Saving Money–June 7, 2016

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This past week was a mixture of very good, and very hard.  Life is like that sometimes, and this was one of those times.

We returned from camping last Monday, and began settling down into camper life pretty well.  I weeded the garden, and Rob tilled it all up.  I planted new plantings of a few things.

On Thursday, we took off for our trip to see our dear friends in Eastern Oregon, and had a wonderful time.  On the trip, we took food along in the cooler, and ate that quite a bit.  We ate out 1 time going over and 1 time coming back.  While there, we ate at our friends’ house the entire time.  I was able to take a few things, including a lot of garden lettuce, which we ate up for the most part.  I have so much growing right now, it was awesome to have a place to share it.

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Ja’Ana, Patsy and Abbie (3 of my girls) have birthdays within a 1-week period.  We celebrated them all last evening with a barbecue outside of our camper.  It was awesome.

Yesterday was the bad day.  When we went over to Rob’s mom’s house to get some meat from the freezer, we were dismayed to find that it had broken over the weekend.  Rob had removed some items before we left, and it was fine, but clearly had stopped working sometime since then.  The temperatures have been close to 100 degrees here, and we lost about 3/4 of what was inside.  Fruit, vegetables, and worst of all–a lot of the pig Rob just raised.  Some was still partially frozen or very cold, so we were able to quickly put it in another freezer, but if anything was warm, or questionable, we threw it away.  We cooked up a bunch of it yesterday afternoon to serve over the next couple of days. But still, it was a garbage can full of meat.

I was very upset.  I know that it is not a question of whether or not we will starve, but I was counting on that meat for the next few months. I especially was mourning the amount of time Rob spent raising that pig, and the fact that we are no longer in the position for him to raise another one.   I confess–I had a big “boo-hoo” over the whole thing.  After that was over, I gained some perspective.  We still have beef and poultry in another freezer.  The garden is growing very well.   We caught it in time to save some of it.  And, through my daily Bible reading, I had been reminded just that morning that we are not to put our trust in anything but God, and God alone.  Not a freezer.  Not pork.  Not corn, beans, or blueberries.  Just God.  He is our Provider and He will provide.

I’m feeling much better today.  Rob and I both agree it is a good day.  We don’t understand everything that happens in this life, but we do know that we choose to believe that what God promised, He will do.  So, we are waiting to see what will happen next.  We trust it will be good.

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13 thoughts on “Saving Money–June 7, 2016

  1. I am so very sorry about the freezer. All that work wasted. I would definitely have had a “boohoo” over that. Love your testimony though. You have been an inspiration, and I look forward to seeing how He will provide for you and your family. Sending hugs and prayers.

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  2. I understand completely how you felt about the freezer, Becky. It has happened to me several times, which is why I can my meat now. You are so right, we can only put our trust in Him. When worries get to be too much I always refer to the the Bible passage, “Be still and know I am Lord” We may not always understand but we do know Who is control, so what is there to worry about?

    Hugs
    Jane

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  3. I’m so sorry. I hate even wasting something little through any reason, let alone such a dear amount!
    I was thinking, the other day, of why life doesn’t seem to go as carefree as when we were young. And what came to mind is Jesus and the mystery of suffering. Which you already have the faith, although it doesn’t make the hurt less. I pray you have some very good times ahead to refresh yourselves!

    At least you knew the freezer broke. If you lose power while away and it comes back on you might not know if the food warmed. It is always good to put an ice cube thrown in when you are away. If the ice cube disappears, you know you lost power. But this wasn’t even your case!

    Your meal (picture above) looks so good! I think I might “steal” that idea for a meal today! Andrea

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    1. I agree. Even though you know it’s going to turn out ok, it does hurt while you are going through the trial of the moment. I try to keep it in perspective. No matter what has happened to me, worse has happened to someone else. Human nature is to always want good times, but that’s not realistic. It is not easy to keep upbeat at times, but my faith helps me tremendously.

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  4. Oh, I would have felt so sick also!! I love the birthday picture of the girls. I always note the greenness where you are. I grew up in Oklahoma, but now live in a higher altitude area of Arizona. We are surrounded by a pine tree forest, but grass is pretty rare.

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  5. Now I am worried. My freezer is really old and I fear that will happen to me. I check it every time I walk past it to make sure it is still working. We have debated getting a new one but it is hard to let go of so much money when it is still working. I keep hearing my father’s words in my head, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It is a gamble.
    I would like to ask you a question. The past few months have been so hard for you so looking back, if you could go back in time, is there anything you could have done to have been more prepared? I ask this because I do not trust my husbands company. He has been suddenly let go then rehired (after they got in legal trouble) and I fear it may happen again. How can we prepare? We have gotten out of debt, are growing a garden and are trying to save. I would love to hear your opinion. What steps would you suggest?

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    1. Jeannie,
      I’ve actually thought about your question for a long time. I may do a post on it. It is a good, thought provoking question.

      The short answer is “no.” I would not do anything differently. Of course, every case is different, so I might do something different if circumstances were different–I figure you do your best, and make it work. Rob and I do store food and other supplies, buy in bulk, etc. but do not consider ourselves “preppers.” We always have a large supply of items bought in bulk, on sale, home-canned or frozen from the garden and even buy or raise meat in bulk. That has been tremendously helpful during this time of financial hardship. BUT, that being said, this is how we live all the time. Food-wise, I have cooked the same, and eaten the same as usual, with perhaps a little more attention to stretching meat, not wasting food, and so on. I would advise learning all the skills you can. No matter what happens in this world or with jobs, the skills you have can take you pretty far. Your gardening skills, for example, are much better honed while you are not in crisis, then they would be if there was a job loss.

      We are facing loss of insurance now. We are having some difficulty getting the Oregon Health Plan, simply because they are asking for some documents that we are having trouble accessing and also because we keep getting the royal run-around trying to find the correct place/time/person we need to fill out some forms. That is nothing we could have pre-planned or prevented because we had insurance and have never needed this option before. We did every appointment we could before the insurance ran out.

      We were willing to do some things that other people we know were not willing to do when faced with job loss. We cut expenses right away, even though Rob’s severance package was still coming in. We did, however, try to keep the childrens’ routine going as smoothly as possible, even though that did cost some money. After an activity was over, we did not sign them up for another class/session/etc. We got rid of many things we wanted, such as Rob’s animals and chickens, many household items, and ultimately, the house and property itself. That hurt, especially the land. We are willing to live in a camper for a while. We gratefully accepted help from anyone who offered–meals, money, gift cards, child-care, clothing for the children, etc. We are pretty independent people, so that was hard, too, but we are grateful for the help.

      After selling the house, we paid off every bill, card, item (like phones and flutes), etc. except the camper, so now have extremely low expenses. We saved as much money as we could from the logging we did last fall and other sources, and are carefully using that now.

      So, my advice is to look carefully at your finances and see if there is any way you can get a little nest egg going. If you have some things you are no longer using, can you sell them now? For me, it was much less stressful to pre-sort/sell/get rid of things before I moved. For me, my “money in the bank” consisted of a large food supply as well. Paying off your debts is a great idea. It sounds to me like you are doing a lot of things right.

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