This is the second part of a four-part series that, I hope, will inspire and fill you with ideas for learning new skills that will help your family thrive in an uncertain world.
3. Money is tight, but you have options with skills & knowledge
If there’s one thing a Survival Mom is good at, it’s finding creative ways to live abundantly on a tiny income, and a Survival Mom equipped with financial savvy is worth her weight in gold. When there’s not even a spare dollar for new school clothes, she can pull out the sewing machine, grab some left over fabric from an old project, and design customized outfits for her kids.
Years ago I had a friend named Jan who was a master at clothing her kids in beautiful, expensive outfits she found at yard sales. Sometimes I wondered if those kids ever wore the same outfit twice. I do know she was able to save enough extra money every year for a great family vacation. She put her bargain hunting skills to work, which provided options her family wouldn’t have had otherwise.
If there’s a baby in your family, who needs expensive disposable diapers when you’re an old pro at using cloth and making your own baby wipes and lotion? Five bucks worth of yarn can be turned into a delicate baby blanket, nicer than the ones on display at the baby boutiques. Frugal Survival Moms make their own baby carriers and construct solar powered breast pumps, just in case. Okay, I’m joking about the breast pump.
When it’s mealtime, frugality and creativity go hand in hand when you know at least twenty different meals that combine rice and beans in so many flavor combinations your family is fooled into thinking they’re eating gourmet meals every night. You manage to make oatmeal so delicious and enticing that when your kids are offered Cap’n Crunch, they say, “Ewwwww!!!”
There are dozens and dozens of skills that will help your family save money. A lot of money.
4. Scarce services or products aren’t a problem when you can duplicate them
Economic recessions cause many thriving businesses to shut their doors, and when they do, the community loses important services and products. When this happens, the tendency of most people is to respond with, “Oh no! How will we get along without ______?”
It’s a good feeling to know that your family doesn’t have to rely on others for every little thing when you’ve been learning how to take care of more and more of those, “little things”. If the beauty salon closes its doors or the gourmet bakery goes bankrupt, what’s the big deal? You just pull out a pair of scissors, watch a few YouTube instructional videos and then grab the slowest kid for your first try at a haircut. With
just a little practice you’ll wonder why you ever thought you needed Super Cuts!
And that gourmet bakery? Master a to-die-for fondant, learn how to wield a mean decorator bag, and it could be your lemon meringue cupcakes that people are lining up to buy. All the not-so-handy moms in the neighborhood will be asking you to make a special birthday cake for their little sweeties.
If you’re wondering which skill to tackle first, keep track of the various businesses and professionals you hire and consider if there are any skills you could begin learning.
Go through your family’s expenses over the past two months. You probably keep track of expenses anyway, but this time be thinking of what you could learn or what skills you, or another member of the family, could learn in order to save money. At the same time, are there businesses you use on occasion whose services you could learn? Remember, the more you know, the less you and your family must rely on others.
Coming next: Sometimes skills enhance the lives of others!
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