Saving for a Rainy Day
My mother always said she was saving for a rainy day. I was puzzled by that as a child but one rainy day when she was old and confused, she asked me if she could afford something.
I answered her, “Sure, you’ve saved for a rainy day and today it’s raining.”
She began smiling and we got in the car and headed to a store so she could buy a pair of earrings she said she had been admiring.
My mother was a product of the Great Depression and she never forgot it.
Lessons from the Great Depression
Those of us who grew up during America’s prosperous days wondered why our parents were so careful with their money. Today, we preppers who fear greater disasters are coming our way could take a lesson from those people who lived through hard times.
The Great Depression occurred roughly in the 1930’s in the United States. There aren’t many alive who are able to personally remember those days but there are quite a few of us who heard about them.
Each time a recession hits we wonder if this is going to turn into another long time of hardship and as we move out of it we breathe a sigh of relief. We know, though, that if any one of a number of looming disasters occurs we may be in for a greater depression than has ever been experienced.
For homesteaders, would-be homesteaders, and others who are “prepping” for whatever may come, there are a slew of lessons we can pass along to the next generation that we learned from our parents and grandparents. Here’s a list of five ideas that can help us get ready for whatever lies ahead”
- “Make it do or do without” slipped off the tip of my mother’s tongue whenever we wanted something new that she didn’t think we needed. The “throw-away” generation appalled her. Learning how to repair things, how to sew, how to build, and how to recycle used things are all skills that we can start applying now. Make it a habit to learn new ways to live frugally now.
- Cash is king! Debt was a dirty word to my mother and she considered credit cards only something to use in a dire emergency. If you’re deep in credit card debt, start digging your way out. Cut up your cards and vow not to use them unless you can pay them off in full at the end of each month. Be saving for a rainy day!
- Lend a helping hand. My mother could tell countless stories about her small country community banding together to help each other. No one thought of the government as Santa Claus and much like the Amish today, if someone was in need, everyone pitched in to rescue them. Do you have a group you belong to that’s like that? A church, a club, a co-operative? If not, see if you can find one or invite your neighbors and friends to start one with you.
- Enjoy today. Don’t always be dreaming of better or different times. Now is all we have. My mother remembered county fairs, going to a neighbor’s house for parties or just to listen to their radio, putting on plays, wonderful 4th of July impromptu parades, sing “alongs”, making music as a family, and free weekly dances at the school. Don’t get so caught up in worrying about the future that you don’t stop and enjoy every day in some way.
- Don’t let fear paralyze you. No one knows the future. While we should be prepared for whatever may come, there is reason for optimism and hope. Things have been bad before and somehow, almost miraculously, the human race has survived. Never give up.
My mother would be proud, and maybe surprised, to know that even though I shrugged off her words of wisdom then, I took them to heart and am passing them along to my children, grandchildren, and good neighbors.
Guest Contributor, Bill G., Texas