Austerity!--Learn to Live on Less! DFO 1660 11/83
1. WHEN WE GET 64 PAGES OR A FULL SIGNATURE FOR THE WORLD NEWS, I TOLD'M TO CUT IT OFF, SLAP IT TOGETHER, SHOOT IT & MAIL IT, THAT'S IT! I don't care when it's ready, that's it! It'll go out in the next mail. And I'm just wondering if maybe we ought to do that with the GNs. They would be so small then we could slip'm in almost any kind of mailing & they'd be just the same size as that little WND, with no delay for covers.
2. WE DID THAT FOR AWHILE WITH THE LITTLE MINI-LETTERS IN THE SECURITY SCARE, THE CULT PERSECUTION, WE WENT BACK DOWN TO THOSE LITTLE BITTY ONES. So we've done that a few times before. I realise that it's not as easy to keep books like that, but there're all kinds of things they can find, clamps & whatnot that they can put those together with if they have to, or find binders for them.--Especially when we need to save money & time! I would say that binding takes about how much extra money & time? (Family: It takes a couple hundred dollars & about 3 days.)
3. AND BECAUSE WE KEEP TRYING TO SAVE'M UP TO MAKE BOOKS OUT OF THEM, IT DELAYS'M WEEKS, ACTUALLY WEEKS!--Because we keep trying to save'm up till we get enough to bind & make it worthwhile having a cover & binding them to make a book out of them & all that. Well, that was all right for awhile, but I think in the financial pinch we've got a real good excuse for going down from that.
4. AFTER ALL, WHEN IT COMES TO A REAL CRUNCH, ALL WE'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR & I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR IS GETTING THEM THE WORD! Once they've got it, how they preserve it is really their responsibility. We can't always hand it to'm on a silver platter, you know what I mean? We can't always pamper'm & baby'm & do everything for'm. When it comes to the crunch they should be thankful if they're getting them at all! So I just wonder if maybe not only for their sake, but for the Lord's sake & the Word's sake & what they need to know in a hurry, if it wouldn't be better to get them out little by little like this. Getting out the WND this way has been very satisfactory & we can just slip'm into any kind of mailing, they're so small. We can slip it in with an FN or anything, whatever's going out--catch the next train out!
5. ALL I KNOW IS, THAT'S THE FASTEST WAY TO GET'M OUT & THAT'S THE WAY WE ORIGINALLY INTENDED IN THE BEGINNING! Then we thought since we started getting two or three ready at the same time it would be nice to just bind'm & blah blah, but that has really been holding them up! It holds them up here sometimes for weeks, & even at the last minute for binding, & it costs more money & everything. $200 a month could support a missionary some places!
6. SO I'M JUST WARNING YOU, I'M THINKING ABOUT CUT CUT, SLASH SLASH! They're not going to get any less Word, but they're going to maybe not get it so nicely Christmas-wrapped, & it will be up to them to worry about how they preserve it. If they're resourceful at all & read some of the lessons on book-binding they could easily do it & make their own little books. We've kind of set the example here & showed'm how to do it, now why not let them get their covers & do it? That's going to save not only $200 for binding, but that's going to save quite a bit on postage, because the binding & covers have weight & bulk & take extra time.
7. I HAVE JUST TRIED & TRIED TO GET THEM OUT FAST, the whole trouble is we get one thing ready & yet something delays it, then while it's being delayed the other things start stacking up & sometimes we have two or three all ready at the same time! Whereas if we didn't delay it for anything & we got'm out just as they come, as fast as they come, regardless of what the subjects are or what, just like we do the WNs, I'll bet we could get out almost one a week, believe it or not, like we originally intended!
8. WE'VE GOTTA WIND DOWN, SON, & CUT DOWN IN EVERY LITTLE WAY WE CAN SAVE! We'll have to sacrifice prettiness--those nice little books sure looked nice on the shelf--& we're certainly not going to reprint'm! If they want'm, they're going to have to save'm, that's all. But if we really want to save money & time, that's the way to do it. Are you guys game? (Family: Yes, Sir!) No matter what the subject is, no matter what comes out next, when I hit 64 pages, that's it! We just shoot & mail! Bang! We'll be doing well to get a Table of Contents on the front page!
