For many people, prepping just becomes one more thing to try and shoehorn into an already stretched budget. This keeps some from ever starting to prep and slows down the efforts of others. But if money were no object, would those people do more? That remains to be seen.
The truth is that finding money for prepping is a problem that many of us face. While there are a few preppers who are in the upper income bracket, the vast majority of us are middle class. That pretty much defines us as fitting into that group that has trouble financing their prepping. But we still find ways of doing so. Regardless of who you are or what your income is, there are always ways to save a buck, so that you have another buck available for prepping.
Everyone loves getting a windfall. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tax return check, a bonus from work or an unexpected inheritance, extra money is always nice to have. Most of us use that to get the things we otherwise can’t afford, like that 60 inch television we’ve always wanted. But is that the best use of your money?
I’ve pretty much financed all my prepping activities from my tax returns. That gives me a couple of thousand dollars per year, which I can put into my prepping fund. With careful planning and enough patience to wait for a good deal, that couple of thousand dollars can go a long way.
Many people have some sort of hobby or other, something they enjoy doing, to take their mind off of the stress of day-to-day life and just enjoy themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the problem is that some hobbies can be quite expensive. When that happens, the hobby can impede other goals in life, such as prepping.
I’ve refocused my hobbies, turning them into a way of helping my prepping. One hobby that I have is building things. I have a rather extensive workshop in my garage, populated by tools that I’ve collected over the years. I am very frugal in my tool choices, looking for the best value in low-cost tools. Otherwise, my workshop would kill my budget. But, you’d be amazed how well you can do with reasonably priced tools, if you know what to look for.
Since a large part of my life is centered around survival and prepping, I focus a lot of my workshop time into making things that will help with that. Instead of building random pieces of furniture we don’t need, or something that’s purely decorative, I build survival equipment, make modifications to my home that make it more secure and more sustainable, and experiment with coming up with new ideas.
Save Money with Your Hobby
Part of the reason why I make a lot of survival equipment is that I enjoy doing so, but another part is that it saves me money. Why should I pay a hefty price to have someone else install burglar bars on my home, when I can do it myself for a fraction of the price? Why should I pay a lot of money for a commercially made rainwater collection system, when I can put one together our of scrap? Why buy solar panels for a small fortune, when I can make them myself for about half the price?
Hey, I like saving money. If I can make it myself and save money, then I’m willing to give it a try. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but most of the time it does. Even the times that don’t work out teach me something; so they’re not a total loss.
Turn Your Hobby into a Business
Some hobbies can become profitable, providing you with a new income source that you can use for prepping. There are lots of people on Etsy.com who make products and sell them. Some of those products compete directly with commercial products, while others are special in that they are hand-made and intended for such a market.
When my daughter came home from college one summer, she couldn’t find a job. So, we got our heads together and she started making bridal wedding veils to sell on Etsy. She sold enough of them that it became her job for that summer.
I know one family that makes fancy soaps, usually with all sorts of things in them that are supposed to help your skin or whatever. To tell you the truth, I really don’t understand it. But what I do understand is that they developed it into a part-time business, selling at the local farmer’s market. The couple of hundred dollars a week is funding their prepping very well.
As the years have passed, I’ve noticed a number of changes. One of these has been that people spend a lot more money today on little extras, especially in the food department, then we used to. When I was a teenager, going to Dairy Queen or Tasty Freeze was a big deal. Today, it’s got to be Eurogelatto, Marble Slab or one of the fancy frozen yogurt places. The price of those fancy places is much higher, even accounting for inflation.
When did it become normal to pay $5.00 for a cup of coffee? I’ve drank coffee all my life and never felt that I needed a daily habit of spending that much for my coffee. But for a lot of people, that stop at their favorite coffee shop is a regular part of their routine. If you want coffee with flavors in it (which I happen to like), then just buy the syrup and add it to your coffee at home. Save the extra $4.50 for your prepping fund.
The point here is that most of us have some sort of thing we spend money on, just because we want it. I can understand that, but I can’t understand not prepping so that you can have that thing. Can’t you find a cheaper way to do it, so that you can save that money for something more important?
Some people spend a lot of money on their vacations, while others hardly spend anything. I don’t know what type of vacation taker you are, but I do know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to have a good time.
Camping is the ideal prepping vacation. Not only is it inexpensive, but it’s a great time to train on survival and woodcraft techniques. That way, if you have to bug out sometime, your family will be trained and ready; and you can put the money you save into your prepping account.