A very difficult question and one only you can answer.
We all have unique circumstances. Some of us can afford to buy everything we want at once. They can live a high life yet still put aside preps. Others can barely live day to day and only have time to invest in prepping, most of us are closer to the lower than the former with some finances left over at the end of the month to put towards our preps and a small amount of time to invest in prepping as well.
The facts though are that whever you are in the financial stakes just by spending time prepping even without putting aside any food, water or tools you are improving your chances. Of course, putting aside food, water, etc. increases them even more but needs must. Your prepping of reading and/or working in the garden and/or foraging in the woods is going to teach you a lot. Anything you do manage to put aside is a bonus. Don’t think you can’t do anything.
Those that can afford to just buy everything just make sure you spend at least some time prepping your mind. Think about it, who is more likely to survive Ray Mears with a knife or David Cameron with the most expensive Bug Out Kit in the world.
For most of us we have the challenge of balancing our daily needs with prepping and that doesn’t mean we always put something away. Many of us still prioritise our lives around our current livestyle. There is nothing wrong with that everyone has differing priorities as well. Some have partners who are not bought in to the concept. So this might mean we don’t have any spare finances after that plasma TV or regular holiday. Regardless we have decided to prepare and that could mean sneakily throwing in some extra shopping and/or going camping instead of flying to Spain.
So you are in the situation of having an income, it is more than you need to live and you have some spare money. You see massive shopping lists for prepping. We talk about water filters, guns, 18 months of food and water, radio gear, special bug out vehicles and much much more. How much of you spare money should you spend on preps?
The answer has to be as much as you want. You don’t need to spend every penny and you must keep something back for emergencies but this is potentially a life saver and must be treated as such. The easiest way is to add your preps to your weekly shopping and enhance them with special items as and when but to spend just what you have. Most of us do this.
There is an argument that in the current conomic climate we should put as much on credit, either cards or a loan as we can because if everything goes tits up it will never be repaid. Although that is a valid viewpoint it is by no means certain and there is the real possibility that you could end up homeless in an economic downturn which kind of defeats the object. I don’t offer financial advice but I’ve reduced my credit to a mortgage only and am working away at that.
A few years ago I was unemployed for a while. It is not something I would recommend. I did learn during that experience though that although I thought I was living frugally I was nowhere near the bottom. I found that I could, and did, reduce my spending significantly and found cheaper food and a cheaper way of living. Of course you still have electricity and gas but having so many preps like sleeping bags I found that I didn’t really live as badly as many seemed to. I could make ends meet. I count myself lucky during that period of my life.
If you are working yet reduce your spending then you will do two things;
- Learn how to live practically off the grid
- Add to your preps
If you are unemployed you will certainly need to reduce your spending and the sooner the better. You may still be able to prep but you need to make sure you have some extra money. Keep warm by wearing extra clothes, visit friends, etc. and keep your bills down. Watch what you eat and you can reduce your bills. Being unemployed is this day and age with all the persecution is not easy and depending on your housing situation you may not be able to balance your books.
One point to bear in mind. You prep so that you can survive unexpected events. Being unemployed is an unexpected event and you should ensure that you do not die just to put something aside for if the situation gets worse. Your preps are for this, use them, but use them well.