I am fairly young and trying to plan for my and my family’s future. Would you think it wise to invest in food rather than in 401ks, investments, etc? I figure that eventually someday money will be worth nothing, and the most valuable things will be essentials to survive on. Is it too soon to start worrying about food as an investment, or should that be an emphasis for me and my young family. Thank you for all the time you have spent helping so many people like me with your insights!
For as many years as I can remember we have been counseled to have a years supply of food, water and other necessities. We have also been encouraged to get out of debt and save some money for a “rainy day”. At almost every General Conference we have been given counsel to prepare for difficult times ahead. We never know when or where a disaster might occur. Recently many members have needed to turn to their savings and food storage to get them through difficult times because of the downturn in our economy. Many people have lost their jobs, their homes and their ability to support their families. Hopefully they have listened to a “prophet’s voice” and were prepared for these times by having their food storage and savings available.
One of the problems with storing food is that it deteriorates and spoils. We need to rotate our food storage to prevent this from happening. If you were to store more than one year’s supply of food, much of it would probably spoil before it could be used. My recommendation would be to follow the counsel of the Brethren and have in your storage sufficient to support you and your family for one year. There are several countries where people are not allowed by their government to store food or they might not have room to do so. Those of us who live where we can store food are fortunate and need to follow the counsel of the Brethren.
We have been counseled to save for the future. Not only should we have sufficient in our savings account for whatever may come, but it is a great way to make our purchases. Often you will get a better deal when you pay cash for your purchases and you will have received interest on your savings instead of paying the finance company interest on your purchase.
Their counsel for us to get out and stay out of debt is very important as well. By doing so we show obedience to the Lord’s prophet and it is very sound financial advice. Interest is a very heavy taskmaster. It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It doesn’t take vacation or holidays, but is always there. The Brethren have advised us that we should only go into debt to buy a home and possibly a vehicle. Even in the purchase of a home, we need to be prudent and not purchase one beyond our means and ability to pay for. For everything else we should avoid going into debt and wait until we are able to pay cash for it. Several people who have lost their homes might have been able to save it if it were not for all the other debt they had.
The First Presidency has given us the following counsel:
“Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others. We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.”