Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Living Providently

Rediscovering the joy of building/demolishing

Curtis helped make wholewheat blueberry waffles

Jonathan and I have been Provident Living specialists in our ward for the last six months. Food storage and emergency preparedness is not a new concept for us, but we have refocused and updated our efforts. Now we get to practice what we preach by living on less and rotating what we've stored (using up the old stuff first). Jonathan's pay was reduced 40 percent for at least the next four months. Overnight, we have scaled back in every way we can think of: canceling all the non-essentials so we can just pay the bills. Two-weeks into this, I am already noticing that the changes we have made have many positive effects and I just want to enumerate some of the blessings:

1. No extracurricular activities means less craziness and busy-ness afterschool. I have more time to help with homework and cook inexpensive meals from scratch.

2. With more time at home, I have noticed the boys playing together more. Curtis and Trevor are getting out old toys, like Lincoln Logs, and playing with them together instead of constantly bickering. Instead of paying a professional, we are having our own spontaneous social group at home.

3. No more ferrying kids around after school means the family car is available for Jessica to use afterschool to go to work. She is now helping out more with her own expenses, like insurance and school fees, that she took for granted before when we paid for most everything.

4. Being careful with everything I spend and give to the kids--this is a long overdue correction of carelessness and overindulgence for the whole family (no more cold cereal snacks).

5. That leads to being overall more grateful for all that we have: a deep-freeze full of meat and produce, and a pantry full of dry and canned goods. No credit-card debt or car payments. That Jonathan still has a job when others have been laid-off.

6. The kids have been very supportive and for the most part not complained about our changes in diet and lifestyle. We are lacking nothing as we have all that matters.


Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

What a great attitude. This is making lemonade out of your lemons. Plus, you will be able to help others to learn what you've learned.

brenda said...

Great post! Welcome back from your bloggation.

I would love more tips on how to save. You could make that a theme for your blog! We have exactly 11 boxes of cold cereal left...and we're trying to make oatmeal for a snack instead. Nobody around here really complains...I think the convenient foods were mostly for my benefit.

velvetelement said...

I really appreciate your blog. I went to a finace class put on by lds employment services and I am trying to watch spending. I also found out about a website and will plan the menu for you for a month and you can print the shopping list up for it. My goal is to plan out meals so I go to the store and get two weeks worth of what I will need and nothing else. I have a friend who has been doing this and she says it saves her a lot of money by not buying the extra non-essentials! Well good luck and I am with Brenda if you have any other tips along the way to saving more and spending less.

sheryl said...

We went to shopping every two weeks. Jonathan goes back to full pay this week, but I'm going to continue grocery shopping this way. It saves a lot of money. I have to plan ahead make a careful list and sometimes we run out of things before payday, but the kids have learned they can live without anything for a few days. Our enrichment this week is on saving money--I'll take notes.