What is Your Economic Plan?
By: Tom Chatham
The people that have an understanding of the current financial situation have already begun their plans to stay solvent and provide for their families. They have stored food and seeds, bought some silver or gold coins and looked into alternative sources of power and energy for their homes. These are the logical starting points, but is it enough?
With the downturn in the economy many are doing the best they can to prepare but smaller paychecks, higher taxes and rising prices are making it difficult to stay ahead of the growing problems in the world. Even though you may have a limited amount of money, you need a long range plan to get through the potential troubles ahead.
The best way to navigate economic troubles is to be as free from the economic system as possible. This means you must be able to provide as many of your own goods and infrastructure as possible to limit the needed financial resources you have available. The act of building a self sufficient homestead is a large and often expensive task. It is beyond the ability of most to do it in a short period of time.
For those that see the need for self sufficiency but lack the financial resources, a long range plan must be devised to get you there. In devising a plan you must decide what resources are critical and which are the most readily attainable with the financial resources you have.
A raw piece of land that you can grow food on and build a structure from locally available materials is a critical piece of the plan but you may lack the financial resources at this time to buy what you need. You must look at your financial ability to buy this piece of land and determine how long it will take you to save up to get it. You want to buy it in full with no debt obligations which will make it more difficult.
After determining how long this will take, you must decide if the length of time will leave you vulnerable to economic shocks while saving this money and what the best use of your money short term would be. If it will take you several years to save up the needed money for purchase, some of your funds may be better spent short term on infrastructure to equip your homestead when you finally get it.
The purchase of gardening tools, grain mills, canning supplies, alternate energy systems, carpentry tools and production equipment may offer you more for your money now if prices are rising fast. The stocking of materials you will need later is one way to beat inflation. This must be done as part of a well thought out plan though to insure your goal of purchasing property is not undermined.
Many of these items are useful even if you do not have your own property yet so you will be able to get some use from them and even save some money as a result to put towards your land. If you grind wheat you buy in bulk and can as much as you can from a kitchen garden, it can do a great deal for your cash flow. A wood stove that you can use now and relocate later to your new property can be a good investment. Something as simple as collecting tree limbs from around your yard during the year and from your neighbors providing free fuel may allow you to use much less fuel or electricity during the winter allowing you to put that savings toward your property.
The purchase of production equipment will detract from your land fund but the ability to use that equipment now may allow you to save as much or even more to put into that fund. This will provide a compounding effect if planned well that can see you to your goals even sooner.
You may decide getting some livestock is advantageous. A few pullets and a rooster are easy enough to care for and once moved to your new property you have the capability to hatch more chicks and expand your flock with little expense. The same can be said for pigs. Buying a pair of piglets cheaply several months before you move will provide you with the ability to expand your hog numbers shortly after arriving at your new homestead providing a good source of extra cash. A livestock operation can be expanded very economically once the breeding animals are obtained.
This is the value of having a well thought out plan. It will help you determine what you can purchase now and what financial savings and impact it will have. A good plan is the key to economic security and your future happiness. While you accumulate your tools, you may want to study the economic situation and determine the best method to preserve your savings until you buy your property. If it will take you several years to save enough, during that time high inflation may rob you of a lot of your purchasing power.
You may decide it is best to store this money in gold or silver until it is needed for the purchase. As long as the government continues to print money it is a safe bet that paper assets will take a big hit over time. This may allow you the opportunity to leverage the value of your savings up allowing you to purchase sooner.
What should come first, the land or the tools? This is a question that you will need to answer. If you have the means to buy property now outright it might be the best idea to get it and work on the tools next. If you have property, you have the means to grow food and provide a minimal structure for shelter. In a worse case scenario, this might be the best insurance policy to have especially if you may lose your current home due to job loss or other economic shock. This is what your plan will help you to decide.
Nobody knows better than you what your needs are and what your capabilities are. A sound plan will help you through the difficult times we are facing. No two plans work equally well for everyone so your plan needs to be tailored for you and your circumstances to be most effective. It costs you very little to run some numbers and do some research now but the payoff can be well worth it. .
If you don’t know where to begin, start with this. Make a spreadsheet with all of your monthly purchases and bills. Do this for the whole year and include everything you know you will have to pay during the year such as mortgage, insurance and even clothing. Once you have this list you will see the payments that are somewhat set every month and those that vary. It is the variable items where you will save the money you need for your plan. You must look at these variable items and decide what is more important, entertainment and expensive foods now or financial peace of mind later. You must develop a plan to save as much of your disposable income as possible while still providing those things in a cheaper way such as growing and canning your own food or repairing your clothing instead of just buying something new.
The paradigm we all have built our lives on is coming to an end and those that refuse to plan for the inevitable changes will be devastated. The flexibility you have in future years will determine how well you will adjust and how much pain you will have to endure. Those that have no plan will suffer the most and will find it difficult to lead a normal life. If you have no plan it is not too late but time is very short. You must act now or live with the consequences.