HomePosts Tagged "Money"

How come today’s subject is money, when is Tools Day here, at Final Prepper? Well, simply because starting today, I want you all to refer to money as the tool that it is. Come on now, isn’t that the truth?

I mean, money, as an object, won’t make you happy. But what you can do with it, definitely will. Try and look at it from this new perspective, and things may change sooner than you think.

Cash reserves are as necessary to survive in our modern world as beans, bullets or band-aids.

Many survivalists prophesy that cash won’t be any good in a disaster. I try to stay out of the business of predicting the future. Instead, I just try find fragility and root it out. If the past is any guide, cash has been supremely useful in most disasters, so it’s high on my list of “must-have” emergency preparations.

I use the term ‘cash’ loosely in this article. Consider it to refer not only to banknotes, but to any form of wealth that is easily portable and widely valued. “Cash is King!” is a phrased used to emphasize the importance of maintaining sufficient cash reserves. Unfortunately, the term is most often used when analyzing business or personal financial failures and keeping enough cash on hand is as relevant to survivalists as it is to finance.

I should point out that I’m not recommending that you covert all your investments to cash and store it in your bugout bag. What I am recommending is simply that you not put all your eggs in one basket.

Cash Can be Held in Your Possession

Money in bank accounts or investments may be impossible to access without electricity or access to the internet. If storage media is irretrievably damaged, accurate and timely records could be lost. If you can’t get at your money, it won’t do you any good. Cash doesn’t have these drawbacks.

Cash is Portable

$100,000 in $100 bills is about the size of a large book. Needing to hide a lot of wealth in a small space is a good problem to have, as problems go. If you’re lucky enough to have this problem, you might consider 500 Euro banknotes, gold or similar forms of portable wealth.

Cash is Liquid

To spend precious metals, they must first be exchanged for cash at a bullion exchange. Accessing bank accounts or investments without electricity or the internet may be impossible.

Most people entrust nearly all their wealth to bank accounts, CDs and certain types of retirement accounts that are FDIC insured. For most types of accounts, this insurance has been reduced to a maximum of $100,000 per account, per bank and stocks, bonds, annuities, mutual funds and many other types of investments are not covered at all.

Unless you own your home outright, if you miss a payment, you set the eviction process in motion. If you live in an apartment, do not expect your landlord or the bank to take pity on you if the banking system goes down. With sufficient cash reserves, you can keep making payments if the banking system goes down.

Unfortunately, even if you own your home, you don’t really own your home. Miss a property tax payment and you set a process in motion that allows the government to sell your home to recoup the unpaid taxes.

One solution is to set cash aside cash to pay your rent, mortgage or property taxes in case you lose your source of income. When allowed, sometimes the better option is to prepay. Prepaying future expenses that you will almost certainly have to pay anyway also protects you in the event of hyperinflation, which could drive up the price of housing, but not if you have already prepaid.

When calculating how much cash you need on hand, consider mortgages, leases and zoning laws. You may be required to pay for power, gas, parking and other services to keep your residence, even if you don’t use those services or they are on again, off again. If sheltering in place is figures into your plans, you had better have cash reserves.

Major Disasters

In my line of work, I get to talk to a lot of survivors and a Hurricane Katrina survivor I spoke with was a good example of the need for cash in emergencies. His household was more prepared than most. In particular, he had a generator. Because his generator was the sole source of electricity for their family, and eventually for all the neighbors who could hear it running, he ended up running more than he planned. As time went by, gas usage increased, gas became harder to find and gas prices soared. When gas could be found, lines were long and vendors only accepted cash.

Since his generator ran on unleaded instead of propane, it cost upwards of $400/week to feed it. One week turned into two, and then two weeks turned into four, and they had not planned on an extra $1,600 per month above and beyond what they spent on hotel rooms and travel expenses to house family members who had evacuated, and nobody was getting paid. In serious disasters, money becomes very useful, while bank cards often become useless.


Stability to Face an Uncertain Future

With few exceptions, disasters and emergencies cannot be predicted. If we could predict them, they wouldn’t be emergencies. They’d just be one more thing to plan for, like a house payment or saving for college. Because we can’t predict them, emergencies seem to materialize out of the blue and our best plans often fall short. Cash reserves give you the time and resources to respond to volatility whether it takes the form of job loss, a large-scale disaster or some threat you haven’t even considered yet.


