Prepping on $20 a Paycheck – Part 17 of 24

 Bill The Ready Center

Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center

It’s that time again!  Time for what…?  Time to take seriously the safety and preservation of you and your family.  Time to take a moment and plan ahead.  Time to pull $20 out of your wallet and invest it in your future.  This month we recommend you take your 20 big bucks and exchange them for two $10 bills.  And for good reason…

As part of the Prepping on $20 a Paycheck series, the goal is to have you stocked with water, food, a pack full of supplies, and $100 emergency cash stocked away for REALLY rainy days.  When it comes to the “cash on hand”, we should all already have the following:

  1. One roll of quarters
  2. Ten $1 bills
  3. Four $5 bills

Total Amount So Far: $40

Today, we want you to bump up your post-apocalypse money stash up to a whopping $60.  The plan is to purposely vary your emergency cash denominations with the intent of you not losing money during barter/haggle situations.  Here is a true story to demonstrate what I mean:

Wallet - The Ready CenterMany moons ago, when I was a young man and in my early twenties, my father and I were in the car on our way to the junk yard to buy a part for a downed vehicle we had.  We had just left TSC (the Tractor Supply Company) buying other odds and ends that my father needed for our house.  While buying these odds and ends I caught a glance into my fathers wallet as he was checking out at the cash register.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  This guy was loaded!  It seemed like there was more $20 bills than I could count.  But, I guess that’s what you end up with when you work long and hard hours to support a family of six.

When we were just about to the junk yard, only about 2 or 3 blocks away, my father said, “Damn it!  Do you have any cash on you?”  Having just seen his wallet, I gave him a serious look of confusion and said, “Yeah…  Why…?”  He went on to teach me this lesson:

Greed - The Ready CenterHe said, “Son, when I was on the phone with the man from the junk yard, he told me that he wanted to charge me $20 for the part we need.  Any other day of the week the part we need goes for $10 to $12, but he knows we can’t find one and he’s trying to raise the price on us just because we’re in a tough spot.”  He went on to say, “If I hold up a $20 bill and ask him to lower the price, his eyes will be affixed on that $20 bill and he will say no.  But if I hold up a $10 bill and say ‘take it or leave it,’ there is a good chance his greedy little eyes will see nothing but that $10 bill and we will save a lot of money.  So, I’ll ask you again.  Do you have any cash on you?”

Junkyard - The Ready CenterIn that moment I felt both grateful and guilty.  I felt grateful because of the lesson I just learned from a man I respected greatly.  I felt guilty because of what I had to tell him next.  I looked over at my father sheepishly and said in a tone that was purely apologetic, “All I have are $100 bills…  Sorry.”  

“That’s okay” he said.  Then with a sly smile and an extreme display of confidence he said, “We’ll still try to cut a deal today.  I’m pretty sure your dad can pull it off.”  He winked at me, got out of the car, and strutted into the shop ready to make a deal.

As for why I had a pocket full of $100 bills when I was only twenty years old, I honestly can’t remember.  Whatever the reason, I’m sure it wasn’t good.  However, what I do remember is that despite my dad’s mature bartering skills and bold sense of confidence, the man at the junk yard didn’t have a $10 bill to stare at and my dad walked out paying the full $20.  For me, it was a lesson that I’ll never forget.

It is my wish for you that if/when the SHTF and your day of bartering and haggling comes along as you try to buy food or supplies for your family, that you have one or two $10 bills stuffed in your pockets.  Hopefully, because of your preparedness, you’ll come out ahead better than my dad did.


The Ready Center

 Bill The Ready Center




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