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Dollar CrashAhhh, yes . . . bartering. I learned about it when I was attended Edison Middle School back in the 70’s. It was an exercise in “old-time” civilization. I remember it very well.  My classmates and I had a lot of fun trading amongst ourselves.  But I could have never imagined that lesson in school, teaching me about “history” would be a reality some 40 years later! It well might be the currency we must use in 2013 and beyond. If there is a financial collapse, do you have renewable goods or services that you can use to attain the things you will need but can no longer afford?  What would you do with $10 in your pocket and milk cost $50 a gallon, gasoline is $75?   Essentially, your money is worthless. There have been many currencies throughout history that was completely worthless.  Let’s look at some things I see as high value trading possessions or skills.  Let’s examine some skills or renewable goods you might need to help feed and care for your family.

But first, let’s get a clear definition of what bartering is.  According to Wikipedia, here is bartering broken down.

Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.[1] It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral, and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a very limited extent. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when the currency may be either unstable (e.g., hyperinflation or deflationary spiral) or simply unavailable for conducting commerce.

There is a bit of irony here, too.  If our society brakes down and “We The People” are forced to barter for goods and services, WE ARE empty-pockets-isolated-on-white-background-STILL OBLIGATED TO PAY TAXES!!!  The IRS requires barter exchanges to be reported as per the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. Barter exchanges are considered taxable revenue by the IRS and must be reported on a 1099-B form. According to the IRS, “The fair market value of goods and services exchanged must be included in the income of both parties.  I found that tidbit to be quite offensive.  But what else would I really expect our government to do.  It seems to me that congress and the federal government has never seen a tax they did not want to pass.

So let’s pretend that we wake up tomorrow and the market completely plummets.  What are the most viable skills you can possess?

This according to shtfplan.com  blog:

Barter ExchangeTop Priority Skills

Provided below is a brief list of skills which have served people well in various economic downturns, and will do the same for you in this country. Keep in mind that almost any skill that other people cannot do well has potential for trade, but some skills are more sought after than others. In my research, it is those people who are able to produce their own goods as well as effectively repair existing goods that have the greatest potential for survival in a barter market.Next, are those people who have specific abilities that are difficult to learn and who have the knack for teaching those abilities to others. If you do not have any of these skills, or perhaps only one, then it would be wise to begin learning at least one more now. Keep in mind that competition will very much exist in a barter economy, so knowing as many skills as possible increases your chances of success.

Mechanic, Engine Repair



Firearms Repair, Ammo Reloading


Architect, Home Reinforcement

Agriculture, Farming Expertise, Seed Saving, Animal Care

Bee Keeping

Doctor, Medical Assistant


Well Construction, Water Table Expertise

Engineer, Community Planning, Manufacturing, Electrical

Firearms Proficiency, Security, Self Defense Planning

Martial Arts Training

Wild Foods Expert



Sewing, Textiles

Soap Making, Candle Making, Hygiene Products

Small Appliance Repair

Electronics Repair

HAM Radio Expert

Homeschooling, Tutoring

Again, there are definitely many more trades of value that could be learned. This list is only to help you on your way to self sufficiency and entrepreneurship in an Alternative Market.Unfortunately, too many Americans have absolutely no skills worth bartering in a post collapse world.

By possessing at least a few of these skills, you will be in a much better place than any Wall Street Executive-type.  Having food to use in exchanges cannot be overemphasized.  Everyone will need food, not everyone knows how to grow it.

My advise to you is to hone the skills you may have now, before “it” hits the fan.  And work toward learning new skills that can help you even more.  Bob Dylan’s song, “The Times They Are A-Changin” rings so true.  I play it often on my iPod.  We are there.  The U.S. is bankrupt.  They just haven’t announced it yet.


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