In the event of a currency collapse the money in your pocket won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. Thoughts of Pablo Escobar’s last day come to mind. While in the mountains of Columbia on one of his final runs before being taken out for good, Escobar is said to have burned $2million in cash in order to keep his family warm. You probably won’t have that much to burn but why not? Inflation may precede collapse and minimum wage could go up to $50 thousand an hour.
Money will be worthless either way at some point so I made this list of the top 10 commodities that you can use to barter with. The typical idea for ideal bartering is to have something that almost everybody really needs or wants to use and also can come in an easily measurable small commodity just like a $1 or $5 bill. After all, people can use and want something like a car or a horse but what do they have to trade for it? If you walk into a store and all you have to trade is your horse you will either have to get way more than you need at that location (maybe more than you can carry) and the store owner may say “I don’t need anything that eats!” (Which I may add is great advice for anyone. Animals are usually just another mouth to feed).
Secondly, the common understanding of survival is a bit wrong. Many people think of survival as making it until things get better. That in fact is not survival because it is just throwing the dice and hoping things get better before time runs out and starvation, infection or the enemy takes you down. That definition is just a gamble. If your gamble works out and you are rescued or things get better by chance maybe you can go on Oprah and tell everybody you are a survivor but you are not! You are just lucky.
If you really are surviving your harvest will be bountiful. In a survival situation things are always getting better or worse. As humans we always want that even keel but that is not reality. Rest on your laurels and you will begin sinking. My suggestion is to be constantly advancing and I know that is why you read my blog. You are planning on being successful even as things around you fall apart. Your best chance at success and wealth building in a collapse will be to seek out these items and recognize their value as you make your trades.
1. SEX: Yes, it is a commodity. Think about the Wild West. When an old dirty cowboy finally made it into a town in the middle of a prairie and miles from anywhere else there was always a few working girls there. And business was good! Keep in mind this is not something I recommend participating in. This is the only item on the list I don’t want you involved in. This is a mess waiting to happen. I listed it first because, yes many women are sitting on a million dollars and may be trying to trade it for goods in a collapse but many times this will just be a “Honey Trap”. There are many variations of the honey trap, but they all end up with you getting robbed and sometimes killed. I just listed this so you will know not to get in trouble.
2. GOLD: Now here is a good commodity. The whole world will not collapse at once. If you are in a country with worthless currency there will still be a world market for gold. I also include silver in this as well. These two are relatively easy to transport and hide as well. You could include diamonds here but just like in the movie “Donnie Brasco” nobody knows if it’s a “fugazi” or a real diamond. This is just more problems you don’t need. In my opinion, stick with gold and silver. The only argument against these is sometimes people will say you can’t eat gold. That is correct but as stated before, the world market will provide a trading value for something you can eat.
3. BULLETS: Bullets will are great trading items, however I do want to warn you that in a collapse there may be a sort of military coup and martial law could be in effect. If you get caught with bullets under martial law it would not be good for you. The same is probably true for most of the items on this list, but I think it may be worse with the bullets. The fact still remains that bullets are very useful and have an obvious value while they can be split up for various denominations.
4. CIGARETTES: Anybody with experience in a prison will tell you this is the currency of choice. It is unfortunate that so many people are hooked on nicotine but in the collapse you have to keep business in mind and keeping your family fed. If you can trade for cigarettes and you have a supplier that smokes it’s a viable option. Just keep in mind that when you deal in vice items you will run into decent folks and scum. Beware of deals gone wrong. Cigarettes are the most desired tobacco item but when somebody needs a nicotine fix they will also accept chewing tobacco. Any type of tobacco will do well in trading.
5. SPICES: Spices are overlooked many times but I challenge you to try cooking without spices some time. People will want spices. Maybe they won’t save you from starving to death but they are a very tradable item. When it gets to a point that people are killing possums and rats to eat, it may be nice to have a little salt on the meat as well. The crazy thing is that things like salt and pepper are dirt cheap right now, but wait until the collapse. They will be hard to get and may cost a lot.
6. MEDICAL SUPPLIES: Specific medical supplies like insulin will have a high value but the customer base is low and my advice would be to give it as charity if you get some since the person getting it will be dying. There is no value on saving a life. The medical supplies I’m thinking of are things like bandages, first aid kits, hydrogen peroxide and Tylenol. Simple things like this are valuable especially when families are displaced. Antibiotics can really have a value but if you don’t have a good supply then you may want to keep what you have.
7. BATTERIES: If I were trying to be dramatic and list these in order of importance I would put batteries near number 1. In a crisis batteries are priceless and you should always be trading to get them and when you take in trades for them understand the customer probably wants them as bad as a smoker wants a cigarette. There are many things, including lights, night vision and radio equipment that run on batteries. Keep your eyes open for good trades on batteries.
8. EGGS: I know I said earlier that you shouldn’t keep around any extra mouths to feed, but chickens are a different story. If you have a yard and a place you can hide them from thieves at night you have a cash cow. Everybody will find the value in eggs and if you come across something irresistible you can trade the whole hen for it. Chickens are different from the other animals because they have a small manageable value. A cow or goat is valuable but are not good liquid assets because you would have to ask too much when trade involves them. A laying hen is worth $15 to $30 and eggs can easily by worth 50 cents each, so a deal can be easily struck with these animals.
9. WATER: When there is a collapse and people are displaced they will be on the road. They will run out of water and be very thirsty. The people not on the road may have the water to their homes cut off. After all why would anybody show up at the water plant to work when they aren’t getting paid? If you have a well or the ability to purify water out of a pond or creek you have a gold mine. Actually it is better than a gold mine and an oil well put together. You will have the power if you have water.
10. SEEDS: This is an item that almost didn’t make the currency list. One other thing to consider with currency is to make sure it is something that can be changed out for something else. For example: If you don’t smoke but you have cigarettes, everybody knows the cigarettes could be traded for just about anything. Seeds are barely in that category. Many people will want seeds and many people will be living in the here and now. If they have to plant something and wait weeks for it to grow they may not want it. This is a good item to take in if you know you will use it but keep in mind when you get more seeds than you can use you may want to slow down on taking in seeds. Also, with seeds you have the same problem you will have with the diamonds. Are you getting tomato seeds or flower seeds? Can you tell the difference? Don’t take in any “fugazies”! If you don’t know what it is, don’t trade for it because if you don’t know then your customer won’t know. When they come back angry because you traded them something you thought was a tomato seed and it turned out to be goat weeds you will be in trouble.