Why you need to be self-reliant is a statement that often brings up a lot of questions. First of all, what does self-reliance mean? I found this statement describing the phrase self-reliant from Merriam-Webster and I will quote “confident in your own abilities and able to do things for yourself: not needing help from other people” End of quote.
That pretty well sums it up, we need to take care of ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I remember having to work from the time I was very little. No this isn’t a story about how I walked through two feet of snow to get to school. My mom raised me to be independent.
I raised my four daughters to be independent. If I needed clothes growing up I had to learn to sew them. I grew up with a single mom and there was no way my mom would take any handouts. She eventually remarried, but I watched her in action working her butt off to put food on the table.
I had two sisters and we went to the laundromat every week when my mom was at work. I was seven or eight years old. I learned to cook meals and clean the house because that’s what we did. Period.
I recently attended a luncheon and a young woman with several kids said she had been married for ten years and has lived off the government the entire time. She was hoping now that she and her family can make it on their own.
She continued to say how great it was that she and her husband were able to attend college for free because they qualified for grants. She loved saving money living in a low-income housing area paying only $400.00 a month for 10 years.
They had the benefit of free groceries every month because they showed very little income for ten years. They were paid cash under the table so their income showed less than they actually made.
At this same table, another young woman living in the same complex as the woman above piped in and said she gets way too many groceries every month from the government and she ends up giving away the food.
Obviously, I am the oldest woman at the table and I just sat there and listened to this conversation going on around me. Before you know it another woman says if you have more kids you can get even more money for grants and food stamps.
They did mention you can’t have more than six people at a time living in this housing project. Hence, two adults and four kids maximum. Or one adult and five kids. Another interesting tidbit about this complex is the fact that they only check your income the first year you move in. WHAT? Our tax dollars at work, need I say more.
I realize this kind of stuff goes on in other states as well. Somehow we need to stop the bleeding in our government. We need to stop the cycle of entitlement. I know this program is available to those that need it, but really, for ten years they lived off the government!
I can see a few months you may need food stamps if you lost your job. I get it. My husband never lost a job. He only had two or three jobs his entire working career, and we feel blessed we had consistent income, but it also took hard work and staying loyal to each employer.
Here’s the reason I am writing this article today, what is going to happen to these people if the “ATM” (government funding) is turned off because of a grid down or a state of emergency is called? How will these people take care of themselves? The government will NOT be there to hand out anything for days, weeks, or possibly months.
How To Be Self-Reliant
- Learn to cook from scratch (this will save you lots of money).
- Take a class and learn to make bread or crackers (they fill the belly).
- Make a budget and stick to it.
- Grow a garden (you may have to live off your land, and grow boxes or pots).
- Live on less than you make (trust me, if you knew what my budget is….there is very little wiggle room, you can live on less).
- Save one dollar a week minimum in a jar. Trust me, you will need it someday. Do it this week, not next week.
- Store water today, don’t wait for the grocery stores to be empty and you have zero water. You need at least four gallons of water per day per person. The government may take days, weeks, or months to deliver water to those who did not prepare properly for their families.
- Store the food you will eat for at least seven days minimum. I really want to say three months or more. You must be able to feed your family after a disaster. The government may take days, weeks, or months to deliver food to those who did not prepare it properly for their families. Grocery stores will be empty in three days. Yes, you heard me right, three days. Please look around your home and see what you have to feed your family if the grocery stores were empty today. Don’t wait for another tomorrow, do it now.
- Make a PLAN with your family. Please put your electronics down for a few hours and make a plan with your family for evacuation issues, food, water, and transportation if the roads are shut down.
- Gather your important documents and be ready to leave your home with your 72-hour bags, some water, and emergency documents.
- Trust me, taking responsibility for yourself is not fun, it’s actually quite boring and can be a lot of work if you’re not used to doing it. But here’s the deal, it’s so satisfying to know you can take care of yourself. You don’t need Mom and Dad to bail you out every month once you move out on your own. You don’t need the government to take care of you. It’s a learning process. We all have to learn to budget and live on less than we make. Start thinking of your future and what you need to do to be self-reliant.
- I think some parents are too quick to jump in and help their kids that have moved out. Is it okay for parents to pay their kid’s rent, month after month? Is it okay to continually buy clothes? What about groceries time and time again? Does helping encourage independence or greater dependence?
- Knowledge is king. We need to learn things by reading the newspaper or books at the library. We never stop learning no matter how old we are. Learn some skills you have never tried in the past so you are better prepared for tomorrow.
- Set goals you want to achieve in one year, five years, ten years, twenty years, etc. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t totally make the goal. Put your chin up and keep going. We will all make mistakes or set unrealistic goals, but we learn from those mistakes as well.
- I have a neighbor who stops by to ask for food storage ideas every once in a while. She typically complains about her daughter who is married and is approximately 50+ years old. The daughter is asking her 80-year-old mother for money every month because she can’t live on her income. This may sound mean, but this is what I told her “Turn off the ATM, girlfriend”! I realize I am pretty blunt, but if she died next week, they would soon figure out how to budget because there would be no other option.
- Try and leave your ego out of your life’s dream. Do you really need the latest and greatest new television, iPhone, iPad, Android, laptop, camera, or whatever? They will be worth nothing if we have a disaster. Do you really need that new car or the biggest house on the block? Just something to think about.
I have four daughters and three sons-in-law. If we have a disaster or unforeseen emergency I know my daughters are prepared to take care of themselves. May God bless you to teach your children to be independent and to take care of themselves. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God Bless this world, Linda
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