Why You Need To Be Self-Reliant Today Not Tomorrow

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Why you need to be self-reliant is a statement that often brings up a lot of questions. First of all, what does self-reliant 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, ten years they lived off the government!

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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 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

  1. Learn to cook from scratch (this will save you lots of money).
  2. Take a class and learn to make bread or crackers (they fill the belly).
  3. Make a budget and stick to it.
  4. Grow a garden (you may have to live off your land, grow boxes or pots).
  5. 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).
  6. Save one dollar a week minimum in a jar. Trust me, you will need it someday. Do it this week, not next week.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Gather your important documents and be ready to leave your home with your 72-hour bags, some water, and emergency documents.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Try and leave 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.
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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.

Raised Garden Beds Are Awesome

My favorite emergency items:

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue
The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way
Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation
Blue Can – Premium Emergency Drinking Water

Copyright Images: Depositphotos_114625226_m-2015Self Reliance

16 thoughts on “Why You Need To Be Self-Reliant Today Not Tomorrow

  • April 20, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for a great article. In our married life my husband and I have often had to take on a part time janitor job or paper route to support our family. This happened with kids in tow, working along with us. They got part time jobs when they turned 16. We gardened and canned. Now my daughters are using those skills to help support their own families. I fully agree, support yourself and don’t expect government handouts.

    • April 20, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Hi Cindy, thank you for your comment. It means a lot to me. I’m so glad to hear that you have also taught your kids to work. They learn from example. I love hearing that your daughters are using the skills you taught them to support their own families. May God bless you and your family for doing the right thing. Linda

  • April 20, 2016 at 11:33 am

    If these free-loaders could get a taste of independance they would like it way more than living off the government which is really living off the rest of us. There are some who can’t see past the “getting free government support”. They need to be reported! In my state the government set up a mandatory welfare to work program and people who were impacted by it were kicking and screaming when it was really a great benefit for them. 10 years?

    • April 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Hi JoEllen, I totally agree with you! It infuriates me! This is the reason I wrote this post! I think some people think it’s okay to take advantage of these “FREE” programs. I wish they would make these people do some work in exchange for the freebie stuff and low-income housing. They are teaching their kids that they don’t have to work. You can’t tell me you can’t find work in ten years…I better get off this soap box before I have a heart attack! Linda

  • December 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Linda ~
    Wow. Just Wow! I could go on and on about being “self-reliant”. I was raised on a farm and there was no such thing as not doing chores. My brother had the responsibility of most of the outside work that dad didn’t have time for because he was working 2 jobs. My mother worked in fruit packing during the fall so the cooking and cleaning fell to my younger sister and me. I was cooking dinner after school from the age of 8 years old.

    Three specific incidents of “entitlement” I have seen with my own eyes:
    1) when I was still in high school, there was a couple who moved to the valley I grew up in. They both had masters degrees (not sure or don’t remember what the subject was) and they had no children. Somehow, they managed to get on welfare. I remember calling the state welfare fraud hotline to talk to them about what to do if I knew of someone milking the system. I turned them in and lo & behold, they both got jobs!!
    2) I was teaching in a vocational school (for adults) and a good number of my students were on welfare. What really bothered me about them was that they bragged about what the benefits were. One student came in bragging about getting braces paid for by the state. Linda, I was working full-time (single mother with no child support) and there was no way that I was going to ever be able to afford braces for my daughter. It made me so mad. She also bragged about the free breakfast and lunch program for her school aged children. I made $50 a month too much to get “reduced priced” breakfast and lunches for my daughter. This student needed extra help and asked if I could/would give her the extra help (school related) outside school hours. I explained that I couldn’t do that without payment. She offered her food stamps and I told her that I worked for a living and that I would not and could not take food stamps from her as payment.
    3) where I live now (62+ community) we have a number of residents on housing vouchers. Now, I realize that not everyone has Social Security sufficient to live on so housing vouchers are necessary in some cases. What angers me, however, is that some of the residents in these cases, live in apartments that normally rent for almost $1000 and they only pay $250 while the state pays the balance. These residents have enough expendable money to go to the casino’s (one woman on a weekly basis) and never seem to have a problem with being able to go shopping. Casino woman also brags about how educated she and her late husband are/were and what great jobs they had in the past. What I cannot figure out is why they did not have enough Social Security and savings??? Planning was their downfall I bet.

