Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

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AerialWombat
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Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by AerialWombat » Fri May 08, 2020 3:08 pm

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H-Town
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by H-Town » Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm

0%...

oldfort
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by oldfort » Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm

I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.

livesoft
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by livesoft » Fri May 08, 2020 3:13 pm

I am not really a prepper, but I like to go backpacking in the wilderness. I can go at almost a moments notice because I have a plastic tub with enough food for 3 or so weeks of meals. I don't store water at all because it is readily available and anything that I find on the trail can be disinfected in several ways.

Since food is cheap and I am retired, I would say that a month's worth of food to take is about $200 to $300. Almost all of it can be found in the local grocery store, too. After all, oatmeal is not special.
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Trader Joe
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Trader Joe » Fri May 08, 2020 3:13 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:08 pm
For those Bogleheads that are also "preppers", what percentage of your annual savings do you divert to the prepper stockpile?

If not a set percentage, is there some other standard that you apply for how much food, water, and other goods you store?

For example, in a religious sect that I used to be affiliated with, the normal recommendation is to have a one year supply of food for every household member.

Now that I've decided to stay in one place for the foreseeable future, I can finally stockpile my bunker. But it seems prudent to do so in a financial manner that is compatible with the rest of my AA somehow.

Thank you.
0.00%

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by AerialWombat » Fri May 08, 2020 3:23 pm

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corp_sharecropper
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by corp_sharecropper » Fri May 08, 2020 3:28 pm

I haven't tracked it so I can't answer your question. But I've learned 3 things, 1) I clearly underestimate the amount of food my family flies through when all of us are consuming for every meal 2) I clearly overestimated my ability to consume non-perishable/non-fresh food day after day (not sure I can do much about this in terms of meat, but a garden would be nice!) and 3) my AA is far too heavy on "boolits" and too light on food/medicine/drugstore stuff (in all fairness I didn't buy ammo for prepping, I just like to go shooting a lot (Clay's, long range target, etc...).

If I had a redo, I'd spend some time and money on having a better garden, a larger variety of non-perishable food (probably wouldn't worry about more than 30-60 days worth), and general medicine/hygiene stuff. Not because these items can't be had on-demand, but simply to sleep better at night (I think we've all gone down a mental rabbit hole of despair at least once since late Feb) and because it is a PITA getting groceries and such at the moment and I'd like minimize the amount of times I wait in lines that stretch to the back of the store behind a bunch of people with overflowing shopping carts.

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by grettman » Fri May 08, 2020 3:28 pm

oldfort wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm
I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.
It’s clear to me it is a serious question. I think most people “prep” to some extent. Some more than others.

quantAndHold
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri May 08, 2020 3:37 pm

I’m more interested in things that I’m likely to need no matter what. It would probably be more useful to spend the money on health insurance, which almost everyone needs sooner or later, than a year’s worth of stuff I’ll never use.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

pseudoiterative
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by pseudoiterative » Fri May 08, 2020 4:18 pm

For those Bogleheads that are also "preppers", what percentage of your annual savings do you divert to the prepper stockpile?
Interesting question. If we generalise the question a bit away from stockpiles specifically, we could ask "what rare negative events are you concerned about, and what percentage of your annual savings do you spend insuring or self-insuring against rare events?". I reckon there are a lot of people who might not identify as preppers but who do take steps to invest some money & energy to reduce the risk of particular kinds of rare, bad events.

One example: I have relatives who grew up in country australia and who still live in rural / semi rural areas, there are pretty real risks around bushfires. If you own your own property that is at risk of bush fire, you can reduce that risk by investing in dams/water tanks, sprinkler systems, periodic maintenance to test that the sprinklers still work, periodic maintenance to clear trees that are growing too close to buildings, adjusting the house to not have gutters that could catch leaves, building mesh guards to put over windows to help keep burning embers / falling tree branches out of the house, etc. For some of this stuff there could be a $XX,000 initial investment and $X00 - $X000 / yr annual maintenance, in addition to your own time and energy spent maintaining it (assuming you do most of the work yourself & cut your own trees without hiring people to do it).

Personally, ignoring expenses for things like health insurance & the opportunity cost of an emergency fund, I might spend at most $100 / yr on preparing for things -- but most of my spend would be things like spare tubes & tools for the bicycle I can swap out if I get a puncture when commuting. I don't have a stockpile of food or medical supplies or a vegetable garden or solar installed. So approximately 0.1% of savings / yr.

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri May 08, 2020 4:26 pm

I don't think a percentage of savings makes sense.