Inflation and hyperinflation are not the only risks. In deflation, investments in the stock market lose value and banks go bust. Cash reserves ensure that you can weather the storm because, while investments like stocks and bonds will lose money, the value of cash will increase. This increase can help offset your losses if you possess enough cash.

Minor Emergencies

Small fires, medical emergencies, loss of employment, car accidents, robberies, vehicle theft, home invasions, vandalism, identity theft … these events result from the low order volatility that is life’s soundtrack. Lesser ups and downs happen all the time, so be ready for them.

Supply Your Own Credit

Cash in reserve means you do not need to use credit and do not miss payments, which means no interest, NSF charges, late fees or penalties. I have not used a credit card in almost fifteen years now. I also haven’t paid a dime of interest. People who understand interest collect it. Those who don’t, pay it.


Privacy has become mighty expensive for a human right. The costs of separating your mailing address from your residence address, separating your name from your vehicle registration and license plates, buying burner phones and other privacy tools can really add up. Survivalists wanting to maintain personal, group or operations security would be well advised to save up a few thousand dollars in cash before attempting to drop off the radar because it can get expensive.

The first step to making yourself hard to find is to move and sell any vehicles. You’ll need a ghost address or two, mail forwarding, PO Boxes, some computer and phone hardware and you’ll probably have to set up a few LLC’s. You’ll also want to stop using credit. Each of these steps costs a little money up front, but not using credit is likely to save the average American more than they’ll spend on the whole shooting match.


Always carry money, even in the wilderness, because you’re not planning to stay there forever. When you do make your way back to civilization, you’ll need cash. Should you make it out of the wilderness under your own power, you can buy food and a drink and go to a hotel or go home. Otherwise, you’ll be a refugee or a victim staying in a shelter if you’re lucky.

Because self-recovery takes money, cash, local currency, gold coins and gold rings are sometimes issued to military personnel who operate in or fly over enemy territory. It’s cheaper and puts fewer lives at risk than a rescue mission.


Cash Makes it Possible to Invest

Investors play the long game. Without enough cash in reserve, you can be pressured to sell at the worst possible moment. Buying low and selling high is easier said than done when your investments tank and you do not have sufficient cash reserves to weather the storm. Without those cash reserves, you may be forced to sell low just to pay your bills.

Money is Multi-Use

Effective survival planning and equipment must be versatile, adaptable and multi-use and few pieces of survival equipment are as multi-use as money. Properly used, it is hard to equal the utility of cash anyplace you deal with other people.

Although operatives do not normally carry firearms on foreign soil, they do carry money. They can lay hands on firearms, when necessary, but carrying a firearm in a foreign country can create more problems than it solves. They don’t just dole out money to make people like them, but it’s easier to like someone who is generous, and pays their own way. Keeping commitments, especially financial commitments, is the key to building relationships of trust.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Same Basket

How often do monetary systems collapse? It depends what part of the world you live in, but even in most of Africa and South America, most people still do business in the local currency most of the time.

I do not advocate keeping all your assets in cash. That would be putting all your eggs in one basket. I don’t advocate putting all of your money in the bank. The safest strategy is to diversify. Leave some money in the bank, invest some, put some in precious metals, put some in local currency and some in a stable foreign currency. Invest some in hard assets like food storage and other survival stores. Just don’t store them all under the same roof.

If someone tells you to put all your money into any one place, I would view that advice with a healthy dose of suspicion.


It may be because you house is on fire or due to some other disaster or due to a threat to your security, but independent of the “why”, some day you may need to walk out the door and never come back. If that day ever comes, having sufficient cash reserves tucked away gives you the option to walk away.

