How to prepare for volatility on a budget
Some of our visitors have challenged our guidance regarding building resilience - pointing out that for many people their options are restricted due to only having a very limited budget. So, to respond, we have investigated the best ways to improve your personal and household resilience on a low budget. We have also provided an indicative cost against certain additional options.
To build Economic Resilience
- Try to reduce your debt burden. This can be achieved by selling off unwanted items or reducing your weekly expenditure. You should always pay off your higher interest or short-term loans first.
- Ask for a pay rise at work. Employers are struggling to fill roles at the moment and are very aware of the current extremely high levels of inflation. Use this to your advantage to negotiate an increase.
- Diversify your income. If possible don't rely solely on income from one source. To supplement your earnings, consider taking a second job, or develop other income streams.
- Ensure you are receiving any and all potential tax credits and benefits - every penny counts.
- Reduce your miscellaneous discretionary spending (such as TV streaming services, mobile contracts, alcohol, holidays, etc) to help build up savings to insulate yourself from an unexpected event or emergency.
To develop Practical Resilience
- Improve your self-reliance by learning key skills such as growing your own fruit and vegetables, DIY, and cooking from scratch.
- Develop your skill sets in an area that you believe will improve your career options and flexibility regardless of economic or societal shocks.
- Ensure you have a supply of at least the most basic survival and emergency equipment including back up items such as batteries and medicines.
- Try to build up a supply of long-life food. This can be achieved by gradually building up reserves over many months. Ideal lower-cost ambient foods include pasta, rice and canned foods. Take advantage of special offers and discounts at the supermarket to get the absolute best value for money.
- Consider moving into a shared home with members of your wider family to create a stronger, more robust family unit with many income streams and complementary skills.
To improve Emotional & Psychological Resilience
- Eat healthier, focusing on nutrition and a balanced diet.
- Get stronger and fitter through physical exercise and sport.
- Become part of the local community, creating strong and genuine relationships.
- Become part of a community of likeminded people - developing meaningful relationships with people who share your concerns and see the benefits of becoming more prepared.
- Get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and sleep.
If individuals take the challenge seriously and change their mindsets they will be far better prepared for a volatile and uncertain future - able to pivot in the event of a crisis and look after themselves, their friends and family regardless of what life might throw at them. As you can see in the list above, many of these are zero cost changes that anyone can act upon, almost regardless of their income.