Building an emergency kit like that recommended by FEMA wouldn't cost more than a few hundred.

https://www.ready.gov/kit

Extending that to ample food still only bumps the budget by a few hundred to *maybe* low-thousands depending on the size of your household. I just don't see how it scales with one's savings rate.
pseudoiterative wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:18 pm
Interesting question. If we generalise the question a bit away from stockpiles specifically, we could ask "what rare negative events are you concerned about, and what percentage of your annual savings do you spend insuring or self-insuring against rare events?". I reckon there are a lot of people who might not identify as preppers but who do take steps to invest some money & energy to reduce the risk of particular kinds of rare, bad events.
I keep a number of items like that in my budget. Auto/bike maintenance, disability insurance premium, (eventually) life insurance premium and an emergency fund.

terran
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by terran » Fri May 08, 2020 4:30 pm

I would consider prepping a form of spending, not a form of savings.

researcher
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by researcher » Fri May 08, 2020 4:38 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:23 pm
I'm thinking it might be prudent to put some single digit percentage of my income into shelf-stable food stock, water storage, vegetable seeds, wine, and other essential goods.
I agree with the previous poster.
If you're thinking about this as a % of your annual savings/income, you are spending WAY too much.

You don't need to purchase a bunch of expensive MREs or freeze dried meals or other extreme survival gear.
A good first aid kit, personal hygiene supplies, a few cases of canned goods, containers of rice & beans, ect.
Don't make this more complicated or expensive than it needs to be.

Luke Duke
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Luke Duke » Fri May 08, 2020 4:44 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:37 pm
I’m more interested in things that I’m likely to need no matter what.
You aren't likely to need food?

Magruder
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Magruder » Fri May 08, 2020 4:47 pm

Preppers can't have too much TP!

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Independent George » Fri May 08, 2020 4:52 pm

It's funny, but what people call "prepping", I call normal shopping.

It's not a matter of preparing for disruptions, but of stocking up when things are on sale. I was rather surprised to learn that most people don't already do do this.

rbaldini
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by rbaldini » Fri May 08, 2020 4:54 pm

If you want to store some emergency goods (not a bad idea at all), don't think of it as an annual expenditure. It's not about that. It's about having you what you think is appropriate. If that means 6 months of rice, then go ahead: buy it and be done with it. The only further expenditures would be to replace spoiled or expired goods, etc. Budgeting an annual income % seems... silly.
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Daryl » Fri May 08, 2020 4:55 pm

I (perhaps mistakenly) believe that tomorrow will be much like today. My catastrophe plan is to head west a couple hundred miles to my parents place, where food "magically" appears in the fridge and I don't have any bills to pay! If needed I could "shelter in place" for quite a long time with minimal "essential services" (e.g., Covid - 19). The recent economic stimulus checks were a nice bonus, but insignificant compared with the larger emergency fund I maintain during normal times.

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Godot » Fri May 08, 2020 4:55 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:23 pm
oldfort wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm
I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.
No, not sarcastic at all.

I know one person that has spent his entire life, and every dime of discretionary income he has, buying certain items in preparation for something that will never happen in his lifetime. Now he's 70, with no retirement savings, barely scraping buy on Social Security, but he's ready for that alien invasion or whatever.

I'm thinking it might be prudent to put some single digit percentage of my income into shelf-stable food stock, water storage, vegetable seeds, wine, and other essential goods.
Well, certainly wine, that's a given. I would focus your purchases there. Throw in some shelf-stable crackers and cheese, and you're all set. Don't forget the corkscrew!
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

mbasherp
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by mbasherp » Fri May 08, 2020 4:56 pm

Any money spent on this category is spent... period. It is consumption. I would not relate it at all to savings or investments.

That being said, it is not that expensive to have a couple months of food, weeks of water, and reasonable preps for reasonable possibilities. Rotate the food by eating it. You don’t need to go overboard.

In fact, I think that those who do go way overboard should take their prepping budget and instead see a therapist about what appears to be a debilitating fear of death. Trying to “survive” anything and everything is comical in light of the fact that we are all guaranteed to die.

Now, smoothing out bumps in the road on the way there? That’s reasonable. So keep it reasonable.

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by sport » Fri May 08, 2020 4:59 pm

Independent George wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:52 pm
It's funny, but what people call "prepping", I call normal shopping.

It's not a matter of preparing for disruptions, but of stocking up when things are on sale. I was rather surprised to learn that most people don't already do do this.
I was thinking the same thing. Shopping at Costco automatically means that you stockpile food. If you look for the sale and clearance items, you can really stock up at bargain prices.