Survival Uses for Cash

  • Use a pay phone – Cell towers are often overloaded during emergencies but pay phones use land lines, which are a completely different system that sees comparatively less use due to the popularity of cell phones. Carry lists of pay phones for areas where you spend time.
  • Transportation – Use cash to take a taxi or a bus if they are functioning.
  • Social Engineering – Getting people to do what you want is easier when you have money to obtain needed resources.
  • Communicate without being Tracked – Use cash to buy a burner phone and an airtime card.
  • Air up a tire – Every driver has needed to air up a tire at some point and only been able to find places that require quarters.
  • Pay for internet access at an internet café – Believe it or not, there are still airports without WiFi. I found one while I was in a rush to buy a ticket online so I wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg.
  • Rent a Room – It’s harder to make money when you are living out of a backpack in a campsite and chances are that you’ll need to make some money at some point.
  • Last Minute Purchases – There are some things that may be difficult to stock up on, like certain prescription medications. Even the most prepared of folks might benefit from a few “last minute purchases.”
  • Last Minute Purchases – Some things are tough to stock up on, such as prescription medications. Even the most prepared of folks would probably benefit from a few “last minute purchases” when disaster strikes.
  • Car Parts or Repairs – Finding parts or repairs can be difficult off the beaten path. I have run into folks on backroads trying to bargain combinations of cash and property for a full-size spare tire or something else they needed. Most of the time, they end up having to offer a whole lot more in even a partial barter than they would have in cash, so be sure to bring enough cash that don’t wind up trying to scalp deer tags on the side of the road due to a blowout.

How to Start Saving Cash

I did this and am a much happier person for it. Give it a try and you’ll get out of debt and have more discretionary income to invest in becoming more self-reliant.

  • Visualize Why it’s Important to Save Cash – Before you start, visualize your reasons for wanting to do this. People think they fail due to lack of willpower, but that’s not why they fail. They fail because they don’t sufficiently commit themselves to their cause. One your vision changes, your attitudes and behaviors will naturally fall in line because they are functions of vision.
  • Save Enough to Pay Your Expenses for a Month – Have a month’s expenses on hand gives you 30-days to create a plan and then act on it. Once you have a month of reserves on hand, then go for two, then three and so on.
  • Stop Using Credit – When I was a young man, if I wanted something, I had to set to work and save up enough money to buy it. Today, credit offers a quick fix, enabling young people right out of college to buy everything their parents accumulated over a lifetime of hard work. The truth is that they don’t need it, they just want it. They swipe their plastic and start making payments, much of which is interest. The solution is to stop using credit.

Not using saves big money in interest and pays dividends in increased privacy. You can even pre-pay rent. When you prepay, you aren’t asking the vendor, bank or landlord to loan you money, so there is a whole lot less paperwork, which protects your privacy. So, pay cash.

The other side of not using credit is to stop buying things you don’t really need. Most people pay for all sorts of things they don’t really need. If you’re in debt, cut out everything you don’t absolutely need and use debt stacking to get out of debt. That means no cable TV, no new clothes, cancel all your subscriptions, cut deep. In the end, Diversify Your Cash Reserves – If all the cash you have on hand is in US bank notes, you could be hard hit if the dollar loses much of its value. Splitting those reserves between more than one currency and precious metals ensures that you won’t lose everything if the dollar takes a hit.

If Cache Valley Prepper’s Article is not enough, here are two different ways of making the extra money we all need in order to prep like there IS tomorrow. First comes from #1 Best-Selling Author Zach Scheidt who shows you 47 life-changing income “tricks”. And the second teaches you how to understand the government-issued Social Security handbook. In case you didn’t know, this is a whopping 835 pages. Inside, there is some info that could work in your favour, money wise. And even if you do find it, it is confusing… loaded with big words… and saddled with bureaucracy. Get here the done-for-you help you need to make it worth your while and your money.

Starting today, I want you all to refer to money as the tool that it is. Come on now, isn't that the truth? Is not money making us happy, but all

Money is the lynchpin to all prepping. There are several things out there that you can do for free but that has serious limits. The reality of prepping is that you are going to need some money to get things done.

The good news is that most preps don’t cost a ton of money. Things like food storage can be built up over time. The same could be said for things like ammunition, first aid and even a garden. However, there are some things that could run you a couple to a few hundred dollars.

Things like generators, firearms, outfitting a family with reliable gear for a bugout. Communications can be very expensive.

