The SHTF Entrepreneur and Stashing Cash

When it comes to prepping we all think in time frames, a week, 3 months and a year. An economic collapse is not like a terrorist attack or an earthquake, an economic collapse has so many variables that there is no simple checklist you can go through and be completely prepared.

This article might be a little unorthodox because it’s about being the SHTF or post collapse entrepreneur, but hang in there and it will all make sense.

The second part of the article is about whether or not your money is safe in the bank, and some unique places to stash your cache.

Listen to Episode 105: The SHTF Entrepreneur


Everything we talk about when it comes to preparing for an economic collapse is reactionary, but this is one of the disaster scenarios where we have at least a little say in how it turns out for us. An economic collapse or depression type event could have different consequences for each of us.

When we think of an economic collapse we tend to think worst case scenario, but what if it looks like the 2008 scare which affected some people more than others? Or what if it is a long term depression like the one in the 1930’s? Keep in mind as your read this, I think an economic collapse will look like the depression…just a whole lot worse.

When Life Gives you Lemons…

We’ve all heard the saying “when life gives you lemons make lemonade right? Well in a situation like this you are going to have more lemons than you ever wanted. Surviving is about having the ability to pivot when it’s necessary, and do what it takes to put food on the table.

On paper you probably have enough supplies to last anywhere from a month to a year depending on how much you have stored, but what about those situation we just can’t prepare for? And what happens 6 months down the line when your supplies and money are beginning to run low?

This is when our true survival instincts kick in. I’m not talking about eating bugs and building a fire, I’m talking about the same skills we use today when we are trying to balance our budgets and pay everyone that has their fingers in our pockets.

In a recent podcast about investing in gold and silver we talked about how we can make an economic collapse work in your favor as much as possible. As preppers we have the opportunity to hedge our bets…a little insider trading if you will. Most people will be caught off guard, but we (the crazy prepper) study what this might look like in order to become better prepared for it.

When Push Comes to Shove…

Think about the great depression, unemployment and crime were at unheard of levels, but most people didn’t revert to killing other people for food, most people did what it took to survive. To some people it was working odd jobs, and to some people it was the black market.

I’m not necessarily talking about illegal activity here because let’s face it, there will still be laws, and quite possibly many more restrictive laws. I’m talking about selling the goods and services people will need in a collapse scenario, but can’t afford to pay what the big guys want.

In this podcast Lisa and I talked about items we have that might be more valuable than money during an economic collapse, and how as preppers this might be where we can get an upper hand. I’m not talking about the beginning stages of a collapse, as a matter of fact we should do whatever we can to stay off the radar during this stage, but eventually everything is going to “normalize” a little bit.

The crime rate will still be high, and every part of town will be the bad part of town, but at this point we might have a better idea about who and what to avoid. Our supplies will only last so long, so we might also find ourselves in a situation where we have no choice but to figure something out.

It won’t be as easy as handing out resumes or hopping online to apply for a job because they probably won’t be there, but that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless.

If we have the foresight to purchase and store some items that are considered low value everyday items today, but will be necessity’s in a post collapse scenario, we could use these supplies to barter, sell or trade and make our situation a little easier to bare.

Useful items to barter with post collapse

Some Items Include…

Clothes and Shoes: Old hand me downs don’t have to be thrown away or given to Goodwill if you have the storage space why not keep them around, make sure they are stored properly though.

Batteries and lighters: Anything that is small, portable and inexpensive could make great bartering supplies to have.

Sewing supplies: This is one of those “I didn’t know I needed it until I needed it” things. In a long term depression or collapse people will not be able to run out to Walmart and buy a new pair of pants. Duct tape could also be included haha.

First aid and hygiene items: Do you make your own soap? I don’t, but maybe I should. These everyday supplies could be in high demand, and because people will not be able to afford to see a doctor, first aid supplies will become very valuable.

Miscellaneous Tools: I’ll bet most of us have a few extra screwdrivers laying around. While they might be useless to us, you won’t be able to call a handyman in a post collapse scenario so tools from the garage will become high value items.

Extra Food: This one is is a tough one because you don’t want to be giving away your livelihood, but you might find yourself in a situation where push comes to shove and you have no choice. If you have the ability (and room) to grow enough food that you have extra why not try to trade it for something you need.

Water: At our home we have a well, we could put that water in containers and sell or barter it to people who are in need. I wouldn’t let anyone know where you set up shop, so I think we would have to get a few people together for protection and take it far away and sell it.

These are just a few ideas that I thought about, but depending on your situation you might have different ideas, just think outside the box.


