The US Dollar has been losing quite a bit of value in the last decade. Some countries have discussed abandoning the dollar as the world's reserve currency. If this happens, the US Dollar could collapse even further. Here are some ways that you can prepare for the Dollar's collapse (or at least help you survive inflation, which is even more likely).
Not all financial experts see gold and silver as great investments, but these two metals, over time, do retain their value. In 1800, you could buy a very nice suit for the price of a gold coin; today, you can still buy a nice suit for the money you would use to spend on a gold coin. This isn't an investment to make money off of, but in general, it should retain its value, no matter what the dollar does.
There are several ways to invest in precious metals. You can buy gold and silver bullion from a reputable dealer in your area. If you don't have enough to buy a bullion-quality coin, you can invest in "junk" silver, which is sold on eBay. These coins are 40 to 90% silver, and sell for less. Some stores in California and other locations are already starting to let you buy items with silver.
If you don't have the money to invest in gold or silver, consider investing in food. If the dollar collapses, it will be much harder to afford the food that you need. It's very easy to invest in food. Every time you go to the grocery store, find something that is on sale and buy extra. Try to choose food with a long shelf life, like cans of fruit, vegetables, or peanut butter. My local Wal-Mart even carries cans of dehydrated food with a 15 year shelf life. Buying just one extra can of food a month will put you in a better position if the dollar collapses or if inflation makes buying food cost-prohibitive.
If the dollar collapses, our whole society could change. You might not have the extra dollars that you might need to buy another pair of pants when they get a hole in them. Learning how to repair your own clothes will help you life more comfortably. Similar dollar-stretching skills could be useful for making your own life better, or even for bartering with other people, i.e., you repair their clothes, and in exchange, they'll give you something of value in return.
During Britain's "Winter of Discontent" when their pound had trouble, their electricity was regularly turned off, and citizens had to work by candlelight. The government imposed a three day work week to save electricity. If the same situation were to happen here, we might have to rethink the way we earn money. Do you know how to make something that you could sell in order to earn some extra money, that doesn't require electricity?
If you can find a source of income outside of the United States, you may be able to get through a collapse of the dollar with a lot more comfort. In Weimar Germany during their worst period of hyperinflation, a man who was able to find one dollar bill was able to pay off all his dental bills and had a little extra left over. One of the ways that I earn the occasional income from overseas is by designing t-shirts through Zazzle. Whenever someone from overseas buys my shirts, my income is paid in their local form of currency, which is converted to dollars before I'm paid.
Nobody likes to think that the US dollar could collapse, but it has already lost about 20% of its value just in the last couple of years. By the time you find out about the dollar's collapse, it will be too late for you to do anything about it. The time to prepare is now. If the government reforms its policies and we have a strong dollar once again, then we're all better off; if you've taken these steps, the worst that could happen is that you have a little extra food, and the amount you invest in precious metals could decline. On the other hand, if you take no steps to prepare, you might wake up one day to find that all the money in your bank account is basically worthless.
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