Daniel worked odd jobs, we started our own business Homestead Drying
Racks (which we later sold). Daniel landed a full time job after two
years on the homestead, that had some benefits we felt were good for
the time being. After recapping some of the basics of our story, I
want to tell you what we learned in homestead finances.
I’m glad we made the plunge to homestead, I don’t think we were as
financially prepared as we should have been, but I guess that’s how we
learned all these lessons in the first place. Because we were low on money,
and always reinvested back what we did earn into our property. Some of the first things we learned out there were: Frugality and Ingenuity.
This really helped us make it during the lean times. We cooked
everything from scratch, ate very simple. What I lovingly refer to as
eating like a peasant. It was the beginning of the real food movement
for me. Which led to better overall health for our whole family. We
bought only second hand (thrift stores, traded, yard sales ect.) Like
the old adage says; use it up, wear it out, make it do or do with out.
I’m not saying this was easy or came natural. It was quite the
learning process, but you know we were so excited about our journey
and we really put ourselves into it.
When you are low on the money, this really comes in handy. We learned
to use the resources on our own land, which turned out to be a real asset.
Our small trees became wattle fencing, and the larger trees we framed our out buildings with. We constantly gleaned building supplies and food off our land.
When we had a need to dry our clothes, we designed an amazing drying
rack that became the largest drying rack on the market and sturdy to
boot. A lot of homesteaders become inventors in their own right,
because they find a need that isn’t being fulfilled. My great
Grandfather was a genius farmer for his time, he thought outside the
box. He also used old forgotten ways to do things, and had more
ingenuity than anyone I know. My great Grandparents made it thru
the depression very well, and didn’t lose their farm.
already know. Here are the top seven financial steps we have learned
over the homesteading years.
1. Get out of DEBT and stay out. I’m not talking a mortgage payment
(we want out of that too, though) I’m talking credit cards, car
2. Always pay yourself 10-20% of your income, this is huge. We learned
this late in the game. But we learned it nonetheless.
3. Build up a back up savings. It will keep you out of debt, once you get there.
4. Stay on a budget.
5. Learn to live below your means, and get excited about it. It can be
fun, and less is best!
6. Build up your homestead with cash, no matter the temptation.
7. Animals can be very expensive, calculate the costs first. Chickens,
goats, and pigs are my first choice for the beginner homesteader. Off
set feed by fermenting grains, feeding surplus milk and scraps, and
don’t forget foraging and bartering. There are natural care options for
animals, which can save money too! My blogger friend Jill has an
amazing e-book here. Check it out!
Going back to Ingenuity, with these steps you might think you still
can’t see a homestead or farm in the future. Well you might have to
make some sacrifices, maybe rent, or move an RV onto some family’s
land for cheap rent and save, save, and save. And while you’re doing
that, learn as much homestead skills as you can. I really believe
steady does it!
– Abby Jo
What financial lessons can you share?