In January of 2009 my husband lost his job. The company he had been working for was sold, and the new owners were absorbing the day to day workings into their own company and had no need for the current employees. We were given six months of income and set loose on our own. Technically we knew this change was coming months in advance, but the shock of actually being out of work was still severe.I was, and am, a stay at home mom. At the time we had a 1 year old, a four year old, and a six year old. We had purchased our home a short 22 months earlier and we were convinced to take on a 2nd to avoid paying mortgage insurance, not the best choice in my opinion. We had student loans and a car payment. Pretty typical stuff.
As reality set in and we began the process of looking for work and examining our situation, we had several good things going for us. My husband was able to stay working longer than anticipated closing down the books for the old company. He also picked up some extra work that brought in a few hundred dollars a week. The severance package was great, but also meant we did not qualify for unemployment. We had no credit card debt and I had built up several months worth of food storage. Our families both live close and could help a little, as could our church.
Even with all of these “good” things going for us I entered a deep depression. The unknown of what would happen when/if the money ran out and we didn’t have a new job completely overwhelmed me. I was in the throes of mommy-to-three-littles, and the winter months make me gloomy anyway. So this was an exceptionally dark time for me.
|Photo Credit: My Husband|
Fear of the unknown paralyzed me and left me expecting the worse.Things improved, as they generally do. My husband found a good job by April and we were able to use a bulk of the severance to pay for necessary home improvements, things we never thought we’d be able to afford. I rebuilt and expanded our food storage and life went on.
I think back on that unemployed time often and wonder why I was so afraid. We were prepared, kind of, with money and food to get us through till we could find work, but there was a lot of things we could have done differently. Less debt would be number one on that list. Being more prepared would have brought more peace.
My goal is to avoid ever having to feel that fear again. I can do that by creating a provident home.
The definition of provident is “providing or preparing for future needs or events.”
No, I do not think I can prepare for every eventuality, but there is a lot I can prepare for. Here are a few rough categories and ideas I’ve thought about:
Emergency Preparedness – go bags, backpack kits, food storage, car kits
Self-Reliance – gardening, cooking from scratch, canning, sewing, frugal living
Financial Independence – budgeting, retirement saving, debt eliminating
Education – of our kids, ourselves, books, sources of learning, habits, goals
Wellness – physical, mental, social
I also think a very important piece is Spiritual Preparedness. However, I don’t feel qualified discussing it, but don’t be surprised to see a little creep in occasionally as it is something I am also working on.
All of these areas help us, in one way or another, to weather the storms of trial in our lives.