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10 Practical Steps That You Can Take To Insulate Yourself (At Least Somewhat) From The Coming Economic Collapse

Most Americans are still operating under the delusion that this "recession" will end and that the "good times" will return soon, but a growing minority of Americans are starting to realize that things are fundamentally changing and that they better start preparing for what is ahead. These "preppers" come from all over the political spectrum and from every age group.  More than at any other time in modern history, the American people lack faith in the U.S. economic system.  In dozens of previous columns, I have detailed the horrific economic problems that we are now facing in excruciating detail.  Many readers have started to complain that all I do is "scare" people and that I don't provide any practical solutions.  Well, not everyone can move to Montana and start a llama farm, but hopefully this article will give people some practical steps that they can take to insulate themselves (at least to an extent) from the coming economic collapse.

But before I get into what people need to do, let's take a minute to understand just how bad things are getting out there.  The economic numbers in the headlines go up and down and it can all be very confusing to most Americans.

However, there are two long-term trends that are very clear and that anyone can understand....

#1) The United States is getting poorer and is bleeding jobs every single month.

#2) The United States is getting into more debt every single month.

When you mention the trade deficit, most Americans roll their eyes and stop listening.  But that is a huge mistake, because the trade deficit is absolutely central to our problems.

Every single month, Americans buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  Every single month tens of billions of dollars more goes out of the country than comes into it.

That means that every single month the United States is getting poorer.

The excess goods and services that we buy from the rest of the world get "consumed" and the rest of the world ends up with more money than when they started.

Each year, hundreds of billions of dollars leave the United States and don't return.  The transfer of wealth that this represents is astounding.

But not only are we bleeding wealth, we are also bleeding jobs every single month.

The millions of jobs that the U.S. economy is losing to China, India and dozens of third world nations are not going to come back.  Middle class Americans have been placed in direct competition for jobs with workers on the other side of the world who are more than happy to work for little more than slave labor wages.  Until this changes the U.S. economy is going to continue to hemorrhage jobs.

The U.S. government has helped to mask much of this economic bleeding by unprecedented amounts of government spending and debt, but now the U.S. national debt exceeds 13 trillion dollars and is getting worse every single month.  Not only that, but state and local governments all over America are getting into ridiculous amounts of debt.

So, what we have got is a country that gets poorer every single month and loses jobs to other countries every single month and that has accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world which also gets worse every single month.

Needless to say, this cannot last indefinitely.  Eventually the whole thing is just going to collapse like a house of cards.

So what can we each individually do to somewhat insulate ourselves from the economic problems that are coming?....

1 - Get Out Of Debt: The old saying, "the borrower is the servant of the lender", is so incredibly true.  The key to insulating yourself from an economic meltdown is to become as independent as possible, and as long as you are in debt, you simply are not independent.  You don't want a horde of creditors chasing after you when things really start to get bad out there.

2 - Find New Sources Of Income: In 2010, there simply is not such a thing as job security.  If you are dependent on a job ("just over broke") for 100% of your income, you are in a very bad position.  There are thousands of different ways to make extra money.  What you don't want to do is to have all of your eggs in one basket.  One day when the economy melts down and you are out of a job are you going to be destitute or are you going to be okay?

3 - Reduce Your Expenses: Many Americans have left the rat race and have found ways to live on half or even on a quarter of what they were making previously.  It is possible - if you are willing to reduce your expenses.  In the future times are going to be tougher, so learn to start living with less today.

4 - Learn To Grow Your Own Food: Today the vast majority of Americans are completely dependent on being able to run down to the supermarket or to the local Wal-Mart to buy food.  But what happens when the U.S. dollar declines dramatically in value and it costs ten bucks to buy a loaf of bread?  If you learn to grow your own food (even if is just a small garden) you will be insulating yourself against rising food prices.  Storing up freeze dried food can also be a great way to prepare for what is coming.

5 - Make Sure You Have A Reliable Water Supply: Water shortages are popping up all over the globe.  Water is quickly becoming one of the "hottest" commodities out there.  Even in the United States, water shortages have been making headline news recently.  As we move into the future, it will be imperative for you and your family to have a reliable source of water.  Some Americans have learned to collect rainwater and many others are using advanced technology such as atmospheric water generators to provide water for their families.  But whatever you do, make sure that you are not caught without a decent source of water in the years ahead.

6 - Buy Land: This is a tough one, because prices are still quite high.  However, as we have written previously, home prices are going to be declining over the coming months, and eventually there are going to be some really great deals out there.  The truth is that you don't want to wait too long either, because once Helicopter Ben Bernanke's inflationary policies totally tank the value of the U.S. dollar, the price of everything (including land) is going to go sky high.  If you are able to buy land when prices are low, that is going to insulate you a great deal from the rising housing costs that will occur when the U.S dollar does totally go into the tank.

