Personal Financial SHTF Plan B

Plan B for Personal Financial SHTF

Guest article by ‘CD in Oklahoma’

In the event of a Financial SHTF as an individual, do you have a “Plan B” if your normal stream of income is suddenly interrupted?

Loss of personal income can be very much of a disaster for nearly anyone whether you’re working for others, retired, or are a small business owner.

(My definition of a Financial SHTF is any event that affects my financial well-being, regardless of whether it affects anyone else or not.)


What If

Let’s say that today you’re still in the workforce and your job ends. Are you planning on transferring to another company doing basically the same work, or what?

If you’re retired and depend on a pension, Social Security, and/or Wall Street and that money ends or decreases, have you got a way in mind to replace that lost income?

If you’re a Micro Business owner, and your clients/customers suddenly are not able or willing to purchase your existing goods or services, do you have other goods or services in mind that they (or others) might purchase?


Formulating a Plan B

Thinking about what you would do if money got tight is a beneficial exercise.

You should always be thinking about a back-up plan.

The world doesn’t have to end for things to get really bleak on the home front financially. It could be just you and your income that is affected.

So, no matter which of the three groups above you fall under; let’s think about your Plan B.


Plan B – Doing What?

Providing goods or services is one answer. Relocating could be a solution.

We’ve all probably heard the term “reinventing yourself”, and in a SHTF situation, that may be exactly what you’ll have to do.

Relying on what you know may be a decent strategy, but there are some details that one needs to keep in mind to avoid pitfalls. There may be a significant learning curve to make the change.

– If you’ve been in retail before, what if anything has changed?
– What goods will you sell? To whom? Selling from stash or regular restocking?
– If entering retail for the first time, how do you get started?
– Is the new retail business in a shop, at home, or where? What are the differences?
– Can you combine retail sales with a compatible service?
– If you’re going to provide a service, have you done it before?
– Are you still physically able to provide a past service you’ve done?
– If it’s a new service, how do you get started? Where? For whom?
– If your service is currently a hobby, how do you transition it into profit producing?
– If you have to relocate, where will you go? How? Why there?


Selecting a Plan B

So, you’ve thought it over and come up with a Plan B just for you. Now the time has come to begin fine-tuning this new venture adventure.

You’ve decided where you might be able to relocate to so that you can work for someone else, or you’ve selected the best goods or services that you might be able to provide for income.

The next step is to do some serious thinking and research about your selection now while there’s time and you don’t have to rely on it to live. What are the chances of your relocation being successful?

In the case of goods and services, are you going to be able to do any groundwork now to further your venture, like acquiring tools, equipment, or facilities that will be needed?

Can you begin selling your goods or conducting your service on a part-time basis now?

I believe that a new personal venture has more chance of being successful if you can begin the process before you’re in dire need of it for livelihood.

Unfortunately, not everyone will have the time or energy to do what they’re doing now plus add on a side gig, but if you can’t physically do it, at least you can still be thinking about it and researching it.


Success Stories

Just the thought of personal financial SHTF causes great concern for most folks, and can seem so potentially devastating as to think it may be impossible to make it through it. But if you look around there are many success stories for encouragement.

People start up full-time small retail businesses, boutiques, and shops regularly.

People with simply a new idea have started successful service ventures.

All sorts of hobbies have been turned into small service businesses, including sewing, car mechanics, home repairs, pet grooming, house cleaning, delivery services, computer repair, etc.

The list goes on and on, and don’t forget about firing up a top-three online survival weblog!

Think about your Financial Plan B. I’m sure that there are other success stories and potential Plan B ideas out there that could be valuable to readers, so please share them in the comments.

– CD in Oklahoma

Books: ‘Small Business’


  1. Quite appropriate considering the mess im in at the moment, starts feeling like your pretty much just screwed, long term anyway,
    Have been trying to get out of this mess i landed in so i can even get to where plan B could be a possibility, am close but still just not there,
    I do have a lot to be thankful for, and i am, but sometimes it just feels like being stuck in a tunnel.
    The plan B is there, actually a whole lot of options, its just s matter of how exactly to get plan B to start generating income. And then, is it going to be enough income?
    Typically, i just let it go and the good lord works it out, am going to stick with that, feels like maybe im being tested, is either that or this is opening a window to show me what i DONT want to do. At the very least this thing im trying to finish up is definitely a lesson of one way to NOT do things.

    1. Good morning Nailbanger
      I see there is a report of a volcanic eruption on the big island. I hope you are safe. All the best laid plans go out the window when nature brings disaster.

      1. Thanks Hermit
        We are quite far away, so all good, damn!
        That area is real active, has been as long as i can remember and when i was a kid my folks had friends who lived by the ocean down below there, the 1960 flow that destroyed Kapoho town literally went around the little spot where they and a few dozen other homes were on both sides and into the ocean creating a little keypuka as we call them or a green spot in the middle of a lava flow.
        How would that be though to have a fountaining volcano running right through the middle of your subdivision! Not the best place to buy land,

        1. Hmm… sounds like opportunity to me. Especially in Hawaii. You cannot exactly get contractors and disaster workers from the mainland quickly or affordably. Not wishing anyone harm or loss of property… but volcanoes have a long history as natures ‘reset’ button.

        2. McGyver
          Who has the time to wait for that crap to cool and then find you can not do a thing with that lava rock. Best to choose your battles and know when to duck.

        3. McGyver
          Yes and no
          Yes there may be some opportunity, but most of the folks affected are not exactly rollin in the dough, they bought land out there because it was inexpensive but now they are screwed, lots of issues on that island, well and here in the entire state as well, gubermint is like Ca, they like being overlords! So really got to fly under the radar.

    2. With the dh having a chronic illness, I am with you—letting God help and guide us.

    3. When I saw the volcano erupted i though of ufirst. Glad to see you are ok

      1. Thank yall for the concern, were good though, is a couple hundred miles away and on another island from us.
        They just had a 6.9 earthquake less than sn hour ago, guess its getting pretty serious, they could have much larger ones as well. That island is ALIVE!

    4. I like your plan of sticking with God. Your faith in God will show where He is leading you. Have patience and watch.

  2. Excellent article CD. First off though I know unless your reading and posting to MSB from a hospital bed all of us can do something as a side gig.

    As mentioned by many others the main things are ID a Need vs. a Want. For example starting a tanning salon is a Want business and when cash gets short those businesses are doomed. However if your agile enough and willing Chimney Sweeping is a viable side gig. If you burn wood more than for a romantic evening you KNOW you need that chimney swept regularly.

    Second main issue is RELIABILITY or trustworthiness. When you start out they do not know you from any other provider of a service. Showing up for a job wearing rags and smoking a butt might not generate the level of trust that gets you a REFERRAL to the next job. You are selling a PRODUCT or Service… Yourself and what tools and skills you bring to the situation.

    REPUTATION takes a long time to build up and seconds to destroy.

    Thirdly KNOW your limitations and obey them. IF your terrified of heights then tree trimming or chimney sweeping will not work. Your forcing yourself beyond that fear will create a accident and now what? If your a decent painter (Not the best side gig given almost everybody knows a painter or three so lots of competition) but work solo DO NOT take on a Job painting a 3000 square foot lakeside mansion. Your Failure in that effort will be well Broadcast to the neighborhood. The loss of reputation is to be avoided.

    One the same note anyone you Hire IS YOU in the eyes of the customer. Do you trust that person with your reputation? Liability is also a real issue, too many folks are eager to sue you for anything to get some easy cash for their “sufferings and losses”.

    Oh an learn who to hire your self out to. I have found that doing jobs for Relatives, Clergy and the Pseudo-Rich Credit Card lovers tend NOT to pay on time OR the amounts promised. Expect some jobs are a loss of time and money and learn that lesson and move on. Lawyers only love your money and get paid forever…

    1. NHM
      “Learn who to hire your self out to”
      Am learning that riiiiight now!
      Pseudo rich leftist garbage, not the people to work for

      1. Also, along the lines of reputation destruction, no matter how nice of a job you have done they will only pick out the bad stuff.

    2. Just don’t work for lawyers. They can’t be trusted. As far as the the lakeside house goes my Dad was a painting contractor. He did a house for a lawyer who specified that he wanted a certain type of paint as a primer then named the second coat. Dad did the painting and asked for payment. The lawyer said you haven’t finished it needs the final coat. Dad said he put the second coat on after he primed it and the lawyer said no, that was the second coat of primer. This is what I want as the final coat. Dad couldn’t do the job at the amount agreed on. lawyer got a free paint job.

      Brother took over the business after Dad passed on. He did a job for a lawyer who required him to take out a liability insurance policy. when he was done the lawyer asked to see the policy. When he couldn’t produce it the lawyer wouldn’t pay.

      The devil is in the details.

      I’ll add that my Dad was a stickler for the job. He also had the reputation as the best painting contractor in a metropolitan area of well over a million people. It got hard for him towards the end as builders started going for the bottom line and gave the contracts to lower end competitors. The quality wasn’t there but it was good enough for a non discerning customer.

