Picture the scene: There has been a major catastrophic event and we no longer have the cellphone network or the internet. We can no longer access cash from ATMs. Without an established society or government, the majority of people will be fending for themselves. It is extremely unlikely that physical money, or the digital balance we see on our banking app will have any value in this new world. That doesn’t mean that the principles of finance won’t be important though – we will just need to learn to apply them in a different ways.
What will be of value?
Consider what will have value in an apocalypse survival situation – firstly, the two basic things that we need to keep us alive. Namely food and water. These will be the number one currency and the things that will be most prized in a community. This is why preppers keep a store cupboard of canned goods and dried food supplies. Anything that is needed for water purification will also be priceless. After food and water, the means to create warmth will be of significant value. This includes fuel, batteries and firewood. The luxury items that the majority of us keep in our homes, such as flat-screen televisions and high tech kitchen appliances will become almost worthless. No one will need a $47,000 stove when there is no adequate electricity supply
Teaching the next generation about finance
It is likely that paper money and the digital world of finance will have little relevance for the future generation. However that doesn’t mean that we won’t have to teach them about the principles of finance. If they are to not only survive, but thrive in a world where there is an alternative to the money we use, then they will need to know how to get on top and accumulate goods of value. You will have to teach them about the importance of making good investments and how interest is accumulated. Even if there is no longer any use for cash, or digital currency, it is likely that the principles of finance and business will still apply. You have to spend money to make money and you don’t get something for nothing. These will be the rules when it comes to establishing a system of bartering.
Exchange, bartering and favors
Instead of swapping cash for goods and services, establishing a system of exchange and bartering will become paramount if we are going to survive. It will also be key to building a new society. After all, no man is an island – we will have to work together. The barter system dates all the way back to the Mesopotamia tribes that we living on earth, 6000 years B.C. They exchanged food, spices, tea and of course weapons. Our modern society was established with a barter system. Even as recent as the 1930s, during The Great Depression, we have relied on swapping and exchanging goods during times of hardship.
The digital balance of your bank account is unlikely to have any value during an apocalypse situation. Instead the basic things that we need to survive will become the most valuable items in the world.
Written by Jennifer Dooley