What To Use For Currency In Financial Collapse

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Update: A big “Thank You” to Christopher for sending me the feed to this article after losing it when the site was hacked! You Da Man! And yes, I’ll be saving all my articles from here on out!

currencyIf you’re like me, I’m sure you thought about this many times. You’ve run the scenario of a financial collapse or other National emergency through your mind. That’s what people who are preparing for an emergency do.

I’ve bet you’ve thought about these questions more than once; What would happen to our financial markets? How about our currency? Would it still be worth something…anything? What should you use as currency in case of a financial crisis? One where our money is worthless and is not being accepted for goods and supplies.

I don’t know the answers to these questions anymore than anyone else does. Oh, I can speculate with the best of them and that’s what I’m doing in this blog post. There are too many variables involved to say what would happen in the case of a Global or National financial meltdown.

Should a situation like that arise, here are a few things I thought could be bartered or sold for things you need should we wake up one morning and find that our Greenbacks are worthless and your local Grocer wants something besides the Almighty Dollar in exchange for a sack of potato’s.

So besides the obvious alternatives to dollars such as Gold and Silver, here are a few extra items I’m putting back in case I need to barter for something down the road.


Food is always a good bartering item. Especially to those who have none! However, keep in mind that those who don’t have food can get a little testy when they’re hungry. Canned goods as well as MRE type foods could be worth their weight in Gold in such situations. Just make sure you don’t cut yourself short.

Don’t forget water. Remember, there will be people who have not prepared for such a crisis as well as you have. Water can be a great bartering tool, especially in arid regions.


Have you ever noticed, that people who drink but are broke always find a way to get their fix. I doubt things will change much after a collapse. A bottle of JB could go a long ways in getting you the supplies you need in a dollar-less World. I don’t drink, but I keep several different sizes and brands of booze available for a precaution. You never know, and isn’t preparedness and survival the name of the game.


Just like booze, people will have to have their smokes should they wake up one day and find their money worthless. It wouldn’t be a bad idea in my mind to grab a few cheap cartons of smokes and keep them around for just such an occasion. Cigarettes don’t go bad if they’re kept sealed. They may become stale, but they’re still smokable! Take it from a smoker, smokers will trade valuable items, often much more valuable than the smokes their self, for one cigarette when they want one!

Medical Supplies

I keep several first aid kits around. A couple in the house, one in each vehicle, in the boat, etc. You just never know when you’ll need one. But I’ve also put back some over the counter pain killers such as Ibuprofen, aspirin and Tylenol. Along with those items I’ve made sure I have on hand some other medical supplies like alcohol, peroxide as well as a general list of things to help one feel better should they be on the outs. Pepto, Tums and like should not be overlooked and neither should clean, sterile bandages. Military type medical kits could become good trading items for those who don’t have none.

Just make sure you rotate out items with a “use by” date on them.

Guns & Ammo

Okay, guns & ammo is listed in nearly every ‘what to use for currency wtshtf’ article you read. I have a problem with this though. I don’t want to be trading guns & ammo to people who may turn around in the future and use them against me. This is one of those things you’ll really have to think about before doing it. Unless I trusted the person I was dealing with, I think I’d pass on giving them some ammo or a gun unless it was the last straw. I’m sure I could come up with something else or find another person to deal with.


I’m ‘tool poor’ as they say. I probably have 3 or 4 of everything, so tools make a perfect item for me to trade. If you’re not a tool type of person, then you could probably start by throwing back a few of those cheap tool kits you see at Harbor Freight or in the Dollar store. You just never know what people will need.

If you’re a tool junkie like myself, then you can sit and think of things you’ll need and try to figure out what others may need if the stuff gets deep. I already keep my older hand tools separate from my newer tools. These will be the first to go if someone ever needs a 9/16 combination wrench in a bad way!


No, I’m not talking about toilet paper covers or birdhouses here, I’m talking about your ability to make things from scratch. People who are good at sewing and making clothes and other items will be in need. Those quilts will be in high demand from those who didn’t put back come Winter time. Same thing goes for clothes.

If you’re handy or mechanically inclined, your skills could be in great need when someones vehicle or generator goes out. Keep an open mind and you’ll see there are a lot of things you can do and trade to help you get by in an emergency.

Health & Beauty

The few times I ever watched the show “Survivor”, one thing that kept surprising me was how some of the contestants kept whining about needing a shower or wanting clean clothes or soap. They would trade nearly anything for those items, they as much said so. As I understand the show, they’re only out there like 30 days or so. Imagine how desperate they’d be after 6 months!

I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised though, my Wife and Daughter complain after a few days of Camping! It’s a good idea to keep some of those toiletries sets handy to trade off. (or pacify your Wife in a Survival situation!)

Toilet paper should also be added to that list!

Make Your Own List

This isn’t a hard and fast list. You can make your own list of items you think people will need should all hell break loose. I’ve heard of people stockpiling things like toilet paper and writing tablets.

Here are a few more items that you may be able to barter should the worse happen.

* Traps and Snares
* Fishing Equipment, ie; rods, reels, tackle, nets, twine, etc
* Containers. Glass, plastic and metal
* Old clothing
* Shoes
* Cordage
* All types of batteries
* Knives (see Guns & Ammo)
* Fasteners. Nails, screws, hooks, bolts, etc
* Vehicle/generator parts
* Tarps
* Camping Gear

Obviously you don’t have to run out and start buying everything on this list. On your trips to the store just pick up an extra this or that when you’re buying something for yourself. You’ll soon find yourself with plenty of items to barter with should the need arise.

So what type of things can you think of to use for trading should you dollar bills ever become worthless?

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