7 - Get Off The Grid: An increasing number of Americans are going "off the grid".  Essentially what that means is that they are attempting to operate independently of the utility companies.  In particular, going "off the grid" will enable you to insulate yourself from the rapidly rising energy prices that we are going to see in the future.  If you are able to produce energy for your own home, you won't be freaking out like your neighbors are when electricity prices triple someday.

8 - Store Non-Perishable Supplies: Non-perishable supplies are one investment that is sure to go up in value.  Not that you would resell them.  You store up non-perishable supplies because you are going to need them someday.  So why not stock up on the things that you are going to need now before they double or triple in price in the future?  Your money is not ever going to stretch any farther than it does right now.

9 - Develop Stronger Relationships: Americans have become very insular creatures.  We act like we don't need anyone or anything.  But the truth is that as the economy melts down we are going to need each other.  It is those that are developing strong relationships with family and friends right now that will be able to depend on them when times get hard.

10 - Get Educated And Stay Flexible: When times are stable, it is not that important to be informed because things pretty much stay the same.  However, when things are rapidly changing it is imperative to get educated and to stay informed so that you will know what to do.  The times ahead are going to require us all to be very flexible, and it is those who are willing to adapt that will do the best when things get tough.

Do you have any additional tips that you would like to share with us?  If so, please feel free to share them in the comments below....

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  • squarepegroundhole

    Great information. I would like to add #11. Get the stomach to act as the founding fathers did. For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. Thomas Jefferson Start making a list of leaders in your area to visit when the lights go out.

  • jimmy

    SODIS method for water – you just need clear plastic bottles.

    I personally have a van with which to put my supplie sin and i head for the hills to a safe location and setup camp. From there i secure the area and find somewhere solid to stashmy stuff.

    Trust me, think about it, water is the key to all of it. Humanbeings cannot do anything without steady drinking water. Mad max never thought about making sure he knew about solar disinfection as he had a film crew behind him. As long as you have water, you are able to function, and you are able to survive pretty much anything.

    All hail the plastic bottle!!

  • 50 Peso Gold

    If history is any indicator, large productive tracts of land will be siezed by the government (think Weimar Republic, Argentina, Zimbabwe)

    Form a coallition with friends and neighbors – stock up on items that can be used for barter

  • Anis Mohiuddin

    I guess another very very important ingredient to keep in mind – health, just stay healthy. Troubles in this area simply multiply.

    This is my experience in India where I stay and practice all of the above to keep going. Life for jobless is very tough here.

  • CKD

    What has happened to us? How did we decline from what was once the strongest nation in the world, to a bunch of whiny, sniveling, snobs and crybabies.

    Want to fix the country? Simple 7 step plan to do so.

    1. Get off your a$$ and stop waiting for someone else to fix your problem. Need money, get a job. Need more money, get a second job.

    2. Tired of giving the government money for nothing? Un-elect the trash, and try and get someone new in there. No one good is running, Run yourself.

    3. Disconnect Cable, internet, Sat Radio, or any other means of getting distractions or news that is disheartening. The gloom and doom news is a self fulfilling prophecy. You keep thinking and acting like the world is turning to crap, and it will do that.

    4. Get rid of the PlayStation, game boy, smart phone, and disconnect from the electronic world. I bet if you do, you have more time for number 1 above. And I bet you lose some of that stress

    5. Do not buy another product made in any other country other than US, Canada, or Mexico. Why in the crap are you folks buying the crap from countries who hope you FAIL? Buy American!

    6. Quit expecting a 10% or better raise every year of your life. Honestly, you don’t deserve it. Ever notice how the cost of things seem to match the average income? You make cars, you get a raise, the price of the car goes up to absorb your raise. Does this seem insane to anyone to think that the raise meant anything?

    7. Shut up. Stop whining. This ain’t Burger King. You don’t always get it your way. You get it Life’s way or you don’t get crap. Quit acting like the kids and act like the people that Americans once were and can be again.

    That’s my opinion. It ought to be yours.


  • vincent

    have a way to protect what you have!!!!!!

  • JRG

    I think that everyone needs a plan. I would hit Home Depot or Lowe’s and buy some fruit trees to provide food for your family in the future. Blueberry bushes are a good choice. Raspberries and Blackberries are also good choices for planting. Cherry and Apple trees.

    If this crash lasts a long time, you will benefit from these plants on your land. They will also give you something to barter with or bless others that have nothing.

