Being Financially Self-Reliant In Our Volatile Economy

 

With the current state of our economy it's becoming increasingly difficult for families to make ends meet. Foreclosures are at a record high and families have to get creative with their finances. Being self-reliant during this time seems difficult but its possible and very important.

Joseph F. Smith said, "You must continue to bear in mind that the temporal and the spiritual are blended. They are not separate. One cannot be carried on without the other, so long as we are here in mortality.

"The Latter-day Saints believe not only in the gospel of spiritual salvation, but also in the gospel of temporal salvation. We do not feel that it is possible for men to be really good and faithful Christian people unless they can also be good, faithful, honest and industrious people. Therefore, we preach the gospel of industry, the gospel of economy, the gospel of sobriety."

Marvin J Ashton once said, "We live in a self-indulgent, me-oriented, materialistic society. Advertisements entice young buyers by demonstrating how easy it is to get credit and buy on time. Interestingly, no ads focus on the glamour of paying the money back, or do they mention how long or hard it is to do just that - especially with the unavoidable interest added on."

Being self-reliant has a connection to our spiritual welfare. Because of this I have prepared a list of "creative financial" ideas for self-reliance. They are more than the typical "stay out of debt" suggestions.

Water Savings

 

Most of us live on a city water metering system. Here are a few ways to reduce that dollar amount that goes down the drain.

General Ideas:

  • Water lawn/Flowers in he early morning
  • Allow grass to grow longer
  • Only wash full batches (dishes and laundry)
  • Do not run the water while brushing teeth
  • Put a brick in the toilet tank
  • Fix leaky Faucets

Extreme Ideas

  • Don't water
  • Turn off shower while soaping (military shower)

Electric Savings

Here are a few ways that everyone can save a little money on the electric bill

General Ideas

  • Unplug appliances when not in use (including power strips)
  • Use CLF's
  • Turn down Water Heater
  • Wash clothing in cold water
  • Hang dry cloths

Extreme Ideas

  • Get a solar powered system for your home

Fuel Savings

The cost of fuel must be the hardest burden right now. Many can't even afford to drive to work. Here are a few ideas that might help to lower that burden

General Ideas

  • Use public transit
  • Reduce number of trips (stop at grocery store on way home from work)
  • Car Pool
  • Ride bike/Walk to work
  • Keep car maintenance up to date
  • Keep tires properly inflated
  • Lighten the load (remove anything from the car that is not necessary - excluding your car emergency kit)
  • Drive 5 miles below speed limit.

Clothing Savings

Clothing is always a tough one. You need to purchase clothing that will last but you don't want to overspend for cloths.

General Ideas

  • Shop discount racks/stores
  • Use hand-me-downs for the kids
  • Mend/Make your own clothing
  • Polish and repair your own shoes

Food Savings

Food prices have just jumped like crazy. Here are some ways to reduce the amount of food that you need to purchase at the store

General Ideas

  • Make a 3-month menu
  • Only go to gocery store with a list (and buy only items on the list)
  • Purchase in bulk (goes back to the three month menu)
  • Reduce the amount of meat in meals
  • Cook smaller portions to reduce wasted food (or cut in half and put in freezer)
  • Have a left over night once or twice a week
  • Eat more potatos, rice, and beans
  • Plant a garden
  • Purchase bread from bread stores (or make your own bread)
  • Use the Farmers Markets (in there is one in your area)
  • Can fruits/vegetables to have for year round use

Climate Control (also goes to electric savings)

Most of us are not privileged to live in San Diego and experience perfect temps year round. I have broken this into hot climate control and cold climate control

When It's Hot

  • Open windows at night when it's colder outside than in the house. Then close them in the morning
  • Use Fans (using a fan can make it feel 10 degrees colder)
  • Plant trees that shade the house in the summer (and loose leaves in and allow sun to hit house in winter)

When It's Cold

  • Caulk around windows and door
  • Reduce heat in rooms when not in use
  • Wear sweaters/socks inside
  • Use an extra blanket
  • Turn down your heat at night (use programmable thermostat)
  • Change furnace filters
  • Insulate
  • Use area rugs on wood floors

Summary

Certainly there are lots of other things that can be done. These are just a few ideas that might help. If you have other suggestions put them in the comments section.

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