Proverbs 27:23-27 23Be sure you know how your sheep are doing, and pay attention to the condition of your cattle. 24Riches do not go on forever, nor do governments go on forever. 25Bring in the hay, and let the new grass appear. Gather the grass from the hills. 26Make clothes from the lamb's wool, and sell some goats to buy a field. 27 There will be plenty of goat's milk to feed you and your family and to make your servant girls healthy.
I have mentioned the desire to deepen my pantry, to stock up on things we might find ourselves needing in the future. Someone asked if I 'foresee' something in the future since this seems to be a common theme on many blogs at present.
So some of my thinking is just about being prepared. You'll note the Proverb at the head of this post is really about just that. It doesn't mention a great war coming nor a disaster about to occur, but it does mention changes. The verses do seem to say to know the state of your assets and to use what you have to provide for your household needs with an eye towards the future as well as the present.
I don't think we can any of us be totally prepared for all the things that might happen...and unless we've heard a specific word from God (think of the Pharaoh's dream of the 7 fat cows and the 7 skinny cows), it's unlikely we will know just what we're preparing for. I don't want to go about my life living in fear but I do want to have something to carry us along if the unforeseeable thing happens.
Our pantry/freezer were a bonus to us at the end of Spring/early Summer this year when I was too ill to shop for groceries. It would have stood us in as good stead if for some reason John was out of work. I've said before that in my mind, a full pantry and a filled freezer are like having an additional emergency savings account, only it's assets in nutrient rich foods. If necessary we could probably manage a good month and a hard month on what we have in the house. I say a hard month because we're low on fruits and green vegetables and flours at the moment. I don't have quite enough powdered milk on hand to see us through a full month if I couldn't for some reason go buy even milk. Those 'holes' I've mentioned in my pantry are such as that.
Here's where I am at present: I foresee challenging times ahead for my own personal economies at present and I suppose that is partially why I feel the urgency to stock up while I can.
For my future, I will soon have to renew my medical insurance. When we chose my policy last year I purchased the lowest tier insurance plan I could, which had a high out of pocket deductible and lower payments. It took a good bit of adjustments to manage to pay this monthly fee and I don't have a clue what we can adjust to afford to pay more, but it's a possibility I must look ahead and plan for. Based on my lack of doctor visits and illnesses at that time last year, it seemed a good choice. From this side of the view, I don't think I will even be allowed to go lowest tier this time around nor indeed would I want to choose that plan. Which means an increase in premium and in January means starting a whole new deductible year, etc (i.e.more money out of pocket than we've paid to date). I do believe that with the good management I've had thus far, I won't by any means have to buy the highest tier of insurance, but it's a given there will be a change in the coming year and that means we'll feel it.
I've mentioned we went right through the beginning of the new fiscal year on John's job without even a hint of a whisper that there would be a cost of living raise given. Yet again we're living off the same money as last year while food and other prices go higher. We're living on less and yet our out of pocket will continue to increase. It's a constant juggle to balance all our needs against what we have to purchase them.
Do I think this is indicative of economy overall? Yes, I do and if I'm experiencing a shift in my finances, it's more than likely others are as well. If we aren't getting a cost of living raise, then others likely are seeing smaller than expected raises or none at all, too. Everyone is seeing the cost of food increase for one reason or another whether or not they got a raise in living, so yes, I think it is an indicator of the economy.
But I am, first and foremost, looking ahead into my own future more than taking a world view or even a national view. So if I find myself gazing at my sheets wondering how much longer they might last, then it would do me well to watch for a sale on sheets and have a few extras on hand. If I find myself thinking I should stock up on a few sewing supplies or supplements as the budget allows, I shall try and do just that. If I'm practicing dressing well using fewer pieces of clothing at present, I believe there is good reason for it, if only the need to practice making do. I don't want to give up what we're able to put into savings at presen because we're going to need those funds in the future for sure. I do want to juggle my current allotment of funds so that I can stock up without being continually over my budget. No need to drill a hole in the side of my ship in order to plug a hole in my pantry shelf, if you see what I mean.
And that's the current estate of my economy.