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Methods of Payment and Exchange
For whatever reasons, many survivalists hail from the lower economic classes of society. They often perceive more hardship and instability than those who are more comfortably established do. Others belong to that quasi-class of people who have taken the downward spiral from the shrinking middle class. The young and newly independent also commonly lack the financial resources to casually make big-ticket purchases common to a survival arsenal. For these people, the financial side of getting a survival arsenal together is often the biggest challenge.
Several folks who study the various prophesies of the end times point to a society where people will not be allowed to buy or sell unless they have the "mark of the beast". While there are several theories about what the "mark" really will be (a computer chip, tattoo or both) we can easily see the dangers inherent in a society where certain people would be excluded from the formal economic system. As a bankruptcy or bad credit rating can destroy ones ability to buy a house or newer car, so can a felony conviction restrict one from getting a job in many place and lines of employment. Some people can enjoy all the benefits of anonymous, cheap and easy credit while others carry an invisible scar that mandates alternatives to the prevailing economic system.
Obviously, you can take a look at your finances and determine where you are at and how much you can spend on your arsenal. Compile a shopping list and be realistic. Set time oriented goals and see what they cost if it is possible to do it all at once, then by all means buy all the stuff at once and be done with it. Getting a survival arsenal together should not have to be a lifelong hobby.
The whole thing is a balancing act. Wait too long for the "best deal" and you stand a chance of losing out on getting certain items for any reasonable prices. If you get hasty and pay a lot of money on something you might feel the sting for a little while, but at least you have the gear.
There are several methods of payment and exchange available to the imaginative survivor. The chart below has links to several pages with short essays and links that can help you out in funding your purchases and keeping them secure.
Some basic rules:
If you are ever buying anything on a credit card, think of the price you are looking at and tack on 20%, which is about what the interest is when you take the average time a person takes to pay off the item. A great deal on some ammo at $80 a case at a gun show, bought with a credit card, may not be so great if the five cases you bought don't get paid off for two years, and in reality end up costing as much as just getting one case for storage and buying the practice ammo at the local shop when you could afford it. In that situation, you are not "beating" any "system" stocking up on ammo using credit, and then feeding interest to the banks instead of profit to a local gun shop.
Electronic items usually depreciate in value, whether they are for computers or for your survival gear. Get used to it, and determine when you think you want to take the plunge on the electronic items in relation to other gear. The tricky part is that the electronics still often represent the technological edge that separates the winners from the losers.
Guns tend to be a relatively good investment when limited to the basic gun and accessories, but custom work and lots of accessories are usually not recovered on resale.
The winners in a hurting economy are going to be the people who can adapt the quickest to alternative types of transactions. Be open to trade and barter whenever the cash flow is stuttering, but when you have the opportunities to do business with regular cash, apply your formulas to effort and value. Don't be like the fool who drives ten miles to the other side of town to save three cents a gallon on a half tank of gas.
|Cash||Small unsecured loans||Salvage|
|Barter labor for goods||Store Lay-Away||Capture|
|Credit Cards lots of info here||Sponsors and gifts||Robbery|
|Trade goods for goods||Theft|