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The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

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Prepping can easily become an all-encompassing activity, affecting every area of our lives. That’s why many preppers refer to it as a change in lifestyle, and not simply adding something to their already full plates. That actually makes sense, as the attitudes one needs to develop for prepping require looking at life in a different way and establishing a different set of priorities.

The basic concept of prepping is to make sure that you have everything you need to survive, no matter what comes your way. That’s a pretty broad concept, but one that is actually achievable. After all, our ancestors lived a prepping lifestyle as a matter of course, and they didn’t have as much available to them to work with as we do today.

But the problem with such a broad definition is that it’s easy to have blind spots — areas that we haven’t thought about which could affect our survival. Ultimately, we need to seek out and find solutions to those blind spots so that they don’t come up and bite us at the wrong moment.

One such blind spot is the area of debt. In our modern, materialistic society, we are accustomed to living in debt. In fact, I’d venture to say that there are many preppers who have built their prepping stockpile with credit cards. While that might be okay to get started, if someone doesn’t have the cash on hand, in the long run, it can be devastating.

Debt and Disasters

Here’s the problem, and it’s a problem which comes from a blind spot we all too easily have: The likelihood of a societal-ending event is much lower than is the likelihood of a regional natural disaster.

So, how is that a problem? Because many of us easily slip into the thought pattern of surviving such an event. As such, we don’t think of having to pay off that debt. After all, if an EMP attack were propagated against the United States, all the computers which house the records of our massive debt would be fried. Nobody could collect, because they wouldn’t be able to prove that we owe the money. And if the company is several states away, with no mail delivery, how could we pay anyway?

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The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

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But a regional disaster isn’t going to do a thing to make those records disappear. So, in addition to trying to survive and rebuild our lives, we’ll have the problem of trying to pay for our homes, our cars and just about everything else we need, simply because we bought it on credit.

In such a situation, a family easily could lose their car or even their home if they didn’t have the cash reserves necessary to continue their monthly payments. Rather than helping them to survive, that would make their survival problem infinitely more difficult, as they would lose their shelter and probably a whole lot more.

A Potential Financial Collapse

But there’s another potential disaster that could prove even worse for those preppers who are in debt. That is, a financial collapse. The little hiccup we had in 2008 to 2009 caused millions of families to lose their homes. What would a nationwide depression do?

During the Great Depression, the unemployment rate hit a whopping 25 percent, meaning that one out of every four families had no income. Many of those families lost their homes, leaving them on the streets and searching for shelter. In the process of losing their homes, they lost many of their possessions, as well.

The same would happen again were we to be hit by another such depression. Considering that financial analysts have been predicting a collapse for years, we need to be ready for it. Perhaps the government and the financial community will be able to prevent such an event, but that’s not something that we can count on.

Your home is your single most important piece of survival equipment. It not only provides your family with shelter, but it is the place where you store your stockpile and other survival gear. When a disaster comes, it will be your home that will protect you. But as long as you owe money on it, there’s a chance you could lose it.

Getting Out of Debt

Granted, paying off a home – or even a car — is a difficult undertaking. This isn’t something that you can solve in a month or even a year. But it does need to be part of your survival planning. Until you own your home, free and clear, you will always have the risk of losing it. From a survival point of view, let alone any other, that’s unacceptable.

The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

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Part of the problem is that most of us have more home and more everything than we can actually afford. The average American family lives off of 110 percent of their income, counting on credit to make up the difference. So, instead of getting out of debt, they’re actually getting more and more in debt.

The first step in getting out of debt is restructuring your finances. No, I’m not talking about restructuring your debt, but rather restructuring your budget. You’ve got to find a way to get to a positive monthly cash flow, rather than a negative one. That will probably mean cutting some things out of your life, and may even include downsizing to something that you can more easily afford.

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There are three major areas of debt that most of us have:

  • Credit card debt.
  • Vehicle debt.
  • Home mortgage debt.

Of the three, the credit card debt is the least important, although that’s the one that experts on debt reduction tell you to get out of first. Their reasoning is that it is smaller than the other two categories, and the interest rate is higher. But from a survival point of view, failing to pay off your credit card isn’t going to cost you anything, simply because there is no collateral for you to lose.