9. THAT'S REALLY THE WAY WE STARTED OUT ON THE GN'S & THAT WAS THE IDEA, TO MAKE IT QUICK & GET IT OUT! We've gone from 18 pages to 64 so they'd better not complain! The whole thing I'm talking about now is that I'm going to start on me & mine to set you guys the example, & I think you're going to have to do the same with the FNs. They'll be doing well if they get a brown paper bag cover on'm--not any pretty fancy slick colour covers! I think you guys are going to have to learn somehow to cut down from two FNs to one a month at the most & no great big volumes! What was that one we got out that time?--An 1100 page BOTM? We really hit bottom on that one! That was absolutely ridiculous! I'll bet that cost us a fortune, huh? (Maria: We never did it again!)
10. OUR INCOME HAS BEEN PRETTY STEADY, & THE FACT IS THAT I DON'T LIKE TO SEND OUT NOTICES EVERY TIME THAT WE HAVE TO CUT THE INCOME SO MUCH BECAUSE OF LACK OF GIVING. They're actually doing their average giving, so why should we do that? Why don't we just cut down expenses to the regular level & then not have to apologise. I mean, there must be some way we can cut 5% off our expenses, but I don't know anywhere else to cut. We've cut the missionaries & everything else--although we can go over the list again with a fine-tooth comb & figure out some more places to cut.
11. IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE OUR HOME & POPULATION LEVEL HAS ABOUT LEVELLED OFF & HAS STAYED PRETTY STEADY FOR THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, INCLUDING OUR INCOME. It looks like that's about all we can handle & what we can do, & about all they can handle & do. So why don't we just plan it that way for the time being? I mean, if we're going to try to cut down & wind down, for God's sake, we need to cut down our expenses right now to our income level & not have to keep apologising for cutting checks!
12. EVERYBODY'S GOING TO HAVE TO KNOW THAT THAT JUST ISN'T OUR INCOME! Why keep apologising for cutting checks when we normally don't get that much to cover that many checks? (Family: We don't come up to the average!) That's for sure! So we really do need to figure more ways to cut so we can get it down to where we can handle it within our average income, which seems to be about all the Family can possibly give. And I think they're doing tremendously the way they do give!
13. IT JUST AMAZES ME HOW WELL & HOW MUCH THEY GIVE, GOD BLESS'M! I never heard of a church, I never heard of a missionary organisation, I never heard of any religious group where they give individually as heavily as ours do per capita or per Family! Where did you ever hear of them giving like ours do? I mean, if you'd even count up & add up all the church folks' weekly offerings at the church per month, they wouldn't add up to what our average Family gives!--And most of them are just poor missionaries on the field at that! So we just can't expect them to give any more. They've given all they can & sometimes more than that. We just need to figure out more ways to cut down, & we are cutting, but we're going to have to figure out more cuts!
14. I THINK WE'D BETTER START TAPERING OFF EVERYBODY & GIVING THEM WARNING THAT WE'RE GOING TO CUT'M SO MUCH A MONTH UNTIL IT'S ALL GONE! They know now that we're in a financial pinch, so why don't we figure out how many of those gifts we give out & let's start cutting them down every month, $100 a month or something like that?
15. WE'VE ALSO BEEN EXTREMELY GENEROUS WITH SOME OF THESE MAJOR CENTERS & FIELDS, Combos, Reception Centers & all, but I think we're going to have to start warning them that we're going to have to start cutting down. We're just going to have to do it, that's all, including Lit-Pics & whatnot. I've wanted to help them all we can, but if the income is not sufficient to cover it, then we're just going to have to cut, that's all, & make it on a nice graduated scale so that nobody's suffering too much. It would be almost the easiest way to do it.
