1. Is this necessary? Don’t fool yourself when asking this question. Some things seem necessary, but life would go on without them. Cable TV, smart phone…etc. A vehicle is a necessity, but a beater will get you from point A to point B and settling for a lesser car can put thousands in your pockets that can be used for prepping.
2. Can I get it cheaper? Before you purchase a new pair of jeans for $30 to $50 (or more!) have you looked at garage sales and thrift stores? Buying a pair of $5 jeans at a thrift store just saved you $25 that can be used to purchase over 30 cans of food marked down to 80 cents in the weekly sale.
3. Will this be able to be used prior to a SHTF scenario AND afterwards? Purchasing something that can be of use now and will still remain useful afterwards is the key here.
4. Are there cheaper options available? Sure, the shiny new decked out shotgun is sweet, but could I find a used one that I could pick up for less?
5. Will this purchase take up useful time and replace it with useless time that cannot be replaced? For example, to some, gaming systems are fun, but they take up hours and hours of your time and in the end, you haven’t gained a skill or accomplished anything, you’ve just grown older. Avoid time sucking activities that have no meaningful return on your time investment.
6. Can I learn something from this? Buy a canner and learn the skill of canning. This is a lesson that will save you money, will grow a yearning for learning how to garden and become more self sufficient and will save you a lot of money by being able to save food that might be thrown away before it becomes spoiled. Buy a book on woodworking utilizing hand tools instead of the latest science fiction novel. Prepping skills learned are an investment.
7. If it is necessary and I find it at a good price, can I purchase more? This can help with preps as well as save money in the future.
8. If I need this item, but can’t afford it right now, what am I willing to give up to be able to put myself in a position in the near future to be able to afford it?
9. Who says I need this? Too many decisions are made to “Keep up with the Joneses”. Children are excellent at playing the emotional strings because “Everyone in my class is going to the concert”. No decision should be made because someone else is doing it. If you have plenty of disposable income and extra, by all means, get $2,000 front row tickets! But if it means you will have a great time and an empty pantry, get the artist’s CD and call it good. Unless someone is actually paying your bills, their opinion on what you do or spend money on doesn’t matter.
10. Can this hobby be used in a practical application? Scrapbooking may be fun, but what does it teach you that will be useful some day? I’m not a scrapbooker myself so maybe there is something I’m missing, but I know of people who spend hundreds of dollars doing this activity.
11. Does this person identify with my goals, beliefs and will be an asset? Let’s face it, you end up like who you hang around. If being prepared is your goal, you need to guard the gates of your association and limit it to people who don’t take every chance they can to take verbal pokes at your prepping. Find people who are encouraging to your goals. People who have skills they can teach or are hungry to learn from your knowledge.
I have heard the excuse many times from people that they cannot afford to prep, yet they have a satellite dish, the most expensive smart phone with data package, an X Box, drink coffee from Fourbucks every morning and I could go on and on. I truly believe that everyone has within their capacity the ability to prep.
This does bring up some good points we need to always have this in the back of our minds when prepping, regardless of what you are prepping for, if you are just wanting to have extra food an hand or want to be all out being self sufficient.