Trade currency is the topic for today’s post and we are also going to touch on barter networks. I think many of you are like me and are preparing for the possibility of some tough economic times and for number different reasons. Besides the social and political turmoil going on in our country, there is the state of the world’s economy to consider, terrorist threats, social unrest, major storms, earthquakes, pandemics, and the possibilities to be discussed just go on and on. On top of all those issues I think whatever happens with America’s economic system or the economic system around the world we are looking at the definite possibility and an almost a certainty of seeing higher taxes on everything that touches us in our modern world.
Until there is total and complete economic collapse of the United States financial system cash is going to be king. As we discussed in the previous topic debt is not a good thing to have, unless you are a bank, Credit Card Company or a lending agencies since they are the only ones that make any money on the deal. Having some cash on hand is just smart, and in my humble opinion keep as much as you can possibly safely. Whether it is $100 or $10,000 depends on you and your budget as well as your level of concern. If the power is off, the credit card readers will not work. The bank’s ATM will not work and you will not be able to buy gas at the gas station or pay for your groceries at the store that is unless you have some cash to pay for what you need when you need it.
There’s a lot of talk both on the television and the Internet about investing in silver and gold or other precious metals. I’m not a financial advisor by any means but in my opinion it all depends on your situation, and what you can afford. Having some amount of silver and maybe a little bit of gold is probably not a bad idea to have on hand. Of course if you listen to Dave Ramsey he’s vehemently oppose to investing in gold and silver. The key word is investing. In his world, he does not believe they are true investments and he could be right. Small denominations of gold have a high value and are easy to transport and you have to move to another location on short notice and were limited in what you could carry. Whether they are in the form of coins or jewelry, their small size to high value ratio makes gold very valuable. But that’s only if someone’s willing to pay that value for it when you need to cash them in for food for fuel or another item. Silver on the other hand is fairly heavy but it is more commonly available as coinage, jewelry and even silverware. Again deciding on its value at the time of the exchange is going to be the tricky part.
In our case I began collecting coins in 1976 as a hobby, I just wish that I had embrace the hobby more than I did. Back then older coins were easier to find that they are today and cost substantially less. The pre-1964 coinage is higher in silver content, and was still in circulation in some respects. At coin shows they were available for fair prices but now those pre-1964 coins unless they are in excellent condition and graded and slabed, their prices are greatly influenced by the melt value of the silver that they contain.
Before you go out and buy any silver or gold, do your research, find the best prices and stay within a budget. How much is enough is not for me to say that is something you and your family need to decide on.
I have done some Internet research on barter networks that have been forming around the country and I think within your local area just makes sense to find or form one of your own. By using a somewhat structured barter network, many goods and services can be traded or swapped for equal values.
Barter in its truest form is the exchange of goods and or services between people or small businesses without using any money. A fair and agree on value is placed on a product or item or service and they are basically swapped. Barter has been around for centuries and people have traded both goods and services without the interference of government. Let’s say I’ve have a garden and I’ve got a bushel basket full of tomatoes in you have chickens. There’s no reason why I can’t trade you tomatoes for eggs, we only need to establish between the two of us what’s a fair trade, is it one for one or two tomatoes for 4 eggs. That’s an arrangement to be made between the two of us.
To expand on this bartering idea let’s say you have a valuable trade or skill, you have training or knowledge in a subject that not everybody has. Let’s take a hunter for example, he or she may know where the best places to hunt are, what their quarries movements or habits are and they have the tools to harvest that game animal. Or maybe they know how to hunt but they do not know how to process and preserve the meat. That brings us to other skill sets needed like the butcher, the cook, and the person who knows how to preserve the meat perhaps by smoking, salting, or other methods of preservation. Do you know how to preserve food by canning and do you have the tools and equipment to do it? Barter may be the answer if you do not have all the skills and due to the economic situation money may be tight.
With that I’ll leave you today and would encourage you to examine your personal situation and sets your own goals on any of the common and basic preparation that your family need to make to cover the commonality of most if not all disasters that could occur. Take the time to think about and discuss what knowledge, skills and supplies you’re lacking. Set some realistic goals that could be achieved over the next week to six months that you can accomplish to be more prepared than you are. Remember keep it in budget and do not to go into debt.