The Company you Keep…

As I mentioned above, you want to make sure you don’t let anyone know where you set up shop. To become a post collapse entrepreneur you need to join with some people you truly trust and basically become a traveling salesman.

Just like setting up a business today you are going to need employees, and you are going to need to keep those employees happy. Today we can just fire someone and they will be on their way, in an SHTF scenario they are probably going to be pretty upset, and they know everything about you and your operation.

Remember, I’m talking about a depression type even here, not a Mad Max type event, If you could get the neighborhood together you could set up a post collapse corporation where everyone has their role, from packaging, to security detail to traveling salesman.

Places to hide cash and keep it out of the bank

Ok, so now that we talked about what to do in a long term event, what about the short term? The last thing we want to do when the chaos is at its peak is let people know what we have and where we have it, this goes for event’s leading up to the collapse as well.

If the economy were to collapse or send us into the next great depression there is much more to worry about than food and water. What about utility’s and rent that will require money regardless of how bad the economy is. It doesn’t matter how much food and water we have stored if we have no place to put it.

One reason having long term food and water stored will help in this situation is that when money is tight we can spend it on having a place to live rather than food. The same principal applies today, if we find ourselves in between jobs, having some food stored could be the difference between paying the rent and finding a place to move.

This all leads to protecting the money we have now, a lot of us don’t have much money in the bank in the first place so losing it could be a disaster in itself. Here are a few points we hit on during the podcast about what options you have to protect your hard earned money.

Foreign currency: A question I still have not found a good answer for is will foreign currency have any value here in the US if the economy tanks? If your SHTF plan is to leave the country then sure, you better have some currency for the place you are going.

If you plan on staying in the U.S. I believe it might be a different story. Just like in Greece right now, if the bank will only give you $60 it doesn’t matter if you bring in 1,000 Euros or a gold bar…your only getting $60. If anyone knows what I’m missing here let me know in the comments?

Hiding Cash Around the House

Places to hide your cash around the house

I’m really on the fence with this one because physically I am safer with my money in the bank, I don’t have to worry about someone robbing me or threatening my family. I am also concerned that my hard earned money could disappear from the bank in the blink of an eye, and I would be helpless to stop it if it. Disappear might be the wrong word, because once it goes into the bank it disappears, they just let me use the money I gave them right now.

How much you decide to keep in the bank and how much you take out is really up to you, just remember don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Whether you have it in your home, around your home, away from your home or in a couple of different banks your money will be safer if it is in a few different places.

One last thing before we get into places you can hide your money is NEVER let people know you have it. Always be aware of who you’re telling and who might be listening at any given time, you never know when someone might overhear a conversation and take advantage of you and your family.

This goes for children as well, they might not intentionally take the money, but they do have a tendency to talk and brag to friends.

Hidden Caches: I have to admit, I can get hooked into spending hours on Pinterest looking at DIY projects and different ideas about where to hide my stuff, and I’ve even build a hidden counter top extension.

Ideas range from compartments under stairs to burying survival caches outside, I made one of those too! Check out my Hidden Caches Pinterest board and you’ll get some ideas.

Walls: Along the lines of hidden caches hiding money in the walls of your home or in a fake wall outlet might be a good idea. Keep in mind that if there is a fire in the home the money might be lost, and paper money doesn’t take up much room but it will burn, while gold and silver wont.

Safes: A good quality safe can be a great deterrent for robbers, especially if you are not home, but you want to make sure it is hidden just in case you are home and an intruder is stealing everything you have. If they don’t see that you have a safe they might leave a little sooner, If they see it they will definitely want you to open it.

Freezer: I heard about this from a friend on Facebook and to be honest I have heard of putting credit cards in an ice block to reduce the urge to use it, but I’ve never thought about hiding cash in the freezer. This is actually a good idea though because where is the last place they will look?

It’s dangerous to keep money around the house, but is it really safer in the bank? In light of recent events it’s getting harder and harder to say that my money is safer in the bank, at least when I have possession of it I have control over where it goes, and like they say “If you can’t touch it, it’s not real.”

I curious about your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments below.


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    1 Response to "Bartering When the S Hits the Fan and Stashing Cash"

    • Normal Chuck

      You mentioned gold and silver. Please consider fractional.One tenth ounce coins for gold,and one quarter ounce silver coins. Fractionals cost a little more,but it will be hard to make change for a one ounce gold or silver coin lf you’re buying a loaf of bread or a can of soup.A gold and silver test kit would be a good idea as well.

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