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nps
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by nps » Fri May 08, 2020 5:00 pm

grettman wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:28 pm
oldfort wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm
I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.
It’s clear to me it is a serious question. I think most people “prep” to some extent. Some more than others.
It is also the essence of the Boy Scout motto!

BeneIRA
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by BeneIRA » Fri May 08, 2020 5:01 pm

When I lived in Florida, the risk of hurricanes was very real and I did have extra non-perishables, water, flashlights and such on hand in case I couldn't get it. When a hurricane is coming in Florida, people rush to the stores and grab everything in sight. Sort of like that First or second weekend in March of this year. I felt more secure having it. It turns out I didn't need it as there weren't any bad hurricanes while I was there. The power went out a few times due to storms, but I never really needed my stockpile. In the past few years they have had some bad ones I know would have been thankful for. I spent maybe $500 or $600. With inflation maybe it would be $800 or $900 these days. I was planning on being without power, too, so all of the spaghetti in the world wouldn't have mattered. Dried fruit, beef jerky, an unhealthy amount of cereal admittedly. Not even 1% of what you would see on Doomsday Preppers, though.

researcher
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by researcher » Fri May 08, 2020 5:09 pm

Independent George wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:52 pm
It's not a matter of preparing for disruptions, but of stocking up when things are on sale.
I was rather surprised to learn that most people don't already do do this.
What a clever toilet paper hoarding reference.

smitcat
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by smitcat » Fri May 08, 2020 5:18 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:23 pm
oldfort wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm
I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.
No, not sarcastic at all.

I know one person that has spent his entire life, and every dime of discretionary income he has, buying certain items in preparation for something that will never happen in his lifetime. Now he's 70, with no retirement savings, barely scraping buy on Social Security, but he's ready for that alien invasion or whatever.

I'm thinking it might be prudent to put some single digit percentage of my income into shelf-stable food stock, water storage, vegetable seeds, wine, and other essential goods.
This is certainly not the site to get the information that you seek.
I would start with survivalpulse and see what sites might fit your interests.
https://survivalpulse.com/top-50-survival-blogs/

oldfort
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by oldfort » Fri May 08, 2020 5:19 pm

pseudoiterative wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:18 pm
For those Bogleheads that are also "preppers", what percentage of your annual savings do you divert to the prepper stockpile?
Interesting question. If we generalise the question a bit away from stockpiles specifically, we could ask "what rare negative events are you concerned about, and what percentage of your annual savings do you spend insuring or self-insuring against rare events?". I reckon there are a lot of people who might not identify as preppers but who do take steps to invest some money & energy to reduce the risk of particular kinds of rare, bad events.
At your level of generality, all insurance spending could fall into the category of insuring against rare, negative events. When people talk about preppers, I usually think of something more like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Preppers.

dalbright
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by dalbright » Fri May 08, 2020 5:21 pm

I feel like its not a set percent as many of the things are fixed costs and not consumed ongoing. You could get a supply of non-perishables or things with longer dates and rotate your stock with your trips. If you do buy stuff, a generator, possibly natural gas whole house or portable depending on scenario should be high on the list so some of your goods don't spoil.

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by cantabtim » Fri May 08, 2020 5:39 pm

As in so many things it comes down to moderation and common sense. Six months of food is hoarding and means, if you rotate the stock, that you never eat anything fresh. A few days or a couple of weeks of food is sensible planning for the snowstorm/hurricane/earthquake (depending on your locale) that might hit. Surely the pandemic has if anything revealed the robustness of most of our supply systems (PPE and virus testing excepted). The famous toilet paper crisis was caused largely by panic buyers (close relatives of preppers) buying up the supplies. It passed quickly and now my local WholeFoods, liquor store and CVS have ample supplies of everything I might need.

Adopt a Boglehead philosophy; set a balanced plan, calmly stick to it ignoring the noise, and don't panic.

Leemiller
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Leemiller » Fri May 08, 2020 6:21 pm

grettman wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:28 pm
oldfort wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm
I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.
It’s clear to me it is a serious question. I think most people “prep” to some extent. Some more than others.
I’ve never met anyone who preps anything outside of wine, in which case I’d recommend a reasonable, not to expensive cellar.

