What Would You Do if Your Money Had No Value?

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Trading and Bartering InfographicImagine living in a world where cash had no value! What if you had a $100 bill and you wanted to buy a loaf of bread but nobody would sell it to you because your money was useless to them? If money had no value, how would you get the things that you need?

Some of you who are reading this article don’t believe that a major catastrophe will ever happen that will bring an end to civilized society. That’s perfectly fine because we all have our individual motivating forces that drive us to want to prepare for what might lie ahead in the future. With that in mind, it’s important to point out that many preppers believe that it’s not out of the realm of reality to think that a situation could develop where the financial system that we are accustomed to breaks down and the value of the dollar diminishes to the point that money has no value.

Let History Be Your Teacher

Even if you don’t believe that this could happen, history has shown us time and time again that during major natural disasters, people have a tendency to frantically rush to the store and buy everything that’s on the shelves. They’ve also been known to loot stores to the point that anything that might have been left on the shelves ultimately ends up getting stolen. Using our example of wanting to buy a loaf of bread, if the stores don’t have any bread to sell you, it doesn’t matter whether you have $100 or $500, your money will be of no use to you.

I don’t like to be, “the glass is half empty” type of person but I also don’t want to be the kind of person who buries their head in the sand and pretends like nothing bad could ever happen. My philosophy is that we can’t predict the future but we CAN prepare for it. I think that’s a philosophy that many preppers share in this day and age.

Let’s Assume That This COULD ACTUALLY Happen!

So, regardless of what your motivation for prepping is, let’s all play along and assume that a situation could arise where the dollar has no value. If you’re reading this article, you’re either already a prepper or you are interested in beginning to prepare for emergencies. Most preppers try to do all they can to be as prepared as possible for whatever might lie in their future. This usually includes building up our food storage supplies as well as other supplies that we might think we would possibly need to survive in any number of potential doomsday scenarios.

I personally believe that in order to be a responsible prepper, you have to accept the fact that regardless of how diligent you are in preparing, situations will likely arise where you find yourself in need of something that you just don’t have. Herein lies the million-dollar question. If you desperately need something and money has no value, how will you get it?

Accept the Fact That Most People Won’t Be Prepared

Although the number of people who are starting to prep is growing, the vast majority of society will not be prepared for the doomsday scenarios that might come our way. Keep in mind that I use the word “doomsday scenarios” very broadly on my website. It could mean a major natural disaster like hurricane Katrina or any number of other events that lead to a breakdown in civilized society.

If we look at the way that these types of individuals behaved during and after hurricane Katrina, it’s fairly safe to assume that in future doomsday scenarios, a large number of people will try to steal the supplies that they need to survive with. So, we have to accept the fact that this is one possible option for getting the things that people are in need of, although it’s certainly not one that I plan to participate in.

Depending upon how long we find ourselves having to survive without the law and order of civilized society, we might find that we may have to resort to scavenging for things that we are in need of. If society breaks down to the point that people abandon their homes and leave their vehicles on the side of the streets, we may have to question our moral values and make the decision about whether or not scavenging for supplies falls into the category of stealing or just doing what we need to do to survive. I certainly don’t advocate stealing or doing anything else that is against the law for that matter but many people will find themselves in a situation where they choose to scavenge for supplies that they have either run out of or didn’t take the time to stockpile.

The third option is one that I think will be the most beneficial for smart preppers to use and that is “bartering”. When money has no value, the only way that you may be able to get what you need is to find someone who has what you need. If you have something they need and they have something that you need, trading benefits both parties.

Let’s imagine that you end up in a situation where you run out of medical supplies and you desperately need them. You may find someone who has the medical supplies that you need but if money has no value, you could offer them $1,000 and they won’t sell them to you. But, on the other hand, the chances are good that if YOU have run out of particular supplies, THEY may have as well. In a situation like this, if both parties have items to trade that each party needs, it will be possible to come to an agreement and make a fair trade for essential survival items. I happen to believe that it won’t only be possible; I believe that it will be highly likely that we will transition to a bartering system instead of a financial system at some point in the future.

What if I’m Right?

Let’s assume that I’m right and bartering eventually becomes the primary method of commerce. If we assume that this will eventually happen, one thing that we can do as preppers is to stockpile items that we think will be in high demand when the shelves of the stores are empty.

I’ve included some examples that initially come to my mind in the list below. Keep in mind that although I try to be a good prepper, I certainly don’t have a crystal ball so this is just a basic list of some ideas that you can use to get started with but you’ll probably want to add some items to your list based upon your personal beliefs.

  • Medical Supplies – Regardless of what might happen in the future, everyone will always need medical supplies. I believe that the more you have, the better off you’ll be. Even if you don’t need them for yourself, having a surplus of medical supplies to trade could be very beneficial.
  • Luxury Items – I consider luxury items to be types of things that people have become accustomed to having an oftentimes they’ll have a difficult time living without. For example, it’s no secret that millions of individuals have a bit of a smoking habit. Others will desperately want to drown their sorrows in a bottle. For some, it might be as simple as they have a sweet tooth and will do anything for a candy bar. The idea that I’m trying to get across here is that you should try to put yourself into the mindset of thinking about the types of items that people will really want or even need. If you stockpile these types of items, even if you don’t plan on using them yourself, they could end up being tremendous bartering chips for you at some point in the future.
  • Skills – If you have a valuable skill that someone else needs and they don’t have that particular skill, you will be able to use it to your advantage. Let me give you a perfect example that we have actually already used. We have a good friend who is an auto mechanic and we happen to have needed something repaired on one of our vehicles. He happened to need something fixed on his computer and my husband is really good at that sort of thing. Even though we weren’t in “survival mode”, he had a skill that we needed and my husband had a skill that he needed so it worked out to the benefit of both of us to trade services in this particular situation. Don’t underestimate the value of trading your skills and abilities for supplies or services that you might find yourself needing at some point down the line.

I hope that this article has helped open your eyes to the possibility that at some point in our future, cash may have little or no value. I also hope that this article will help change your mindset when it comes to prepping and get you to start stockpiling items or developing skills that may help you if society is ever forced to transition from a cash based system to a bartering based system.

One Response to “What Would You Do if Your Money Had No Value?”

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  1. Bart says:

    I have to admit that you make a very valid point. It’s actually an aspect of prepping that I really hadn’t considered.

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