When we talk of our standard of living most people equate that to all of the stuff and the money that they have. They feel that the more of each they have the better they are doing. Unfortunately for most, the last few decades have seen an artificial prosperity in the U.S. with an artificial standard of living. The standard they think they have is propped up by massive amounts of fiat money that can and will evaporate soon.
We have been brought to this point by irresponsible policies created by irresponsible people that seek only to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses. Many Americans have massive amounts of mortgage debt, automobile debt, credit card debt, student loan debt, business debt, medical debt and/or recreational equipment debt.
When the money ends and the people can no longer pay for the things that make up their standard of living, they will lose most of those things and be left with a lot of cheap trinkets made in China, many of which are probably broken already, to signify their standard of living.
When the artificial standard of living collapses into the real standard of living that most will end up with, there will be a lot of denial then a lot of anger. This will be a dangerous time for everyone, especially those that made prudent decisions most of their lives and lived within their means and will still have most of their wealth in tact when it’s over.
The envy that the political left has sown will reap a deadly harvest when this false paradigm ends. Politicians on the left and right are responsible for this mess but it is the social tension from the left that will cause much violence. People that have grown up in a system that taught them they are entitled to a certain standard of living will become violent when the things they were promised are taken away without warning.
Those that have spent wisely over the years and lived within or below their means will remain solvent while others sink in the ocean of debt they have set sail on. Many will not go gently into that good night and will strike out at anyone that they feel has more than their fair share of stuff when everything falls apart. This is the reason many have a plan to leave for more tranquil waters when the going starts to get bad. For those that have made the hard decisions and remain solvent, the coming chaos is a foregone conclusion and they are prepared for that. But what of those that only now realize the danger and seek to prepare for it?
If you now realize that your standard of living is about to take a drastic plunge it may still be possible to cushion the fall for your family but some drastic decisions will need to be made. When you see an accident about to happen, the actions you take determine whether you get a bruise, a broken arm or are killed outright. Your actions need to represent who you are and the situation you are currently living in.
In a serious crisis the things that are important are water, food, shelter, clothing, security, medical, transportation and communication. Sanitation is also critical for well being but for brevity we will assume that your shelter will cover that aspect. In day to day living the four things needed are food, water, shelter and clothing. These are the things most people will struggle to provide for their families so these are the things you will need to place emphasis on if you are behind the preparation curve at this point. The other items are not less important but will depend on your location and situation as to their need. Once you can provide the basics to your family then the other items will become necessary.
For someone living in the suburbs or urban area with a job and few survival type skills, it would likely be necessary to store some of your wealth in a form you can use later to care for your family. This may take the form of food, gold, silver, diamonds or some other durable wealth preserving tool. The idea for this type of individual is to have the means to provide food, shelter and clothing during hard times. Since this type of individual may have very few skills to fall back on to produce these items themselves they would need a medium of exchange to trade for those things for the duration of the crisis. That does not mean this type of person should not seek education to provide these items themselves but given certain time constraints it may not be possible short term. An individual in this situation needs to have a plan to deal with these conditions utilizing the resources available to them at this time. A portable form of wealth may be the only option if relocation is required due to a deteriorating situation in the cities and/or your primary shelter is lost.
An individual living in the country may have more opportunity to provide the basics for their family depending on their location and the resources available in the local community. The basics still hold true though for the rural individual. For this person the skills available may make up for lack of financial means to store wealth for future use. This person will still need food, water, shelter and clothing as a minimum for their family but they may be able to provide those things by different means than their city cousins. The availability of open ground to grow food and the availability of water on site in most places may decrease the need to seek out these resources for day to day living allowing more time to be spent on acquisition of shelter and clothing.
In The American Dream Lost I cover one strategy that can work for most average families and can be summed up as follows.
Purchase a good used RV or camper trailer for shelter.
Purchase two sets of new clothing for each person to be stored in shelter.
Purchase food to provide a minimum of two meals a day for a year.
Buy a shotgun and ammo.
Buy value in junk silver coins for emergency use.
These things can can mean the difference between becoming destitute and helpless or being able to live with a good quality of life. Measures should be taken to prevent the loss of this backup system in the event you must declare bankruptcy and lose everything when the system collapses. Unless a mad max scenario happens very fast, anything you do not own free and clear may be lost in due time by foreclosure. Above all if you decide to implement a plan like this or some other the most important thing to remember is not to wait until you have no resources left before you try to enact the plan. Most people try to run things out until the last minute and all resources are used up hoping things will change and the life they are accustomed to will be saved somehow. That is a plan for disaster in the current environment and is very dangerous for you and your family to depend on. You must set aside resources for the plan you devise and be prepared to activate it when nothing else can be done. That is a mental leap you must be prepared to take when the time comes.
A good quality of life should not be confused with all of the consumer things you now have and feel necessary to function every day. Some of the best things in life are free and this is the thing you must mentally prepare your family for the most. A collapse of our living standard will require everyone to adjust to the new reality and those that do not make the transition will cause a great many problems for the rest. One of the biggest problems we face are those that cannot or will not adjust and this is where the greatest danger lies in society when the system breaks down.