Should you save money in this economy in preparation for a disaster? If so, how much? What kinds of currency denominations should you have on hand? Should you buy gold and silver? These are questions that readers frequently e-mail to me. And while I will address several of these questions in this article, understand that ultimately the best monetary preparedness you can practice is
to first prepare yourself mentally for the consequences of unforeseen events. Doing so will inevitably provide you with logical actions to prepare accordingly. Overall this topic actually requires extensive discussion, so we’ll explore it in more than one piece. For today we’ll discuss the most broad “monetary” recommendations in order to prepare and to AVOID making disastrous monetary mistakes in anticipation of an emergency.
An economic collapse or a natural disaster will obviously have an effect on the acceptance, issuance, and availability of money. Think about it. If all of the sudden your community, state, or even nation is disrupted due to an EMP attack, do you really think that anyone is going to give a flying flip about a useless piece of printed currency? The real question is, “how do you appropriately prepare for such events and possess mutually valuable wares to ride it out and survive?” I believe in a two pronged approach to preparation. Store what I know I will need, and then store items that I know others will need so that I can obtain the items that I didn’t foresee.
Should you put some cash aside in your home in preparation for a sweeping emergency? Yes. But don’t go overboard. Within days, if not hours, of a national disaster or an economic collapse, your money will be useless. Absolutely useless. (And in the event that currency is ever recognized at that level of insolvency, then hoarding it during a crisis in hopes that it will rebound is also unrealistic.) I would not recommend you having more than $1,000 cash on hand and be sure that you have it in small increments of 10’s, 5’s, and 1’s. Don’t have this money on hand with the intent to use it to save your bacon once the disaster has actually hit or in lieu of storing what you will need now. If you need that cash to purchase emergency supplies because you were caught unaware, you’ll be hard-pressed to actually spend $1,000 successfully as there will indeed be a rush on the stores. Mark my words. You can plan on there being insufficient amounts available in the stores or limited acceptance of cash in the event of either of these two disasters, suitable for you to spend $1,000. The $1,000 cash recommendation is for unforeseen circumstances in which you are fortunate enough to still have it accepted, not to correct your lack of foresightedness in the face of a disaster.
Yes, you should indeed have some gold and/or silver on hand. This currency has never been recognized under any circumstances as being useless. However, if you are going to invest in such, I would recommend you acquire smaller coins and pieces instead of “dollar-sized” coins. You can also collect regular U.S. coins that are pre-1967, as they were still made with some “real” metals in them. These will ultimately have trade value in an emergency situation.
“Currency” as you know it today is NOT what you should be focusing on for an emergency. Food items, skills, and other hard asset wares are what you should be accumulating if you truly want to be prepared for an emergency. With the exception of a job loss, and striving to eliminate your debt overall, I am 100% convinced that the best way you can “save” for a rainy day disaster is to have useful preparedness items on hand. Items such as wheat, rice, water, ammo, clothing, shelter, diapers, and fuel will be more valuable than anything the Federal Reserve could ever print out. I am so convinced of this, that I would blatantly recommend that those who are saving a set amount of money each month in a bank account to instead actually lower their monthly savings amount and increase the purchase and acquisition of emergency preparedness wares. If you find yourself in need of an item or food you can either trade for it or work for it. Educate yourself on skills that are not common in our society now as the result of the abundance which we now enjoy. The skills of a seamstress, carpenter, cobbler, blacksmith and cook will be much more valuable in a time of distress. With such skills you can always acquire that which you need in exchange for your labors.
Bottom line, currency is not what you want to focus hoarding for an emergency. Rather it is a much wiser choice to store that which currency can presently obtain.
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Cash is not for the end of the world. Cash on hand is for an earthquake or a tornado or a hurricane. Most people don't know how to value silver or gold, let alone tell if it is real or not. They know what a wad of $20 bill is though.
Precious metals are for an economic collapse or hyperinflation.
Food, ammo and other barter goods are for if things completely fall apart.
Which is exaclty why I stated not to have "cash" for "the end of the world." However, you are incorrect in one aspect and that is relative to silver or gold. Precious metals PREVENT an economic collapse or hyperinflation--if they are used properly. Unfortunately the Federal Reserve and our government have forgotten these aspects. Bottom line is, silver or gold is worth what folks believe it's worth and it's much easier to determine a hard-core value on that than you may realize.
Additionally, as the article reads, other hard assets to trade with are ideal to have on hand.
Just for the record, it's not pre-1967 it's pre-1965 and that's just for dimes, quarters and half dollars (considering only currently issued coins) which are 90% silver. Note that half dollars from 1965 through 1970 have 40% silver in them so they're still worth a good chunk more than those from 1971 on. However, if I thought it was practical to save silver coins, I'd take the 40% coins and trade them in on 90% ones rather than save them since most people don't know they have any silver in them. They just know it's the coins up through 1964 that have silver.