What does food storage and emergency preparedness have to do with financial peace? Money is food in pre-edible form. Food is money in edible form. Money only has value because we give it value by using it to trade for what we need, things like food and other commodities. In times of scarcity, food is more valuable than paper or metal money. It makes sense to include emergency stockpiles of food and needful items as part of a good financial plan.
Food storage, like an emergency fund, buys you time to figure out a new game plan when the old plan has been changed. Consider different scenarios in which you will appreciate having put these safety nets in place.
- Even if there is no money available, you can still eat. Little is harder than trying to keep up hope while running on hunger pangs.
- Having what you need on hand saves on gasoline, time, and auto wear-and-tear from going to the store any time there is a little money to purchase essentials.
- When finances become tight or nonexistent, you are not forced to buy foods and needs at whatever price the stores have set at the time. You have the luxury to wait for foods or household items to go on sale or for you to figure out a cheaper way to acquire them.
- When illness hits, you are not forced to head out to the stores. Who wants to go to the store at 11 o'clock at night to get soup and Children's Tylenol?? (This is a good place to mention that, before each winter, I create a little "illness aid" stockpile composed of throat drops, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, electrolyte drinks, vitamin supplements, soups, and tissue to get us through the coming year.)
- Having a bit of money and food stashed away provides peace and creates a feeling of abundance. Like attracts like. Create these feelings for you now to grow more of the feelings you DO want.
According to our Church leaders, a family or individual must first assess their needs and expenses and tend to them to the best of their ability. Second, if their own resources and abilities fall short, they then turn to their own families and extended families for assistance. Third, if that help is unavailable or is not sufficient to cover needs, then the family or individual turns to their ward bishop or branch president for guidance.
Latter-day Saints are blessed to have a fantastic welfare program in our church, but we should not assume it will always be available as a back-up. In the last two years, my ward found their funds were stretched when many families found themselves in the wake of layoffs. We must, as faithful Latter-day Saints, make family and personal preparedness a priority when income is present, no matter how little.
When I was a young bride, I decided to obey this counsel. I found a space in a coat closet and put in it one jug of water and one packet of spaghetti. That is all our budget could make room for at the time. My husband at the time joked about my little stash: "If the world goes to pot, at least we'll have water and spaghetti!" I was ecstatic when I later added another packet of spaghetti and a jar of pasta sauce!
From my experiences building up a food stockpile, I gained a testimony that the size of your stock does not matter as much as your willingness to obey commandments. If you are willing to obey in small things, you will be trusted with bigger things (Matthew 25:23). Imagine my delight (and my husband's surprise) when three years later we found our food stockpile took up an entire wall of a little bedroom!
By small means are big things accomplished. If we have the faith (and accompanying action) of a mustard seed, we will be blessed greatly.
If you apply your faith and obey the commandment to be wise with your talents, no matter how great or small you deem them, you will in short time create a stockpile that, along with your emergency fund, can carry you through several months of famine.
“We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. … I have faith … that the Lord will bless us, and watch over us, and assist us if we walk in obedience to His light, His gospel, and His commandments.”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 62.)