Learn Discipline Now Instead of Later

by Gale

Nothing comes for free. That includes good habits like discipline. The more disciplined we are now the better off we will be when the next emergency situation comes along. But wouldn’t it be better to learn to do without now as opposed to later when you are struggling to deal with a new reality?

Unfortunately our country in no way, shape, or form promotes discipline. An old sage piece of advice goes something like this—the best thing you can do for yourself is to tell yourself ‘no’. Doing so takes real discipline, especially in our society where we are told to go easy on ourselves and that we deserve even those things we cannot afford. Our society is controlled by those that want us to hand over our hard earned resources and essentially enrich them by enslaving ourselves through debt.

That is a hard pill to swallow, but it is true. Many have unwisely fallen victim to this train of thought and the results have been devastating, as we experienced with the Great Recession. Even now as we work ourselves out of that dark time, many haven’t learned the lesson. The average American still owes an average of over $7,000 in credit card debt. And with the hint of economic improvement on the horizon that amount is sure to grow. No wonder there are still a proliferation of payday loan stores and plenty of debt relief companies.

Preppers can’t afford to blindly follow that sort of herd mentality. Without resisting the urge to have our wants met now how can we expect to fare when we have no choice but to scrape by on short or dwindling resources? The fact is if we can learn to regularly tell ourselves ‘no’ to all the consumerism we now face we will be in a much better place when SHTF comes along. Following are some strategies for developing that proper mindset that we can work on now.

Buying for Convenience

What are Americans going to do when they don’t have access to fast food restaurants? If our overwhelming dependence on others to make our meals for us is any indication, then the majority of people will suffer horribly during an extended crisis. No wonder the average home has less than three days of food on hand.
Eating out is not a bad thing in and of itself, but it should be done in moderation. It should be a treat instead of a habit. Such dependence on others for such a basic need is in direct opposition to the prepper’s ideal of attaining self-sufficiency. If you are guilty of this, perhaps you should consider a more disciplined view of making your own meals. This may seem insignificant, but the implications are huge. If for no other reason, forego eating out and put the savings towards prepping supplies.

Impulse Buying

We have all given in to impulse buying. But how often does it win over us? Our consumer society has turned the science of human psychology into a means of profit. We no longer buy just what we need. We have been conditioned to buy what we want the minute we want it. This is a very dangerous practice for a prepper. Not only does it waste precious resources but it undermines the very discipline we will rely on during SHTF.

Instead of giving in to these sort of desires, a prepper must start exercising discipline in the current state of affairs. The effort expended now to ingrain discipline and self-sufficiency will pay off many times over in the future. During that impending time of chaos and strife, if we don’t have the mental discipline developed in the present it won’t matter how many preps we have then. We will fall victim to our own impulsiveness.

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  1. Don’t buy the snacks from the vending machines. $1 or more each time.

    Don’t eat your packed lunch before lunch time.

    Don’t get a “little something” at the fast food place on the way home.

    Shop with a list and stick to it.

    It IS the little things we have all done that squander our money away, leaving us to wonder where the money went.

    My grandpa would never consider getting coffee at a diner. He always said “why spend good money on something I have at home?”. Spend money, instead, to learn to do things for yourself. Better yet, go to the free classes at Home Depot and learn to repair your leaking faucet yourself, rather than calling a plumber to do the 15 minute task for $90.

    So much of what we do those days seems targeted to keep people unaware of how to do things for themselves. You know: if something isn’t working just right, throw it away and buy a new one. I just installed a new router for one of my neighbors because their dog chewed on the wire from the power adaptor, and they never considered repairing or replacing the wire because it looked broken. (Cost to them $129 vs maybe $2)

    We cannot afford to be a throw away society. At least, as preppers, WE CAN’T. We have to learn to make do with what we have. Learn to use what we have available to keep things working. Maintain our equipment, know how it works, and what we should do to keep things working smoothly. If something needs a spare part, learn what it is and get the spare now while it is cheap. Know how to replace something today, not when you might not have the time to make a mistake and learn to do things right.

    Sorry, a little long winded.

  2. You can’t have your cake and eat it too…

    Don’t buy computers and monitors (couldn’t access this website then).

    Don’t ever buy a new car (even if you need it to do your job to get money or to ‘bug out’).

    Don’t ever go in debt to purchase a home (to protect your loved ones or to make your final stand when the SHTF).


    As usual, it is simply the matter of being reasonable in your purchases and not trying satisfy every whim at the drop of a hat. Being in debt is the only way to ‘survive’ the American economy, just don’t over do it!

    • Agree CPARKER1212 – Debt can be a tool if you smart about it. Buying a car with next to zero interest is like a free loan. The problem is when people are desperate and/or just do things that are not very smart in the long run.


  3. Judgement needs to be tempered discipline. We need to retain flexibility to pull the trigger on a needed item at an outrageous price(I.e. the $40 dollar generator that needed a sparkplug and a carb kit). Stay on track, just don’t do it in lockstep.

    • Vinnie –
      One of the big benefits of budgeting and saving is aving the disposable income available when you come across one of those great deals.

      Thanks – Rourke

  4. I think of this saying often: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” It helps me when I may want to buy something I don’t need.

  5. Good list !! I have tried to live by distinguishing between “needs ” vs “wants”.
    I have over indulged in books !!! Thats my weakness. (of course survival books are a need- smile !!) Arlene

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