Sunday, November 19, 2023

Hard Times: You Are Not Alone!

Sometimes it helps to know that we are not alone on the ‘struggle bus’ of our current economic times!

That’s what I want to talk about today.

I’ve talked to so many people in the last month that are really struggling economically.  They’ve had to cut back, make hard decisions about what to give up and about what to try to continue to hold on to.  Then there’s the mental aspect of it all, over time it starts to wear on you, it just does!

I don’t have any magic solutions, there are none!  It does no good to wish you had done things differently in the past that would have made the ‘present’ possibly easier to navigate.  Maybe it would have and maybe it wouldn't!

If you’re feeling guilty about any financial decisions you’ve made in the past, I want you to stop.  The past is the past and from this moment on, you're not living in that past and you need all your wits about you to navigate what we are all dealing with now.

It’s time to stop beating yourselves up, pull up your bootstraps and start working with what’s in your hands right now!  I want to put emphasis on ‘what’s in your hands’ right now, not your friends’ hands, your neighbors’ hands, or anyone else’s hands, your and only your hands right now. 

I want you to spend your time searching out ways to make 'better for your family' decisions.  I want you to stop living your life through someone else’s’ … example … just because something saves money or works for one family doesn’t mean it will work for yours.   Don’t fall into the comparison trap, just because someone online, who has similar circumstances as you, look like they have it all together, it doesn’t necessarily mean they do.  Remember that the online world shows you what they want you to see which is not always the whole picture.

I want you to know that it’s okay if you are struggling financially, financial struggles do NOT in and of themselves make you a bad person.  It only makes you a person who like most of the rest of us are just trying to hold it all together the best we can.

So, what’s the purpose of this little rant, it’s simply to let you know that you are not alone!  That’s all!  Let’s stop pretending that everything is okay, it’s not!  Let’s start reaching out and encouraging each other and most importantly let’s not forget that we DO have each other!

Picture:  Don't those peanut butter chews look delicious!  Hubby made those for a Thanksgiving potluck meal we had at church recently and yes, they were as good as they look!

Until next time,

patsi @ A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

Sharing 43 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine, where I share my love for God and His Word through my personal Bibe study.  Physical preparedness is important, but not near as important as spiritual preparedness.  Ladies, join me over at From This Heart of Mine and study God's Word with me.

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  1. The thing I did not realize when I was younger is that you see what others want you to see. People that seem to have it all together or have money mostly don't. Our neighbors two doors down are just those beautiful people who always look great and seem happy and like they don't have a care in the world but I know they went without a dishwasher for two years because they could not afford another one and would not go into debt for it. A family we knew years ago who drove a new Mercedes lived in a tumble down shack without any heat. Most every young couple makes money mistakes! We surely did. But, please if your children are going to bed hungry at night ask someone to help you!

    Last week at the grocery store a retired couple were picking and choosing what they could put back when their total came up on the register. There is no shame in saying that you don't have that much money. We are all in the same lifeboat these days. It helps me to realize that we are wealthy in this country and there honestly are families starving to death in some areas of the world. So, it's okay to eat meatless meals and meals that are not our favorite. We had a not great meal tonight using up some food that we did not want to waste. The Bible says we are to be content with food and clothing. That always just boggles my mind. It does not even say we have to have a roof over our heads! But, my I am thankful we do.

    Look in those pantries and see what you have to make a meal for tomorrow. I bet you will be surprised at what you do have on hand.

    Those treats look yummy! Mom used to make something like those.

    Something to say to younger ladies here, treasure your parents! The years go by so fast and then they are gone and all you want is to go and walk in their door and smell those supper smells and the comfort of home. You want to hear the laughter and at my parents house the good music Dad always played. But you can never go back and redeem years that are wasted. It will not matter 25 years from now if you had all the comforts and everything you wanted but it will matter when you look around and realize the time is gone and you can never get it back. If you have been at odds with Mom and Dad lately I want to say that all they want is for you to come home. All will be forgotten.

    1. Lana, you have shared such good wisdom in your comment, I hope others will take the time to read and think about what you have said, especially the last paragraph.

  2. I agree, I just had a kid go into a rant with a sibling thinking he has it better than her. She was not willing to acknowledge she made choices that put her in a rental instead of her own home, with credit card debt needing the newest and best gizmos. Was not happy when her adult kids called her on it and told their uncle he was correct. First thing Son said to her was to quit looking back and deal with what is. Cut the budget. You don't need the most expensive tire on her car when she only drives 5 miles to work and home. Sometimes I wonder who they were raised by but I would say with her it's the family she married into as that is how they were until retirement and paying for a parent's nursing home.

    1. Chef Owings, we don't need the best of everything, do we!

  3. Lana, I've seen older folks trying to decide what they can/can't afford in the grocery stores regularly now. It's something that was very common (too common) from 2007-2010. Worse is when I see moms or dads with kids having to say, "We can't afford that" and it's NOT junk food, but fruit or cereal or meat. Around here few have fancy homes or cars; many do have goats or chickens, always dogs, sometimes horses or cattle. The cost to feed those animals now is high. And there are some who live here year round in RV parks.

    For many folks it's less a case of poor decisions and more a case of bad luck. Or a decision you thought was good wasn't, but might have been some other time. When we retired here, we'd crunched numbers very carefully. It was a GOOD decision to move here. We didn't have expensive desires for our retirement. We did plan to set things up to be as self-sufficient as possible. We didn't plan on skyrocketing inflation. We're in a manufactured (new) home on an acre of land. One used vehicle. Electric. Propane. City water. Septic. A wood pellet stove. Ground mount solar + backup battery to the house. Due to a neighbor extending his corral and dog run 40 ft. onto our property, December will be a tight month as we've scheduled a surveyor to come on they 4th. $650 for the survey--$1150 if he has to put in monuments. Then there'll be the cost of fencing an acre. We can't wipe out savings.

    Do whatever you can. That's my advice. I recently got a bread maker and some pressure canners on pre-Black Friday sales, stacking coupons and using store "cash". I'll also be looking into sideline work in 2024. Things I can do from home. We'll have a potted produce garden and our son who lives nearby has offered his back yard for grow-ceries. Fruit trees may go into our strip of the neighbor's current corral, turning under all that manure. Another goal is to find a used water tank for back-up water supply that we can fill with city water and use as needed. How much will be possible remains to be seen, but it's important to TRY. Aim for a simple life. Let go of what isn't necessary. I hope to learn a lot here in the coming months. --Elise

    1. We don't shop when kids are in the store now but we have seen that. One time a little guy was begging for juice and I had a extra coupons that would make it free. I offered them to the mother and later when we were checking out we saw her at the service desk returning the juice to get cash out of that transaction. So the little guy did not get his juice but Mom got cash for whatever SHE wanted. Kind of made me sick

    2. Lana, sadly, we have been victims of similar behavior as well. It hurts those who really do need help.

  4. I’ve not seen these situations personally but I see them via social media. There’s a nice young lady I follow on instagram. She’s working on getting debt free. She had debt. She got debt free then debt again. When I try to suggest things she seems to do a virtual shrug of shoulders. I’m not perfect by any means. Today I bought a budget planner for 2024. I’m striving for a major low spend year. I need to rein it in. This blog is wonderful and helpful.

    1. Lee Ann, thank you! We're all in this together and it's just prudent and wise to learn and glean from each other.