For many preppers this investment is a huge problem. So many people are living paycheck to paycheck. That doesn’t mean that they are maximizing their money but the idea of setting aside $50 a week for prepping just doesn’t make any sense.

There are many things that you can do to be better with your money. They aren’t easy, because we are set in our ways. However, we are going to look at several ways that you can start saving money for prepping.

Free Preps

Yea, earlier I said there are some free preps. I am sure you didn’t miss that. Here are a handful of preps that can seriously be accomplished at zero dollars and zero cents.

  • Write Plans
  • Take a CERT Course
  • Talk to Your Neighbors About Natural Disasters
  • Organize the Preps You Have
  • Join an Online Community
  • Practice Skills

Cut Your Bad Habits

We have a lot of habits here in the nation. You know, its not uncommon for a large percentage of our weekly income to go towards habits and pleasure. We get so you to it that we believe we NEED those things.

One thing you can do is sit down and consider what you could cut out of your life.

Most people have a tremendous amount money sunk into things like alcohol, cigarettes or drugs. These things become part of your weekly budget.

Another big one can be video games. With the introduction of IN GAME PURCHASES people are spending thousands of dollars on a single video game.

Stop Eating Out

It’s so easy to eat out at a restaurant. Who wants to make food every night of the week?

Most people don’t really know how to cook. That’s the problem. What kind of system have we set up where people grow up to adulthood and don’t know how to feed themselves?

You spend exponential amounts of money when you decide to eat out. It might seem cheap but when you really do your math it’s killing your wallet and you will never have money to prepare.

One of the most popular quick service restaurants is Chipotle. They serve chicken, beans and rice. Let’s put this in perspective. You are going to spend about $10 per person at a place like chipotle. If you go to Sam’s Club, you can buy 50lbs or white rice for $20!

Think about that. You get one burrito for $10 or 50lbs of uncooked rice for $20.

50lbs of rice is 30,000 calories! That’s a serious prep.

Get Up Early and Go to Bed Early

When you get up early you are more productive. Its pretty much that simple. If you wake up early you have time to make money before work. You can write books, sell products, push a website and make that side hustle viable.

After work we are all exhausted and we have other responsibilities. However, if you can get up two hours earlier you have some serious time to sit down and really play things out.

The opposite side of the coin is that by going to bed early you spend less money. Think about it. Think about that last monster bar tab you ran up. What about that last huge restaurant bill you ran up? Those things don’t happen if you wake up early and get to bed early.

Practicing a frugal life where you are up early and in bed early is about as safe as it gets. You will see the money start to stack just from this lifestyle change.

Side Hustle

Lots of Americans are working overtime or working a side hustle altogether. Whether that is something like an internet business or doing side jobs in your trade or profession, there is a lot of money to be made out there.

The economy favors the person who hustles. Those who work 5 more hours a week, per week make roughly 30% more a year.

You should decide if you are the type of person who wants to operate a side hustle you own and operate.

In other words, do you want to start a side business?


Do you want to hop under someone else’s umbrella and make money through things like network marketing or even just getting a part time gig?

No matter which side hustle you choose, you will be making more money and that money can be diverted to your prepping goals and plans.


While everyone lives on a budget there is always a way to change that. For some, we can simply cut out some unnecessary spending and divert that towards prepping. Things like vices and going out to restaurants on a regular basis can be paired back. There are also health benefits to this, as well.

If you are stretched to the max and cannot cut anything out of your life, well, you need to get back on your hustle. You need to work more, on a side hustle, and get more income for prepping.

The great news is that you have options. No, it’s not going to come for nothing. 

Of course, there is also the chance that you start a simple side hustle and it becomes your main business. Maybe its even something you love. For the blessed few this happens but it can never happen to you if you don’t give it a shot!

For the ones who have no clue how to make the extra buck, make sure you read our next email.

On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

There are many things that you can do to be better with your money. They aren’t easy, however, we are going to look at several ways that you can start

What if you would experiment the same thing that happened in Cyprus? For those who haven’t heard, the short story is that the IMF has pushed for a “wealth tax” in Cyprus which would involve taking money directly out of the bank accounts of the people. That’s right, stealing in broad daylight with no apologies whatsoever. The IMF is saying that the people of Cyprus need to pay back the bankers who stole and lost their money. This was done with the threat of being kicked out of the Euro zone if they refuse.