16. WE'VE ALREADY GOT PUBS PRETTY WELL TRIMMED DOWN TO THE BONE, THE LEAST THEY it's Pubs or Radio or what--why don't we just tell all the others that get checks that we're going to have to start cutting down & making permanent cuts at the rate of 10% a month or something like that?
17. ONE 10% CUT ACROSS-THE-BOARD SAVES ENOUGH MONEY FOR US TO GET ALL THE PUBS OUT THAT WE USUALLY GET OUT IN A MONTH! Think of that!--One across-the-board 10% cut! We're not even hardly living within our income now anyhow, & if we keep on at this rate with no margin, we're going to be down in pretty bad shape. So I think we're just going to have to send out a notice to all check recipients, particularly what I would call the non-producing ones--at least not producing the material that we're responsible for, which is publications.
18. THERE WAS A TIME WHEN WE HAD NO MISSIONARY FUND & WE SUPPORTED NO MISSIONARIES! We just did that because the Lord sent it in & we were able to do it & I'm thankful we did when we had it. But now we haven't got it & we're not going to have it & we're going to have less & less! That's what I expect. The World is in an economic mess & things are going downhill. Things are not going to get better, they're going to get worse, which means finances are going to get worse, so I believe in preparing for it & starting as of now!
19. IF WE'RE GOING TO START GETTING OUT SOME OF THESE MAJOR PUB PROJECTS THAT YOU GUYS HAVE IN MIND & I'VE ALREADY GOT READY WITHIN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, IT'S GOING TO COST A MINT!--And it's gotta come from somewhere! The Family's giving all they possibly can give now, I don't think they can give any more unless we get some kind of unexpected windfalls--which the Lord could always do & has done in the past--but right now unless we know it's coming & can count on it, we've got to plan ahead within our expected income, the average income, & it's running lower than we had hoped. We're running below the so-called average. It hasn't come up to the average. Thank the Lord it's been enough, but I think we're just spreading ourselves out too thin & giving too much to too many places.
20. AND RATHER THAN JUST LET SOMEBODY DOWN, "KERPLUNK", & JERK THE RUG COMPLETELY OUT FROM UNDERNEATH THEM, WE COULD GIVE THEM SOME ADVANCE WARNING & say, "Your check is going to be 10% less each month, we're tapering it off until we phase it out completely & you should plan accordingly. Start praying it in, working on your Prayer Letters & getting Home Support & a few other things, whatever, however you're going to do it." And if some of them can't make it & have to go home, I guess they just didn't have the faith for it, & I guess, therefore, they shouldn't be there on the mission field.
21. I TRIED TO STAY AWAY FROM THIS & I DID STAY AWAY FROM GIVING OUR ACTUAL MISSIONARIES ACTUAL DIRECT SUPPORT FOR YEARS. It was only in the past four or five years that we started giving actual direct gifts to missionaries out of our regular funds & established a Missionary Fund, virtually at the behest of Tim! He wanted to start a Mission Fund for the missionaries, so I said, "Okay, we'll try to scrape together about 10% of our total income, like our tithe, & give that to Missions every month."
22. WELL THE FACT IS, WE GIVE EVERYTHING TO MISSIONS, WE GIVE EVERYTHING OUT TO THE LORD'S WORK! WE DON'T GIVE 10%, WE GIVE 100%! But anyway, Tim wanted a Mission Fund to help some special missionaries he was interested in, especially some that were sort of on the hot seat. He wanted to make sure they had enough, because he'd apparently been supporting them under Rachel so he wanted to make sure they got it.--Which was fine, & I thought that was very considerate of him & I agreed with it & we did it. Still, it was a Camel's Nose, & right now the whole Camel is almost inside the tent, our tent, & we're going to have to get him out somehow, maybe the same way he got in--nose first, head next, neck etc., until he's gone!
