Posts Tagged ‘economic survival’
Bartering for bad times
By John Silveira
Bartering may not be a part of your life, right now, but if there’s a deepening of the recession, or it becomes a depression, or we enter a period of runaway inflation (See A quick tour of hyperinflation and the possible consequences for America, March/April 2010) you may find yourself out of a job or you may have a job but get paid near-worthless money. Bartering may be the best, perhaps the only, way to get the goods and services you need.
You’ve bartered since you were a kid, starting perhaps when you swapped a comic book for a yo-yo. Today, you can find people willing to barter online. You can go to the opening page of craigslist.org, look under “for sale,” and between “antiques” and “bikes” you’ll find “barter.” Many of the items listed there are actually for sale (are people who do that stupid or just crafty?), but you’ll still find plenty of people willing to make trades. Keep in mind that when you see something for sale, whether it’s on Craigslist or elsewhere, the seller may also be willing to barter and this is going to be more likely as the economy tumbles. It never hurts to ask — as long as you’re not rude, arrogant, or condescending.
Read the whole article here:
Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
For further reading…
What’s the fiscal cliff? (Hint: It’s not the brand name of the newest energy food bar.)
These are terms being tossed around in relation to the economy. And to talk about them with me on DestinySurvival Radio yesterday was Troy Grice.
Troy has been a libertarian and a student of political economy since his teens. He parlayed his interests into a career in corporate finance. He’s also the author of three novels. I’ll review one of them here tomorrow.
Oh, yes. He was the second guest I interviewed on DestinySurvival Radio back in January 2011. Read about that here if you’re curious.
Meanwhile, yesterday we did our best to make some sense of what’s going on economically and what impact it will have on all of us. Naturally, we as preppers will beel the effects, too. Thus, the need to be prepared for come what may.
Economics gets complex and boring in a big hurry. I hesitated to delve into it. But Troy did his best to define terms and answer my questions. When you listen to the show, stick with it because it gets better as it goes along.
We started out by chatting briefly about a statistic I’d read recently. It stated two thirds of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Troy didn’t find that hard to believe. What do you think?
As for QE3, It’s short for the third round of what the Federal Reserve calls quantitative easing. It’s a fancy way of saying money’s being created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve and is being used to prop up the banking system.
QE3 is different than the previous rounds of money creation because there’s no set amount that defines when this round is over. It’s open ended.
Troy explained it better, but the idea is the banks are supposed to take this infusion of money and buy mortgage backed securities. It’s supposed to be a booster shot to the overall economy.
You can see things get complicated in a hurry. But as a result of this crazy money dance, we could all be paying more for necessities as our money is devalued and prices go up.
The Fed has painted itself into a corner with a scheme that doesn’t work and can’t be sustained. What they tell all of us is a fear mongering story that if this quantitative easing isn’t carried through, things will collapse into anarchy.
Our government’s debt is in trillions and trillions of dollars. I can’t get my head around such numbers. Can you?
In reality the banks and the government are playing with Monopoly money. And other countries are doing the same thing to keep things propped up.
It’s insanity. I’m amazed we still have faith in the monetary system at all. We delude ourselves into believing a fairy tale as long as swiping a credit or debit card buys pizza and beer or whatever else makes us happy.
Not everyone is playing along though, which is why we see barter and local currencies on the rise. Expect the underground economy to grow.
And if you buy silver or gold, you’d better get possession of it. Pieces of paper saying you own precious metals won’t mean much.
As for the fiscal cliff, it comes courtesy of the super committee Congress put into place last year to deal with debt ceiling issues. If a budget deal isn’t reached by January 1, 2013, government spending cuts will be put into place.
And at that same time, Bush era tax cuts will end, raising taxes.
Troy’s hopeful because he says people are smart. They’ll figure out a way to make it. Besides that, no currency collapse or hyperinflationary event has lasted more than three years. Afterward comes a rebirth of some kind.
So if the ride gets rough and we go through what Argentina has, hang on. And in the meantime, as I often say, keep prepping.
There’s more to my interview with Troy Grice than these brief comments. Therefore I encourage you to hear our whole discussion when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for October 4, 2012. His novels are Goldstein, Indivisible, and Gaiastan. Check out Troy’s site at www.GoldsteinRepublic.com.
Are you preparing for economic hard times? Even a collapse? Could we be in the midst of the collapse right now? Leave a comment below and let others know what you think.
Below is a video about time banks. In particular, it features the Onion River Exchange Time Bank in Vermont.
In a time bank, no money is exchanged. Members of a community support each other with the exchange of favors and services. but it’s not quite barter. It provides a way to keep goods and services flowing while building relationships beyond the usual business transactions.
