According to a recent study, during the 2020 pandemic, we Americans changed our spending habits. Throughout the lockdowns we spent more money on groceries, self-care, and takeout while curbing spending on entertainment, luxury items and new clothing.

Historically, spending habits were similarly shaped by such pressing times as the Great Depression and World War II. Following historical precedence, todays pressing times continue to shape our lives producing changes in both spending and behavior.

Case in point merely. A year ago shelves were devoid of toilet paper and cleaning products. Employees of most large companies were pressed to work from home and the firearms industry witnessed an exponential increase in gun and ammunition sales.

Following a year-long series of “peaceful protests” during an economic lockdown due to a highly publicized pandemic, the re-opening of most States, reintegration of our kids back onto physical school campuses, and the resupply of store goods gives us somewhat of a sigh of relief—for now.

Nonetheless, our society remains impacted as we can readily observe a shift in business toward greater online commerce, the threat of a follow-on pandemic and a noteworthy surge in crime. To date we see plenty of employees working from home, schools operating on a hybrid online-physical campus delivery platform and a justified rise in concern for family, workplace and community safety as more and more people look for ways to preserve their health, wealth and personal safety.

Since financial stability and personal safety have moved to the forefront in the minds of concerned citizens, what can be done to help allay such concern? Fiscal assessment, skills development, and village security.

FISCAL ASSESSMENT

Many suffered tremendous financial loss because of the pandemic. To support recovery is to assess your fiscal demands by prioritizing from the top down. Starting with the essentials like shelter, food, electricity, etc., you may want to ask yourself “Do I really need that lava lamp?”

Prioritizing fiscal demand sets spending priorities. Should you need to trim your budget, cuts should start with those items you have placed closer to the bottom of your priority list.

Do a little research. Rather than go with the first item you see, spend a little time (which doesn’t const you any money) on researching that product online. Compare product reviews, what customers say about it, material quality, content and the like. Is this the best bang for your buck? If not, what is the alternative? Is it good enough for your specific needs? Do you really need that extra bell or whistle?

Visualize yourself with your desired purchase in your hands before you buy it. What are the pros and the cons? Can you live without it? Can you not live without it? Is the exchange of convenience worth the cost? If you are already employing these and/or other fiscally proactive measures, then you are already a step ahead of the game.

 



 

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

If you are concerned about your personal safety and that of your family, then you are the de facto protective agent for your family. As such you owe it to them and yourself to acquire hard and soft skills.

Hard Skills

Are you one of the many new American gun owners that do not have an extensive shooting or firearms training background? If you, like other responsible gun owners, realize the critical importance of such training to include appropriate firearm safety, storage, maintenance and usage, then why not get formal training? Finding a qualified instructor or school is not hard and a very worthwhile investment especially if you’re planning to use your firearm in self-defense.

Soft Skills

Forewarned is forearmed. What is situational awareness (SA) and how can you apply it to not only observe but also control your immediate environment, use it as a deterrent and further encourage home invaders to seek softer targets? The answer is to read up on SA, go online, attend formal training, and gain that decisive advantage.

Skills development (hard and soft) make you a harder target and help keep you ahead of the action-reaction power curve.

 



 

VILLAGE SECURITY

The age-old saying “It takes a village,” is just as true today as it was in our cave-dwelling days. From an urban security perspective, you need to sleep sometime and there is power in numbers. Your neighbors can only be one of three things to you: an ally, a foe or remain neutral. Tactically speaking, they are either an asset or a liability.

Network assets can be valuable resources as they have real skin in the game (share your same patch of dirt), can provide human intelligence, and immediate-response options should it hit the proverbial fan in your own backyard.

How could it hurt to know what your neighbors think (or what their plans might be) should your corner of the grid square be subjected to a rash of home invasions, a wildfire or a group of “protestors” causing property damage? Do they even have a plan? If not, what if you shared your ideas or offered a few of your own recommendations? What if you did just one thing to help build a more secure village around you? Might your efforts inspire the actions of others?

A shift in perspective causes a change in behavior. In pressing times, should you raise concerns about financial stability, your own personal security and that of your family, fiscal assessment, soft and hard skills development and village security can help allay those concerns.