23. I THINK IF WE LET'M DOWN SLOWLY & EASILY THEY OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO TAKE IT. Do you think that would be too fast at the rate of $100 a month, to phase them out in three months? We do need to do it pretty fast in some cases if we're going to save enough money to get out our pubs, which I think the whole Family needs more than these individual missionaries just need a free check! Amen?
24. WELL, I DIDN'T DECIDE TO CUT DOWN THE GN JUST TO SAVE MONEY, BUT THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT, THE MORE IT SAVES TIME & MONEY & EVERYTHING & SPEEDS IT ON ITS WAY QUICKER! But I think we need to think of those things all the way around now. Just go over that list with a fine-tooth comb & see which individual gifts etc. can possibly be cut down, especially those who are not absolutely essential to our WS Ministry, the World Ministry in other words. It was nice to give it to'm to help'm get started, but we don't want'm to get dependent on it. That's the problem, see, you get'm dependent on that & counting on it & then it hurts when they don't get it. I think some of them have been on the field long enough to find out if they're going to make a missionary & have enough faith to raise their own support or not, so that we can start cutting them & telling them we've got to phase out our gifts to them.
25. IN ORDER TO SAVE THE BODY WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CUT OFF A FINGER AT A TIME!--Because it's better that we preserve the whole Body & the Head than have the whole thing starve to death because we can't feed the whole thing!--Or have the whole thing gradually starve & die because we're trying to feed too many. So praise the Lord, I think that's part of the solution.
26. START TRIMMING THE FAT, & IF IT'S NOT FAT, FLESH OR WHATEVER, UNTIL WE GET IT DOWN TO WHERE WE CAN HANDLE IT. We just have so much income & that's it, & we can't spend more than we've got. We need to keep a tiny narrow margin for emergencies. It was narrow enough as it was & now it's nothing! In the last emergency we used up all our Units' reserves everywhere & they don't have any now, & I don't see how we're going to be able to replenish them unless we cut down some other people. And I do think it's more important to replenish at least a small part of those Units' reserves to make sure they've got something to keep them going in case anything happens, than it is to keep on supporting all these missionaries that we never used to have to support!
27. OUR WHOLE IDEA FROM THE BEGINNING WAS THAT MISSIONARIES WERE SUPPOSED TO BE SELF-SUPPORTING, INDIGENOUS, SELF-GOVERNING, SELF-PROPAGATING & ALL THE REST! We're not a big multi-million-dollar Missionary Society like some of'm that can afford to pay for all their missionaries. We never started out like that & it looks like we're not going to be able to end like that either. We're just going to have to do it, that's all. And I think you guys had better start working on your other pubs, especially the regular monthly pubs like the FN, & see what you can trim down. My little pub is about the cheapest thing we put out, so thank the Lord for that, & I'm going to make it even cheaper!
28. NOW WHILE WE'RE HAVING A FINANCIAL PINCH IS A GOOD TIME TO HAVE A MIGHTY GOOD REASON FOR IT! Tell'm that that's it, that's all they're paying for. Like the old lady that got to Heaven--that's all they paid for, that's all they're going to get! (Maria: I could print the FN without a cover, I don't mind.) Oh, I don't think that little cover costs that much more, does it? Without any cover that's almost going to the extreme. The FN is a book-size pub & it almost has to have some kind of cover. Without one it would be a mess & the paper would tear off in nothing flat. It might come to that & I'd certainly do it if we had to, but what does binding cost for an FN? Let's get some stats, Son, let's have some figures on some of these things while you're working on it! Let's wait till we're really hard up, then we can start cutting out the binding, & if we get hard up enough we'll just cut out the Magazine! Don't laugh, I'm not kidding! PTL? Amen?
29. AMEN, LORD, GIVE US WISDOM AS WE GO OVER THESE FIGURES & FIGURE OUT WAYS OF TRIMMING & CUTTING DOWN NOW so we'll be on our way toward the bottom & when it hits it won't be so hard on us. We'll be letting ourselves down easy so we won't just suddenly take a nose dive & crash, we'll at least have a little parachute so we can settle down easily without any great damage or injury or catastrophe & manage to save something, survival! Help us, Lord. Give us wisdom in these things & show us these things as we go, in Jesus' name, amen.