      1. And that is part of the reason that people, especially small business, want some money up front. half to start and half at the finish or at least pay for materials up front. Also part of the reason for higher prices-

        1. There’s a downside to that. We got involved with a company that had a very good reputation on BBB, lots of good reviews, looked great. Paid half up front for a job and the job never got done. Wouldn’t return out phone calls, and finally skipped town entirely. Turned out the “company” we’d contracted with was using this other company’s name and reputation. Never got the money back, the job was never done.

        2. Have to always be aware of the “Travelers”. They are everywhere.

    3. NH Michael,

      You have brought up so many very valid considerations. My reputation is something I guard very closely. My beach customer recently asked me to take on a job well beyond anything I’ve done before. There is some collapsing structure due to termite damage that has been patched over for 30 years. It’s one of those where one really can’t know the extent of damage until it is torn into… and by then I’ll be committed and God forbid, the city might take note. Sorry but over-hanging, 8×12 structural beams that flex and lean 3 degrees downward scares the crap out of me. That isn’t “handy man” work. Yet the customer is applying a fair amount of pressure for me to take on the project. This might end up one of those loser jobs where I sub-contract a real expert to come in and help on this first of a kind repair. I don’t want to say no to a customer… yet I’d hate to deal with the aftermath of a project gone wrong… ya know, like… the second story collapsing. Dealing with illogical people is tough, wish I could avoid it. My “partner” was supposed to handle all that.

      1. Find something else bud,,,
        Im digging my azz out of one of those as i type this,,,
        God will ing i can walk away in a few more weeks

        1. Nailbanger,
          Dealing with some folks is like trying to pick up the clean of a t**d . Thankfully , most folks are pretty fair .

      2. McGyver
        Price it as a complete rebuild and tell the customer that you will salvage as much as you can – that is after you have several quotes from reputable builders for reconstruction of the house. Have the home builder put you under their permits and insurance so you are not a target of the City.
        Run like hell. ;)

      3. These days with Yelp and social media I feel for the contractors out there. Just lay it on the line. I do not feel comfortable with this job it is not my expertise. Since they are pressing you it makes me think maybe they want you do the ground work for them. Then they will hire the contractor themselves?!

      4. I tell my salesman sometime knowing when to walk away is a hard discission but it always pays off.

        1. I agreed entirely regarding the decision to walk away. It also relates to other parts of life too. It’s not easy for everyone to do that, but it likely will be better in the longer run…

        2. Ken walking away is a skill set most of us suffer about. How many folks KNOW they are living in a trap of ever expanding regulations and such yet cannot cut the losses and RUN.

          Remember the City of Pompeii Italy. They kept telling themselves that the mountain has always rumbled and all is good.

        3. Thats where im at and the only reason im thinking of moving, perhaps quickly and without telling anyone,,,,
          First sign of BS fallout from the owner of this nightmare ive been rebuilding and im gone….

      5. McGyver,
        Just walk away Dude! the reason you have not jumped at the contract is your gut telling you it is a trap! As an engineer I have been called on several jobs similar to the one you are facing. I just politely told the owner that I could not help them. When the owner protested, I just told them I was a good engineer not God. Choose your battles wisely.

        1. Minerjim, and all… thanks for the advice. I’m going to pass on it. There is also a third party who is gassing this, seems to think I can do anything. It’s flattering for sure, but I’m leaving this one to the experts. I’ll be down there all weekend doing lesser jobs. Hopefully the owner will appreciate what I did do, as well as the decision to not get involved with the nightmare out front.

      6. McGyver

        —agree with others…..”walk away”////need an excuse to maintain relationship? —hurt back/relative is sick/too busy with other work/allergic to termites/not familiar with all the ins and outs so you suggest he gets someone specifically qualified on these issues /etc…–It is sort of a red flag to me that customer is applying a “fair amount of pressure for you to take job”…— says to me that maybe he realises it is a big mess, but you are the sort who once you start will stick to the price quoted and stick to the job…(even if it costs you time/money/trouble with inspectors etc)…It sounds a bit of a sucker bet.
        –let us know how it goes/what you decide.

  3. I think it would be a pretty long stretch to call house cleaning a hobby. My DW would probably disagree. Problem is, she always wants me to get involved with her “hobby”. But yeah, it would work. Lots of folks that need the home cleaned and don’t have the time, desire or skills to do it themselves.

    Now if I could only get her involved with my hobbies…..

    1. Honestly Me look at it as fulfilling a NEED and if you are selective in picking your customers (and learn quick to dump the bad customers BUT do NOT trash Talk them) you get REFFERALS and ongoing semi-contracts :-) Trash talking destroys YOUR Reputation more than the scumbag that screws you. Take the loss, LEARN the Lesson and Move On.

      I made a very nice summers bundle cleaning Fiberglass Boats, Docks and Decks in Baltimore MD while I was working at Johns Hopkins. Heard a Doctor complaining about the lack of quality and reliability in getting his Boat Detailed and I did it for him very well. Many referrals later I had 4 strong young hardworking college kids doing it for me for two summers. What set my guys apart was Reliability, Attention to Detail AND we showed up in a clean vehicle, clean equipment Dickies brand khakis and Shirts and NO Smoking. The JOBSITE was left Clean and that generates good relationships with Marina onlookers who then hire you.

  4. I just cannot do the corporate thing anymore. So many self-aggrandizing douche-nozzles all ready to stomp on your fingers to keep a guy from climbing their clubhouse ladder. My last job ended last October, I saw it coming a mile away and frankly, I milked it for several months. This was, after all, the boss who drove me to an Emergency Room twice, with stage 4 hypertension, a battle I’m still trying to get under control. Maybe that makes me sound weak… but seriously this guy has a 25 year track record of destroying lives for personal gain. I don’t think there is a coping mechanism for that level of sadistic evil.

    Last October, I had a “business partner”; very experienced in my field. An offer was made to fund my start-up, 100% for the first year, including a decent salary so I would only have to worry about growing the business. Great! In fact a lot of creativity happened over the next few months. I got a website up and running. I cobbled together some sort of envelope based accounting system. I purchased new work truck and I outfitted it with many thousands of dollars worth of tools, welding equipment, big generator and a modest parts inventory for more popular equipment. all I needed then was a customer.

    Sometime over Christmas, my partner had a change of heart. Illness and family strife and other business dealings took a toll. My partner bailed on me with a promise that I would be “just fine”. Yeah…. great. I repair equipment and I do a decent job at failure analysis reports. I get chills down my spine when dealing with regulatory and legal stuff which is a cancer on business in California.

    So, onward and awkward, no turning back now. I got a call from a recruiter yesterday with a very nice job offer… salary wise. BUT, it is at least 50% international travel on short notice. I’ll tease that one out and fully evaluate it…. but life in a winged cattle car gets old, I’ve done that for 30 years.

    The last two nights I’ve come home looking like a half-baked coal miner. Today my hands are almost clean again and I will be shortly sending an $800 invoice for about 6 hours of specialized, on-site service. So yesterday was worth it. Most of March was worth it. But April, I could hardly scrape together my truck payment.

    It truly is a gig economy. When the trucking stuff falls off, I’ve got another gig down near the beach, basically un-farking the work done by a “dreamer” who got deported. (Thank you Donald! It’s better than nothing). It pays amigo wages, but the customer now realizes what old-school AMERICAN workmanship looks like. This should lead to other referrals; mostly on the west side, which is a huge hassle, but whatever. Leave at 4am and return at 8pm, no problem.

    I don’t know what to do anymore except literally live day by day. Get up, take deep breaths, check the BP, peek in on MSB, then go figure out what needs doing. It’s certainly not the America I grew up in or was promised. Another great, relevant and engaging article!

    1. McGyver.
      Im living that one right now Bro
      Day by day, if i look too far into the future i start getting into a real dark spot in my head so got to try and not go there.

    2. I hear you Mac Gyver loud and clear. However I stress getting into side jobs that require little in the way of money up front and regulations.

      My Boat detailing required attention to detail etc. but money wise a pressure washer (I rented the first few jobs) some cleaning supplies and a decent vehicle.

      Know the rules of the game esp. in CA as far as regulations and regulations and ……..

      1. NH Michael,

        It’s a double edged sword. The work I do on trucks is so narrow in scope, so ugly and nasty, and so widely variable based on different manufacturer interfaces… that even the CA government has sort of ignored this sub-industry. Generally the work should fall to an ASE certified technician, but there really isn’t a relevant specialty. Any technician worth his salt will run and hide when one of these jobs shows up.

        I know all about it, because I spent 10 years traveling all over teaching classes on these repairs, and indeed I was the guy who issued the certificates to technicians for this kind of work. They still don’t want to touch it. So many times fleets and class 8 dealerships, if they know and trust you, would rather you just show up after hours, fix the stuff and be on your way. It could really be a decent little business, once I’m no longer the guy crawling around in the muck and swinging the wrench.

