February 18th, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit: Financial Skills Edition

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the walking dead

“The Walking Dead” is back, with the angry zombies, the kick-butt policeman Rick and the always-pissed-off Shane. I love the show. Every character has some sort of talent he brings to the post-apocalyptic world. Glenn is quick and agile, Shane is a great marksman, Rick is a born leader, and Daryl is invincible. They all have zombie apocalypse skills.

Now, I’ve got a lot of financial skills. But as I watched Daryl fall off a cliff, fight off zombies, pull an arrow out of his own torso, and get shot, I got to thinking. Which of my real-world money skills could help me in the zombie-ridden afterworld? Read on to find out how I plan to kick zombie butt and take undead names after the world as we know it ends.

Finance Skill: Putting money away into savings.
Zombie Apocalypse Equivalent: Rationing food and supplies.

Since I’ve started working at Credit Karma, I’ve become quite skilled at picking a savings goal and setting it into motion. It’s gotten me a couple of pricey electronics I’ve wanted and will have me in great financial shape at the end of the year.

When it comes to the zombie apocalypse, who knows how long we’ll have between supply replenishment? I see my clever savings strategies as a way to help my crew and I plan out how much we can afford to consume, like one can of Spam a day per person.

Finance Skill: Communicating about joint finances.
Zombie Apocalypse Equivalent: Resolving non-zombie conflict.

For the most part, my husband and I agree on finances. But every now and then, we’ll have to discuss the particulars of a budget item. For instance, he loves the city (for the record, so do I) and never sees any reason why we would want to leave it. I, on the other hand, occasionally need a break from the hustle and bustle. So when it comes time to save for a trip outside of the city, we have to talk it out.

I imagine arguments among bands of zombie-fleeing friends will be more strained than simple budgeting discussions. But the outcome will be the same: compromise or risk being eaten by a zombie. I’ll use my superior communication skills to keep everyone from losing a limb to the hungry undead.

Finance Skill: Clipping coupons.
Zombie Apocalypse Equivalent: Becoming a scissor-wielding samurai.

All of that coupon clipping and sorting will get me two things: a cramped hand and serious scissors skills. (Say that three times fast.) Assuming I manage to bring my trusty coupon scissors with me after the apocalypse, I could do some serious close-range zombie damage. I think I’ll start sewing a scissors holster and practicing my stabbing skills right now.

Finance Skill: Finding the best deal.
Zombie Apocalypse Equivalent: Being a sneaky looter.

The other day I scored a pair of boots I’ve been drooling over for more than a year. At full price, they’re $150. But I’m way too cheap to pay full price for anything. So I watched for the item on Ebay—for a full year. You know what it got me? The same boots, very lightly used, for less than half of the original cost.

In Zombieland, I’ll have the guts (ha!) to stick it out when everyone else thinks the best stuff has already been looted. I’ll root under shelves and underneath floorboards until I find the best of the rest. My bargain-hunting patience will get me a wheelbarrow loaded with supplies and equipment passed over by lazy looters.

Finance Skill: Being a frugal DIY-er.
Zombie Apocalypse Equivalent: Macgyvering some weapons.

I can be pretty resourceful, making soup from items in a nearly empty pantry, DIYing some homemade shampoo , or making a headboard out of cheap supplies *. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I’ll be in full-force Macgyver mode, using whatever’s within my reach to jury rig an effective weapon. Of course, that’s assuming I’ve forgotten my scissors.

What skills would you bring to the zombie apocalypse?


is the Social Media Manager and Writer at Credit Karma, where she’s been since February 2011. When she’s not writing about credit and finance all over the web, you can find her playing her guitar, catching the latest movie, training for her next race or just exploring the city of San Francisco. Say “Hi” on Twitter: @bhardeman.

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*Admitedly, this one is still on my “to-do” list.

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  1. Very clever! I love it! Not wasting a thing! Recycle, Reuse!

    Judy Morgan at 8:10 pm on February 18, 2012
  2. Bethy,
    I’m quite the minimalist, so I’d be good at parceling out what resources we have: food, ammo, water and the like. I keep my composure pretty well too, which would help in high-stress situations.

    I’m looking forward to hearing my roommates yell at the TV when the show returns this weekend.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

    Christian L. at 10:22 am on February 5, 2013

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