Beginner’s Guide: Financial Planning for Doomsday Preppers

By James Barton •  Updated: 06/27/19 •  9 min read

There are a great deal of reasons to be worried about the future: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that we have only 12 years left to limit the effects of climate change before a global natural disaster strikes and an ever-increasing political tension has been spreading about the globe, causing worry of what impulsive actions might be undertaken from one nation against another. 

While it might seem easier to respond to this fear by removing yourself from the news and moving on with your life, this isn’t the best option for either you or your family. In the event of a natural disaster or another catastrophic event, you want to ensure that you are prepared for the future, whatever it might bring—whether that be a natural/man-made disaster or not. 

For this reason, it is imperative that you have a doomsday plan ready. While most U.S. families are unable to afford basic goods on a day-to-day basis, you should take the time to analyse your financial situation and determine how you can create the best plan for you and your own family. We’ve got a number of recommendations to consider when creating your financial plan should a doomsday event occur. 

Also Read: Understanding Economic Collapse

A Year’s Worth of Food, Water and Goods

The first thing you want to guarantee you have on hand are the basics for human survival: food, water, warm clothes, first aid supplies and items for hygiene. When it comes to food, buy non-perishable items in bulk whenever it is financially possible—consider clipping coupons to make it easier and cheaper to buy items. Shop for extra clothes and blankets at local thrift stores, seeking items that are in good condition and will not wear easily. For food and water, your best option is to buy materials that you trust, all the while making sure they are stored in safe, durable containers.  

Not only are these important to have for your own health and safety, but they are just as useful as items to barter with. In a pinch, you can rely on stockpiled goods of your own to influence others and receive items you might be in need of. Clothes pile


No matter what happens, cash will still be able to get you what you need (at least prior to people beginning to barter other items). Whenever the worst hits, a reserve of cash will provide you with power that others might not have. You’ll be able to readily purchase goods; you’ll be able to offer cash for services from others; and you’ll be able to receive transportation or protection from others by having something valuable to offer or trade. 

Consider stashing away a variety of paper bills because while smaller bills will be able to help you make smaller purchases, larger bills will work well for bribing others.  

Gold, Silver, Copper and Precious Metals

Even if cash loses its value, there is very little chance that the value of either gold, silver or copper will ever decrease. Not only are these precious metals useful for construction and basic necessities, these metals are beneficial for the value socially ingrained in them.

Coins gold silver

There are easy ways to stock up on various items of gold, silver and copper, one of which is exploring local thrift shops for antique jewellery. First and foremost, you can purchase expensive quantities of these precious metals either as gold bullion or minted coins, such as American Silver Eagles. If you’d like to invest in metals that carry a more haughty name, you could consider purchasing weight in precious metals such as platinum or palladium.

Also Read: Investing for Preppers: Gold vs. Silver

Learning Barterable Skills

While it is smart to invest in stocking supplies and money within your home, it is just as smart to take the time to train yourself for the possibility of doomsday. One of the best ways to spend some of your time and money in preparation is to begin taking classes to learn useful skills, including first aid, cooking/butcher, engineer, sewing, farming and general repairs. 

The truth is that it is difficult to determine what to expect of an apocalypse, as none of us can be sure just what it is that will bring about the near, or total, end of humanity. However, there are ways in which you, as a regular person, can begin prepping for doomsday. We’ve all heard of the common notions of preparing for doomsday: the fallout shelter stacked with an endless amount of supplies, gear against radiation, gas masks, and an arsenal of weapons that would make Robert McNamara proud. But this is nothing more than an image we often see in films—something that would be quite difficult to procure and afford. There are some ways in which you can begin prepping for doomsday, and that’s by creating a plan ahead of time. Here are six ways you can make sure you have the basic necessary supplies to survive the apocalypse.   

1. Have a Financial Plan

First off, before you even begin purchasing supplies and storing away weapons to protect you, your family, and your dog, you’ll want to have a financial plan in place. This might sound silly, as you could be asking, “Why do I need to worry about my finances when the world has gone awry?” This is an understandable thought, but we must consider the current time so we can prepare for the future. While it is smart to prepare for doomsday, it would be foolish to sink all of your current assets into preparing for it. By having a financial plan in place, you can budget how much you’d like to spend either per-month or per-year on supplies, tools, and training. 

2. Setting Aside Part of Your Paycheck

One idea you might want to implement in your financial plan is the notion of setting aside money. Think of it as an un-banked retirement fund! Each time you are paid by your employer, consider taking a certain percentage off the top and setting it aside. This depends on your current financial situation, but this is money that can be used for dried food, water, clothing, and more. Perhaps you could invest in some gold bullion or gold jewellery—these items can be substituted for paper currency in the event of the USD’s value plummeting.


3. Clipping Coupons and Shopping for Sales

Looking to accumulate a large collection of dried/canned foods, water, vitamins, health supplies and more? Start off by going through your weekly newspapers and begin clipping coupons. You’ll be able to target specific items and food you believe you’ll require in the future while saving a pretty penny on purchases, allowing you to save that extra money for other important supplies. 


4. Save Money Where You Can

Just as you’ll want to set aside some money for your doomsday prep, you should also begin to cut back on spending wherever you can. This can be from driving aimlessly—to reduce spending on gasoline and lessening the number of times you eat out per month to reducing how much you spend on liquor, coffee, and other non-essentials. All of this money can be set aside to invest in other more necessary items for doomsday.  


5. Relying on Thrift Clothing

In the event of Doomsday, you’ll want to be sure you have enough clothes, blankets, and protective gear lying around. Not only will your clothing become damaged over time, especially if it is brought about by an environmental catastrophe, but you’ll want to be sure you have enough layers for harsh winter months if you live in a region with a colder climate. By rummaging through thrift stores, you can find some good-quality, cheap clothing that can be stockpiled to keep both you and your family safe, comfortable, and warm. 

6. Begin Learning Basic Skills

When doomsday comes, it will be difficult to trust others in your community, as you’ll never be truly certain of their intentions when interacting with you. For this reason, it is imperative that you learn basic skills meant for survival. While you might have some of this knowledge already, it is important that you regularly brush up on your skills or go out of your way to learn brand new ones. These can include first aid, basic electronic and/or mechanical repairs, woodworking, cooking, hunting, sewing, and more. If you can do it yourself, it will save you the trouble of having to reach out to others for immediate help when trouble comes around.

Learning Building

But what if you don’t know how to take care of something in particular? Begin bartering. By either offering your skills for similar shared help, food for a favour, or a bit of stored away money, perhaps the likes of gold or silver coins, you can provide your neighbour with an enticing product for their help. Rather than being indebted to someone, you can make sure that the two of you are even from the start. 

Preparing yourself for doomsday might seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. With some planning and foresight, you can make basic choices to ensure that you and your family are ready for whatever comes at humanity. 

Also Read: 9 Basic Survival Skills Everyone Should Know How to Do

Final Thoughts

The examples provided, and many others, are skills that will benefit both you and many other people. If you are in need of certain items, money, protection or shelter, it is necessary that you have something available to trade. If you unfortunately do not have a good to physically barter, you can capitalise on the situation by offering a skill set that might be difficult to come by. 

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.