One aspect of survival that is often overlooked is currency. Money is important for several reasons, first you need some form of money to buy supplies, second having currency that you can use on hand allows you to be more flexible when a bad situation arises. It doesn’t matter whether your area has fallen due to a natural disaster, or military occupation, having certain types and amounts of currency on hand allows for you to be flexible about getting supplies. The biggest debate about currency amongst survivalist is which type to have, credit, cash, or hard currency.
Credit Cards Credit Cards or digital currency is great for those people who do not want to carry large amounts of cash on them. The ability to take a card and swipe it through a machine to make a purchase is a relatively common and safe practice in today’s society. With a credit card you can buy supplies from anywhere in the world and have it delivered to your home. Credit Cards also make transactions at stores much faster and you never have to worry about being short changed at stores. Credit Cards simply make life easier, until power is lost. Once a disaster hits and power is lost for multiple days, stores cannot use credit cards because he systems needs to process credit cards have shut down. Credit Cards can be a great resource, unfortunately not so much in a disaster situation. For the person who wants to be prepared, credit cards are not a perfect solution.
Cash Cash is usually a great choice to have for transactions. It does not matter whether the power is out, or you are trying to haggle with someone on the price of something, how much cash you have on hand tends to be the deciding factor. A good example of how cash tends to get people’s attention is car sales. In the Auto sales industry, the dealer wants to get as much money up front as possible especially in economic recessions. If you want to buy a car and the price is 20,000 dollars, and you walk into the dealership with only 17,000 in cash, the dealer is going to be more likely to want to deal with you than and willing to sell the car for less because you have cash on hand. Like wise in a disaster situation if you have cash versus a credit card you are more than likely going to be able to negotiate for goods a great deal easier.
One big question is how much cash to keep on hand for a disaster situation? Typically you would want to have a sizable amount of money on hand. For today’s economy the best amount to have on hand is about 1/3rd of your house worth. For example if you have a 300,000 dollar home, you would want to have about 100,000 dollars on hand to deal with uncertain situations.
I know that putting 1/3rd of your house worth into cash on hand is not an easy task. However starting off you do not need to put much money back. Start by putting 100$ back per month and slowly build up your savings. At a minimum you should have about 5,000$ on hand to help with disaster situations. Remember though the more cash on hand that you have the better your chances are at negotiating with people.
Hard Currency Hard Currency is gold and silver. A misconception is that gold and silver are absolutely necessary in order to be prepared for any kind of disaster. This could not be any further from the truth. Gold and silver are wonderful pieces of currency to have however they come at a price, weight. Paper currency and credit cards are light weight. However not everyone will want the currency that you have. However if you have gold or silver you have a better chance at bartering with people.
Gold and silver tend to not loose their value. In situations where money is scarce people like to deal in gold and silver because gold and silver tend to appreciate in value. The draw back is that gold and silver currency is not accepted at major retailers. Large corporations tend to not accept gold or silver for currency even though it is worth more. However if you find a small shop with a local owner you should be able to use gold and silver.
Gold and Silver is also good for dealing with people internationally. If you are in a country where the financial market is not as strong as others, Somalia for example, you can use gold and silver to barter with local merchants for the goods that you need. Again the amount of hard currency that you can carry is limited due to weight, you can carry more if you have some type of vehicle.
Types of Hard Currency Hard Currency comes in three forms; bar, rounds, and coins. A bar of hard currency is a bar of either gold or silver. Typically bars come in three denominations, 1 lb, 10 ounces, and 1 ounce. These are great to use for large currency transactions, however they are not too practical for the individual person.
A round is a coin shaped piece of gold or silver and typically comes in 1 ounce pieces. These are great because it allows you to carry a great deal of hard currency in small pieces. This form tends to be harder to use though because it is in solid 1 ounce pieces. These coins tend to be the best to have, especially for travelers.
Coined gold or silver is the best to have. It comes in small and large denominations and you can carry large amounts of coins for a small amount of space. Unfortunately using coined gold and silver is getting harder and harder since fewer economies are still minting gold and silver coins.
The best method of currency to have on hand for disaster situations is a mixture of all of them. Digital currency, Cash, and Hard Currency, work best when they are employed together. In a disaster situation, having the ability to buy supplies is very important however you cannot always guarantee that digital currency will be accepted. What if you are in a economic disaster as well? Then you might have trouble with your paper currency as well, having the ability to call on all types of currency is a great plan. You do not have to be part of the top 1% to prepare financially, but it does take some planning. First you have to build up your cash on hand, work on your credit score so your credit card is near perfect, and over time acquire some gold and silver.
Money will only help you in a bad situation. It will not solve all of your problems. You still need to have the skills and abilities to deal with situations that money can solve.