Financial Preps


A part of Emergency Preparedness (short term) or Disaster Preparedness (longer term) is financial preparedness. Preparing financially for a short term emergency or preparing for a major long term disaster involve similar but different outlooks and methods. Aspects may include your current indebtedness, the things you own outright, cash on hand, storage of assets, precious metals, and of course… goods for barter.

The following are a few thoughts on the subject…



Nothing larger than 20’s. Diversify in singles, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s.
Keep enough in your wallet to get you out of a jam while away from home.
Keep enough at home, in a Safe, to function for several months.
Keep a decoy Safe with enough inside to seem legit, in case of forced robbery.

Quarters are common for many things including tolls, vending machines.

Foreign Currency
Particularly if you live near a border, having some currency of the neighboring country may prove valuable under some circumstances (e.g. for those in the U.S… the Mexican Peso, the Canadian Dollar)



Obviously, safe storage of your valuable assets is a priority. Not only is the Safe itself an important consideration, but its safe location is nearly equally important. Out of sight, of course. Secured/bolted to the building structure. Fire-proof for at least one hour. Water-proof. Keep a small decoy safe with a token amount of cash inside in case of forced burglary, so that you can give it up as though it’s all you have. Consider the traditional combination locks rather than electronic locks.

Bug-out bag
Keep some financial preps in your bug-out bag to compliment what you already have in your wallet. This might include extra cash, some precious metals, or other.

Buried Treasure
For less accessible but perhaps more secure safe storage, consider burying it. PVC pipe with glued end-caps will remain moisture free forever. Just don’t let your neighbor see you bury it ;)

Although not recommended in times of financial collapse, traditional Vaults offer safe keeping. Problem is, you cannot necessarily trust the institution for safe keeping after a major financial collapse… at least I wouldn’t.



Silver is probably the easiest form of wealth conversion since it is more affordable than Gold. Throughout all of human history, silver and gold have not lost relative value to an associated paper currency. In fact, as paper currency depreciates, silver and gold will appreciate in terms of that currency, holding its relative value to hard assets. It is recognized world wide as ‘money’.

Gold is THE most cross-platform ‘money’ in the world. It’s high price today in terms of most Fiat currencies is a reflection of the devaluation that has been occurring in those currencies. It is an excellent store of excess wealth.

Coins, Rounds, Bars
When choosing a form of precious metal, it is worth your while to consider having it in a form that is recognized by many. For example, the round minted 1 oz American Silver Eagle or American Gold Eagle, and the Canadian Maple Leaf are common and popular precious metal products in North America. For Gold, also consider keeping some 1/10 oz rounds. People are more familiar with these minted coins than they are with various bars. Not saying that you’re any worse off with bars, but they may be more difficult to transact with.



Jewelry has value to some people, and has throughout all of human history. During the collapse period itself it would not serve you very well, but it is a category that will hold some value through to the other side assuming the collapse is eventually remedied.



This category is core to survival during a collapse period. Any asset or good that will benefit someone else, is of a value. Think about the basics. Think hard assets. Tangibles. Think practical. This category is a catch-all for all those things, and should be considered first, before other forms of financial preps.


  1. If you are planning to have extra food and toiletries on hand to trade, buy the smaller size and travel sizes for smaller trades. I buy the large 2lb 10.5 oz cans of coffee to use, but also have the single pot size packs for trading. I have travel size shampoo’s, toothpaste, individual dosed packs of tylenol, and nip size alcohol to name a few. Some people figure they can just buy the bulk size of something and split it up into portions that they feel are a good size for trading, however people would be leary of whether or not they are getting an unaldulterated product. You would have an easier time trading an unopened factory sealed item over a sandwich bag portioned item. People can be sure of what they are getting.

    1. If the SHITF there might be a barter system then again there might be a robbing system. I would not want to come in contact with people to do that in fact that they might not be a buyer but someone wanting to take what you have and believe me after what happened in Louisiana it will happen again. Money I don’t think will be a factor as our dollar isn’t worth the paper its printed on NOW it sure wont be worth much when the SHITF. If you MUST barter be ready for anything. Me personally……. if my children are starving… you have food and I have nothing to barter with.. there is a problem and MY children are not going hungry regardless if you lose what you have! Get my point?

  2. We may yet in history see the future value of true luxuries in life such as toilet paper and deodorant surpass that of gold and silver. Think TP as a bartering item, and for those who lack access to enough water to bathe or shower occasionally, think deodorant.

    1. I’m not sure about the deodorant. Who cares if you smell? I would rather have a bar of soap. Deodorant is definitely not a substitute.

  3. For the people that keep talking vending machine’s. How long do you think these things will have electricity to run? And how long before they are broken into? In a SHTF situation they will be broken open and everything taken. As for size of trade goods you are both right,some things I have in small packages and some in bulk.Either will work.

    1. Just FYI, this site attempts to cover a variety of scenarios for preparedness and survival, not just the total collapse SHTF TEOTWAWKI scenario. So, the reference to vending machine is valid. We also discuss survival in various scenarios that may be disastrous to just one individual, or locally, regionally, etc.

      Having said that, you are absolutely correct in that if said disaster was a total loss of electricity, it wouldn’t take long before all supplies (and vending machines) are stripped… particularly once people realize the extent of the disaster.

  4. Went to Ahi Day at my daughter’s school. That’s the Greek Independence Day when they revolted against Turkey’s occupation. The Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, from 2011 was there. At first I was impressed how much the church and school in Brooklyn mean to Greece. Still am but he’s the guy that was in charge when Greece went down. He was the start of higher ups robbing people. He took $740 million dollars from Greece and put it in a Swiss bank account with his 89 year old mother’s name on it. Nearly a billion dollars and he’s not in jail and the money has never been recovered to my knowlege. Then came Corzine with MF global, Jamie Dimon with JPM Chase, the central banks looting bank accounts and all the rest. Nobody goes to jail. I would think the Greeks would not like him very much. Even in his talk, he said he understood Greek Americans, because he spent some time in his youth in California. What he didn’t say is that he is a Greek American. He was born in St. Paul, MN and went to high school and probably junior high in Toronto, college in Massachussetts. The only time he was in California was when he was 10 or 12. He can’t even admit he’s not even from Greece. It’s just amazing what kind of people we have running various countries these days. All liars and cheats. Amazing.

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