is a term that means a person provides for their own needs and those of their
family. Also known as self-sufficiency
or even provident living, it is a way of life in which people choose to live today
so that they secure a good future for themselves tomorrow. Self-reliance is a process that helps us
preserve our freedom by keeping us free from debt, allowing us to provide for
our needs in changing times, and building reserves that we can draw from in
times of trouble.
of us starts out self-reliant. From our birth
we depend on parents to feed us, protect us, and take care of our most basic
needs. However, from birth we’re always
learning, growing, and becoming more capable of caring for ourselves. As the parent of any toddler knows, at a
young age, we want to be able to do things for ourselves. For instance, have you ever seen a small
child try to pour themselves a glass of milk even when they were just barely
able to lift the milk carton?
Young children want to make their own decisions, too. This drive for independence isn’t just for toddlers. Young kids want to set up a tent and sleep in the backyard or to build a treehouse. It’s not that they don’t like their parents; they have an innate drive for independence. They want to make it or build it themselves, only asking for help when they have exhausted their own resources.
Consider teenagers who increasingly want to become autonomous. They are more frequently out of the home, want to drive the car or even purchase their own. Many youth work to support their drive for independence. As they gain skills and knowledge, they eventually support themselves, however meagerly at first. At this point most parents feel their efforts to raise their child have been a success and the grown child can now completely take care of themselves and is considered self-reliant.
do we need to know ourselves, or teach our child, to become self-reliant,
self-sufficient or to live providently so that we and they can find personal
First and foremost, giving and service are part of being self-reliant. Why? Don’t we keep what we make or earn in order to be self-reliant? If we give things away, doesn’t that make others reliant on us? A grateful person recognizes their blessings, even when they seem small. Gratitude opens us up to an abundance mentality which helps us be open to more blessings and thus giving to others, as well. It’s considered a leap of faith to give when we have little, but that leap of faith has been shown time and time again to bless our lives.
money management, self-discipline with money, and budgeting all contribute to a
person’s self-reliance. These things are
a basic foundation that most people think of when considering provident living.
teaching children about self-reliance, we need to allow them to make decisions
that are matched to their level of maturity.
We get to teach children to work and earn, as well as contribute to the
welfare of the family. This helps them
recognize how they contribute to their own self-reliance and that they can
indeed become self-reliant. This is
empowering at any age!
helps us preserve our self-reliance.
Whether it helps us get a better job, or stay up to date in our current
job, education is essential for us to reach our potential. It can also be fun, whether learning a new
skill or gaining an understanding of a topic you haven’t studied before.
Working toward home ownership allows us to be self-reliant. Not having a house payment can allow you to save money and make progress on other financial goals. Owning our home gives us security when finances are tight, as well. It also allows us to raise some or all of our own food by growing a garden. Home ownership is a huge step toward self-sufficiency.
Insurance, whether for life or health, can help us prevent financial disasters. We can expect to save money each paycheck to help cover regular expenses like medical and dental checkups and even save extra money to cover unexpected expenses like a broken arm. However, something large like cancer or a car wreck can financially destroy a family, especially if the family provider is the one sick or injured and can’t return to work for a time or at all. Having adequate life and health insurance can help see a family through these disasters financially so that they are able to get back on their feet again.
truly be self-reliant, we have to understand the influence of external forces
on our family finances and investments.
From layoffs to falling stock market prices, world affairs and economics
can directly influence our family’s efforts to be self-reliant. Savings and investments alone can fluctuate
drastically at times, so we have to account for other things to live providently,
as well. This brings us to the last
topic in self-reliance and freedom.
storage and emergency preparations are important parts of being
self-reliant. These two aspects of
provident living help us prepare to be self-reliant, as well as help others, no
matter what comes our way.
Self-reliance is important for personal freedom. Take the challenge by reading through the links above to learn how you can improve your efforts to be self-sufficient. Then act on what you learn.
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