Friday, August 27, 2010

Prepare: American Economic Meltdown

"That headline will grab reader's attention", I think to myself as I pen today's post.

Well, if you read the headlines today ("Economic growth actually lower in 2nd quarter"), then it sure seems that way. Skim through the content of the news, the reactions of one or two economic whiz kids and then read the comments. Americans are hurting.

The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse

1 in 10, officially, working age Americans are unemployed. That number, for all intents and purposes, it lower than the actual number of unemployed as it does not take into account those who are working part time jobs, contract jobs, have stopped looking for work and those who are no longer on the unemployment rolls. A number of smart people have suggested the unemployment index is actually closer to 18%.

1 in 10 homes may go into foreclosure before the end of this year. Home sales are down and banks consider foreclosed homes to be a toxic asset which sells at a far lower rate and for less money than normal houses on the market. Answer? More empty homes and more homeless (even if they are sleeping at Grandma's or friend's houses).

So what are the answers to these problems?

HOMEWARD surviving the global economic collapse

I have my opinions, but that is not the nature of this blog. My business is presenting solutions to Americans who want to survive now and afterwards if this situation gets worse.

First, if you have a job, great! Keep it. Don't get yourself fired right now as there are few jobs to replace what you have.

If you don't have a job, stop waiting for the right one or for one to magically appear. I had to create my own line of work when this mess started. My income is one fourth what it was just two years ago, but we manage. The secret is to be open and willing to do anything to make a living.

Debt - debt is bad. In our household, we are agressively paying off anything we can while maintaining the bills. To do it, we cut out every extra we could find, we sold off junk we did not need and we cut spending where we could. We clip coupons, cook each meal from scratch, pack lunches, water and coffee (so we don't buy them out) and recycle and reuse everything. Each debt you pay off frees money for other debt and lowers your monthly outlay.

Stock up - we don't go to the boutique store and buy a 6 oz of olive oil. Rather, we buy 5 gallons at a time. Same with bulk rice, flour, sugar, etc. Buy big, store it right and you have a supply of foods to cook with daily. We also do the same thing with toilet paper, light bulbs, etc.

If this get's worse...

Don't go into "hunker down mode". That's what rabbits do when a car is about to run them over. You must live in "adapt or die" mode. If things are worse economically where you are, be prepared to abandon ship for greener fields. In times like these, there is value in being able to leave home with most possessions in one or two bags.

Think about your ancestors who came to this country or who migrated centuries ago. They piled what they had on their back and left. We may be in the same circumstances soon.

One note, know where you are going, how you are going to get there and where you will stay once you arrive. A pitiful refugee one day is a locust and pest the next day.

Will there be a complete economic breakdown? I hope not. My kids go to school, I go to the grocery store, I have customers I talk with daily and visit - I would hate for all of that to crumble and vanish. I like normal, normal is good.

But if there is, get ready. Those who are ready and who adapt will survive. Some will thrive.

2 comments:

Frugal Life UK said...

we've had one in ten unemployed before, even if the US hasn't, however we have a welfare state as a safety net. I agree with everything you say, stock up in good times, and pay off debt = get a washing line, line dry, grow veg, keep chickens, preserve goods - think Amish and you will be close to how we all need to survive hard time - love the blog

frugal queen, Cornwall, UK

JD said...

Frugal - thank you for your comment.

In the US, we have had 1 in 4 unemployed and did not have a "safety net" when it started and did not have a "relief" effort until 1933.

A safety net is different things to different people. Providing money for food and basics temporarily is one thing. Providing food, medical care, rent subsidies, cash vouchers, bus passes, etc. eventually can lead to abuse and a class of people who live off the dole permanently.

Further, the net has to be paid for by everyone else who works and who pays taxes.

The solution is a society which cherishes independence, is frugal and has the means to provide for themselves.

Thank you for reading and commenting,

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