A mom could get whiplash trying to keep track of the widely differing opinions of financial experts. Many claim that America is headed toward deflation, others claim a deflationary depression is on its’ way, and yet many voices are crying, “Get ready for hyperinflation!” Hyperinflation is particularly dangerous for families because the prices of necessary goods (think fuel, energy, and food) will skyrocket, leaving little money, if any, for anything else.
Most experts go into great detail explaining why hyperinflation may be on its way, and there is plenty of blame to spread around, but as a mom, my primary concern is how to prepare for this nightmare if, indeed, it becomes a reality. Here are some common sense steps that will help you and your family be in a more stable position
- Pay off any debt that has an adjustable interest rate as quickly and as soon as possible. Unsecured credit card debt, in particular, is vulnerable to increased interest rates that would demand more and more of a family’s income, already strapped to cover the most basic necessities.
- While interest rates are at historic lows, investigate the possibility of refinancing your mortgage. If your mortgage rate is already low and fixed, focus debt repayment on anything that has an adjustable rate.
- Consider ways to decrease your transportation expenses. Should gasoline prices soar out of control, you may be very happy for a job that is within walking or biking distance. Can you sell that second or third vehicle and pocket the savings in gas, upkeep, and insurance? Be strategic and purposeful in deciding which vehicles to keep, sell, and/or purchase.
- Never buy new if you can help it. Craigslist, eBay, Freecycle, resale shops, and garage sales offer nearly everything you’ll ever need. Refuse to pay retail and use the savings elsewhere.
- Have a back-up plan for every major appliance in your home. If electricity prices become outrageous, do you have everything necessary for drying clothes on a clothesline, washing clothes by hand, and an old-fashioned dish-drainer or two? These tips for living “off-grid” even in the city can help you with this step.
- Visit local coin shops and become educated about purchasing gold and silver. It’s easy to make poor decisions in a panic, and this is no time to lose money making investments in the unknown. As the dollar loses its value, precious metals increase in value. Ferfal of Surviving Argentina said of his time in that country, “Not a day goes by when Argentinians who had money in the bank before the collapse don’t wish they had bought gold.”
- Continue stocking up on food and household supplies. When prices increase, this will give you a much-needed cushion of time. The price of food always increases during hyperinflation.
- If restaurant meals are part of your routine, cutting back is one of the easiest steps you can take to save money and learn how to make more meals from scratch. That will be especially important if you ever need to rely on your stored food.
- Have a passport for every member of your family, just in case. This isn’t paranoia, just a precaution if you ever need or want to leave the country. Hyperinflation will affect government operations, and this is one document you can’t easily get from a local source.
- Discover new ways for your family to earn money. I’ve written about this before here and here, but every member of the family should have a way of earning a little extra money. A side business that involves everyone is even better, and this article details how one mom helped her kids build a business at their local farmer’s market.
- Consider how you might establish sustainable sources of food and water. This will involve gardening, planting fruit-bearing trees, and perhaps even purchasing land with a natural source of water. There is no survival without food and water, so these should be a top priority.
- Beef up your home’s security and your own personal security. Empty store shelves, scarce resources, and overwhelmed law enforcement are common in countries where hyperinflation is a fact of life. Proactive steps in this area just make sense.
- Stay positive. The future is unknown, but what is known is the importance of family, friends, and a positive mental attitude. Survival experts say this is the key to surviving difficult circumstances. You might as well start practicing now!
If hyperinflation never occurs, you’ll be enjoying a debt-free lifestyle, with investments in precious metals, stored food and supplies to rotate into your family’s daily life, and a secure home. Being a Survival Mom is being a smart mom, and smart means being proactive and postponing that panic attack for another day when you’re not so busy!