Better Your Financial Situation

Financial Preparedness: 5 Ways to Better Your Financial Situation

Have you ever been in a financial crunch before? It’s not a very good feeling isn’t it? I remember a time when I was writing a check for some milk and bread at the grocery store and realized that I only had $15 left in my account. That was a long time ago, but the feeling that I had at the time stuck with me. For those who want to live a more self-reliant life, it is important to spend some time and effort to better your financial situation.

Like many things that are truly important in preparedness, financial preparedness isn’t sexy. We’re not talking about getting some cool gear or a new knife. We are talking about looking at what’s coming in and what is going out and making some tough and sometimes unpopular decisions.

A Lack of Financial Preparedness Can Create a Crisis

In my recent devotional series on the Prophet Elisha, I discussed a story where one of the sons of the prophets had died and now his family was in financial ruin. 2 Kings 4:1-7 tells the story of a woman whose husband belonged to one of the prophetic guilds. When he died, the woman had no means of income and one of the creditors was going to take away her two sons to be his slaves. Let’s pick up the story in verse 2.

So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow containers elsewhere for yourself, empty containers from all your neighbors—do not get too few. 4 Then you shall come in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour into all these containers; and you shall set aside what is full.” 5 So she left him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they began bringing the containers to her, and she poured the oil. 6 When the containers were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.” But he said to her, “There are no more containers.” Then the oil stopped. 7 So she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

2 Kings 4:2-7 NASB

Luckily, Elisha intervened and God helped this woman by supernaturally multiplying the oil in her kitchen. And although I believe that God blesses and provides for His children, I also believe He wants us to be smart and make good decisions. If it is in your power to get financially prepared, or to better your situation, you should do so! To watch the devotional, check out the video at the end of this article.

There is Always Hope to Better Your Financial Situation

Feelings and emotions are powerful. When they are negative and you feel desperate, you can find yourself in a downward spiral that might be hard to get out of. But there is always hope! There is always a way to earn extra money, cut back on expenses and get on a better financial footing. Here are 5 ways to better you financial situation.

Put a Hold on Every Outgoing Expense

Ok. So you will have to pay your mortgage or rent and utilities. But purpose for 1 month to not spend anything extra. Forgo the lunch out, the $5 coffee, the “window shopping” trip to the store, etc… We often don’t realize how much we spend because we are spending little amounts of money. But it all adds up. If you go into your month determined to not spend anything extra than the necessities, you will get a better idea of what truly comes in and what truly comes out. Which leads us to the next way you to better your financial situation.

Budget!

I said this stuff wasn’t sexy! It’s not sexy, but necessary! If you don’t have a plan for your money, it will do whatever it wants! Budgeting is something that everyone knows they should do, but they don’t do it. There is just other things that are “more important.” I’ve tried to make it easy for you. I created a monthly budget for you that will automatically tell you the totals you are dealing with. The budget is in either Google Sheets or Excel format. You can also download a PDF format if you would like.

Start a Microbiz

Now more than ever I believe everyone who wants to live a more self-reliant life should have multiple streams of income. For most, their main source of income is their 9 to 5 job. But those who are creating a side hustle or a microbiz to earn extra income will help to mitigate financial stresses in their lives. Extra income can help you pay down debt, build an emergency fund or help you get prepared by building up your food storage or purchasing the gear you feel you need. The key is to find something you love to do and then find a way to monetize it. I believe everyone should have a microbiz! Wouldn’t an extra $50-100 a week or a month better your financial situation?

Make Some Calls

In this current economic struggle, many companies are willing to negotiate contracts and fees with their customers. You might find that your cable company is willing to give you a discount for staying with them. Or, your cell phone provider might be willing to offer you a deal if you call them and simply ask what is available for those who are trying to cut costs. I recently saved a lot of money on auto insurance because I called my insurance agent to talk about my coverage. He was able to do an audit on my coverage and found that I was illegible for some deep discounts. Who doesn’t love that? Just know that if you are calling some companies, the first person you talk to might not be able to do anything for you. It might be the 2nd tier manager who can offer you a discount.