MJS
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by MJS » Fri May 08, 2020 6:24 pm

sport wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:59 pm
I was thinking the same thing. Shopping at Costco automatically means that you stockpile food. If you look for the sale and clearance items, you can really stock up at bargain prices.
Yes.
$100/year for a Costco Executive membership.
Ah, more handles of gin on sale than I can use in 5 years, but they are such good sales! Fortunately, my friends accept those 1.75 liters of Tangueray for Christmas and birthdays without fuss.
Loss of the Top of the laundry closet for storage, although kitty litter keeps in the garage.
Time needed to date mark 6-8 months stock and rotate it and use it up before (2 months after) the BestBy date.
Learning that 12 giant tubes of toothpaste are not a bargin.
Money in the fire safe for emergency hire of repair people.
Remembering to keep at least half a tank of gas in the car.

The problem with being prepared is that you have keep being prepared. It's not once and done.

quantAndHold
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri May 08, 2020 6:30 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:44 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:37 pm
I’m more interested in things that I’m likely to need no matter what.
You aren't likely to need food?
I’m likely to be able to buy food the normal way. Any food shortage is likely to either be short term (flood, fire, earthquake, etc), or a spot shortage (meat right now). Having supplies for a week or two is one thing. A year’s supply is expensive, takes a lot of space, and will go bad before anyone ever eats it.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

Pomegranate
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Pomegranate » Fri May 08, 2020 6:33 pm

sport wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:59 pm
Independent George wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:52 pm
It's funny, but what people call "prepping", I call normal shopping.

It's not a matter of preparing for disruptions, but of stocking up when things are on sale. I was rather surprised to learn that most people don't already do do this.
I was thinking the same thing. Shopping at Costco automatically means that you stockpile food. If you look for the sale and clearance items, you can really stock up at bargain prices.
Do you have teen kids :sharebeer ? I do and I shop at Costco twice per week! Small packs from local groceries don't really work for us :oops:

Absolute
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Absolute » Fri May 08, 2020 8:29 pm

Basement refrigerator holds some beer. Top freezer holds overstock meat and other frozen food that may not fit in the kitchen freezer at the time.
Always keep a stock of batteries, mostly for a few flashlights. I have a gas generator.

Of course, wine is stocked.

Not sure I am considered as above and beyond in anything I've mentioned but I could do with more canned goods perhaps.

Cheers

softwaregeek
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by softwaregeek » Fri May 08, 2020 8:57 pm

I keep a second freezer full of meat and cooked meals plus a big stash of non perishable. Probably 1000 all in but I rotate pretty well. My grocery bill is expensive cause I like the good stuff. I can subsist on steak for weeks.

123
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by 123 » Fri May 08, 2020 9:36 pm

With the current COVID-19 situation and the varying impact on product availability at grocery stores we are now keeping our refrigerator/freezer full and have a higher stock of pantry goods. We only shop once a week if possible versus 2 or 3 visits previously. So in that respect we might be "prepping" somewhat. But the extra accumulation of items is likely around $500 - $1,000 total.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

dukeblue219
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by dukeblue219 » Fri May 08, 2020 10:02 pm

grettman wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:28 pm
I think most people “prep” to some extent. Some more than others.
I don't. I think most people wouldn't make it a week on the supplies in their home without making some real tough decisions. Don't forget that food insecurity is a real problem out there. Lots of people are happy to have enough food to get through the weekend. Many others are just in the habit of grocery shopping most days or ordering out daily.

One thing I've learned from COVID is that having a full pantry doesn't mean I have weeks of balanced meals ready to go. We have to adjust the way we shop even once this is over, but I'm not going going anywhere near what "preppers" do.

whomever
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by whomever » Fri May 08, 2020 10:28 pm

"It's funny, but what people call "prepping", I call normal shopping."

+1

It won't work for people in a dorm room or efficiency apartment, but most suburbanites have room to store quite a bit, and doing so is close to free. For example, olive oil lasts 2 years or so. We go through a Costco bottle every six months or so. We always have a spare, so we normally have 9 months worth on hand (one full bottle and half of the current bottle). Ditto for the giant boxes of Quaker Oats, etc, etc, etc.

Having food on hand if things go pear shaped is a side benefit, but the real benefit is that we never have to go to the store in a hurry because we have run out of something.

I don't know what the cost of the 'inventory' is - maybe a thousand or two?? So the only costs are 1)the foregone interest on a couple of thousand and 2)the space. We just keep the kitchen cabinets and the shelves in a small pantry as full as possible.

