10 Lessons to Learn From

  • Credit is Cancer – Almost any financial disaster can be linked back to credit and debt. These two things are the cancer that can kill financial goals, strain relationships and can even lead to physical health problems due to the stress of making payments that seem to get bigger and bigger every year. Save your money, put up large down payments, stay away from credit cards and installment loans. Remember, if it REALLY is that important, you’ll save up for it, if you can‘t, then it probably wasn’t worth the money anyway.
  • Build and continue to reinforce relationships and community – During the depression, people survived by banding together. Community gardening and food storage efforts, bartering, community security cooperatives and even community medical professionals were commonplace. Your first step to building community is right outside your door. Build relationships with people in your area. Explore hobbies together, laugh together during the good times and cry together during the bad. The times we are going to face will be extremely tough, and there’s no reason to try and face it alone.
  • Enjoy the simple life – We should all be taking a lesson from children. Children can find excitement in even the most common of activities.
  • Become a DIY’er – Websites like Pinterest have turned the Do It Yourself hobby world into a virtual modern-day revolution. However, being a DIYer isn’t just a cool hobby for stay-at-home moms. Being a DIY’er could literally be the difference between surviving and being a victim during an economic collapse. There are so many simple things that we could be doing ourselves that would not only save us money, but would give us the skills to lead a relatively normal life even when disasters take away modern conveniences.
  • The difference between frugal and cheap – A lot of people think that they have to be cheap in order to save money, especially during a financial disaster. This isn’t true. Frugal isn’t the same as cheap. Cheap means that no matter what, not spending money is the first option. That is not always the best choice. Sometimes you have to spend some money to fix a problem. That being said, frugality means that we try to use the resources we have to resolve an issue, but are willing to invest money, if that money will give us a good return on our investment. A good example of this would be gardening. Anyone can throw some seeds into the ground, but to really maximize your garden’s yield and productivity you need to invest a little money in it to buy quality seeds, improve soil and improve yields.
  • Appreciate your food and where it comes from – Sometimes it’s easy to take food for granted. We’ve been inundated with modern conveniences and spoiled with how easily we can procure food. Starting a garden is a great start to learning to appreciate your food. Learning to cook without a recipe is another valuable skill to learn. During a depression-like scenario, most of us won’t be able to afford to buy the same volume of groceries we’re used to, if we’re able to buy groceries at all. Preparing for that eventuality now is really the only way to be ready when we will actually need to be much more self-reliant for our food.
  • Stop killing our soil – During the Great Depression, many people tried to rely on their land as a way to feed themselves and their family. Unfortunately, many of these families went hungry simply due to poor soil management. Soil is fragile; it will produce for you only as well as you treat it. During the Great Depression, destructive farming practices turned thousands of acres of perfectly good farmland into what was commonly referred to as the “Dust Bowl”. This soil was unable to produce enough (if any) food to feed the people simply because it was not treated properly in times of abundance. Today, practices like mono-cropping and GMO farming are literally ripping the productivity out of our farmland once again. Although there’s not a whole lot we can do about that, we can do something about the soil in our backyards. Be sure that you are treating your own soil with care so that it will produce for you in both good times and bad.
  • Stop throwing stuff away – There is so much waste in this country today. It is estimated that the United States literally throws away over 165 Billion dollars in food every single year. This is a real shame. We all need to be a lot more careful about how much perishable food we are buying, how we are storing it, and how efficiently we are using it. Simply not wasting food could save your family hundreds or thousands of dollars every year. Additionally, so much of our “waste” food can be turned into valuable compost that you can use to add fertility to your soil.
  • Be organized – This may seem like a silly addition to this list but it’s actually very important. When your home is disorganized it has a real effect on your morale. After a long day at work, the very last thing I want to see when I come home is a messy house. It can literally but a scowl on my face. Keeping things neat and organized seems like such a small thing, but during a disaster situation, especially a long-term disaster, having a clean and organized home can provide a sense of order even when the rest of the world is in chaos.
  • Appreciate what you have – This is probably the toughest lesson we should all be learning from the Great Depression era. Striving to be better, whether that means as a parent, spouse or even just becoming better at skills or hobbies is important. Wanting more for your family is honorable. That being said, if you can’t appreciate what you have, you’ll never be content even if you exceed every goal you set for yourself. A lot of us may complain about life being hard and not being able to get ahead, but I think it’s important sometimes to take a step back and appreciate ourselves for the lives we’ve been able to build.

(taken from ready4itall.org)