  5. CD
    Nice machine.
    A retrofit? My sailrite machine could be set up as a treadle, not sure the cobra could though, might work for thin leather but not so sure it would work sewing harness leather, might be worth rigging it and trying it though,

    1. Nailbanger – Thank you, yes. The machine is a 1950s Singer 319W zigzag machine that I converted from electric to treadle (removed the motor & light, and replaced the hand wheel). It’s mounted in a German-built 1960 Singer “Artisan” treadle cabinet that’s a generous 18”W x 36”L. It’s my jeans mending unit (size 11 needle, Tex30 thread), and gets plenty of use. I’ve got a Singer 20U zigzag machine (size 18 needle, Tex92 thread) mounted in an industrial treadle, so your Sailrite should be ok to treadle. I don’t know about treadling the Cobra.

      CD in Oklahoma

      1. CD
        My GF thinks im a bit nutty with my sewing machines, im not real good with em but can stitch up some useful stuff and it doesnt look half bad, or can mend all my clothes, pretty much live in bluejeans so is easy. My direction i want to go is toward custom upholstery and actually making furniture, most of the stuff available now days is just crap. Keep stitching!

  6. 30 years ago I had my financial SHTF event or so I thought at the time. The Houston oil patch economie was in shambles, I was an engineer and I was just fired, not laid off. Everyone in my group was terminated (fired). We were now competing for the few jobs out there. We were fired because that way the company had no legal obligation to pay to unemployment. That firing scared the he!! out of me – My company fired who – ME! Well, I got a job in 6 weeks but I learned a valuable lesson. I was determined to never let that happen again.

    I continued my advanced education. I expanded my real job experiences in other fields. I continued to watch the financial health of whatever company I worked for and as soon as I saw that the company was in financial trouble I moved on. Loyalty to a company is so much B.S., manage loyalty to employees is a joke. I always got myself involved in projects that were the most valuable to the company to appear to be a most valuable employee.
    Today, there is a new type of financial problem facing people – the loss of our entire economic system. That is why I spend so much time, energy, and money getting experience in how to live on the food that I can produce right here on the ranch and not depend on anything or anyone for what I need for myself/family. The best thing that ever happened to me was getting fired – that opened my eyes. Sorry this is long winded but this life experience is important to me. Good day to all

    1. Loyalty to the company is B.S. Amen to that.Ggive your heart and soul and then get terminated so more people can be hired at less money.

      From the HR standpoint you’re just another part of raw material necessary to produce the final product.

      1. Agree totally with that. As soon as they don’t need your gone. Stuff the ra ra crap. Used to work at the big box buy it all in one place businesses. Crap low wages and they harangued you to buy your grocery there. Nah, I buy where I get the most bang for the buck.

    2. “St. Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go,
      I owe my soul to the company store.”

      It’s real, and it’s been real for a very long time.

      1. Tennessee Ernie Ford…? Lauren, did we know each other in a previous life?

        1. When I was a kid my Dad was always singing random songs. Give him a word, he had a song to match.

          “Say mister how do I get this car

  7. As a former business owner I can tell you that some customers you are better off without. We had more than a few customers that expected everything for next to nothing. In those cases you have to “fire your customer”. When we started our business we were the cheapest around, so of course we had all the cheapskates call us. We had one customer in particular that after several service calls we decided we were losing too much on this customer. So when he called again we told him that since he doesn’t seem to be happy with our work that he should call someone else. He was pissed to say the least. We had heard that he ended up at a higher charging service business. Basically he had been to other businesses pulling the same stuff. In the end he hurt himself because he ended up with a much higher competitor.
    Also be very careful working for lawyers. Our experiences with lawyers was disheartening. Some of our slowest paying customers were lawyers. Also some were quick to threaten suing if they weren’t happy. Ya we dropped allot of them as well.

    1. Peanut,

      Ditto on the ‘Loyahs’. No effing way! Ditto on certain demographic groups too who needn’t be precisely named. Basically anyone with an entitlement mentality should be repellent. One does quickly develop a sixth sense for that kind of thing.

      I’ve passed on jobs where the customer wanted a band-aid fix on a dangerous problem. Right? So when someone gets hurt, I was the last ‘tech’ with hands on it. No thanks! I can eat Ramen another week, no problem. Much easier than defending oneself in court.

  8. I really wish I could make a living from my writing. Since I’m horrible at marketing I guess I’ll have to find something else. I considered making fully lined reversible bags, but they’re all over the place. I considered editing, tried manuscript evaluation for a while, but again I’m horrible at marketing. Etc.

    I don’t have any “marketable” experience in garden design, or at least none that people are willing to pay for. Really I’m a JOATMON. So I use the skills I have to cushion the inevitable when it does arrive. Food independence (or at least working on it), no debt, and a paid-for house. Learning how to do my own repairs. Stuff that prevents money from going out the door.

    1. Lauren,

      You are horrible at marketing. Takes one to know one. ;>) Because your writing is far superior and more engaging than anything coming out of J school or ‘the media’ at large these days.

      I’ve never even thought about how to make a living at writing, aside from the occasional technical content I have to produce. Some random ideas percolating in my head:

      1. Short stories, topical essays for entities such as NPR/PBS
      2. Writer for National Geographic, on-location, etc.
      3. Amazon and Netflix are now producing their own content, surely they need writers without Hollywood salary demands.
      4. Producer of home schooling lessons and textbooks.
      5. Start your own ‘how-to’ website; you have a lot to share and do so articulately… for free, so far, apparently.
      6. Script writer for corporate videos… grit your teeth… they pay.

      Don’t get tunnel vision, it’s a life waster.

    2. Lauren don’t get discouraged. Just keep learning and doing. If it is meant to be, it will happen. I am retired now, and have no plans on going back to work. However in a SHTF world I have “killer Kombucha making skills” as my DD often tells me. Actually everyone I give my Kombucha too tells me to market and sell it. I am not interested in the complicated process of starting a new business especially in the food producing field. Way too many regulations. However after a reset, I will gladly barter my Kombucha for things I may need at that time. So for now, I just brew and share. Its also a good way to market yourself. Free samples.

      1. Peanut Gallery be careful about selling home brewed foods. Lots of legal issues and Traps there.

        1. @NH Michael, that’s why I wont sell it. It will be great for barter after the reset.

        2. Peanut Gallery now I am researching Canola Oil as it seems to fill a real NEED after SHTF. That and it helps feed my critters after Purina Critter Chow is off line.

    3. Lauren
      I’m sure JK Rowling felt the same sitting in that coffee shop day after day writing some fantasy story.
      When you find that inspiration for a certain topic, you will be noticed and consulted for big money, I hope.

    4. Lauren, if I am not mistaking you live in NM and my two trips there tell me it is on the arid side with sparse landscape and you are making it work in your favor. You do write very well and with authority. So McGyver has a great idea. Hone those skills you love into profit. Maybe become a greenhouse consultant for others in the area.

    5. Lauren do you know what an “Expert” is? A guy from out of town with a suitcase. :-)

      Your ABILITY to Garden and thus Plan Gardens for others is WELL PROVEN. Please stop cutting yourself short. Can you research low water garden planning online? I bet you already do. Can you take an EXPENSIVE Plant and PROPAGATE it from experience or You Tube? I bet you can.

      I have paid for my garden plants by Organically propagating them and selling them for a fair price. I use organic compost tea don’t you? Organic is a great selling point. Now personally I cannot understand why an Organic Ornamental Plant should be more than conventionally grown plant but hey Ride the Wave!

      Last year I made several hundred dollars cash for Organically Propagated Heirloom Roses. I saw some old graveyard roses that had survived neglect for years and smelled wonderful. I asked for some cuttings and off I went. For the hours spent doing it I gathered over 25.00 an hour doing something FUN. About time for me to start more for this year.

      If you study webpages from noted gardeners you cannot say you “Studied under or was trained under” but you can say your well versed in “So and So” methods of semi-arid gardening. Take pretty photos of your successes, make a Power Point style for your laptop and dress for success.

      1. Some of the many “plan B” options that I’m considering. People will pay for a physical product far more easily than a service.

    6. Lauren
      Nope don’t give up on writing.
      U love it and are good at it,
      Is there anyone with marketing experience that u know of that could give u a step up.for little or no cost?
      I’m.just throwing it out there because my son’s soon to be (can’t spell fiance?) is a new marketeer and is helping GF with her ideas.
      Don’t give up

      1. I have no intention of quitting. When they nail shut the coffin I’ll be pounding on the lid demanding they listen to one more story. :)

        Which is why they’ll nail it shut, of course, to keep me from escaping. It’s that pesky making a living thing that has me stumped.

        1. Stubborn just like me. Lol
          Where there is a will, there is a way.
          Go get em!

    7. I used to do writing and articles for Log Home Magazines, even wrote a 32 page Quarterly for 2 years but I didn’t get paid for them, but the experience of submitting something will help you get your foot in the door of a paying job. Believe me, I had a friend who wrote for the paper on home projects by interviewing people, and she never got past the 10th grade. She submitted some interview articles for free and was hired. What ever you do, always be ready to submit something free…..when I got into sewing primitives, I got full price for a pair of leggings, but offered the breechclout for free that goes with it. It manifested into a 120K yr business.

