Not always , look at the Great Depression of the 30’s , money was pretty much worthless. One thing people did regularly to survive , was non tangible . Skills were traded , if you know how to do something that others dont , its the same as a physical item . One of the biggest things that happen in situations like that , is to simply keep what you already have running , and in half way , good condition . People traded skills as a matter of fact , as there was not enough physical money on hand to begin with . Outside Nuclear war , or civil war ( which includes all forms of government tyranny ) , situations are relatively short lived . Humans dont like chaos , we aren’t built that way . We need stability , and tend to rebuild again fairly quickly . We would be hunter gatherers to this day if we didnt need that . Especially in todays society , its more important than ever, to know how to do something with your hands . Learning a trade will be as valuable as gold , both to you , and to other people . Even in the Dark Ages , people who had a needed skill were protected , because people needed them , peasant and noble alike . Hell , glass blowers were so highly valued , that the English crown , would bestow knighthood , and land , to any that would come to England from other countries .