My husband and I are preppers. We have not always thought of ourselves in that way or lived in that way. We, like so many others bought into the get-what-you-want-now-no-need-to-work-hard-for-anything mentality. Sure, we lived paycheck to paycheck when we started out, but we didn’t really act like we were living paycheck to paycheck. At one time we had 3 vehicle payments: truck, car and bike. We bought our first house based on whether or not we could afford the monthly payment, not whether or not we could afford the house. We lived like we made double what we actually made.
The journey to a preparedness mindset started years ago…although, at the time, we didn’t see it as that. We met couples who told us of the times they had to take a calculator to the grocery store every week to make sure they didn’t go over their budget. They lived simply so that they could save to one day be able to put a down payment on their first house. They had worked hard to get where they were…successful, comfortable, secure.
I remember Ray and I talking about how admirable that was. I remember looking at them and thinking…that is something to be proud of. I thought about my parents and grandparents and how they lived the same way. How could I have forgotten that?
So we started to do the same thing. Rather than go out and seek “instant gratification” we started to save. We didn’t buy everything we wanted when we wanted it. We put money away. We paid off our debt in little over two years: credit cards, vehicles, student loans. We started looking at how we were living and realized that, if something should happen like one of us losing a job or bad weather making it impossible to get to the grocery store or any natural disaster, fire or flood, we wouldn’t have enough food to last even a week. We wouldn’t have enough water to flush the toilet if the power went out for a week, let alone to drink. We wouldn’t have enough…fill in the blank.
We started storing and rotating our food. We started to plan our garden. We planned for the future…diversifying our savings rather than just socking money away into a 401K. We worked together to make a better quality of life.
Most people picture a bunch of tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists when they hear the word “prepper”, but it used to mean being prepared. With all that is going on in the world today–all the natural and manmade disasters–wouldn’t it make sense to be prepared “if times get tough, or even if they don’t*”?
*Jack Spirko, The Survival Podcast