So, what can you do about it? Can you put your money in stocks? What about investments like property or fancy cars? My opinion is that nothing is safe. If your money is out of your reach and stored in any type of financial institution it can be stolen. Before I go any further let me state what should be obvious to most of you.

Warning #1: Whatever you do with your money, you do at your own risk.

Now, that being said, where would you put your money if you can’t stick it in the bank? Well, first let me address why we put money into the banks in the first place. It used to be that our money was safe in the bank and for the privilege of letting banks hold on to our money and invest it we were paid back in interest. Over time, neither of these two reasons is valid anymore. You will not see any return on a traditional checking or saving account and as recent events like the MF Global scandal prove, your money can be taken and there is nothing you can do about it.

The Prepper’s Guide to Caches: How to Bury, Hide, and Stash Guns and Gear

I recommend you keep only enough money in the bank that you need to operate your daily finances, cover checks and your normal Debit Card purchases. Any savings should be “stored” somewhere else if you don’t want to be like the people of Cyprus who flocked to empty ATM machines and were faced with a bank holiday for 4 days. Just imagine going to your bank and they tell you that you are unable to get any of YOUR money out for 4 days. Where do you put this money? Great question and it will really depend on how much you have, where you live, how liquid you need it to be and your resources. All of this falls under the umbrella of how afraid you are that something like this could happen to you and your tolerance for risk.

Warning #2: Just because you hide money doesn’t mean someone else can’t find it.

There are a ton of options for hiding things and they are only limited to your creativity. If you are going to hide money, I would take extra precautions. Especially, if you plan on seeing this money again someday. For ideas, here are a few:

Secret compartment in everyday items:

There are a myriad of places and containers that can be made to look like normal everyday items. There is a Scribd.com post with plenty of photos and ideas. My personal favorite is the VHS tape hideout. I can see this holding a few hundred dollars if you play it right. Another idea I have heard of is to hide bills in the contents of old bank statements, junk mail for home refinance, etc. Anything that looks like junk will be overlooked most likely, but remember… You don’t want to throw this away when you are cleaning up one day.

In the walls of your home:

This approach takes a little more carpentry skills and will leave a bigger mark when you go to find your money. Do you hide it all in one spot? No, so there is more work involved in this approach and you want to make sure your handiwork isn’t easy to spot. If you have never dry walled, it may take a little practice.

Read More: Embrace Your Inner Pirate: 5 Important Considerations for your Survival Cache

In the attic:

Hands down the easiest place to store your money. Unfortunately, this is also a logical place to look. If you are going to hide your money up in the attic, spread it out so that if your stash is found, they might not find all of it.

In the basement:

If you have exposed ceiling joists, you can hide money between the insulation and the floor above. For a little extra level of difficulty, you should hide the money above plumbing or HVAC ducting to make it doubly hard to get to.

Buried in the yard:

I like this idea, but the nagging fear is that someone will see me digging a hole and go dig up my money in the middle of the night while I lie in bed. You can combine this with a garden or yard fixture project where you are out digging anyway to avoid suspicion. Or, break out the new pair of night vision goggles you have been dying to try, get up at 4 am and dig your hole in the pitch black night when you have no moon. Imagine you are breaking out of prison for extra motivation.

Hidden in a secret cache in a remote location:

I talked about using the game of Geocaching to teach you how to find hidden caches. You can also use this to find a good hiding spot somewhere near (but not too near) your home. Make the place you are hiding money very well hidden so that nobody will stumble across it accidentally. I would recommend midway up a hill because you never know when a flood will come and buried several feet underground.

Warning #3: Just because you hide your money doesn’t mean you will be able to get to it when you need it.

Again, use your best judgment with these ideas. Having your money safe from bankers does you no good if it gets washed away or found by hikers out exploring. Worse, if your house burns down and all of your cash is in the attic. Take appropriate precautions with everything but consider an alternate place to store your money. You may need it soon and not have the ability to go get it from your bank.

What if you would experiment the same thing that happened in Cyprus? For those who haven’t heard, the short story is that the IMF has pushed for a “wealth tax”