Watch the video to get a better understanding of how a time bank works.
You might also want to check out Brandon Smith’s site on community and market alternatives at http://www.alt-market.com/
Have you participated in a time bank arrangement or other such alternatives? If you haven’t, would you? Why or why not? Leave a comment and share your experience with others.
But what if you’re just starting out? It’s tough for students in high school or college to find part-time work when so many adults are either seeking or trying to hold down jobs which were once so available for young people.
Nonetheless, you have to start somewhere. Try Snagajob. They have hourly jobs in almost every field.
- Customer service
- The restaurant industry
- …and more
Restaurants offer some of the best student jobs. You can find flexible hours, tips, great camaraderie, and food discounts. Hostess jobs are great for extroverts. If you’re laid-back, you may enjoy a delivery driver job or a job as a cook.
Great restaurants for students to work include:
- Pizza Hut
- Dunkin Donuts
Now that’s school’s starting up for another year, it’s time to explore the possibilities for your economic survival.
What we need is to be able to connect with others to help us survive because things are only going to get worse.
Yesterday on DestinySurvival Radio, I spoke with Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com. Brandon is bright, articulate and has a good grasp on what’s happening in our world these days. His site is worth a look because it offers real economic survival solutions for you and me.
Alt-Market.com is a hub for connecting people with one another to form local bartering networks around the country. Soon there will be an opportunity to connect with others who want to relocate to improve their situation.
This involves working from the bottom up, rather than expecting change to come from the top down. It means developing relationships within a community, not just swapping online or at garage sales. It’s up to us to create small independent free markets for the exchange of goods and skills.
Brandon estimates as many as 60 or more alternative market groups have formed throughout the country in the few months the Alt-Market site has been up. Obviously, the time is right for what Brandon and his associates are doing.
Our discussion touched on the growing unfriendliness of the government toward those who sgtrive to work outside the system. Brandon isn’t encouraging anyone to do anything illegal. But when it comes to survival–life and death–it will be time to make hard choices. Would you be afraid to break the law if it becomes necessary?
When you go to Alt-Market.com you’ll find intelligently written articles and resources. I recommend Brandon’s site whether you want to find an existing alternative market, start one yourself, or simply explore the possibilities.
To hear my interview with Brandon Smith, listen to DestinySurvival Radio for August 11, 2011.
Are you part of a bartering network? Have you been? Why not leave a comment and share your experience.
You need an economic stimulus. Sorry, I can’t hand you money, and Uncle Sam sure isn’t going to right now, so you’ll need help from elsewhere.
One helpful resource is The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn. It rates 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com and is this week’s DestinySurvival Amazon Pick of the Week.
I remember hearing a radio interview with Amy Dacyczyn back in the early 1990’s, promoting her “Tightwad Gazette” newsletter. She published it for six years and derived three successful books from it. The Complete Tightwad Gazette consolidates all of that into one large paperback book to give you thousands of tips and tricks to live more frugally.
Amy put together tips from her own personal experience as well as from her newsletter’s readers. A number of recipes are included as well. There are even articles that hadn’t been published previously.
Amazon reviewers praise the book for being positive and inspirational when it comes to spending and saving. It points the way to reevaluating values. It can help you put modern values in perspective and help you stress those which are important.
Do you know the difference between wants and needs? Many of us are finding it out the hard way in today’s economy, and the lessons aren’t over yet. You may be experiencing some deprivation these days, but following Amy Dacyczyn’s advice doesn’t have to be drudgery. She spices things up with humor and creativity.
How frugal do you believe you are? Do you have definite financial goals? Do you know how to cut your spending on groceries without cutting corners? Do you know how to find good deals at yard sales and thrift stores?
Do your children need new clothes to be happy and successful? Do you? Who’s in control of the family diet? Is it you, or is it the TV advertisers who manipulate your children’s desires for junk food?
What are you throwing in the trash that could be recycled or repurposed? Do you know how to make something new from an old pair of jeans? If you’re raising little ones, do you use cloth diapers?
Your mom or grandma may have passed on several practical tips. But maybe you’ve forgotten them. Maybe you could use more guidance than you’ve been getting. The Complete Tightwad Gazette is here for you now.
While I encourage you to buy the book, you may want to borrow it from your local library first. Amy Dacyczyn even recommended that.
When you’re ready to buy your own copy of The Tightwad Gazette, click on the image of the book below to be taken to the Amazon.com page where it’s featured. Then order by adding it to your cart.
If you’re ready to thumb your nose at the credit card companies, try this tip from Dacyczyn’s book. Cut up those credit cards and turn them into guitar picks. Why not sing the economic survival blues with a smile?