The point that it is easy to freeze after preparing for the basic 72 hour whatever sort of local emergency is valid. After that things get a lot more complicated and expensive. I suppose it is easy to get overwhelmed and just stall out.
Claire brings up some good points. Preparing for more realistic situations and those pesky little economic problems are nowhere near as cool as getting a new rifle or some sweet gear. Life has shown me that there are a lot more times I will need $ 400 (our number for whatever reason) than we will need to long term food storage so survive a social collapse.
So the real question of how to get past the 72 hour/ week preparedness to a longer and darker scenario without getting overwhelmed. I think that the first part of the answer is simple.
How do you lose 50 pounds? How do you pay of 100k in consumer debt? The answer is the same as preparing for a full on crazy Mad Max scenario, a little bit at a time.
There are some other pieces to the question.
Focus on your situation. You can’t control the economy or the news. You can control your pt program and preps.
Stay consistent. Figure out what you can regularly put towards this goal and do it with regularity (I hesitate to quantify this but it would probably be 7 or 8 out of 10 weeks or pay periods) by paying yourself first.
Work from more probable to less probable scenarios. There will definitely be times you need money. Between crazy kids, projects, and cooking people will get cut, banged up and injured. In most places there are storms, power outages or other short term disaster type emergencies.
Prepare dispassionately. There are things you want for whatever reason and things you NEED. By all means get stuff you want; just don’t do it with money that should go for things you need.
Prepare evenly and in proportion. The best cool guy knife doesn’t equal out not having spare batteries. A pantry full of food will not somehow produce .308 ammo. Put a few bucks into gear, a few into medical stuff, a few into ammo, a bunch into food and then repeat. Consider some sort of intentional purchasing plan.
Get sucked into comparing yourself or your preps to others. Everybody has different situations of income, expenses and family size, effort and duration of active preparedness.
Get sucked into studying preparedness or reading about it on the internet. If your situation as measured by fitness, skills and stored preps is not moving in the right direction then something is wrong.
Taking a step back.
I think that talking about capabilities and systems is important. Sometimes a less expensive tool (maybe one you already have) can do the job almost as well. A $ 35 Buck 110 is a solid cutting tool, not as cool as a $ 300 Emerson but a whole lot cheaper. Both are folding knives you could easily EDC. They are different tools but you could well look at capabilities and see them as fairly similar. Your pistol might be Grandpa’s old .38 special and your rifle a used 30.06 or 30-30. These guns will do their jobs sufficiently. Maybe down the road you might want to switch to something else but then again you might not.
Anyway I hope this gives you something to think about.