The SHTF Manual, Part 2: 5 Steps to Stay Afloat Financially


Last week, I shared with you my guide for when shit hits the fan. Because in times of crisis, it’s hard to think straight, let alone navigate out of the chaos. In that post, I shared the 10 steps you can use to get through those stressful times of change. In this episode, I want to talk about the money side—how do you navigate a crisis financially? 

Let’s say you’re in a crisis, and you’ve begun to implement the 10 steps from my previous article. What do you do as far as money goes? 

5 Money Tips in a Crisis


1. Establish Your Baseline

It’s hard to make decisions if you don’t know where you stand financially. Just like you can’t really navigate to a new location if you don’t know where you are currently. So, first you have to sit down and figure out your finances. 

This step can be painful, and I have firsthand experience with it. Yet it is absolutely necessary to make progress. This means you must look at everything—financial statements, cash flow statements, debt, etc. Write it all down and pinpoint exactly what you have and what you do not. 

If it gets too painful, remember that it’s all a part of moving forward. Like I said in my first guide, you must own it and take responsibility. I know that this year many businesses have closed for reasons outside of the businesses control. Yet I believe if we act as victims, we allow the universe to hold that power over us. 

So, don’t give the universe that power by claiming victimhood for yourself. 


2. Move into Cash

If you’re in a crisis mode, it’s time to be in a position of cash. Now is not the time to stay invested and be open to more loss. Nor is this the time to start new investments. In times of massive financial setbacks, you should not be taking massive risks. 

Move out of your investments, stockpile your cash, and hold onto what you have. Once you sell off your investments, focus on building your reserves back up. That means 6-12 months’ worth of expenses. This also means that you should not be servicing debt. At all. You’ll only make stockpiling more difficult and lose access to your liquidity. 

This is also a hard step, as a financial crisis likely also means that you aren’t working with a lot of money. That makes building up even 6 months of reserve difficult. During my SHTF moment, I know I had trouble. Yet you must still try. 


3. Create Strategies

Next, you must look to where you want to go. Set specific targets and goals for yourself that you can measure. Like I said in Part 1, you must throw long-term goals out the window. I’m talking about fighting daily battles. When you set your targets, make them targets you can hit in 24 hours. 

The first step in your strategy should likely be paying yourself back (rather than your other debts). This will help you build your reserves back up. This can be a dollar amount or a daily deposit, either way you should be setting goals you can accomplish. 

And to truly be a winner, you must set specific targets and create systems and processes to get there. Predictable systems and processes generate predictable results. There’s plenty of content on Cash Flow Ninja that can help you systematize your financial targets. 


4. Foundation

Establishing your foundation is all about mindset, capabilities, and relationships. I often have people reach out to me asking where they should invest a small sum of money, and my first answer is always in mindset. If you can invest in a skill and begin skill stacking, your value skyrockets. Joining masterminds, seminars, and communities are great ways to develop and hone your skills. You also want to invest in relationships and people. 

That is where you should spend your money—$5-10,000—until you have $100,000 to deploy into an investment. 


5. Start Small

When you’re investing and making money and getting back into the clear, it’s tempting to chase the shiny objects. Yet in a crisis, you should focus only on investing in your mindset, skills, relationships, and business. Everything else can wait. 

If your business is real estate, then you’re going to get back into those investments. Just keep it to your business while you grow your reserves and get out of crisis-mode. 


Building Back Capital

So, if you’re ever navigating a financial crisis, these are the best steps to take with your money so that you can emerge on the other side more confident and stable. Once you have built up enough capital, you can re-enter the game. Again, that looks like 6-12 months of reserves and $100,000 of capital to invest. Until then, continue to work on yourself and build up your cushion. 

You can listen to my new podcast, Cashflow Investing Secrets here.

Live your Freedom, Live Your Legacy, On Your Own Terms,


M.C. Laubscher is a husband, dad, podcaster & Cashflow Specialist. He helps business owners and investors create, recover, warehouse & multiply cashflow. You can learn more about exclusive cash flow strategies in M.C.’s new video series at



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