Saturday, January 16, 2016
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Finish the projects?
Recently I was listening to a discussion regarding the future implications of today's very weak economy. They started talking about how... as this began around October and is now seeing the plunge of the stock markets round the world... it takes time for the ramifications to work through the complete cycle.
Huh? In simpler terms it means a very real possibility of product shortages by Spring. It has something to do with the Baltic Dry Index being at an all time low. This is an index of all products being moved by sea in regular shipping routes. There is usually an equal drop in products being moved by trains.
After listening to their discussion, I remarked to my husband what they were talking about. He looked up from his newspaper to say, "That means the economy is contracting". Oh, right... sometimes I forget his undergraduate degree was in Economics. ;)
The conclusion the men discussing the situation came to was this... finish your projects now. While there are few shortages of equipment and supplies.
It reminded me of a question I received quite often when I was writing Recessing Ponderings. How can one prepare for a possible job loss other than stocking the pantry? What we learned by experience was to keep up with all maintenance schedules and repair as soon as possible what is not working right.
This means personal maintenance... keeping up with medical exams such as eye appointments, dental appointments, doctors, etc. As much as you can given insurance and financial availability. Should you lose a job and your insurance, you will be glad you had that tooth filled already.
This means house maintenance, which can be quite expensive but much more so if not taken care of right away. You know, Ben Franklin's "a stitch in time saves nine" kind of thinking. We had two huge concerns, one being the leak in the roof and the other our plumbing issue.
God provided the roof repair when the roofer working on a neighbor's roof agreed to look at our leak. He walked around on the roof and found the problem to be where the roof and chimney met. He said since he was working next door and had all the equipment, he could fix the leak for a fraction of the cost. When we experienced the heavy flooding rains a few weeks ago, our kitchen ceiling remained dry. Hallelujah!
See how God met that need? Not by bringing in extra income but by providing the person who could fix it at a very reasonable price!
Our plumbing problem is being fixed in two parts. As you will remember, we had no water for a longer time than I was comfortable with (albeit we learned a lot from that experience). A plumber licensed to work with copper pipes (I had no idea this was necessary) fixed the first part of the problem... that being the broken pipe. God provided the necessary funds to pay him.
The second part of the problem is to repair a piece of equipment necessary for pumping the water from the well. That will get repaired soon... praying it doesn't fail before then! But funds are being set aside for that important project.
Vehicle maintenance is the third item we try to keep updated. We have one repair that is necessary with a leak in the coolant system that turned out to be a flaw with the model of our van. It would take hundreds of dollars to repair it but the mechanic told us it was such a small leak, we can get by with just checking the coolant level every week or so and adding a little more. That was a couple years ago and we've been fine, including a 2000 mile round trip to New England.
However, the van has been telling us we need an oil change for a few weeks. Now, I must admit... I would get annoyed with my husband when money was so very tight and he budgeted for an oil change! But that is how our vehicles all lasted for years after they turned the 100,000 marks. Regular maintenance.
So think through any essential maintenance items you need to do and schedule them (as time and money permit). Consider any projects you are doing now or in the Summer. As money permits, finish projects that you can complete now. Purchase what can be bought ahead of time for that which you will do this Summer.
Especially those items that may be hard to get for a few months. For instance, if you sew then fabric is rarely hard to find. But if you need to a certain part for your European built sewing machine, you may want to buy it now.
What if you have no extra money at all? Ask God for a miracle and watch what happens. Like your neighbor putting on a completely new roof so you get a leak fixed very cheap. (We knew this was not a scammer going around the neighborhood offering cheap services as he had been working on our neighbor's roof for days and we asked him to check ours.)
God cares about your needs!
For an interesting article about the Baltic Dry Index, click on over... here. Yes, this is the website that caused some discussion before because it has some conspiracy theories. So be forewarned. I receive his updates through email and have really appreciated his insights into the economy. This article/post appeared in my Inbox soon after I was listening to that economic discussion about the same subject. It helped me understand it even better. I only had Econ 101!