10 Easy Steps to Improve Our Personal Self-Reliance
As we work towards self-reliance, all of us will end up taking different paths to get there. Today, we will talk about several easy steps to help us improve!
10- Get Your Finances Under Control
We’ve talked this past few weeks about the importance of managing our finances. Having a financial plan that works for your family allows you to prioritize the things that matter most to you, whether that’s paying down debt to lower your monthly expenses, building up extra food storage, or saving for something like a new home or a new addition.
There are several ways to improve our financial situations even during a recession. Inflation can make it more difficult to feel in control of our spending, but we can create patterns and habits that will help us to improve our financial situations. Looking for simple ways to help your finances this month?
- Set up a budget. If the one you currently have isn’t working for you, try another method! We have several budgeting ideas on our Budgeting 101 post!
- Prioritize paying down debt. Find a way to pay more than the minimum payment on one of the debts you have this month (Focusing on either the highest interest or smallest loan first helps!) Getting ahead on debt lowers the amount you pay in interest, and can offer some flexibility in later payments if you do end up having some tighter months.
- Have a ‘no spend’ month. Have a month where you only spend money on bills and necessary groceries. Meal plan to lessen food waste, and focus on free entertainment options.
- Meal Plan. Having a specific plan for your meals can help cut down on the number of groceries you buy. Planning to cook more from scratch with ingredients that are in season is usually cheaper (and healthier) per serving than processed food.
- Check your budget regularly. A budget is constantly shifting, so keeping tabs on it regularly is vital to staying on track.
- Have a budget meeting. If you are married, or share finances with roommates, have a meeting to make sure all members are aware of the financial goals and priorities.
9- Prepare in Case of an Emergency
The next thing I recommend after getting at least a basic handle on your finances is to focus on preparing for emergencies that your family may be affected by.. Some easy ways to boost your family’s emergency preparedness are:
- Learn what types of emergencies are more likely. It’s easier to keep everyone safe, and create a plan for what to do, if you know what you are more likely to encounter.
- Build an emergency plan as a family. We went into more detail on this step last week, which you can check out here.
- Obtain a First Aid Kit. You never know when having some emergency medical supplies on hand will come in handy!
8- Build Up a Supply of Food and Home Goods
We all learned a few years ago the wisdom of food and home storage became abundantly clear. Having a reserve of the things we use regularly in our homes brings peace when difficult times come. It takes time to build up the recommended 6 month, one year, or two year supply but taking steps in the right direction can help to fortify your home against challenges ahead:
- Stock up on the basics. Buying an extra bag of things like sugar, flour or rice that are versatile and filling.
- Buy things your family eats. Having ingredients to family favorites creates a family food storage that will get used, rather than just rotting on the shelf, as well as offering an easy option for last minute dinners rather than eating out.
- Build up a supply of regular home products. Buying extra packages of toilet paper, paper towels, favorite cleaners, soaps and hygiene products help prevent accidentally running out, or help during moments such as shortages we have seen the last couple of years.
7- Find Ways to Provide Your Own Food
Another great way to build self-reliance is limiting our dependence on the grocery store. Some ideas to try:
- Start a garden. Prophets for decades have recommended that we grow a garden to provide our families with the food that we eat.
- Raise your own livestock. Having chickens seems a lot more wise all of a sudden doesn’t it? Raising animals such as goats, cows, pigs, or chickens are common ways to provide your family with things like eggs, meat, or dairy products.
- Cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch is often healthier and cheaper! Learning to cook without relying on processed, pre-prepped foods can help us stretch our dollars, and help us to be more independent in the kitchen.
- Learn food preservation methods. Learning how to dry, smoke, can, or blanche food can help your storage last longer.
6- Have Some Water on Hand
Water is necessary to many parts of our lives. Having water on hand helps with cooking, hygiene, and obviously hydration. Having buckets of water, a rain water bin (if legal where you live), and ways to purify water such as tablets or a filter ensures that you have water should there be a boil warning, storm, or power outage.
5- Improve Your Physical Health
Our Heavenly Father has charged us to take care of our body. Improving our physical health helps us to be more prepared for challenges. Some ideas to improve your physical health:
- Develop a healthy diet
- Find an exercise plan that works for you
- Drink more water
4- Learn New Skills
Many skills that were once everyday knowledge are disappearing. I don’t think it’s necessary to completely go off-grid, and know how to grow and produce everything yourself, but the more knowledge you have, the more independent you can be. Ideas of skills to learn:
- Survival Skills
- Home repairs
- Soap Making
- How to use herbs for health
3- Strengthen Your Mental Health
In today’s world, our mental health seems to be constantly under attack. With the overwhelming amounts of media consumption, constant streaming news, and regular adult responsibilities, it is easy to get bogged down. It’s important to boost our mental health, so that as challenges and signs of the times become more evident, we are prepared. We can consider working on:
- Building mental and emotional resilience.
- Seeking professional help to overcome mental health struggles.
- Learn your limits of media intake, and have a fast when you need it.
2- Deepen Your Relationship with Christ
The last two tips are definitely most important in building our self-reliance. Our Savior knows what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what we will face in the days ahead. Improving our relationship with Him allows us to seek His guidance on our self-reliance journey.
1- Seek Revelation
As we strengthen our relationship with Christ, we also seek His counsel in our life, including plans to be more self-reliant. He knows what is more important to prioritize, whether it’s our health or food storage. He knows whether we should work on our mental health, or work on learning a new skill.
Which step are you currently working on? Let us know on our Instagram or Facebook group!