      BTW, reversible bags is not a bad idea, but you have to be unique to set yourself apart from the rest…Alligator skin/snakeskin bags are an example.

  9. I’v been self employed almost my entire adult life. Plenty of hardship, success and complete crash n burn failure. If you go the self-employed rout be prepared to receive a lot of rejection in sales and financial. You may actually have to work for less money per hour in order to compete in the open market.
    The trade off is PURE FREEDOM! If your boss is a A……le then tell him to take a hike “oh wait i’m the boss” :) I am such jerk ;)
    My advice make sure you do something completely different from all of those around you.
    Example in Florida don’t be a AC repair Guy or landscaper… Everybody and the their mother swamps these industries… Set yourself apart from the crowd and be unique!
    Also develop hobbies that you can monetize for extra $$$ My wife sells used fat lady clothing on Ebay. We also sell antiques we get from auction. Makes $300-$700 profit a month. Golf is a complete and useless waste of time and money.

  10. I have lived my personal SHTF situation. I have worked in the automotive industry all of my life. Most of this has been in the body shop. I have also worked in maintenance on heavy equipment, tanks and trucks while in the Army. After having 2 back surgeries I am no longer able to do the heavy stuff and have a hard time keeping up in the body shop. I work in the parts department now. I still take in some small side jobs. I have been learning to be a blacksmith. I have a coal forge and I’m learning what kinds of scrap metal I can use to make things. I am using a coal forge and scrap metal so I can make stuff without power or store bought supplies. I know blacksmithing is not the best option for a bad back but I am setting everything up so I can work while sitting.

    1. Car Guy, caltrops. I looked into buying some and most do not even puncture the newer tires which is what one would want in their driveway or on the roads. Now maybe I did not find the best place to purchase. They are not cheap either. Just a crazy idea for you.

      1. Mrs.USMCBG
        They can be made from 2 nails twisted together and the heads cut off. They are very effective and chew a hole that is too big to plug. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

        1. Sorry car guy the twisted nail version works poorly on current steel belted tires. Had some jerkoff try it on my tires. I picked them out of my tires for two days and this story will stop at that.

          Welded 3 inch high works a lot better. Don’t ask why I know.

  11. This will sound a bit crazy and out of Atlas Shrugged: make them pay you for your brain not just your brawn. Ask yourself why the lawyers, consultants, lobbyists, …. make all the money while the people that actually product stuff make little.
    For me, it was retraining to start a drafting and design company where ideas were sought and paid for, especially if I could save them money on a project.

  12. personally, i think getting debit free is one of the most important things to do. It is not easy but it also makes a financial SHTF more manageable. No payments means less income is needed.

  13. Thanking the good Lord that I’ve always worked for myself. During my senior year of high school they offered the chance to go to Beauty school for half a day as part of the curriculum. When I graduated from high school I had half of the required hours in and got a full scholarship for the rest of the hours. So, I got a free education. Not that everyone thought much of being a hairdresser was a good job for a straight A student. Well it was a blessing for me especially when my children were small. I was able to stay home and work from there. I’ve always been able to take care of myself when I had to, choose my own hours and days off, and not have to worry about getting laid off. I count myself lucky.
    I also am a very proficient seamstress. I just acquired a treadle sewing machine that I’m sure will be worth it’s weight in gold if the grid goes down. My Mr is a retired pipefitter. He also raises composting worms which is another need for gardeners. I think between the two of us we should be okay. We have skills others need and are also good bartering tools.
    One thing I have learned the hard way is that people will always try to take advantage of you if you let them. Also don’t sell yourself short and charge enough for your services.

    1. Miss I Made It Myself said: “I also am a very proficient seamstress. I just acquired a treadle sewing machine….”

      Now, that’s the kind of talk that I like to hear!

      CD in Oklahoma

  14. Personal Financial SHTF; Been there Done That. Who hasn’t?

    And honestly nobody can honestly say it can’t happen again, all it takes is one little hiccup in life.

    Two examples;
    Fighting an illness, a Friend was feeling “sort of tired” so went to Doc. Doc sent them to Hospital Emergency Room. This person was in the Hospital for less than 24 hours and came out with a ‘Stent’ in a Heart Artery, cost???? $48,000. Yes Mildred $ Forty Eight THOUSAND!!!!
    Cancer patient that passed, total bills for 3 years over $1/2 MILLION, $500,000 in Bills to be paid

    So yes I agree have a Plan” B” and “C”, but never think ya got everything covered.

    Ya want to know the biggest Financial SHTF you will ever encounter??? Retirement. Ya had better start planning for that one WELL in advance.

    Good Article CD, gets people thinking about “What/If”.

    What/If the freezer breaks and I lose 500# of food?
    What/If the Truck breaks down and ya need a new one?
    What/If the water-heater toasts and it needs replacing?
    What/If the Dog bites someone and ya get sued?
    What/If you retire in 6 months?

    How many can you list?

    1. Friends having worked in the Medical Field for over two decades I can tell you that 90%+ of Americans are one serious illness from Bankruptcy.

      The BIGGEST reason from my Point of View is Fear of Death. We are born, hopefully life a fulfilling life (some never do even at 80 years of age) and die. Yet I see folks fight tooth and nail to “Live” when Cancer strikes regardless of the horrible quality of life and poverty they and their families will suffer through

      I ask “What QUALITY of Life” will I have during and after this “Treatment”. I ask how much will it COST?

      BTW I am preaching to the Choir here as my two 91 year olds STILL refuse to plan any sort of Funeral. My beloved and I keep the medical system at arms length as we seek quality of life for those two Golden’s.

      1. NHM,
        I agree with you that most people ‘fear death’. I was fortunate enough to have a mother that taught us that ,”Death is a part of life, same as being born, just at the other end. No need to fear it, you are going home to your Maker.” I see so many fighting tooth and nail to live just another day, another day in agony and misery. Best to just let go and let God have control of the situation.

        1. You know I have heard many people say, I am not afraid of death. If I get cancer etc, it is not worth the fight. And then you are diagnosed with one of those diseases, and suddenly you want to live and fight tooth and nail to do so. Unless you have faced such a situation you don’t know what you really may want to do.

        2. Im just not going to fight it,
          1. Money as in got none
          2. When the good lord decides its my time i will go, will not ask man or woman to play God.
          3. I will make the best of what i got

        3. Serious lyrics we all need, regardless our taste of music.

          The days grow shorter and the nights are getting long
          Feels like we’re running out of time
          Every day it seems much harder tellin’ right from wrong
          You got to read between the lines
          Don’t get discouraged, don’t be afraid, we can
          Make it through another day
          Make it worth the price we pay
          The Good Book says it’s better to give than to receive
          I do my best to do my part
          Nothin’ in my pockets I got nothin’ up my sleeve
          I keep my magic in my heart
          Keep up your spirit, keep up your faith, baby
          I am counting on you
          You know what you’ve got to do
          Fight the good fight every moment
          Every minute every day
          Fight the good fight every moment
          It’s your only way
          All your life you’ve been waiting for your chance
          Where you’ll fit into the plan
          But you’re the master of your own destiny
          So give and take the best that you can
          You think a little more money will buy your soul some rest
          You’d better think of something else instead
          You’re so afraid of being honest with yourself
          You’d better take a look inside your head
          Nothing is easy, nothing good is free
          But I can tell you where to start
          Take a look inside your heart
          There’s an answer in your heart
          Fight the good fight every moment
          Every minute every day
          Fight the good fight every moment
          Make it worth the price we pay
          Every moment of your lifetime
          Every minute every day
          Fight the good fight every moment
          Make it worth the price we pay

        4. Mom chose to go without treatment. I asked one doctor for a time period and he said he had none to give me because they don’t keep records for people who reject treatment. I wanted to shout at him, “Then how do you know your treatment works?!” They keep records only for people who take treatment, so they have NO standard to determine how effective their treatments are.

        5. The big C is preventable by using different products that starve mutant cells of food or give them a high oxygen enviroment which they don’t do well in… and some are anti-mutagenic… graviola, pau de arco, baking soda, food grade peroxide..If you are interested in preventing… many of these things can be utilized effectively as a preventative. Do your own research write out the protocols others have used. When you need to know the info you won’t need to go searching for the info again.

    2. Medical bills are the single greatest reason for bankruptcy in the country. Typically 95% of your medical care costs are accrued in the last year or your life. (thse figures are kind of dated and may have changed in the last few years.)