When I was a kid we had a 3 foot snowfall, in an area where that was a once in 50 year storm. I remember reading in the newspaper that the National Guard was tossing C rations out of helicopters to people in the rural areas there who had less than 3 days of food on hand. During Katrina there were stories of people who didn't even have 3 days of water on hand. Just In Time may (or may not) make sense for businesses, but it seems unwise to not be self sufficient for 3 days.

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by whodidntante » Fri May 08, 2020 10:30 pm

I tend to keep a $250 supply of whiskey around. I am unable to keep less. If I don't buy it, it shows up as a gift.

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beernutz
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by beernutz » Fri May 08, 2020 10:30 pm

Does making extra homebrewed beer count as prepping?
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. --Will Rogers

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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by surfstar » Fri May 08, 2020 11:17 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:23 pm
oldfort wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm
I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.
No, not sarcastic at all.

I know one person that has spent his entire life, and every dime of discretionary income he has, buying certain items in preparation for something that will never happen in his lifetime. Now he's 70, with no retirement savings, barely scraping buy on Social Security, but he's ready for that alien invasion or whatever.

I'm thinking it might be prudent to put some single digit percentage of my income into shelf-stable food stock, water storage, vegetable seeds, wine, and other essential goods.
...based on how well it worked out for him?

Might as well talk about how much physical gold to also keep in your prepper pile. Food is a bit more usable though, as we've seen in this current crises.

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alpine_boglehead
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by alpine_boglehead » Fri May 08, 2020 11:53 pm

The world market price for a ton of wheat (which will last a single person more than 4 years calories-wise) is about $210. You as a consumer will likely pay more, but it still won't impact your savings.

Household mills are not expensive either. Then post your bread baking recipes here. :D

RomeoMustDie
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by RomeoMustDie » Fri May 08, 2020 11:56 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:08 pm
For those Bogleheads that are also "preppers", what percentage of your annual savings do you divert to the prepper stockpile?

If not a set percentage, is there some other standard that you apply for how much food, water, and other goods you store?

For example, in a religious sect that I used to be affiliated with, the normal recommendation is to have a one year supply of food for every household member.

Now that I've decided to stay in one place for the foreseeable future, I can finally stockpile my bunker. But it seems prudent to do so in a financial manner that is compatible with the rest of my AA somehow.

Thank you.
I'd scale that amount down to 0% and instead place it into charitable donations. :beer

perikleez
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by perikleez » Sat May 09, 2020 12:13 am

prepping is a lifestyle, a mindset, and a hobby. like minimalism. you slowly give up spending on useless consumer goods and other "nesting" purchases. instead you spend money on planning and preparing for the moment when you get the signal, you pick up your keys, load your gear, and drive away no where to be found, for as long as it takes, and handling the details of your life on the other end without being concerned what you left behind. because anything important, of value, or necessary for survival is still with you. you got it figured out, you're locked and loaded, and life is good, wishing others the best in their journey.
Last edited by perikleez on Sat May 09, 2020 12:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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mrspock
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by mrspock » Sat May 09, 2020 12:15 am

oldfort wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm
I can't tell if this post is sarcastic or not.
lol me neither. Holy cow...

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Noobvestor
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Noobvestor » Sat May 09, 2020 12:32 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:37 pm
I’m more interested in things that I’m likely to need no matter what. It would probably be more useful to spend the money on health insurance, which almost everyone needs sooner or later, than a year’s worth of stuff I’ll never use.
These aren't mutually exclusive. I have health insurance and now more shelf-stable food in my pantry than I used to have, gathered slowly over the last few months. Nothing crazy or horde-worthy, just extra flour and sugar and cans of soup. I think there's space between extremes. /2 cents
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe

APX32
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by APX32 » Sat May 09, 2020 1:29 am

Interesting to see some smug “0%” replies and mocking the OP for even asking such a question, as if it’s a badge of honor for some folks here not to prep. ‘Cause you know, that’s for weirdos and wackos. This pandemic has taught people nothing.

OP, I’m what you might call a prepper, I believe your question is a good one, so I’ll give you a serious answer. I don’t have any hard percentages, but I’ve been keeping tabs and the last 3 years, I’ve averaged approximately $5-6k in “preps”. Here’s a rough breakdown:

1. $1000 in freeze dried foods. It’s to replenish the existing supply, which we use at various points during the year. My preferred choice here is Thrive.

2. $1000 in other dried goods. At any given point, I always keep about a 3 month supply. Think flour, sugar, rice, nuts, canned goods, etc.

3. $1500 in meats, frozen fruits, vegetables, etc. Again, about a 3 month supply available at all times, in the deep freezer in the garage plus the one in the kitchen.

