How to Prepare for the Economic Collapse


To start, I am not trying to be an alarmist here, but I remember 2008/2009 pretty well, and how tired I was trying to work two jobs to keep my head above water during the global melt down of the banking system.  Canada got through it pretty well due to our conservative and regulated banks, but we still felt that pinch and many lost good paying jobs, and it pretty much decimated our manufacturing industry.

I was 25 and a newly minted real estate agent, just hitting my stride and I was totally unprepared with not much savings or any real back up plan.  I ate a lot of spaghetti with dented tins of cheap sauce that I often shared with the mice living in my apartment.  It was….. character building, to say the least.

I am no financial expert, but I do read the news, and there are some pretty alarming scenarios happening right now on planet earth, and we should at least consider when and especially, how to prepare for the economic collapse.  It is likely that an event like this will happen again, not only in our lifetime, but in the not so distant future.  Just think about how fragile this global economy really is.  One domino falls, and they all come down.

Have We Really Recovered from the Great Crash of 2008?

7 years after the big crash, and the Canadian national household debt is higher than ever, the mining industry has taken a pretty long nap, and now the price of oil floating at about half it was a year ago.  Not to mention the crazy nose dive the Shanghai Stock Exchange has taken over the last week, and Greece with one foot out of the eurozone.  We are walking a pretty fine line here, and some experts have been warning us for sometime that there are storm clouds ahead.

Coincidence or Something Else?1024px-NYSE

Was anyone else wondering just what happened on July 7th, 2015 when the NYSE had a power outage and stopped trading for a couple of hours? Conveniently around the same time American Airlines had an “internal glitch” that grounded all flights for over an hour? There was also an outage of about 2500 homes in Washington D.C happening that day too.

Was it a coincidence? Or was it a terrorist attack, or some black hat hacker come out to wreak a little havoc? We probably will never know, but it just goes to show how vulnerable we can be if a devious plan is executed or an over inflated bubble finally decides to burst.

What’s Your Contingency Plan?

Who knows what really happened on July 7th, or if the Eurozone is about to lose a member, or China will continue it’s downward spiral, but it just goes to show that there is more way to skin a cat, or in this case, an economy.  It is very important that you have a contingency plan in place should one of these scenarios should develop into an economic disaster.  Hackers, bursting bubbles, falling stock prices, whatever it is, you need to be prepared to ride out the storm and come out the other side intact.

How Can We Be Prepared?

savings-box-161876_1280OK, now you either think I am crazy, or you are cracking open your piggy bank to see how many pennies you can rub together.  All joking aside, the issues I am writing about are actually happening right now, and it is important to recognize that emergencies and disasters aren’t just hurricanes, or super viruses, but come in the economic variety too.

Again, looking at Greece, amid these tense austerity and debt relief negotiations, the banks are closed and the ATMs are dispensing no cash in order to stem the flow of money out of the system. What are people going to do, and how will they buy food if all their money is inaccessible?  Regardless of which side of the argument you side with in regards to austerity in Greece, this is one example of a scenario where your emergency cash stash is going to help you through until things ease up.

The banks and ATMs may be back on in a matter of days or weeks, but the aftermath of such an event will be far reaching, and potentially long lasting. Before you buy you swipe that debit or credit card on a cute pair of shoes, or a 50″ LCD, consider first how much money you have set aside in your emergency fund.  Having at a minimum of 3 months living expenses in your savings account for such an occasion is important.  Having 6 months is better.  Stockpiling food, water and medicines is important in any disaster, but cash is King, and you should have some set aside to complete your emergency rations.

What’s your plan when you can’t access your cash?


The Urban Survivalist






  1. All we can really truly rely on is our food storage and what we do to prepare for warmth and shelter. And that doesn’t require surplus amounts of money available the instant the world comes to an end. But sure, I think its wise to have some cash stashed at home for such emergencies. But it’s not realistic to say that we can’t keep our funds all in an institution.

    • HI Sarah,

      You are right, we can’t be expected to keep our money under our mattress, but I am suggesting having some cash on hand in case of an economic emergency when you can’t get access to the funds in your bank account. If the power is out, or the banks are holding our money to avoid further damage, you need to have some money to get buy.