Sell Some Stuff

Like Dave Ramsey says, “Sell everything that is not nailed down. Make the kids think they’re next!” He says that to bring in extra money because it’s true. You have a lot of stuff in closets and in your garage that you are “saving for a rainy day.” But your rainy day might be now! You have 10 survival knives, how many do you really need? Put items on eBay. Have a garage sale. Place items on Craigslist or on the Nextdoor website. This might be a good way to declutter and make some money in the meantime.

Conclusion

When it boils down to it, to better your financial situation, you will have to put in the work. But the pay-off is less stress for you and your family. The pay-off is being in a position to have options and not be desperate because you are living paycheck to paycheck and you can afford a little hiccup. It’s not sexy, but it is as important as your food and water storage and defense. Make a decision today to better your financial situation.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Peace,
Todd

6 thoughts on “Financial Preparedness: 5 Ways to Better Your Financial Situation”

  1. I 100% agree that everyone needs to have some sort of business, side hustle or income stream if they are full time employed (or even retired) just for additional security. Multiple ones ideally.

    Really studying your finances and monthly budget and cutting out the crap works too, I started with my subscriptions (found loads I’d forgotten about for Apps etc), then my day to day spending on food and coffee etc (this really adds up), and then starting to pay attention to the prices in supermarkets vs size / weight of finished product as you can often be overpaying for food just because it’s in a fancy package or slightly more convenient .

    Great tips, thanks! Merry Christmas.

    1. Thanks for the comment Stuart! I believe more and more this is where preppers and anyone wanting to live a more self-reliant life needs to go.

      Have a Merry Christmas.

      Peace,
      Todd

  2. Cutting back on spending can make an almost immediate improvement. Like budgeting, it takes some sincere honesty to identify where you could spend less. Eating out, lush phone plans, cable extras, etc. are often a bigger budget drain than they merit. It will mean changing some habits, but most people who cut back don’t regret it.

    The “trick” is to be brutally honest with yourself.

  3. I second Mic’s comment and add LEARN HOW TO COOK. I’ve been Uncle Mike to so many Millennials that I’ve taught some basics of shopping and cooking a whole chicken. So easy to show them that for the price of a couple of burgers and fries you can eat well for several days. Chicken and rice with roasting pan gravy tonight, chicken sandwiches, boil that carcass with a dab of vinegar and remove bones, cool remove most of the fat (Smoltz an acquired taste) and you have over a quart of delicious Bone Broth with scraps of chicken meat for a serious Chicken Noodle Soup. Best part is afterwards you *Still* have most of a bag of rice, noodles, basic spices and a loaf of bread to move forward into next cooking cycle.

    A constant comment from my “Kids” later is how hard it is to say NO to their moocher friends for a home cooked meal.

  4. Michael, I would welcome you to write something up along these lines that I can post as a full article. Are you up for that?

    I think with the way things are going, this is going to be more and more a necessity.

    Todd

    1. Todd I gave your request some thought and prayer. Basic Cooking and Economics?

      Do you really think folks reading a Christian Preparedness site need to be reminded of Proverbs 22 …6Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. 7The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

      The root word of Economy is The word “economics” is derived from a Greek word “okionomia”, which means “household management” or “management of house affairs” -i.e., how people earn income and resources and how they spend them on their necessities, comforts and luxuries.

      You’ve covered the basics of cutting back and basics BUT I SUGGEST you look at DOING the Economy Measures BEFORE the Wolf is at the door. Once your already deep in trouble your creditors are not interested in your sob stories. You SPENT IT, You OWE IT. Are Christians honoring their Lord by avoiding just debts? Pride is well described in the Bible. Even a extra few hours working at Wal-Mart (Always hiring) will help you pay off debts owed.

