Turning Lemons into Lemonade
It is heartbreaking to watch the news on telly, flashing images of the word’s most famous financial institutions, whilst the newsreader speaks of the global business collapsing and thousands of jobs being lost around the world.
During such difficult times, relationships will be tested to the extremes. Tensions will mount, worry and distress will test even the most solid of marriages and for many, it may appear there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Sailing these unchartered waters as a team, rather than individuals who shut down, will be the only way to survive. Closing up, refusing to face those challenges will do nothing more than rip familial foundations apart, seldom to return to where they were.
And whilst no exact situation is similar, there are ways to ease the burden, especially if you reach deep within those warm pools of familial love. Don’t make unilateral decisions; include your children. Don’t create fear, instead, foster a sense of ‘esprit de corps’ and allow your children to offer their own ideas. Work as a family unit. Children build self-respect when their voices are permitted to be heard and their ideas welcomed.
Damage control: What can be done immediately to control outgoings? This doesn’t mean telling your children all of their after-school activities are cancelled. Perhaps they can be reduced for a brief period. But don't even consider such a thing if you're sitting in front of them smoking a cigarette. Take the initiative to show what you are doing to economise. If you do smoke, what a wonderful time to stop! (And they'll love you for it!)
Food planning: Make a grocery list and stick to it! In every instance, a ready meal is never good value. You can make your own at home, freezing them for a fraction of what you pay for mediocre meals that are bought merely for convenience. It's more nutritious too!
Make a diary of family events that don’t require spending money. Forest hikes, starlight picnics, etc., are a great way to start.
Garage or car boot sales can provide an often hefty revenue stream and you’ll be amazed how much children enjoy this. It allows them to pick up pocket money whilst learning important basic skills in market enterprise.
And don’t forget Ebay. There are countless individuals who depend on their small transactions to pay for their utilities during the winter. I know one family who sell their unwanted items for an entire year, then use the proceeds to pay for their annual holiday. Parents and children alike participate.
There’s no doubt these are challenging times. But before you face a core melt-down, first don’t lose track of asking for help. Here in Britain, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Age Concern, Help The Aged and your local church or synagogue can provide helpful advice.
Don’t forget that charities and missions also face challenges during these difficult times. It’s just as important for those responsible to do some lateral thinking as well.
For me… whilst my ideas may be a bit strange to some, hopefully, they’re creative to others. I could use some help too.
Recently I entered the Walker’s Crisps (potato chip) promotion for dreaming up a new flavour crisp. Winners have the opportunity to win a prize of £50,000 plus 1% of future sales. That amount of money can feed a lot of children, buy a lot of school books, and provide winter heat for a lot of families in need.
A few days ago I was surprised to receive an email from Walkers to say that the contest was going strong and showing that interest in my flavour was riding high. (9 out of 10 have graded our suggestion as among the best!)
So, with hat in hand, if you might consider helping us out a bit, I’d be grateful if you would make an honest vote on our flavour of “Sweet Woo’s” which consists of Worcester Sauce and an ever so slight tingle of sweetness. With your help we might actually have a good chance at winning! (I think it's all just in fun anyway!)
How’s that for a creative way to help a missionary without taking a single penny out of your pocket?
I thank you. We thank you. My doctor certainly might not thank you. But she’s hung up on Krispy Kreme doughnuts anyway – diminutive little thing that she is!
During these challenging times the old proverb of making lemonade out of lemons applies.
And never forget the core of what matters most in your life – that you love and you are loved!
Oh, and about those crisps, please? :-)
Walker’s Crisps Flavour
Labels: family crisis finance, family finance ideas, family financial crisis, foreclosure, garage sales, Necessity is the Mother of invention, things for families to do that are free, walkers crisps promotion