30. WHAT'S MY LITTLE NEW WND COSTING, HAVE YOU FOUND OUT YET? I think it only weighs about an ounce so it couldn't cost much. Well I'll tell you, if it's important enough for me to read the paper to let the Family know what's going on, it's important enough for me to let'm know. (Family: It only costs 22 cents apiece, which is cheaper than a newspaper!) How about that! In our last books we've had just about that same number of pages of WNs anyhow, so we're not actually paying all that much more. (Family: We're not actually paying any more because you would have published them anyway in the GN.) That's right.
31. I THINK THEY'RE GETTING MORE & BETTER! DON'T YOU LIKE'M? All the news that they need to know, that's what I'm putting in there. I throw in a few little odds & ends to fill it up sometimes, something on fashion that I think is cute or even sports or art or music or women's news or something like that, I figure it appeals to somebody, just to sort of keep up so they won't be totally dumb & ignorant of what's going on. There are people on some fields where they can't even get English papers at all & they can't even read the local language & they don't get any news but what they get from us! Some of them have said so & really appreciate the WNs!
32. I BET WE'RE GOING TO GET GOOD RESPONSE TO THE WND! I think they're going to tell us they like it. Some of them have already said they liked the WNs. I think it's a pretty good little magazine, kind of their Newsweek or Time Magazine. It's cut down to the bone & I try to keep them not over one page as much as possible. If one column will do, I do that. And if half-a-column will do, I'll do that.--Or even just a few lines, whatever. But I think it's needed & I would hate to have to cut it out. It takes away more stuff you don't have to put in your FN, so you should be able to cut down your FNs now. I hope you're working on that, Honey!
33. FRANKLY, I THINK YOU JUST OUGHT TO PUB THE MATERIAL THAT LOOKS NICE, HAS LOTS OF PICTURES & THAT'S IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO PUB! Some of them may not be so good at layout & photography & all that, but it might be a very important story. So you have to weigh that too & I'm sure you do. (Maria: Something that will really inspire & encourage the rest of the Family.) Even if it's poorly typed & doesn't look very good, if it's a good testimony & all I think we should print it. But I think you should really weigh'm now & just put in what you think is really good & important. We just can't publish everybody's little monthly Prayer Letter, that's up to them to get out their Prayer Letters, not us. Well, let's really work on it.
34. AMEN LORD, & EVEN AS YOU'RE BEGINNING TO TEACH US HOW TO GET ALONG ON LESS, WE NEED TO TEACH THEM HOW TO GET ALONG ON LESS TO PREPARE NOW FOR THE FUTURE SO WE WON'T BE LETTING THEM DOWN TOO HARD WHERE IT WOULD REALLY HURT. Help all of us, Lord, to begin to trim down, cut down, trim off & learn how to live on less & prepare now so that when the future comes we will be prepared already & able to survive, in Jesus' name we ask for Thy glory. Give us wisdom in how to do it. Amen.
35. I'VE BEEN PREPARING THEM FOR THIS BAD NEWS, SO THEY MIGHT AS WELL GET READY FOR WHAT ALL THE BIG NATIONS ARE CALLING AUSTERITY--A NICE BIG WORD FOR IT--& THEY'RE ALL DOING IT! Their big banking heads are the ones that are telling them they've gotta do it or they don't get any more money. Either live on less or nothing!--Austerity or bankruptcy! So we're not doing anything more than what the other countries are doing. We're just having to declare austerity for salvation & survival, or we could go bankrupt just like the rest of them if we don't! So these are austerity measures! That would be a good main title: "Austerity!--Learn to Live on Less!" How's that? PTL? Thanks for working on that, Son, I'm very eager to see what you come up with! A penny saved is a penny earned, so you're sitting there making money the more you figure out how to save!--Ha! GBY, Son!--In Jesus' name, amen.
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family