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Getting the balance right

‘I am just starting prepping and want to know much should I put away a month’ is a question I have been asked several times now. Sorry, but I have no real answer as it depends so much on your individual situation.

No matter how much preparation you do you will never do enough to become an expert in all you need to know. This is hardly surprising because we all know you need to know so much about so many things that it is impractical. And as an event is not guaranteed we will not commit all the time we could to preparing. We want to live and enjoy ourselves while we can and that is the whole point of life anyway. What is the point of making your life miserable, starving and living below your means in what is, in technological terms, the peak of our society?

So we make sacrifices we put supplies and resources away in a very unique insurance policy and we prepare as best as we can in the meantime we still live our normal lives, we go out, we go on holiday and we buy new possessions. It makes sense. Nobody commits 100% of their spare resources into a situation that may never happen. We are all going to grow old yet nobody puts all their spare funds into pensions. You put a proportion of it aside.

In a similar way regarding work we have a split called the work/life balance. Everyone balances this differently. Some people spend all their time at work to earn shiny new toys for their family and to earn money, others have to spent that time just to make ends meet while others earn enough to live comfortably and then spend the time at home with the family. There are always those that say I’ll work 18 hour days for 10 years and retire who miss their kids growing up while others go abroad and miss out of the family. Everyone looks at this differently and makes a decision that suits them. Some get it right, others not so good, imo. It works for them. A friend of mine who works abroad is buying his daughter a house, cash, for her 21st. I thought I was doing well with my daughter. Yet I see my daughter several times a week and am close yet he has not seen his for 6 months. Our scales are balanced differently. I am more family orientated but much poorer for it in a financial sense. A situation I am more than happy with.

We have exactly the same situation with prepping. Do we prep to such a level we starve ourselves of resources or do we live now whilst preparing to a certain level. We all agree we need to some prepping.

So my advice is simple. When you start prepping make sacrifices, they won’t last long, put all your spare funds into putting aside several months worth of food and some basic supplies. When you have about six months which will not take long then slow down a bit, celebrate, reduce your commitment to prepping by 25% and keep going. If you are finding the expenditure tight or not enjoying life then reduce the expenditure until you are comfortable again making sure you do not reduce it to less than 10% of your spare funds. If you are arranging a holiday make it a caravan or camping holiday so you can practise some skills and try out your food supplies and techniques. Consider growing your own crops and some chickens or similar to help get the most from your funds. However, always make sure you put at least 10% towards supplies and stored food. You will find it quickly builds up and you can then ease off when you reach your targets. Then it is simply replenishing your supplies and enhancing your existing systems to make them more effective and make yourself more self sufficient. Even then you will come to a point where you can do no more. Enjoy that if you get there.

Don’t make your prepping become such a chore you give up as it is taking the joy out of life. Use your original decision to prepare though as a catalyst to commit to the first six months food though. The hardship will be tempered as you watch your supplies grow and you plan your purchases. You will find that easier at the start than after year three, four and beyond when you want to relax and live a bit more.

Get the prepping/life balance right for you and it will go smoothly. Get it wrong and you could very well give up because it is ruining your life or it is turning you into a zealot. 100 years supply of food, no friends, no real life now but you will be ready for anything.

I’ve just added atwo polls on this on the forum. I’ll be interested in the results. The first is Do you think your balance is right? with a follow up of Do you think you have prepared enough?

3 comments to Getting the balance right

  • maddog

    i don’t have much spare at any time so i put it all into food dont have much stored but more than most

  • iaaems

    As I am quite ‘new’ to the thought processes involved here I must say that each and everyone of us has a life that is unique to us in every way – that much should be obvious. As far as I am aware it is not really possible to predict the future but ones experiences of life must teach us something and being prepared and somewhat self sufficient must be in there somewhere so that when things get awkward/tough we can buy ourselves some thought and appraisal time so that we can react to what is happening in a constructive manner. Doing something is better than doing nothing – it will probably never be enough but it will give you an edge when it matters.

  • Skean Dhude

    Iaaems,

    I would agree but we can see by what is happening today that most people are not of the same mindset.

    The little edge we get will be streets ahead of 95% of the population.

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