4. $1000 in various household items. TP, napkins, paper towels, batteries, cleaning supplies, etc.

5. $1000-1500 ammo. I own a number of firearms of various calibers and go target shooting 8-10 tines per year. I always make sure the ammo supplies are replenished at all times.

None of this feels like an extra job or anything stressful to make sure I’m always “prepped”. Most of the time I’ll place 2-3 orders online per year, the rest just happens during the course of regular shopping.

During this pandemic going back to March, I literally had nothing to worry about. In some cases, there have been shortages of certain items like frozen veggies, flour, meats, and of course things like disinfectant wipes. Some are ongoing still, others were temporary and didn’t last more than 2-3 weeks. I’ve never once regretted being prepared and I don’t think I’m overdoing it nor is there anything strange or weird about it.
12% SPY | 10% GLD | 78% Cash

HomeStretch
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by HomeStretch » Sat May 09, 2020 6:35 am

+1 on stocking up on non-perishables during stores sales as a way to keep costs down. I usually have a 3-month supply of everything we use in the home aside from perishables. I rotate stock and maybe have $1,000 in “inventory”.

I (used to) make small quick shopping trips 3-4 times per week for fresh dairy, meats, fish, vegetables and fruits as needed. We prefer fresh and this also helps keep costs down in our case by minimizing food waste.

Going forward, I’ll try to keep some frozen meats/fish/produce on hand. Our garden will be a bit larger. Considering improving home security. My list of “essentials” to stock has expanded to include PPE, more home healthcare items, more bleach products, etc.

fujiters
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by fujiters » Sat May 09, 2020 7:23 am

I don't view it as a % of savings. I just front load some spending to take advantage of sales and avoid running out of something and having to do a last minute trip to the store. Overall annual expenses are ~ the same as they would be without the front loading though. We get better prices on most things, but at the expense of earning less interest on the money spent earlier than it otherwise would have been spent.
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham

Grogs
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by Grogs » Sat May 09, 2020 7:34 am

I guess I started "prepping" back in 2011 when we had a line of storms come through that knocked out power for about 4 days. I had plenty of food in the cupboard, but I quickly realized that there was no way to cook it. Oops. I ended up eating things like tuna fish and peanut butter sandwiches which were fine, but not exactly great for morale. When I bought a house in 2012, I made sure that I had extra space for storage. I use the garage and part of a walk-in closet in the spare bedroom.

A good first step is to figure out what items you use regularly and just buy a few extras every time you go to the store until you have a healthy stockpile. For example, if you use 4 rolls of TP every month, keep 24 rolls in the garage and every time you drop below that, buy some more. That means you always have a 6-month supply on hand. Do the same with hygeine, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, etc. The key here is to buy stuff you actually use and only enough that you'll use it before it goes bad. Don't buy 500 lbs of dried rice and throw it away unopened when it spoils several years later. I know some people who stocked Y2K bunkers back in 1999, and their 1000 cans of beans are still sitting out in the shed rusting away.

I like camping, hiking, and occasional backpacking. I found that instead of buying the individual pouches of freeze-dried meals, it was cheaper to buy the large coffee-can sizes and divide them into 4-5 ziplock freezer bags. You just boil water, pour it into the bag, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then eat it straight from the bag with a spoon. No cleanup except for sterilizing the spoon afterwards. I keep about 40 cans on hand, which is enough for at least a couple months if the SHTF. This stuff supposedly has a 30-year shelf life, but I use 4-5 cans every year so I'll probably rotate it every 10. I have some backpacking and camping stoves with a propane tank for cooking if the power goes out.

I also keep a 2-week supply of MREs on hand. They're not as good, but they're perfect if I ever had to "bug out" because I wouldn't have to worry about packing the stove, can opener, etc. I keep four 7-gallon containers of water in the garage and wash/refill them every few months to make sure the water doesn't go bad.

Back to the OPs main question, my "preparation" budget is only $500/year for a single person. That's less than 1% of my total annual budget and I usually don't even spend the full amount in a given year. If I wanted to try and go from zero to 100% all at once, it would probably take maybe five years' worth (~$2500), but the beauty is that once you've reached the point where you're comfortable that you have enough, you only have to purchase what you're going to consume each year.
Last edited by Grogs on Sat May 09, 2020 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat May 09, 2020 7:36 am

Costco is selling $6,000 doomsday-prepper food kits that can feed a family of 4 for a year
https://www.businessinsider.com/costco- ... ars-2018-3

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