  15. Thank you all for the compliments and good Plan B ideas and comments. I had a feeling that this group could relate to the subject. I’ve been living a Plan B now for 13 years. Plan A was good to me for 28 years, but I was ready for a change, so my going to Plan B was self-inflicted. Truth be told, I didn’t really have a good Plan B thirteen years ago, so I know how beneficial one can be. Having nothing lined up to go to after terminating my good employment, I fell back on my lifetime strategy of “I was looking for a job when I found this one”. It had always carried me through, and came through for me again, but as I’ve aged, that strategy has become a little more difficult to deploy. The skills that I had relied on in the past had peaked years before. My wife and I actually went to her Plan B (sewing) and are still with it. I transformed myself from a wage-earning highline worker to a self employed retailer and sewing machine operator/mechanic (about as different as night and day). Life is good and we’re doing just fine, but my wife’s bout with pericarditis (inflammation and fluid in the sack around the heart) in 2016 really spurred me into thinking more about the need for a new Plan B. You just never know when you may need another one.

    CD in Oklahoma

    1. CD in OK
      On your plan B that is working, but Mrs. CD has issues that might make a drastic change. You may wish to check with Just Sayin for this issue, giving you a natural solution. Giving you both another option to plan B.
      Sending our best to Mrs. CD in OK(an you too)

  16. Retaining an honorable reputation is paramount in whatever you do. Especially in this day and age where there are websites that can track your background and potential customers and future potential employers can access your background.

    In the past weeks, I have detailed how I had to change professions from LEO to medical field. The folks on this site just got the short version. The long version is filled with friends, mentors and heroes who helped me along the way. After my last shooting, I was offered my first in a series of jobs in security. I did not realize that my previous experiences had “vetted” me for this type of work in corporate security. I realized it was a pretty dark world to work in ( though it payed really well.) so I chose to re-enter the Community College program within CA. and go through job retraining the old fashioned way.

    Years later, on days off from working as an RN, I ran into one of my former Academy Classmates. We had a brief catch up and he told me that I left the agency on good terms because many of my academy classmates were fired as result of Internal Affairs Investigations. ( I never thought of leaving as a result of a justified shoot was an honorable way to be terminated.)

    Having changed jobs many times and having relocated to another state, I now know and pass on to others: If you got terminated due to downsizing, bad economy etc. Be honest and tell your interview panel. Try to keep a sheath on that edge of bitterness. If the person is over 50 years of age, odds are, they will understand because they have been down that road too.

    As noted in a recent post, My wife’s father was curious why I was in my 30’s and never got married. after I told him and my wife, she did not run away like so many others. She stuck with me and is still sleeping in our bedroom as I type this surrounded by fat cats. ( spinning on the wood floor to commence in 20 minutes!)

    Having worked hospice, I just take it day by day. I do not fear death so much as I fear long term disability.

    1. CaliRefugee
      Every time I think of spinning the cats on the hardwood floor, brings a BIG smile to me. Thanks for the fun

  17. I forgot to thank CD in Oklahoma for the article. At the very least, it gets the brain going as to back up plans. Now that I am over 50, my job these days is to pay it forward and help those around me before I retire.

    Like Lauren, I have experienced some success in writing magazine articles. It can never fully pay the bills so I view it as a recreational past time. ( hobby that pays for itself.)

    Over the years, I have helped many people get jobs in corrections, LEO jobs, fire fighting and now, several days per week, I work with: student nurses. Some one else will have to carry the ball when I am gone.

  18. CD,
    Nice article. Having backup plans are a good way to be prepared for many of the events that can take place in the future. I have found, even with backup plans, the best way to move forward is to also work on BEING FLEXABLE. Hard thing for us older folks to do, but flexibility in switching gears and changing from plan to plan is vital. One way to do this is to ‘really flex’ and come up with not only a Plan B, but a plan C,D,E………ZZ. Really, the more you think about ways to move forward, many more opportunities will start showing up for you.
    Love the treadle machines!!! My Grandma had a case like that years ago.

    1. MInerjim – Thanks. I agree with your note on flexibility. I plan very few long-range details, although I was known by co-workers as a detail guy because I usually worried more about the details getting done and knowing that the big picture would then come together rather than the other way around like most experts thought. [BTW – My definition of an “expert” is that an ex is a has-been and a spurt is a little drop of liquid under pressure.]

      My wife and I usually make an overall plan, but then call it as we see it as we go. We don’t usually have a Plan C or beyond, we just modify Plan B. Same difference I guess. As a kid, my Mom would plan a vacation or an event down to the minute, and then be irate when it didn’t happen. That’s not for me. I think trying to predict the future is foolish, in that you never know what’s going to happen detail-wise. There are too many variables. But, that won’t keep me from “what-iffn” to be better prepared for whatever it is that happens down the road. Take seatbelts for instance. I use them, and my co-workers used to rag me about buckling up to drive a line truck the 500 feet from one power pole to the next in a wheat field. I just figured that they hadn’t found the right sink-hole or hidden ravine yet. It’s best to try to be ready in case life gives you a sink-hole or hidden ravine.

      CD in Oklahoma

  19. Right now I am vulnerable to a SHTF financial change. I just started a new job this year and moved. I guess my plan for the moment is to pay off what I spent to come here and then start saving up. Fortunately and unfortunately there is a lack of quality recruits in my career area. We are operating at 60% of normal. For the moment job security looks good in my area, as long as your not a complete idiot.

    I guess if the worst did happen. I would try to work for a farmer for the summer. Then perhaps as a snow plow driver come winter. Those position are highly seasonal, but can get you by. I am single, so I can endure more financial stress than some.

  20. CD,
    A good read to promote thoughts about stuff that can or will be experienced by most of us here on the blog. Many folks have pointed out the importance of reputation, truthfulness ,honesty and flexibility . All are very good traits to have as we deal with people on a daily basis.
    Wife and I discuss “what if ” situations regularly.
    Many people say when they lose power they will just run their generator. How about when your fuel runs out . What then ? The most common answer I hear is that the power is usually back on in an hour or so . Very shallow thinking as far as I am concerned. It seems to me that most people don’t know how to think , can’t think or don’t want to think about unpleasant scenarios.
    Here is a scenario with no electricity that we have discussed : use our wood stove for heat and cooking, use one of our propane stoves for canning anything in the fridge or freezer, use our candles or kerosene lanterns for light, use our storage water as needed . Have plenty of propane on hand, as well as kerosene ,canning jars and easy to prepare food .It is amazing to have a conversation about this or any other SHTF situation and see where your thought processes go with ideas.

    1. Yes Bluesman also to think and plan for having LESS of something. For example in Venezuela people have to make do with 2 hours of power per day. That and a Generator uses almost the same amount of fuel if your powering a single refrigerator or maxing out it’s running watts so..

      Stand alone Solar Panel systems use Batteries to carry through out the nights and low sun days etc. With a bit of planning you can expand that battery bank a bit and USE that 2 hours of power from the failing grid OR USE the Full Running Wattage of your generator to run things AND recharge the Battery Bank. Not to mention the small but steady solar recharge.

      Also simply planning on having Less Power period. I strongly desire Fans (heating and cooling and Dehydrating Food stuffs) Lights (the cost of kerosene will become Obscene when that’s the heating/lighting fuel available) Running a small fridge (careful addition of insulation, proper placement away from heat sources etc. greatly improve power usage) and water pumping.

      As Grandmother once said when asked about all the wonderful things like I-phones and computers by her grand children answered “Running Water and Indoor Plumbing is pretty nice”.

    2. Bluesman – I used portable generators for 28 years working power lines, so I know a little bit about them, but I still have never wanted to own one. After living what it took to keep electricity flowing on the grid, I’ll be danged if I want to become my own power company at my age. My wife and I are focusing our preparations on doing without electricity using 12VDC, solar chargers & lights, lamp oil, kerosene, and wood. Refrigerated food is not on our long-term food list here where it gets hot. It’s on our animal food list, as in, dog and cat food. I’ll miss my cold beer, but I’ll be alright with warm whiskey.

      CD in Oklahoma

      1. CD,
        We have a small generator that will produce 2200 watts , but we consider it as a temporary thing. We try and plan things as if there were to be no electricity for a long while.We do have a propane range for cooking and we plan to buy a propane freezer when the $$$$ is there for that .Our propane tank is 325 gallons so it will last a while .
        We did purchase an Ecofan for use on the wood stove to circulate warm air in the house, it doesn’t use electricity and it works very well.
        Fortunately we are on a year round creek and also have a small spring to keep the suds cold.

        1. Hello Bluesman,
          A 2200W genset (if that is a real rating, most are 80% duty cycle or less) is capable of producing a huge amount of power for someone who has made any effort at efficiency/conservation, and is willing to run one large appliance at a time. Most of the time, most households are not going to use even a 50% load on this genset.

          The way to get the most “goodness” from a fueled genset is to combine it with a battery bank and inverter/charger so that you can run the gennie to do laundry while at the same time charging the batteries. Turn the genset off to save fuel/noise/runtime after the “big” job is done, and use silent almost-grid inverted 120v or direct-from-battery DC. Add a small amount of solar pv (10% of the amp-hr rating of battery bank? Most important is space and budget.) with a controller and you get trickle charging of the batteries almost every day. If you live in a place with irregular grid power, having a charger with the ability to put a large “bulk charge” (between 30% and 85% battery State Of Charge) into your battery bank during the time the power is on will be useful, then the solar will slowly add charge between 85% and 100% charged.