      You should also have 3-6 month of living expenses set aside in case things do go sideways and our jobs are at risk. Your stockpile and savings account can go along way to keeping you afloat during tough times. Emergencies come in many different forms, this is just one of them

  2. Hi Krysten, a good read thank you. I’m in the UK where we bailed our banks out. The tax payer will probably never see that again.
    Luckily a few years ago we voted to keep out of the euro although as you say with Greece we will still be affected.

    I haven’t any plans as such at the moment but your post has me thinking I need something in place. Thanks again.

    • Hi Dave,

      The UK was smart to keep it’s own currency so that the neighbours plight doesn’t weigh so heavily. Again, just keeping some cash on hand in case it’s needed makes sense. Living pay cheque to pay cheque to bank roll your latest pricey toy really compormises you during an economic event. Some folks in the US lost asbolutely everything! Canadians in Alberta and the West in general are now out of work, many of them sub-contractors with little employment insurance. If those folks didn’t have some money set aside, it looks like it can get pretty rough out there.

  3. Definitely some food for thought. I had some cash stashed away, nothing big, like $500, for an emergency. I thought it would be good to have around for situations where I couldn’t access an ATM etc, but then i got lazy and started using it to pay for cabs, the cleaning lady, lending some money to my girlfriend etc lol Next thing you know I had spent it all. If the economy fails cash is going to be worthless, but if I had some goats and chickens, I could trade for milk, eggs, fur pelts and fish… 🙂 I love your blog by the way.. always entertaining and gets the mind thinking about things we all take for granted.

    • Hahaha, Carlos, those goats will get you every time! My suggestion is to replenish what you take out during the month to ensure you are ready to go.

  4. HI,

    Wow you’ve put the fear into me. Just kidding, I’m not really worried but that doesn’t meat that you don’t have a good point.

    So many people live paycheck to paycheck or else they live way beyond their means and if some sort of economic crisis were to happen they would have nothing to live off of.

    I have always been of the opinion that people should live well within their means and have money set asside just in case something terrible happens to the economy.

    You give some good advice here. Thanks.


    • Thanks Robert! I learned that lesson the hard way back in 2008 when the economy crashed. I was a brand new real estate agent with no savings or plan b. it was a wake up call to be sure! I always have a little slish fund in the bank, just in case, and also some cash at home, in case we have no access to ATM. IT’s tough to do, but something is better than nothing, right?

  5. Hi Krysten, talking about the finance it’s really important, it’s just a part of our life nowadays. We have depts all over stuffs, car loans, house loans, study loans, they’re all on the negative side of our finance. To be frank, I really don’t know how much net worth do I have right now? Even the saving figure is pathetic, all these issues are keeping me worried from day to day.
    Got to work hard in life than.

    • Hi Bernard,

      great point, and many have been struggling since the 2008 meltdown and have yet to get back up. That is a discussion for another day, but what I do suggest is having some kind of cash to keep at home in case we don’t have access to the ATM for a while.

  6. Nice article. You make some very valid points about preparing for such economic disasters. I think the global economy is tentative at best. In recent years much of the economy of many countries has revolved around China; exports to Chine, lending money from China, buying goods from China. From all reports China’s economy is in big trouble. If it collapses there will be a huge fallout worldwide; especially in Western countries. Great post.

    • Exactly! It is always wise to have an emergency savings fund to get you through hard times, but also to have cash on hand as well!

  7. We really have some alarming circumstances of instability all around the world in many different aspects of economy, politics and society.

    Think many people are afraid what’s to expect in the future. Some face it, like you do with your blog, many try to push it to the back of their minds.

    In my opionen it’s always better to face the problems we have. That’s why you are doing a good job in telling people what they can do to get preprared for the collapse.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Krysten,

    Thanks for your article on preparing for an economic collapse.

    It’s great that you can share your own personal experience (that you have learnt from) so that others might not have to do it the hard way.

    I’m in South America and don’t remember hearing about the 7th of July glitches but hmm sounds a little suss.

    Anyway thank you for raising the importance of a back up and contingency plan, Krysten!

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