10 Ways to Prepare Your Family for the “Great Depression” of 2030

My husband Nate is a planner. An architect by trade, his job is to foresee every possible need and problem that could arise when people use his buildings. Funny story- minutes before our first date, he went to move his car from the back parking space to the street parking spot in front so I wouldn’t see the neglected backyard. I knocked on the door right while he drove around the corner. His roommate, and his roommate’s parents, who were visiting, answered the door. For a second, I thought he invited his entire family over to meet me!! He prepped for an easier walk to his car, but not for me to get there that second! Since day one of our relationship, he’s been planning and preparing for the next step. So when he told me that economists are predicting another “Great Depression” in 2030, we decided to start preparing now.

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Millenials (I think I might be a xennial??) will be hit the hardest during this possible future depression. They’ll be in the height of their careers, earning the largest salaries of their lives. To add more insult to injury, many of us will still have children at home to care for. Our children will be 16, 14, and 12 in 2030. They’ll be eating A LOT of food at that point, and dreaming about college. Preparing now for future money problems will help secure their futures. 

Economists have been wrong before, but why take a chance? We have 12 years to prepare our families and our finances for potential economic disaster. And if it never happens? These little things that you can do are good practices for any frugal-minded person. We’re not talking building a cement shelter in your basement, here. If there’s not financial crisis in 2030, you’ll still find yourself with some important skills, a fatter wallet, and your dignity.

I am in no way a financial expert. These are things that our family will do just in case. Consult an expert for help with financial planning. 

Preparing for the Depression of 2030

1. Avoid all debt

Not having debt is something to strive for everyday, but it’s especially important in times of depression. Student loans can linger for years, and credit card debt can sneak up really quickly. Plan to pay off student loans in the next 12 years if possible. Reduce your everyday spending if credit card debt is racking up. Here’s an article from US News with other suggestions for paying off debt.

2. Plan to get rid of your mortgage

The collapse of banks and the subsequent decrease in income left many families homeless in the 1930’s. They struggled to make mortgage payments with salaries that were about 40% less than a few years before (source.) If there is a future depression, not having a mortgage to pay would benefit you greatly. That might seem completely un-doable right now. If that’s the case, consider downsizing. Tiny houses are big right now, because– clutter.

Plan your moves carefully. Nate would like to move to a part of the city closer to his work at some point. Thinking about a possible economic depression means that we would make that move sooner rather than later so we could either pay off our mortgage, or at least have a good chunk chipped away by 2030.

If you are a renter and don’t plan on buying a house, put aside more than the recommended 6 months emergency fund.

3. Learn how to garden

Maybe you’re not a green-thumb type. The good news is that you have time to learn how to grow your own food. Plant vegetables with high yield, like squash or tomatoes.

4.  Make things from scratch

During the Great Depression, store bought items were luxuries. People turned to making food items and other things from scratch. Think about the staples your family enjoys that you could make on your own. This is something that I love to do, from snacks for kids to hand soap.

An #economic depression is predicted for 2030. You can start preparing your #family now.

5. Learn how to sew

Millenials are embarrassingly weak in this area. Many millennials can’t hem pants, sew buttons, or mend clothing. Or, maybe they (we?? I don’t know) just don’t want to. Learning how to sew can save you money on alterations and prevents you from having to toss clothes that could be saved. I rely on my mom way too much for sewing fixes! It looks like I have some sewing practice in store!

6. Build your community

Many of us don’t live very close to our families. This is really hard in times of need! Build a community of friends-like-family that you can rely on and fall back on in times of need. Or better yet, live near your actual family!

7. Have an emergency food kit

An emergency food kit kit might sound a little over-the-top. They are kind of pricy, after all. But really, anyone could be in a situation where they need food, but they’re trapped at home. The east coast gets hurricanes and crazy snowstorms. Currently, a massive snowstorm with frigid temperatures has settled over the east coast. I would not want to leave the house, if I were there! An emergency food supply could definitely come in handy. And if a natural disaster doesn’t strike, you’d have some meals if the grocery budget gets extremely small.

8. Learn a skill

During the last recession, architecture took a huge hit. People weren’t asking for buildings to be built during a time of less. If your family relies on an income from a non-necessary skill, then you might want to learn a trade that could always be useful. For example, if you do know how to sew but not many other people do, you can help others and help support your family with your sewing skills. My super handy husband could work as a handyman. What skills do you have now, or could you learn, that would help you in the event of an economic downfall?

9. Get resourceful

When we live in a season of plenty, it’s easy to forget that we can get creative with what we have. During the Great Depression, people often replaced the worn soles of their shoes with rubber from tires. I’d love to see the DIY blog post for that! You don’t have to hang onto every plastic baggie you’ve ever bought (which is what my depression-survivor grandparents did), but learning how to reuse or repurpose everyday items can help you spend less now and be prepared for the future. Also, part of resourcefulness is buying quality products that last longer rather than throwing out something cheap in a few months.

10. Invest your money

With all the money you’ll be saving by gardening, making things from scratch, and living mortgage free (I dream big!) you have some room to invest. Investing instead of just saving money is a better way to prepare for an economic downturn because the value of a dollar will decrease in the future.

No matter what the financial future holds, being smart with our money and our belongings is never a loss. 


Hint: You should be doing these things anyways, with or without economic distaster!
 Prepare your family for an #economic #depression with these practices that are good for any #frugal family.Prepare your family for an #economic #depression with these practices that are good for any #frugal family.Prepare your family for an #economic #depression with these practices that are good for any #frugal family.


  • samantha January 8, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Great post! I consider myself well versed in “old” skills like sewing, and gardening, i am hoping to add maple collection and bee keeping this year. while they may seem outdated now, if the SHTF people wouldn’t think me so crazy!

    • leahbmartin January 10, 2018 at 7:53 am

      Maple collection and bee keeping would definitely be helpful skills! I think these old skills are coming back into style 🙂

  • Emily January 11, 2018 at 4:26 am

    This is fascinating – and extra incentive to get those student loans paid off!

    • leahbmartin January 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

      Yes, for sure! It’s nice that there are so many years to think about paying things like that off!

  • Jasmine Hewitt January 11, 2018 at 8:01 am

    My husband brags about his ability to have a fixed interest rate with our mortgage, and thats the big mistake most people make. they’re too eager to get that extra $100-$200 a month saved, so they refinance and then put themselves in a position to get a 40% increase and make their home unaffordable. His military benefits pay our mortgage, and that’ll never disappear. and, they also paid his college education, so we have no student debt.
    Jasmine Hewitt recently posted…Why Do We Take Selfies? Are They Good, Or Bad?My Profile

    • leahbmartin January 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

      We were fortunate to buy our home in 2012. The interest rates were low, and so were the home prices (they’ve almost doubled in our area since then!) You made a good point about fixed mortgages!

  • Brandi February 5, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    You are right – these are great tips for everyone to adopt, depression or not (and I think it IS coming according to experts). Getting rid of debt has been a high priority for us lately and I’ve also learned how to be more thrifty. (I also make foaming hand soap! And I clean with vinegar, etc.) In an affluent generation it’s easy to forget that our lifestyles could change almost overnight and we need to be prepared for anything – not fearful, but prepared and with an eye to the future. 🙂 Great post!


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