          Live-aboard sailboat people have developed great techniques to take advantage of what is available to keep the juice flowing to lights/comm/venting/refrigeration as cheaply as possible. Seattle Washington (Ballard) is a great place to pick up special gear and meet the masters of it.

        2. Life on a boat sounds like a good life. but I live where it gets cold in the winter so not realistic at all.

          I did know a guy that lived on his 56-foot boat here all winter long (they bubbled the marina) but he used a lot of electricity heating it all winter.

          I did buy a motor home last Fall and am working on getting it setup for off grid use. I like living in a house with a full garage / tool shop. But I also kinda like the idea of living in the motor home (but still have the garage) and maybe doing a bit of moving around.

          I have (so far) 600 watts of solar panels for it, 4 L-16-e batteries and a Morningstar charge controller. I need to figure out how to do a rain capture system for it (ran through a Berkey filter) I’m thinking the awning is the easiest way to do it. It rains a lot here in Toledo Oh. and water (rain) is plentiful.

          I was also thinking about buying a wind generator (more likely making one) to add to the solar panels.

          Yes I’m a prepper, but I also happen to like what electricity does for us. I have numerous Ham radios that I like to play with and they seem to work better when fed with a bit of electricity. And I like my computers, PDF files, saved U-Tube videos and E-Books.

          I have a 2,500 watt Homelite generator I’m going to sell as the motor home has a 6,500 watt Onan generator that I can use.

          I also have a 800 watt (2-cycle) generator that I bought for $49.00 from a pawn shop and I find it useful for working at some rental property or condos that either don’t have electricity or that the power outlet is hundreds of yards away.

          800 watts isn’t much, but it runs my Saws-All, Remington electric chain saw, yard trimmers and circular saw. It paid for itself in income from jobs within 4-days of buying it. I can’t imagine it lasting for years as it’s made by Harbor Tools. But it does work well and starts on the first pull.

  21. GF says I should start putting my hobbies into extra income for a start. I’d love to but the full time job and the farm ‘to dos’ seem to limit the time. Since my part-time job ended it seems pretty nice to catch up on the ‘need to be dones.’ And a little slower pace.
    She even offered for farrier schooling, I should take her up on that offer, if I needed to resort to that line of work, if things went south. I like horses-ours.
    Ya never know what to expect out of others.
    In the meantime, I’ll plug along with the dead end job, til it’s not there. Or someone lights a fire under my butt.

  22. Ok– so, a real shtf occurs, I mean real, like an EMP that effects the whole country.
    So, every thing you have as of now, is finite!
    What can you do to generate income? Money or barter?
    Do you have crops? Wheat, hay, etc.?
    A very large woodlot to cut and sell firewood?
    Can you make clothes, socks, can you repair shoes, or harness?
    Can you build things? Dig wells, septic systems?
    We are talking about the basics of life.
    Computers and such may no longer work, so hi tech crap no longer matters.

  23. Ok– so, a real shtf occurs, I mean real, like an EMP that effects the whole country.
    So, every thing you have as of now, is finite!
    What can you do to generate income? Money or barter?
    Do you have crops? Wheat, hay, etc.?
    A very large woodlot to cut and sell firewood? By hand?
    Can you make clothes, socks, can you repair shoes, or harness?
    Can you build things? Dig wells, septic systems?
    We are talking about the basics of life.
    Computers and such may no longer work, so hi tech crap no longer matters.

  24. Tango
    I hear ya.
    My thought is if SHTF, it is truly covered in poo.
    I’m dang tired of working for.the ‘man’. The C.O. that shoves pics of his trip to Africa to hunt, and brags, while his employees find it lucky to travel outside of their counties. Yup COUNTIES.
    This country SO much needs a Reset.
    And what I.laugh at is the ‘well- to- do’ will be so frickin screwed.
    WE have brains, brawn, know-how.
    -Basics of life-
    These elites, of.all types and measures, have nothing once SHTF.

    1. (I’m dang tired of working for.the ‘man’. The C.O. that shoves pics of his trip to Africa to hunt, and brags, while his employees find it lucky to travel outside of their counties.)

      Fix it now, fire your boss and go the self-employment route. I guarantee it’s easier to do now then it will be post-SHTF.

      The world will push you around only with your permission. Go your own way and the boss doesn’t have power over you any more.

      1. Chuck,
        Sometimes that freedom is worth more than any salary or bennies

      2. Chuck
        I know
        But it would be a huge change. I’ve been at this stable job for almost 30 yrs. Hell I can drive that route with my eyes closed….just kidding. Was a great job up till 10 or so yrs ago.
        My self employment would have to exceed hourly wages and health insurance payments. I say that because I will not give up my house, my land. Grandparents land.
        I enjoyed my part time job and i need to push that further into a self employed job. I just need to take that plunge.
        Cudos to you, my man.
        You have got it together with what came your way👍

        1. Joe I guess it depends on what you expect is going to happen or is just around the next corner.

          If you expect it to fall apart your retirement could go away.

          My brother is a sheriff and is close to retirement. All of his years on the job he was promised full retirement with full med benefits. In the last year they were told the med benefits will go away and his monthly retirement income will not be as much as promised.

          If a county government can do this to it;s people a company can and will do it.

          Knowing it can all go away a person should reflect on what may become a new reality and make adjustments to deal with it.

          I know it’s easy for me to say this, but I look at it differently then most people. I had the nice job, 2 BMW’s, a Caddy, a nice house (deck and pool included) and it was all taken away. I found I in fact could live a much different life then I had.

          I was forced into a new reality that was very harsh and unpleasant. I would have preferred a more soft transition to the place I’m at now, but it was not to be so.

          It did condition me to not fear a SHTF situation as I already went through it and survived it and I know how to do it again. I have in fact been living a life that allows me to survive quite well if it hits the fan. I now have many things in place to help me that I didn’t have the last time. And prepping for a bad event is part of my mindset and something I work to protect myself from every day.

          I don’t really expect 99.9% of people to make the change as life is too easy where they are now and change (austerity) is seldom viewed as a thing you do voluntary.

          We don’t really need a Mad Max World to have unplanned changes thrust upon us. My brothers example above is going to happen to him, his retirement income and the theft of his med coverage all because his employer wants to save money. No Mad Max World needed to get screwed over…

        2. Chuck
          Yes sir
          Your brother is not alone. So many have been promised and it all goes away. So sad.
          I guess I live my life as the for- scene future.
          Live it til it changes. What ‘ it’ may be.
          Retirement is not in our future. I’ve accepted that.
          My hobbies, skills, knowledge may get me thru via shtf.
          Now,(present day) I’m not counting on it to be an income.

  25. When I was looking for a hobby i wanted to do something I would enjoy and was useful. I learned to weave. I can make clothes, blankets and so on in case of an emergency. But now I find that people don’t like to pay for the hours it takes you to make something, but in an emergency i bet they will!

    1. Old Lady
      Ive found that as well, that people are cheapscates, run into that with the leather work especially, the cost of the leather plus any labor for seeing or carving and stamping or braiding and they just dont want to pay, so i am more just making stuff for us or gifts, good practice anyway and i enjoy it.
      The weaving is definitely something that will be needed, that and repurposing materials from other garments.

        1. I can sew, learned about 100 years ago at my mothers scissors! Hand or machine either one. My grandmother was a tailor or Hart Schaffner and Marx. I can also knitt, crochet and cook!!

    2. (But now I find that people don’t like to pay for the hours it takes you to make something, but in an emergency i bet they will!)

      I have not found that to be true. If they are not willing to put the money out now I don’t think it’s going to change post-bad-event.

      I use to make a lot of things out of wood to sell. People would look at the stuff, comment on how nice it was and then walk on. NO Sale.

      I stopped making things that didn’t sell as it’s pointless to spend all the time and money making something that doesn’t sell.

      I moved on to things that do sell, I make amateur radio antennas and sell a lot of them at amateur radio flea markets (Hamfest) Antennas that are made well and look nice sell well. I also bought an expensive tool to show how well the antenna works. It cost $400.00 but it really helps sell the antennas so it was a good investment.

      My point is to find a hobby that pays now so you can make money today (pre-bad-times) and if it doesn’t go all Mad Max. You know it may never go all Mad Max, why not profit today in good times and be set for doing so in the future if it hits the fan?

      I don’t live in a what if world, I live in realville, and in realville you need to make money today and the future whatever it may be.

      1. A slightly different train of thought. Sometimes ‘things’ just get priced out of reach of the average person. There seems to be a conflict on the value of ‘stuff’ today v what people can afford. I am talking more inflation scenario. My example: I need dental work done. Not cosmetic. Dentist including 2nd opinion said $8500 – $9000. No way can I do that so I found that I can cut out the middle man for much of the work by going straight to the denturist. Dentist is not to happy about it as he just lost out on a good sum of money but he said that he can’t afford to lower his price. From my POV I will get the work done for half the price – it really means that I will get the work done v not getting it done at all. There seems to be many forces at play.

