One of the principles that the Mormon church teaches is called self reliance and part of living that principle is having food set aside for a rainy day. These days that rain often comes in the form of financial difficulties. For me it is a heavier than expected tax bill. When you are self-employed you have to pay an added self-employment tax on top of the normal income taxes that everyone else pays (you think they would encourage entrepreneurship, not punish it!). This can easily be over 40% of your income taken out in taxes. This year I thought I had made a bigger dent with my estimated payments and then was shocked with a high bill last Friday. Now I have 2 weeks to scramble together all of my savings, call in money owed to me and work my but off logging hours. I think with concerted effort I will squeak by and make the bill. Now I know I should have planned better and been saving more but one thing I am glad of is that I have slowly been acquiring a little food storage for myself over the last year. This consists of canned vegetables, fruit, milk, pasta, meat etc. I also have a freezer full of various proteins and vegetables. My new goal is to try and spend no extra money until April 15th. I will be eating my food storage and forgoing all extra expenses such as going to movies or the theater.
I am certainly not asking for sympathy on this front. I know many people who have lived off their food storage for a year or more. It is definitely going to be a challenge as I am used to cooking with fresh food and trying new recipes. I also love eating out but I’ve been trying to cut down on that so this is a nice excuse to eliminate it entirely. If any of you have good food storage recipes that you wouldn’t mind sharing that would be great. Today I made pork tacos using salsa and some pork I had in the freezer. It wasn’t quite as good without any cheese or normal fresh condiments but oh well. If I can make it to the 15th and have the money for this payment it will all be worth it. Then my goal after that will definitely be to continue saving so this type of crisis doesn’t happen again.
Regardless, I don’t think I will be traveling any time soon. As sad as that makes me it is a reality and it is certainly better than going into debt (something I have managed to not do. I am completely debt free at 29 and intend to remain so!). I will sorely miss my Hawaii this year but alas that is the situation. (I know- poor me. I don’t get to go to Hawaii for the 4th time in 4 years but it does make a me a little sad. I love it so much. The thought of the lovely island chain often helps me get through the bad, stressful days.)
One website that has been helpful in preparing my food storage is http://www.providentliving.org/. There are lots of companies you can buy food storage from, but I just made small purchases at Costco, All-a-Dollar, Walmart and Macys (a low-cost Utah based grocery chain). I also focused on buying food that I enjoy such as pasta, sauce, canned chicken, fruit etc. On the other hand, I did not buy spam or spinach because I don’t like either. Its funny because most single people do not have food storage but last year I felt a prompting to get a little saved. Now I am so glad I did! I am always amazed at the little ways Heavenly Father takes care of and guides me.
Seriously send me those food storage recipes! Thanks.