There’s a lot of guessing and theorizing about the “post SHTF” currency.
Fascinating as it may be, I believe its important to be rational, and set the record straight mostly to avoid people making wrong decisions and simply wasting money.
Other currencies: The most common thing to happen when a currency falls and looses value is to people to simply start using other well recognized ones. Mostly Euros and USD.
Many years ago I told readers that having a few Euros was a good idea so as to have eggs on both sides of the scale, since it was easy to see that if the Dollar lost value, the Euro would increase its own since they are both usually held against each other.
Those that listen back then today have 50% more purchasing power in those Euros .
Something similar but of course much worse happened here in Argentina after 2001. Everything that was ½ way expensive was measured in US dollars, not pesos. For that reason prices changed within hours and they still do, even though a bit less dramatically.
Most medium and big stores, even in fairs and markets, people will accept dollars and I’ve even see them accept Euros.
So lets suppose the dollar collapses ( no, don’t think it will) the Euro may become accepted more readily in USA. Yes I know most Americans don’t even know what an Euro looks like and the culture just doesn’t revolve around it. Guess what? You adapt when you don’t have a choice. You adapt or you fade away. Again, don’t think the dollar is about to collapse or anything, but it is losing against the Euro.
In no time a black market for whatever currency is getting accepted erupts with such force its impossible to control. Again, that happened here with the dollar. Officially there was a limit to how many dollars a person could buy, but on the streets the story was different and you could buy or sell thousands.
So, in most cases, when a currency falls, it gets unofficially replaced by another, stronger once. At least as a measure of things.
Precious Metals: They have historically kept their purchasing power through time which makes them a great way to protect your savings. Even if the price varies, it mostly goes along with inflation, to the true purchasing power mostly stays the same. There is a small variation like the one we are seeing now, where gold for example seems very expensive. Two reasons for that: 1) Inflation, official or unofficial, its there so precious metals seem more expensive 2) There’s a crisis going on, this offsets the price a bit since precious metals have historically been a shelter during crisis, this increases demand.
“What if there’s no demand for gold? Then its worth nothing at all!! JAJAJA!” Typical reality denier. The problem with that logic is pretty simple: That has never happened before in over 10.000 years of human history!
Goods & Services: Its true that seashells, coco beans and other products have been used as currency one time or another. Still, nothing ever came close to the worldwide and millenary acceptance of gold and silver.
Tools and other supplies: They have been traded a lot, but don’t fool yourself, they have been trade goods, not currency. Currency is a different deal. Don’t fool yourself into buying excessive amounts of tools hoping for a significant profit after an economic collapse. Just wont happen.
Salt for example has been used as currency, for long periods of time in some places of the world. It’s a good product and pretty resistant yet it can get ruined or contaminated in ways that it loses its attractiveness. Also, salt is pretty plentiful. Buy lots of it because its dirt cheap, has many uses and it’s an essential good, doesn’t go bad as long as its dry and you eventually use it. But I’d certainly wouldn’t buy it hoping it will be used as currency.
Ammunition: A survivalist classic but only on fiction.
The nice thing about ammo is that its actually useful, the bad thing about ammo is that its sensitive to humidity and only a nutcase would load a gun that may be used to save his life with ammo of uncertain origin and storage.
I can keep coins or even paper money in my pocket in a hot summer day, sweat all over it, its still money. If I have a handful of 9mm shells there, then buy something, goes to another sweaty pocket, then someone forgets it in the washing machine lie we often do with coins, get wet for whatever reason… I can simply clean it up and leave it all shiny, but that ammo will either ruin someone’s shot while hunting or worse, get someone killed.
Ammo is sensitive and must be kept stored properly.
I’ve shot 7,65 Argentino ammo from the 50’s in my Mauser. Some fired, some didn’t, you just never know until you pull the trigger.
Ammo going from one hand to another will become dangerously unreliable in a matter of weeks.
Its true that ammo has increased in price and that if you had cases of it, you can sell it for profit. Cases of ammo. Stored well. Ammo is not currency and will never be because it lacks the basic property actual currency needs.
Buy enough ammo for your needs, then buy some more for a rainy day, even buy extra for your grandkids if a government somehow restricts ammunition sales. Heck, buy ammo to fight a civil war if you think it will come to that. Do not buy ammo believing it will ever be currency. Better stick to precious metals in whatever for you like best.