With the Corona Virus keeping many countries under total quarantine, many people are concerned about a looming economic collapse. As of yesterday, the governor of New York shut down any non essential businesses and told people to practice social distancing.
Over the next week or so we may have to go through drastic measures like Italy, having a complete quarantine where no one can leave their homes. As each day passes all of the closed businesses are losing money, but they will still owe their rent at the end of the month.
Many stocks that were doing fantastic just a month ago are now tanking. The government is considering giving everyone a stipend to live off of during the quarantine, but who knows if that will actually happen.
What happens if the economy actually collapses? Symptoms of economy collapse are job loss, high crime, declining mental health and increased suicide rates due to financial hardships, and if bad enough a total collapse of society.
I don’t believe that we will get to that point anytime soon. But the best thing that we can do is learn how to be prepared for the worst in case of an economic collapse.
Learn The Warning Signs
The first way to be prepared for an economic collapse is to learn the warning signs. Watch out for growing government debt or national debt.
Keep a lookout for the stock markets trading at all-time highs like we’ve seen this past December 2019. Also keep an eye out for an unstable government and rising unemployment rate.
Make sure to take some time to keep up to date on news about finance, weather, and politics. Learn about other countries like Venezuela’s economic collapse and identify what led to their tanking economy and declining living conditions.
Get Out of Debt
If you have any sort of debt, try to pay it down as quickly as possible. Not only is this beneficial for your everyday life, but it can benefit you even more during an economic collapse.
During the 2008 depression, many people had out more loans than they could handle and when they lost their jobs, they lost their homes because they could no longer keep up on payments.
If you’re like me, you have college loans that are always in the back of your mind. If there is a financial collapse of any sort, banks still want their money. Take the time to learn how to make a budget and designate a portion of your money to pay down your debt.
If you have more debt than you can handle, it may be time to look at debt settlement programs like National Debt Relief. I have personally used them in the past to get rid of over $35k in credit card and medical debt in under 3 years. It’s time for you to make your money work for you, not for you to work for your money.
It is critical to have some sort of savings if you are planning on surviving an economic collapse. Even saving $100 a month can add up over time. Always make sure that you are saving something.
If you get a decent tax return every year, put all or a good portion of it into savings. You’ll thank yourself later if you lose your job that you decided to save instead of go on a shopping spree.
Do you have lots of clutter laying around your house? Have a garage sale and put the profits into your savings account.
I would like to make a point that your goal should be to have two savings accounts. One for savings that you can use for a down deposit on a car or house, and one savings account for emergencies such as an economic collapse.
Learn Sustainability Skills
If things get really bad in an economic collapse, you may not have access to the things you normally do in order to keep life going. Grocery stores and Retail Shops may be closed or empty. Water may be hard to find.
Consider taking some time to learn some sustainability skills. These are skills such as gardening, gathering rain water, sewing, first aid, preserving food, etc. When the time comes, you may be the only one you know that has these crucial skills.
Learn Basic Survival Skills
Along with sustainability skills, it is important to learn some basic survival skills in case the economic collapse is worse than expected.
Take some time to learn how to hunt and gather food, how to treat a wound or infection, and how to find water and make it clean to drink.
You should also learn how to start a fire without a lighter or matches if you need to one day cook your food with limited resources.
Self defense may also be important to know. You can sign up for a basic self defense class in your local library or community center to learn how to defend yourself in case anyone comes after you or your family.
Create Backup Income
If possible, create a backup income for yourself and your family in case you lose your regular job. Try to have a side income that is recession resistant such as a tax preparer, or even a blogger!
In the corona virus quarantine, many were laid off or were not paid for weeks, resulting in financial catastrophes for millions of families. Having a backup income may not cover all your bills, but it might be able to give you the money to buy food for your family.
Make Something to Trade
In the event that cash is no longer useful, society may go back to the bartering system. Learn how to make something that you can use to trade for items you will need.
If you can garden, you can trade special fruits or vegetables other people wouldn’t normally grow. Maybe you can make a special jam or nut butter that you can trade for supplies.
If you can raise animals, you can trade any of them to get something you need. If you’re the crafty type, you can learn how to make things like soap or clothing to trade for food or medical supplies.
Just make sure that you learn how to make something people will actually need. (Don’t learn how to make mini sailboats and plan to trade them for food. Nobody will want your boats.)
Make an Evacuation Plan
In the case of a catastrophic economic collapse, it may be necessary for you and your family to evacuate your current location due to high crime, natural disaster, or government order.
Take a weekend with your family to develop an evacuation plan. Decide on meeting spots in the event that your family is not together when the time comes.
Decide how you are leaving your location and where you are going. Do you have family a few hours away that you can stay with? Do you have a summer house you can escape to if rioting breaks out in your city?
Make sure your license and passport are up to date in case you have to leave your country. Have other important documents like birth and marriage certificates easily accessible so you can grab them and go.
Stock Basic Cleaning Supplies
One thing that many of our elders said they wished they stocked up on during the great depression was cleaning supplies.
But instead of stocking up on expensive chemical cleaners, try to stock up on the super cheap natural cleaning supplies like vinegar and baking soda.
Hydrogen Peroxide is less than $1 per bottle and has dozens of uses. From cleaning wounds and infections to using as mouth disinfectant if you don’t have any toothpaste.
You can also learn to grow sage in your garden which when dried and burned can kill up to 94% of bacteria in the air.
You don’t have to wait for the economic collapse to start using these basic cleaning agents. Ditch the chemicals and learn how to clean with natural materials, while saving you a bundle of cash at the same time!
Learn to get by Without Technology
In the unlikely event that we lose power for an extended period of time, we should practice navigating our world without technology.
For the older generations, this should be a pretty easy adjustment. But for the generations that grew up on computers and smartphones this might be the most difficult thing of all.
Nomophobia is the addiction to constantly having your phone, and the withdrawal symptoms are very real. They include extreme panic, anxiety, and confusion.
Many of us wouldn’t know how to navigate the world around us without our phones, which is a pretty scary thought.
Take one day each month where you and your family don’t use any technology. Do everything old school.
Need to learn something? Go to the library. Need to go somewhere? Use a map. Need entertainment? Spend time with loved ones or friends. Do a puzzle or go for a walk outside.
Studies show that cutting down on technology time increases focus and sleep quality. Giving your brain time to think for itself will increase creativity and problem solving skills. It forces you to interact more in a meaningful way with your children, and forces you to unplug from your work.
Even if you aren’t planning for an economic collapse, your brain will benefit from having a technology break.
Though not likely, an economic collapse in the near future is possible. Instead of ignoring your fear and waiting for disaster to strike, you can learn how to be better prepared for any emergency that comes your way.
I hope that this article has taught you how to be better prepared for an upcoming economic collapse. What ways would you prepare if a collapse suddenly struck? Let me know in the comments!