  26. Old lady
    yeah, or be willing to trade/barter for your skills
    Skills will be most valuable, especially to those who have none

  27. I work as a RN in a “inner city” ER in Philly. There have been nights where not just one of us but several of us have sat on the floor and cried. Cried for the stupidity of people who think that the best way to settle a dispute is to fire a gun..who cares if you hit the three year old who is innocently playing outside is house with his mother. Who cares if he dies in the crossfire? I do because I had to try and save his life.( Yes we own guns, believe in the right to have them but also the right to be responsible on a daily basis with them) Or the people who refuse treatment because their insurance won’t cover the test they need, or the person brought in and declared dead because they couldn’t afford their asthma inhalers.

    Don’t even start me on frequent flyers who come in and think they can special order their medications. And no I am not talking about people who are mentally/physically ill and really need the medications and assistance but those who are so hooked on prescription drugs that we have to now have Police stationed in the ER to protect the employees.

    Anyway I guess I have a good solid job for when TSHTF but truthfully I don’t even tell anyone I am a nurse outside of the family. My neighbors see me leave in street clothes and come back in street clothes. Just another on I am trying not to stick out. DH is also a maintenance worker at the same hospital(Union plumber) but also keeps quiet about his job. Sorry it was a long week and I guess I prattled on a bit.

    1. Kellie I would guess you have one of the most valuable skills on the planet. Medical skills are going to become even more important post-bad event then they are now. If a person is in need a good understanding of how to handle medical problems could be a life or death thing. Not to mention less then life threatening things. Knowing how to close a wound, set a broken bone will be something people will need. Also if a kid is hurt or sick a parent will do almost anything to help the kid heal up.

      I would say you need to build a hard copy (book) library of medical knowledge and producers. There are several books on how to do things in a SHTF world, look into getting them.

      Research how to do what you do now with found or scavenged items. There is a book on this very thing, I have it stuffed away in my library of books.

      Also build up a good supply of medical supplies (with your knowledge base you know what to stock) that will allow you to take care of people in need.

      It would also be good to look into herbs (garlic for infections, cayenne for stopping heart attacks) and how to use them as the pharmacy may not be an option.

      And finally you need to live and have an income. It sounds a bit materialistic and cold but you must charge for your time, skills and abilities to help people. This may be hard to do, but you must have a way to survive to continue to help people and working for free. And having people that don’t pay you using up precious supplies will not help you or others in the long run.

  28. Kellie.
    Nope no reason to apologise for expressing
    Happens all the time. We are all but human.
    Let it out, it’s ok!.
    My GF is medical .
    And I hear things. different
    A.diff.ballpark sorry to say means nothing…..and unfortunately you.and your colleagues have with the trama.
    Cudos to.u and👍👍

  29. Welcome to this site Kellie!

    I hope you and your husband have a pastime or hobby that is life affirming outside of work. I drove both ambulance and patrol cars in large cities for years before I got my RN license. In your field of work, you need a flow activity in which you can work on it and forget about the ugly crap that you see and smell at work.

    Many medical people have children and take pride and spend time helping them grow up and thrive. My mother and father had their golf game they spent time on every single week several times per week. My mother is in her 80’s and still hits the greens with the ladies mid week. ( I am a golfing philistine that loved the movies: Caddyshack – I am more like the grounds keeper Carl played by Bill Murray. and Tin Cup played by Kevin Costner.) My own idea of golf is putt-putt golf with like minded individuals and a bottle of beer.

    My wife and I are both nurses and we try to not talk about work 30 minutes inside the door. This was a lesson taught to me by my policeman mentors when I was a young rookie fresh from academy. ( whatever crap you see out there. Do not take it home with you. Leave it outside your door and hug your wife and kids. Likewise, if things are tense at home, leave it at home. You do not want to be distracted or angry when you pull over a motorist or go into a domestic disturbance call.). I asked both a veteran state trooper and a senior deputy on our local departments because they were still married after many years on the job. This old guys were my career references when I started on the job. ( and they do not teach you this at the Academy.).

    My wife and I both garden and herd cats with our spoiled dog. I do the hunting and fishing thing and have worked as a part time gunsmith while I work pm shift as a nurse on a locked psycho ward. ( the ideal job for an RN that used to be a cop.) I keep an eye on my intake of alcohol despite the jokes on this site. ( observation: 3 signs that you may want to consider a career change: 1. persistent nightmares. 2. excessive drinking or substance abuse ( self medicating.) and 3. Going back to work tired and angry even after days off. ) Yes, I have been doing my job for decades and I find myself giving this talk to some of my peers and student nurses. I have seen many people come and go.

    I gotta go spin one of my fat cats on the wood floor. Good polishing effect and it is fun too.

  30. In the past I mentioned in the past my personal SHTF, I had a bad motorcycle accident (broke my right foot, left ankle, both knees, right wrist and left shoulder socket in 3 places) I lost my ability to work for a year, (lost a fairly good paying job at a nuke plant) my wife (not liking the loss of income) walked away from the marriage (so I also lost her income to our household) I lost the home we had as I had no income and she took her income with her. She also drained the bank account when she walked away, not that we had a lot of savings (a few K worth) but it all was gone.

    I barrowed some money from family to live in a very run-down mobile-home and I slowly fixed it up. But even then I lived in it without electricity for months as I didn’t have any money to pay the electric bill. After a bit over a year I was able to work a bit, but all I could find at the time was min-wage job. I had 2 jobs that paid little but somehow I got by. But it was at a very low substance level, I never had any money for anything. And at the same time the court system said I must pay X-dollars to the X or go to jail.

    I honestly don’t know how I survived it with no money.

    I learned how to live with what amounted to no money as it was all gone the second I got paid.

    I have to tell you this kind of living got old, it’s very easy to get depressed (really depressed) when nothing you do is working to give you any kind of joy in life.

    A Few Years Later:

    What finally changed is I got so tired of working hard and having nothing to show for it I found an old carpet cleaning machine and my brother loaned me the money to buy it. I also bought a marketing program (again my brother helped with it) the program was expensive, more then the machine was. It cost $1,200.00 but I felt it would give me the best chance of it working. I was right as the first day I used the methods in the program I made $215.00 on the first job. I delivered flyers to a neighborhood and my phone had a message for a job when I got home from delivering the flyers.

    I was able to pay my brother and parents back the thousands of dollars they loaned me within 6-months. I could have done it faster but I bought a better machine first. Within a year I bought a used truck mount carpet machine that cost me $17,000) (they sell new for $35,000 and up) I paid cash for it

    In fact after the accident, wife walking away I decided I will NEVER buy anything I can’t pay for in cash. I continued to do the carpet cleaning for several years all the while putting away cash (not in any bank as I got screwed by the banks and will never trust them again)

    9-Years ago I had a heart attack and I got out of the carpet cleaning as it’s very hard work moving everything in a house and even more so when you do it in 2 to 3 homes a day.

    I started doing handyman work / home repair. I was always able to fix just about everything people have in their homes. It took a few years to build a customer base but now I have so many people calling me there are not enough days in the week to get all the work done. I find I’m turning down work.

    The lessons I have learned are many.

    I will never take on any debt for any reason. Debt is evil and takes away your freedom, it makes you work yourself to death when you probably don’t really want to. It really makes you a slave, a wage slave.

    I also will never spend more money then I make. I always spend less then I make. When I do make a big purchase it’s only done using savings I have built up, no debt.

    It’s fairly easy to build a cash reserve when you don’t have debt to service and don’t make extravagant purchases.

    And while I make a good income today most all my clothes are bought at thrift store. You can easily find very nice clothes at thrift stores. A few months ago while at a restaurant with my son I was asked if I was a doctor as I (as always) had on nice clothes (like Dockers) so it’s easy to look nice with thrift store clothes if you want to.

    As far as how I plan on making money post-SHTF I plan on doing what I’m doing right now. Things will break and need fixed in good times or post-SHTF. I may not be able to charge what I do today, but I know I will still be able to work out an exchange that will allow for my continued income.

    Post-SHTF work will be hard to come by for most of us. I do many things so no single thing is my sole income. I do auto repair, minor welding, I reload ammo (use to do it for a friends gun shop to make extra income) I do electrical, plumbing, wood working, install decks, windows, doors. Repair / install siding, install wood floors. Basically if it’s in a home or business I build it or fix it.

    I also (and still do) bought things at thrift stores and garage sales, fixed them and re-sold them at amateur radio flea markets (called Hamfest) This was an important thing when I had no money as I usually made $600.00 per hamfest. This was almost free money for me when I needed it most. I would buy things, fix them in the evenings and then take them to the hamfest and sell them. Today I still do this but it’s different now, first I enjoy fixing things and second I now use this extra money to pay for my amateur radio hobby. Good radios are expensive and I have a way to make the hobby pay for itself. I also make antennas and sell them at local hamfest. This is pretty profitable and I would guess that there are hundreds of hams using my J-Pole antennas.