  • keith

    Americans want low wages, no future retirment, no health insurance. How I can say this is due to most just buy from anywhere and not care as long as it is not their job on the line and very cheap. Like the very high paid union road construction workers here in NJ, that end of day job into a non union and sometimes non american made car. But let a non union guy go on “their” job. So just

  • Seve

    Getting the big picture? NOW? The very rich “Elites” are controlling our US Government, Media, and they are the ones making money with their Global Corporatism. Sorry American citizens, you no longer matter. All the US Gov leaders Congressmen have been bought out. Can not blame on Dems or Repubs, all the same. So Globalization will crush the Middle Class and make America a 3rd world nation…………….eventually. Our infrastructure will slowly crumble because of the jobs here that supported the tax base and society will erode. Us the very poor, jobless masses with no privacy, very controlled and few rights. The few very powerful Global “Elites” will have all the power. A new world order. Obama is just a puppet… as all the ones that come after him.

  • Mr Know It All

    To Karen W Poore:

    So you owe more on the house than it’s worth? As others mentioned, talk to an attorney about whether they can come after you if you walk. Also, get out your mortgage papers and read them if you have a copy. If after all that it appears they can’t come after your paycheck I’d walk. F— the banks and mortgage companines – THEY are a significant part of why we are in this mess due to lending to people who they KNEW could not pay back the loans.

    Consider this: if they can come after your paycheck, find out what price you could realistically expect to get for your home. If the remainder that you owe isn’t too large, maybe you could make the payments on that amount, and work out a payment plan with the bank. Just a thought.

    I would think bankruptcy would get rid of the house debt. I don’t know how it all works – hope I don’t have to find out, but these are scary times.

  • Irene
  • evelyn

    I am amazed that so few of these comments mention the Creator of the universe. With God, all things are possible. Preparations for any sort of disaster should begin with prayers asking the Great Spirit for individual guidance, as everyone’s situation is different and requires a different solution. Faith in God is the greatest survival tool of all.

  • kathleen

    The wealthy global elite has been propagan-dizing Americans in ever loudening volume about how Americnas will have to make do with less. Main took: Disaster-mongering –chicken-littling. It started in the 70′s but did not get serious until the late 90′s. One predicted doomsday crisis & disaster after another. Planet Green & most of the science channels are today’s biggest offenders. All designed to convince you you need less and they need more. All designed to get you to fail to notice our Government has been highjacked by the Central bank and by Global money interests who will create a world of wealthy and poor — like the world just a few hundred years ago. Running for the hills won’t help. Fact of the matter is if things become as dire as predicted, World War is going to determine the winners and losers. Best thing you can do now, besides trim your debt, is take back the American government from the worldwide criminal gangsters.

  • Rick

    Rick are you just plain financially ignorant? The rich are the ones who can afford to invest to provide jobs. I would love to have you tell em something that either business or God did not provide for you. You prattle on with a computer that was built by a business with power that was furnished by corporation with a belly full of food that was produced by a farmer. All of these producers are business and that have a great deal of capitalization behind them. Capital only comes from people with wealth. How many jobs have you created? The government produces nothing but friction and dead weight to business. Keep government small and you will see prosperity bloom. If you tax the people who produce enough then they will no make all the things that you seem to be using. And then YOU will have nothing as you are one of the non producers.

  • B.J.

    Spam,Rice,Beans,canvas,bedroll, & any water source.
    That is all you need if you don’t need medication.
    Find a place to stash & crash!

  • Sharon Baker

    To the young unemployed college graduate or similar. Don’t despair over your lack of time or youth. Surely for everyone like you there are preppers like me who would benefit by teaming up with someone younger and fitter. I am a single mum with a teenage boy away at school. my parents are 70 yrs old. I have the rescources and preps, big house, productive garden and the opportunity to potentially move and go off grid etc, but I just couldn’t manage a property on my own. not will we be able to handle security, although my son and I are learning shooting and I am working on it. Even as one person how can I master all the different areas needed? So work on your knowledge and skills, attitudes and physical health and you will be a valuable part of a team..
    At this stage, we have decided to stay put in a small rural town as the infrastructure I already have and relationships built over ten years means that in all but the most extreme scenarios we can band together and establish a local economy. Some things we can do for ourselves power, water, food, but for security, communications and so on, we will need help from others with more skills and time, land and so on. But my preference would have been to move to a farm if I had a way to do that, such as someone to take care of it while I got out of here, someone to help move and establish more supplies, someone to help day to day. Even if nothing bad happened, it would free us from the rat race, provide us with healthier food and a rewarding lifestyle close to the land.

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