    I know this is a long, rambling comment but you did touch on a VERY sensitive nerve with me. Oh, and casino woman also is the loudest voice when I tried to get people informed about preparing for the what if scenario and saying that she would just come to my apartment since I was so prepared already. OH!!!!!!!!!!!! Can we say angry?? She is the one person I told that she was welcome to come to my apartment IF she brought all of her non-perishable foods, her own bedding and LOTS OF CASH!!

    OK – rant is calming down now so I will close this comment. Linda, it was too early in my morning to get me so worked up!! Next time I will wait until afternoon to read your posts! ha ha!

    • December 26, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Leanne, oh my goodness I LOVE your comment! I live amongst people who are milking the system and have for over 15 years that I’m aware of, it’s a way of life for them. I get mad just thinking of our tax dollars being paid on their behalf. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is for me, I can’t believe they live off the government for years and OUR government allows it. It’s ridiculous!! You and I have worked hard for years.Linda

      • December 26, 2018 at 9:25 pm

        I get really irate at the waste. Welfare was created to help out in times of trouble but not to be the way of life. Makes me wonder about the moochers – no pride in themselves at all.

  • December 26, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    The best lesson ever taught to me was not fully realized until after my father died. From the day I was born, every time I got money, from birthdays and holidays, a portion of earned money, and inheritance from relatives, was put away in a CD that only my dad controlled. If I NEEDED money, all I had to do was ask, and he would let me have some from the CD. If I wanted money, I was directed to someone that was willing to pay me for honest work. This arrangement did not end when I turned 18, 21, or some other magic age. My dad died when I was 45 years old. At that time, the CD became mine.

    Needless to say, my “emergencies” were still there, but my dad was not there to guide my decisions. I didn’t rush out and do anything stupid with the money, but a new wife and her perceived emergencies had the money draining from the account quicker than I would have liked.

    The lesson I learned? Learn to say NO. Not only to those that are unwilling to support themselves, but also to yourself. Throughout my life, I would find ways to fix broken items, or turn that item into something else useful. I rarely threw anything away, because you could usually make a little money off of it. Now, in our disposable world, you can’t fix what is broken, and unless you are an electronics wizard, you can’t even use parts from your cell phone, ipad, computer, or other electronic devices. Even your new car isn’t as easy to fix as those with no electronics.

    I hope we don’t have a grid down situation, because I know all hell will break loose. At the same time, I hope we lose the grid, because these entitled children will have a complete and total melt down. They will be like the Aggie that was stuck on the escalator for 2 hours waiting for the power to come back on. Those that have placed all of their faith and knowledge in electronics will be the slowest to respond to a true TEOTWAWKI event. Those are the ones that will turn rabid and try to take what others have stored away.

    You cannot force someone to prepare for “rainy days”, but you can say NO right now. No is a small, powerful word. It will make people hate you right now, but appreciate you more if they learn a lesson.

    • December 26, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      Hi Content with Life, I LOVE LOVE your comment today! I hope we have a grid down as well, I totally agree with you! May God help those that help themselves. Linda

