By Mark Smith – southernplainsconsulting.com
Tangible Goods: Do you have them?
One of the strictest business principles I follow is that as a preparedness consultant I do not use fear mongering as a sales technique. I believe it is unethical and short sighted. So when I decided to write this article I wanted to make that point very clear. What I am going to be discussing is something I take very seriously and a practice that I myself follow. The practice I am talking about is converting cash into tangible goods.
With the growing economic concerns around world a question that you may or may not have asked yourself is: How safe is my money? Sadly the answer may well be – not very safe at all. The U.S. was taken off the gold standard in 1972 and so there is nothing backing the buying power of our currency. It is what is known as fiat currency. Right now our buying power is shrinking, smaller container sizes, fewer potions, rising utility costs, higher premiums and much more sap our income. There are several European countries in serious financial distress which could affect the world financial future in a very negative way.
What if there is a bank holiday (a feared bank run, all banks are closed) declared in the United States? Do you have the means to see yourself through an extended period without access to cash or the use of credit cards? As the economic uncertainty continues our future ability to procure the goods and services that are necessary could well become unavailable. Take for example, the hyper-inflation crisis that gripped Zimbabwe. At one point it was necessary for their government to print currency with the declared face value of millions and later in the billions. In the last century there have been several other examples of societies that have suffered through extended hyper-inflationary periods Germany-1920’s/1930’s and Argentina – 1990s. It is not inconceivable that a similar event could possible take place in the United States.
What is it that I am talking about in regards to tangible goods one might ask? In this context, tangible goods literally translate to physical goods that you can hold in your possession. Items such as food, water, fuel, medical supplies, prescription medications, precious metals, as well as firearms and ammunition are just a few possibilities. The goods listed in the previous sentence are of course by no means a complete listing. The listing of goods is as varied and extensive as the person or persons that hold them.
You may be asking yourself what would be the values of stock piling some of the goods you use on a regular basis. That is a completely valid question and here are several answers:
1. Doing so would allow you to continue with your life with as much regularity as possible.
2. Stock piling could potentially save you money due to price increases and/or continued container size shrinkage.
3. Having a stock pile could provide you with the potential to barter for other goods and/or services you may require.
For example: How important is toilet paper to you? Even though it may seem a silly question, give it a thought, what would YOU use instead, pages from a phone book?
A concern that may come up in regards to stocking up is where to put it all. That can be a huge challenge but it isn’t insurmountable. For instance, toilet paper isn’t terribly heavy but it is bulky. So where to put it…a dry crawl space under the house (in tubs if necessary), the attic or even say under the couch could serve as a storage space. Be inventive.
One piece of advice I have on this is to stock up on the food and goods you normally use. If you are going to spend your money, spend it on items you are familiar with. As our dollars’ buying power lessens smart spending becomes all the more important.
1. Food – items that may be safely stored “long term” and that can be prepared without grid supplied electrical power. Be sure to include spices and condiments.
2. Water – access to a minimum of 3 gallons per person per day which will allow for hydration, sanitation, hygiene, and food preparation. This can best be achieved by a combination of storage, filtration and purification such as water filters or purification tablets.
3 . Fuel – having spare fuel for your primary vehicle (gas or diesel that is stored safely.) Propane for use in the barbecue, camping stoves and lanterns. Kerosene for use in lanterns.
4. Clothing – a variety of durable clothing including socks, underwear, and footwear for all household members. If smaller children are present 2-3 sets (Socks, underwear/diapers, and shoes) of clothing in the next 2-3 sizes is recommended.
5. Hygiene – this can be anything from shampoo, comb/brush, soaps (body, dish, and laundry), shaving products, dental care, feminine hygiene, deodorant, nail care, skincare, and last but certainly not least contraceptives. But these are not the things that you limited to.
6. Staples – things like matches, shoe laces, manual can openers, candles, hand tools are another huge item to have a good assorted of.
I would not presume to tell you what to do specifically because everyone’s situation is unique to them. But as the economic roller coaster we are strapped to continues its ride we need to do whatever we can to smooth the trip.