On the other hand, both vehicle debt and home mortgage debt do have collateral, the items you used the loan to buy. So, those are the ones you could lose the fastest. But even there, we can see a distinction between their relative importance, as you don’t necessarily need your car to live, but you do need your home.

So, the number one thing you need to come up with is a plan to pay off your mortgage. That may include paying off the other debt, as well, but the goal isn’t just paying off your cars or your credit cards; it’s paying off your home. Only then will you have the security of knowing it won’t be taken from you at your time of greatest need.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

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  1. While this article is well written and attempts to link financial debt to prepping activities I feel that this article would be more appropriate to addressing the public at large instead of narrowing the focus to preppers.

    I don’t think that this article is particularly applicable to preppers as it truly applies to everyone who is in debt and who wants to limit/eliminate their debt. This article sounds like it was written by some sort of debt management/money management professional.

    As a prepper I expect articles within this publication to actually assist preppers in becoming prepared to deal with a variety of emergencies, from temporary natural and man-made disasters to SHTF, life-changing events.

    There are a variety of publications and websites that are dedicated to financial/debt management if an individual should want information about debt management.

    Articles such as this,especially those with deceiving titles like this one, have no place in a “prepper” publication.

    • As preppers we prepare for problem situations, The author specifically mentioned temporary and local based disasters. As stated prepping is a lifestyle not a goal. There are many articles on food storage,weapons,water filtration out there also. getting out of debt is a prep we all should look at as a lifestyle also. maybe you are reading the wrong site.

  2. Fortunately I am set so I don’t have to worry about these debts; HOWEVER, you need to prepare yourself to pay your taxes on your property. After the Civil War there were many Southerners who lost their property because they had no hard cash to pay their taxes and carpetbaggers bought their property for pennies on the dollar.

  3. in the bigger picture, debt is the monster…now that that elephant is identified…look at an even more dastardly gorilla…tax time comes each year… and many homes and lands are annually sold for tax money on the county court house steps …normally after 3 years, the tax folks at the local tax office will sell your home for the taxes…beware

    this form of confiscation is both legal and a hard thing to consider… and while it may not be a problem for years 1-3…it is still a serious thing… i plan to live longer than 3 years…stash a few silver coins or a few gold coins…–coins of the realm— in a given/stamped purity of silver or gold… these can be used to keep the tax man away from your door.

    those who do not plan , plan to fail

  4. Thought this was excellent advice. If you own your home free and clear and don’t live somewhere where the government is likely to take it by eminent domain, then no matter what happens financially, you will always have a place to live that no one can take away from you (so long as you can pay the tax bill each year). Yes, there is still some risk that you could lose it, (fire, earthquake, bad guy zombies you aren’t able to take out, etc.), but aside from a truly catastrophic event of a like nature, your home sweet home is secure, it’s YOURS. The psychological and emotional states resulting from being debt free are too sweet to find adequate words ………………..

  5. I think a reality checkup for the writer is needed.

    Reality is the writer is more interested in owning a car when in ‘real reality’ he should be thinking about how he’s going to power that car.

  6. LIST everything in your Pantry/food,ammo, needed for 6 months & fill it at the shop.

    Now take the list & produce it yourself.

    Then Congrats you survived 6 months to allow your new self production to kick in.

  7. Aero-ponics, turns seed into high quality food/sprouts in 48 hours.

    Lights Red/Blue/CREE low power high production.

    “DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS!” Or Mr Nice Guy you’re dead looking for a time/place to happen.

  8. Aero-ponics, turns seed high quality food/sprouts in 48 hours.

    Lights … Red/Blue/CREE low power high production.

    Know your local zombies, not a good time to be making new friends when you got the only food.
    So sorry Mr Nice Guy, “DONT FEED THE ANIMALS!”

  9. Even if you own your home free and clear (no mortgage), you still can have your house taken — if you don’t pay property taxes. They can take your house, put a lien on it, etc. There is no such thing as living free and clear in this country where there are so many rules, regulations, laws, etc. that remove our freedom.

    We own our house “free and clear” but we have to pay about $1700 per year in property taxes.

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