    And while no single one of these things make a good living by themselves, all of them combined do me quite well. One week I’m installing a new patio, next week I’m installing a deck, the next week I’m repairing plumbing, and so on…

    I think anyone planning for a way to be economically prosperous post-SHTF should be self-employed (this way you are in charge of your income, not a boss that cares little for you) and also you should have numerous income streams as you are unlikely going to survive doing only one thing.

    My years of personal-SHTF was a harsh and unpleasant lesson, but I came through it and was able to actually make a better income now then I had before working at what was a good job working at a nuke plant.

    I developed a good feel for reading people and a good understanding for what they wanted as not doing so meant no sale. I think this will serve me well if it hits the fan or not.

    The only thing I haven’t been able to do is to find a local prepper group / family to align myself with to provide mutual help if it hits the fan. Granted I don’t work real hard at it, but it’s probably something I should work on. But the few times I have tried I got the wrong vibe and let it go.

    I’ve had some (more then some really) experience with people wanting my help as I can do and fix just about anything. But then said person has nothing to give in return. I don’t want to join a group that doesn’t have people that contribute like I do. Years of being the go-to-guy (a doormat) with nothing being given back has made me less then willing to keep doing it. It’s clear that there are lots of people that just don’t want to learn how to do things and are willing to sit back and let others do all the work. I’m not expecting people to be an expert at everything, but a willingness to learn and do just seems to not be there with way to many people. I wish I could solve this problem but I don’t see the answer right now. The way I think it will go down is that if we do have a bad economic SHTF is that I will sit back and let it shake itself out. I think after a bit of time it will be easy to see who is a person that does things and just as important, who doesn’t do things. Form a MAG with those that do, not the duds…

    1. A sobering and inspiring message Chuck. Thanks for sharing. May God continue to bless you. Sometimes it’s hard to believe God is with you when you go through trying times, but I’ll bet that you can testify that you are a better man today than the one you were before your trials.

    2. 😎👍🏻
      A lot of your story resonates with me, sometimes the worst pushes you toward your best. Its not about the big house, fancy cars and “status” thats all just stuff.stuff disappears

      1. (Its not about the big house, fancy cars and status.)

        True but at times I miss the feeling of opening up the throttle on the BMW motorcycle. But I will never buy another motorcycle, way too many people on the road that are focused on their phones…

        I’m just one person among many here that had a personal-SHTF.

        I would guess it’s more common then we think. Life has a way of doing that to people. But you get up and move on. And hopefully learn from it and plan better for the future.

  31. There is nothing more discouraging than looking for better employment and being told, thanks but no thanks.
    Years of experience. A bought and paid for associates degree. But to no avail.
    GF was starting and turning down job offers left and right within weeks. And which I am grateful for.
    I am damn good at what I do, I just can’t speak the politically correct BS and sell myself.

    1. I’m telling you self-employment is the way to go.

      I don’t know how well I could sell my repair skills to a company. I suspect they would see me as less then perfect of a prospective employee.

      But to my customers I’m the most perfect handyman there is. I do a good job, I do it for a bit less then others do and I do great work.

      I don’t have any kind of advertising, I don’t even have business cards. But I do have a 100% happy customer base that tells their friends about me and nothing is better then that. I haven’t had an unhappy customer in like forever, in the last 20-years I can’t remember a single one. I take my time and do a very good job and explain my work well so the customer knows what to expect going in. I ALWAYS over-deliver as far as what I agreed to do.

      People call me and ask when I can do a job, not how much it cost. I don’t have to sell myself as my happy customers do all the selling for me. When my phone rings and someone wants something done (and it rings almost every day for a new job) it’s a done deal only the scheduling is needed to be worked out.

      I don’t have to prove myself to some guy in an office that hasn’t done any repair work in years. In fact I haven’t punched a time clock since the mid-1990’s. And that was only done to learn some new skills. I worked at a metal machine shop for about 8-months to learn how to better work with metal. I didn’t have to pay to go to school I just got a job doing it. The machine shop hired me on knowing it was a temporary thing and in return I worked for 3/4 the going rate. We both got a good deal out of it. They got a good employee for a bargain price and I got new skills without student loan debt.

      Self employment is freedom and the path to a much better and less stress-filled life.

      1. Chuck I know a few gypsy souls that choose to live free aboard a working sailboat. They usually provide such tasks as Welding, Engine repair or Electrical work for boat people and harbor locals. A HUGE need for their services.

        Their boats do not need a marina bubbler to prevent freezing, they roam to where “The Weather Suits My Clothes”.

        Attitude and ability to adapt a must.

        If you speak three languages you are trilingual. If you speak two languages your bilingual, if you speak only one language your American. A sad joke but often true as we demand others adapt to US.

      2. In rodeo there was a saying ,,,COURAGE. is being scared to death , but saddling up anyway

        To not saddle up and miss the ride is unthinkable ,,,,,and a waste of one’s life
        You had a choice, quit or saddle up. THANK GOD you made the right choice. Your boots are WELCOME around my campfire any time.

    2. Joe C,
      Try not to be discouraged. I’ve got two engineering degrees and a Professional license and a I got the same carp a couple of years ago too. I have found all my jobs on the last 20+ years through network of friends and work acquaintances. My Network. That said, I also agree with Chuck Findlay, if you can work your line of work by yourself, or as an independent contractor, you’ll find it more rewarding both financially and mentally. Hang in there, it will come together for you.

      1. Another thing about self employment is your ability to react to a changing environment.

        A big company is slow and sluggish and resistant to change. They may not even know the world has changed till long after it’s too late to react to it.There is a big and slow chain of command of people that may not be too smart and could easily not know what is going on or if they do notice things that are not right probably have no decision-making ability. They could also be on cruse-mode and not really care about things outside their area of work or duties.

        But being self employed you can react almost instantly to a changing World situation and position yourself to ride out or even prosper in any given situation. You are in much more control of your future and well being. A few times in my life I changed things when needed.

        My heart attack was an event that I adapted to. Moving furniture in a home is hard work, If I was still doing it I don’t know if I would still be alive. I have not had a single chest pain since my attack. But I suspect I may have had problems if I was still doing the hard work carpet cleaning required. The handyman work is much easier.

        Had I worked for a big company I don’t think I would have been able (or had the right mindset) to change my employment.

        Being in debt also takes away options in a changing World. If bad things are going on and you really should be moving out (bugging out) to a new location a debt-free person is more willing to do so. But a person in debt has to work to service that debt so they will likely go to work to make money (to give to others) then to react to a survival situation.

  32. For income after an event I would look to things people either cannot or will not do without.

    1. Wood56gas,
      During the Great Depression I have been told that two things always sold, ….soap and booze. Soap just to feel clean, and booze to forget their woes.

      1. Hey Jim
        Three that stand out to me are food, liquor, and cigarettes. Makin liquor has always been a big thing around here. My paternal grandaddy grew up about 25 miles up the hill from where I now live. Liquor makin was their mainstay. They also farmed, (with mules), but likker was their bread and butter. They did ok durin the depression,

        Anybody, anywhere can easily make cigarettes with minimal effort and investment.

        1. Wood56gas,
          Yup. Tobacco would be a God side crop, but not here in the desert. I have 6 acres of wine grapes planted, sell to wineries and home wine makers. Don’t want to deal with the public and alcohol itself, let them make their own! I’ve seen the headaches my friends who have small wineries go through. No thank you.

        2. Im trying tobacco right now in the garden, hope to be able to roll cigars

        3. Jim
          Yeah desert……..also foreign to me. I was thinkin more along the lines of a man stockin up not on pipe tobacco and filter tubes. It would be a relatively cheap investment Don’t know how long it would keep, probably get too dry at some point, but I would say it could be brought back “in case” that means “in condition” with proper humidity. Hey, to a smoker a less than stellar cigarette is much better than none.. Just a thought for folks lookin to make a buck in bad times.

        4. I meant “stockin up on pipe tobacco and filter tubes” did not mean “not stockin up”………

  33. Nailbanger
    Until about 25 or so years ago, baccer was the undisputed king in farm revenue in most of my state and definitely in my area. I started workin in baccer when I was 8. I know nothin about processin it after it leaves the farm, but I am certain it can be done. I grew up 60 or so miles south of here and it was all “flue cured” baccer, here it was a mix of flue cured and burly and just a few miles north all burley. I hated workin in baccer with a passion but it was the only I could make any money when I was a kid. At that time 3 acres of baccer was a severe beatin and one old feller had 5 acres. 5 acres seemed almost insurmountable at that time. This was in the days of tyin leaves on a stick and hangin it a stick at a time in a “stick barn” to cure. One old feller where I grew up was still usin “wood fired” barns, everybody else had converted to oil or gas fired. We would “pull” some call it “prime’ baccer till finished, then all had to be strung and hung in the barn before we quit. Hard days……..several were still usin mules to pull the sleds. Memory lane I reckon……..

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