      Cooking skills, are Christian preppers unaware of basic cooking skills? In a nut shell the more basic the food is the cheaper per calorie. Pack your Lunch and Use a Coffee Thermos instead of a Starbucks run. Duh. OR Eat more simply, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water will not kill you unless your allergic. The money saved over a few month, let alone years is AMAZING. Secure a set of lidded plastic lunch containers, a up front cost that if cared for (Bet there is a proverb about that eh?) allows you to pack soups and such. ALSO provides you a sanitary way to store leftovers for Michael’s leftover soup.

      Gluttony is a sin well described in the Bible. Place a slightly smaller portion on your plate to keep the rest clean. Eat until satisfied, have a little more if you need. Just because I roasted a 6 pound Chicken doesn’t mean I have to eat it until stuffed (and frankly ill). My household is myself my beloved wife and her 94 year old Father. I can roast a Sunday Chicken, we eat well for several lunches and dinners for about 3 days with sides of rice, noodles, potatoes, sweet potatoes, some veggies and the leftovers move forward into those clean containers for tomorrow. Eventually the last rich broth soup is the sign I need to start a new protein cook for a few days.

      Dried beans are amazingly cheap and with a little forethought easy to add to many dishes. White Beans like the Navy Bean are very mild in flavor. Easily added to Chicken and Pork meals to extend the EXPENSIVE Meat for a tasty and filling meal. Pintos and lentils have an earthy flavor that taste poorly in white meat dishes but very savory dishes like chilies and curries eh? Black beans are sort of in between like the hamburger of beans. Rice-Pasta is cheap and filling carbs for energy.

      Soups, casseroles, stews and beans and rice can be a delightful way to feed you and yours well and cheaply. Maybe saving money to pay off that Cell Phone Debt you just reduced by a visit to your cell phone provider?

      It’s not What do we want for supper, it’s what we HAVE for Supper. Foresight and planning are scriptural.

      When the Bible talks about fools they often refer to lack of foresight, lack of planning skills or lack of will to DO SOMETHING about their situation.

      Proverbs 24: Further Sayings of the Wise
      …32I observed and took it to heart; I looked and received instruction: 33A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,34and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and need like a bandit.…

      Planning your day as so to use that car trip to do more than one thing like having your shopping list (And FOLLOWING IT) to do after work (But I’m Tired… see proverb) saves you time, gasoline, wear and tear on the car. Planning your weekly meals as to an eye to how the leftovers of THIS meal folds into the next meal (or lunch).

      In the times of Solomon there were poor and wealthy. They HAD Gold and Silver as money but NOTE WELL how a Wealthy household was described: Proverbs 21 20Precious treasures and oil are in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man consumes them.21He who pursues righteousness and loving devotion finds life, righteousness, and honor.…

      Other translations say fine foods and oil and so on. Electronic digits in the bank are nice BUT CAN YOU EAT them? Having a well stocked pantry with the basics like rice, pasta, dry beans, cooking oil, spices, sugar and such is pretty cheap and the comfort knowing you CAN eat if and WHEN trouble is in the streets (Nashville Bombing, Ice Storms etc.) is a lot more useful that a Bank account during a Bank “Holiday” or internet outage.

      Proverbs 19 The Man of Integrity
      …16He who keeps a commandment preserves his soul, but he who is careless in his ways will die. 17Kindness to the poor is a loan to the LORD, and He will repay the lender.18Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be party to his death.…

      Luke 6:38
      Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

      In times of trouble will you turn your back on the poor or will you provide them some honest food for a bit of work? We are called to be light.

      But REMEMBER Matthew chapter 10. Cliff notes here but read the whole thing and pray for wisdom. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16Behold, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17But beware of men; for they will hand you over to their councils and flog you in their synagogues.…

      Or in more modern times DOXX you and yours for the “Hate Crime” of the Bible.

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