by Frank Moss

Prepping is not just for a SHTF senario when the world comes burning down around our ears, like post Sandy/Katrina, or war reaching our shores. How about making life livable if you lose your job? How much are those bills you pay every month? What can you rapidly remove or reduce from your daily life to make your monthly deficits affordable on an unemployment check and/or with freelance income?

In this series, we will explore what can be changed and with 20/20 hindsight, what could have been done to make it easier.

Let start with the first and easiest steps, what are your luxury expenses and what are your core needs.


  • Dinner out
  • Baby sitters
  • Entertainment services like HBO and XM
  • 4G service on the iPad
  • 5 phone numbers (though this also a core need)

Core Needs:

  • Groceries/Food
  • Toilet Paper
  • Utilities like Electricity and Gas

Preparations are key

The easiest thing to do is keep a ledger of all the bills your pay. Periodically, separate them into the two groups above and then look critically at them. Luxuries we know we can cancel at any time with little to no impact on our daily lives. Core Needs on the other hand need to be examined for waste and “hidden luxuries”.

Grocery store visits where you buy 4 different bags of chips, the most expensive steak cuts and a lobster tail are some examples. Look for ways to cut down the core needs from those hidden luxuries. I am not saying that all luxuries are bad – this is simply to make you aware of exactly where you can cut when you need to become that Spartan when your SHTF personally.

Please see the other articles in this category that focus on some individual areas.

By Frank Moss

Well traveled in Europe and North Africa, Frank Moss has lived in England, Germany and Italy thanks to sabbaticals taken by his father, an award winning physicist. Notable positions held during his almost 20 year IT career are founding engineer of IBM's SmartCloud, Cloud Architect for SPAWAR, and Cloud Architect for CenturyLink's FedRAMP Cloud Project. He specializes in architectural security compliance (secure by design) and holds a C|EH. When not working, Frank enjoys outdoor activities, shooting, camping and spending time with his wife and children. You can find Frank at one of his two sites: or

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