the ground for millions of years without being hurt, they are still perishable and should be rotated periodically. That includes not just stockpiled fuel but also any that is already in the tanks of vehicles or equipment.
If you have gas-powered motors that haven’t been used in a while, start it and let it run for a while. It will help clean the engine and give you the chance to check on its function. Then drain the remaining fuel for use elsewhere, and put fresh gas back in the tank.
It can be a big waste of money to let these expensive items expire, but even more problematic is that you will be without them when you need them.
Being ready for disasters and other crises includes flashy things like weapons training and first aid. But the mundane things can be just as important. Make sure you manage your budget correctly.
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