  • December 26, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    I really do understand why some of the comments here, in addition to the gist of your frustration, are very visceral in the disgust many of us have for those who Depend on ‘assistance’ from govt/charity. I tend to look at both sides of the coin so I have empathy for those who need it, disdain for those who abuse it. One thing that many don’t realize is that if a person’s finances fall to say, Medicaid or food stamp eligibility, I can pretty much guarantee they don’t have enough cash to even do regular oil changes, a new tire, let alone car repairs or a monthly payment, in order to Go to Work. That being said, I have a friend with 3 children who finally got placement in a rent subsidized apt. (She was on waiting list for over 5 yrs.) Yep, this sure helped, except her apt is in a real small town (pop 400), over 15 miles to the next hub. Doesn’t seem like much unless a person has a car problem…and we have no public transportation in rural areas. Her rent is based on what she makes, and frankly, the rules don’t allow for a savings account in order to pay for auto repairs…because she’s in subsidized housing, her food stamps were reduced to about $20/mo. For 2 kids and her. But, I gotta say, I get pissed at her because she keeps just working at temp services in mfg openings. She’s doing Okay, then the temp service calls and says the last place doesn’t need any more temps. Then she waits for the agency to find another opening for her. I told her a steady paycheck, like at fast food places, might be better… nope, not something she wants to do. That attitude is very irritating as I was only able to move from my home state because I took a job as a caretaker of an 60 unit bldg in Mpls. I took temp jobs while interviewing for professional jobs, but still took Any temp job offered..in the recession of ’07, I took a seasonal job at Walmart while still doing my ad creation/sales. Did I like it? No. But it gave me extra cash for Xmas presents for my very young boys, as well as for electricity. Been awhile since I worried about just keeping the elec/propane on due to being able to pay, but if Shtf, I know my guys actually do know how to Do Things.

    • December 26, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Wendy, it’s the abuse I have a problem with as well. I know there are people that need for a few months but now years. It becomes a way of life for them. You have done well to show your sons they need to work hard to survive. Good job! Linda

  • December 27, 2018 at 11:11 am

    When my late husband was a kid, they lost everything they owned in a house fire. (They were in the process of moving so they literally had the clothes on their backs and 2 boxes of dishes). His dad worked for the government. His mom did not work as his younger brother was blind. The government did NOT help them in any way what so ever.(This was in the late 1950’s). They were forced to live in a very small house with no furniture or kitchen appliances. His mom cooked outside on a make shift fire pit. It took a year to recover from the fire as they had no savings. So he was always very concerned about having a little extra money on hand as well as fire safety and preparedness. We have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in our home. I have a small fire safe in which I keep most of the valuables and a small amount of cash. We have escape plans for fire emergencies. We have food and water storage. If the power goes down, we will be alright. We don’t have to worry about flooding as our home sits on a slight hill. (There’s an 8 foot drop from the top of our property to the bottom of the property). Our main concerns are fire,tornadoes and earthquakes. The closest fire rescue is 12 miles away. I have a neighbor that is a retired Army nurse. I am teaching my grand kids to bake from scratch, how to garden and how to start a fire. Two of my grand daughters and a grandson are excellent shots. They could hunt if need be. Some time back when the power went out, we cooked on the BBQ grill. They thought that was fun. Having the right mind set means a lot in an emergency. Knowing what to do is also valuable. Teach the children now before it’s to late. They need to know how to use a wheat grinder and an ax, and a fire arm. They need to know how to raise chickens, goats or other animals for food. They need to know how to garden. They need to know what the pioneers knew. Thank you for another great article. God Bless.

    • December 27, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Oh, Judy, this is one of my biggest concerns. I want a little more land to grow more food, and raise chickens. It’s just not in my budget now. I must make do and teach as many people as I can like you are. Good job, teaching your grandkids. Keep prepping! Linda

  • December 27, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Unfortunately, people no longer learn to do anything. They no longer know the joy of working with their hands. I find it sad.

    • December 28, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Janet, I find it sad as well. I’m making dinner rolls for my family while I’m up north this week and I said to them “who want to help make rolls?” I want all my grandkids to know how to make them. My daughter’s washer broke the day after Christmas, so my son in law crawled behind and found the motor was shot. He went the next day and got a motor for under $300.00 to fix it. The whole family is here with a lot of laundries to do! I love the skill of repair instead of replacing when possible. Happy New Year, Linda


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