We would all like a dependable future. But we live in uncertain times. Nothing or no one can guarantee that life will go the way we intended. We have fear pushed at us from all directions: the next disease, the next war, a variety of impending collapses such as gas, transportation, the monetary system, and so on. Is there anything we can do?
Yes! First of all, remember that we were created to live during these times. We have a magnificent God who promises to never fail or forsake us. Does He promise us that if we believe in Him that everything will go easy? Never, but He does promise us that he will walk with us ever step of the way. In addition, He gives us exceptional wisdom if we ask for it. I find that very comforting – and very necessary when I must think of alternatives or make hard decisions.
But this article isn’t about faith. It’s about the three major priorities to keep in mind as we travel through these days.
I know these points because I lived through them. I never found that next great job, but I do have a thriving business as an editor and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction books.
As an example, when we go on vacation or a journey, we plan. We wouldn’t think of just jumping in the car and heading out with no more than the clothes on our backs. We take along the things we absolutely must have to get us through the time we will be gone.
But life is more than a vacation. We all know that incidents can always take us by surprise. We must plan for those times as well.
Your Greatest Asset
Your greatest asset is not your bank account, or your savings, although those things are important. Your greatest asset is your mind.
Suppose you lose your job. It’s not so hard to imagine these days. A number of companies have recently laid people off, many even going out of business. What do the recently unemployed do?
Those who planned for such a disaster have savings. They have expenses for several months already set aside. They have already been looking for other options.
But if life caught you unprepared, remember the basics. You need three things (besides strong faith). You need food, shelter and clothing.
- PAY YOUR RENT OR HOUSE PAYMENT FIRST. Either keep your home or move to a place you can afford. It’s far harder to find a job while homeless than it is from your own place. I’ve done both.
In order to keep your home, you might consider renting out a room or using one room as an office for your next great project.
But move if you must. It’s better to live in a place that you can afford than to waste energy worrying about how you’re going to make the payment.
- PAY YOUR UTILITIES SECOND. Especially keep your cell. You need to be available when that next great job comes. If you plan to work from home, your cell is your connection to resources. In fact, you can operate a whole business from a cell phone.
Do utilities include your cable or satellite programming? NO! Do not sacrifice what you need for what you want. Know the difference. You don’t need television, but you do need to be able to keep warm (or keep cool if you live in a place like Arizona), and you need to be able to eat.
We have a possible issue that is facing us, however. The price of heating, cooling and gas for the car may very well skyrocket. We may need to learn to face extremes in temperatures and walk where we need to go. We may need to be far more resilient that we ever believed. Do your best, but learn to toughen up at the same time. I did it. So can you.
- EAT WELL. Steak may not be on your menu, but make sure you eat some protein with each meal. See my article on what makes a complete protein: PatriciaRenardScholes.com/the-street. Scroll down to the article entitled “A Complete Protein.”
And eat your vegetables. Vitamin pills don’t work as well as we would like to believe.
Notice that clothing is not in this list. Most of us have far more clothing than we need anyway, but it wouldn’t hurt for us to learn to mend what we have. You do need one nice, conservative outfit for your new business from home, or for that interview that will get you your next great job.
Pay the rest of your bills as long as you can afford them. If you can’t, they can wait until later. Be prepared to let go of your toys. This is about basics, not your credit rating or a garage full of stuff.
So take care of basics first. Your family might complain, but you’ll know you’re doing the very best with what you already have.
One last thought: you are not facing this alone.