homestead

Is Your Spouse A Happy Homesteader

Is Your Spouse A Happy Homesteader

Happy Homesteader

I remember the day that when I told my wife that I wanted to start looking and researching on how to live off the grid and become a homesteader. The look I got was a look that I had never seen her show before “The Are You Nuts Look”. I believe that when someone goes to their soul-mate and brings up the idea of homesteading they probably receive the same look.

Why is that

I believe that a lot of people have the misconception that homesteading is the same as what people see on the television show American Preppers. This is what my wife thought when I brought the idea up to her. She was under the assumption that I had lost my mind and was planning to prepare and hunker down for the zombie apocalypse. This was not my thoughts at all.

For me it was not too hard to explain to my wife what my thoughts were on homesteading since I have a sister that has been homesteading for about thirty years. I was able to show and explain to my wife that we needed to make some lifestyle changes in order to save money, be less dependent on others and the government and be more self-sufficient. This did appeal to her, from that point forward we set out a road-map to help guide us to a lifestyle of living off the grid.

Set realistic goals

Just like I stated above homesteading is a lifestyle change for the family and it needs to be approached on a gradual basis especially if your spouse is skeptical. My wife was born and raised in the Miami area so you could say she is a city slicker at heart. Where we live now is very conducive to living off the grid. But it has been a gradual adjustment in order for my wife not to get overwhelmed with a major change to her lifestyle.

Since my wife was a city girl the concept of having work done on the homestead was just a matter of making a phone call to a contractor. This was one of the first changes I had to break her of. Over the past five years she has gone from city girl to a girl that has used almost every power tool to man plus she has driven backhoes, graders, and many styles of tractors. It was a gradual metamorphous but in five years she has come a long ways.

Be open minded

One of the lessons I had to learn was to be open minded and listen when my wife said “NO”. Homesteading is a lot like a hobby along with it being a lifestyle change. Everything does not need to be done immediately and burn yourself out working from sun up to sun down seven days a week. When my wife said NO to cutting down seventy five trees in one weekend I did not take it well but I listened to her and I am sure it save my back from getting injured. When she did not allow me to cut down the huge trees up against the house but to hire it done I am sure that she saved our home from damage of a tree falling the wrong way onto the house. Listen to your spouse they may save you from getting injured or causing major property damage that will cost you more to repair than it would have if you hired the work done.

Conclusion

Homesteading can be fun, relaxing, financially rewarding and enjoyable as long as you and your partner are both on the same page. Do not try to do this alone if you are in a relationship and the other person is not on board. If you are in the beginning phases of homesteading, sit down and express your feelings to your partner and work on goals together and make sure that the both of you are on the same map of where you want this lifestyle change to go.

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Posted by Tom in Homestead
Setup Your Finances In Order To Homestead Properly

Setup Your Finances In Order To Homestead Properly

How to finance your homestead

Many people have asked me over the years how I went about setting up my finances in order to homestead properly? For our family we work very hard to live on half of the income that comes into the home. This is not easy for us but we do our best in order save as much money as possible. We pour in a lot of blood sweat and tears into our work instead of hiring things done and this helps us to save money. The other thing that we did that most people hate to think or talk about is budgeting. We will discuss budgeting in more detail in a later episode. Today we will just touch on a few key points of a budget.

The cost housing

Like I have mentioned in another post we live in the nature coast of Central Florida. The housing cost here is much much less than living in other areas of the country and even in the State of Florida. Many people would rather live in a more city type areas like Orlando or Tampa in order to enjoy all the fun and materialistic lifestyle that city life can give them. But living closer to these cities the housing cost would be three to five times higher than where I live now. In order to keep our housing cost down we choose to live here and by doing so we were able to pay off our house and property and live mortgage free. I will admit that there are days when my materialistic mind says let’s sell everything and build a new fancy home, but then I think what would happen if the economy tanks and the banks call in all their mortgages, we would be homeless. Since our home is paid off I don’t have to worry if the country falls back into a depression my family will have a roof over our heads.

Think before you buy

One of the main problems with our country today is the economy. From our government leaders all the way down to the blue collar worker we purchase things on credit. People need to stop pulling out their plastic credit cards and start paying for items in CASH ONLY. If for any reason you need to finance something do some real soul searching and decide if the item is really a need or a want, and if it is a need then try to work out some creative financing in order to keep the interest payments to a bare minimum. Many young people today finance everything that they own, credit card companies play these games with travel points to cash back deals and so on. Don’t fall for these scams, they sound great but they sucker you in with these scams and the next thing you know your credit is maxed out and you will be paying thousands of dollars in interest fees.

Weigh out your needs versus your wants

Do I need a new car or do I want a new car? These are questions that we all need to sit down and decide. The car I am driving has 228,346 miles and it runs great plus I get fifty miles to a gallon. But would I love to have a new car or truck, of course. But what comes with a new car or truck, a payment. I love so much not having any car payments, this money I save in car payments goes directly into the bank. I have friends that have three or four car payments, according to bankrate.com the average car payment in the U.S. is $479.00. Three to four car payments in a household like this would wipe out some families finances if one of the family members lost their job.

Take television, here in Central Florida we have one maybe two cable companies that supply cable television to the homes. The average cable bill according to USA News is $124.00 a month. In our home I purchased a high definition cable antenna and I pay nothing for television. I pull in over thirty television stations even though I live over sixty miles from a big city. That $124.00 a month can purchase a lot of other items that are needs not luxury items.

Eating out is another area that you can save a lot of money. Food is one of my downfalls, I love food and I love to eat out. I have friends and family that eat out for every meal, can you imagine what their food expense is every month. When I go to places like Outback, Olive Garden or etc my dinner bill for my wife and I comes to around $50 – $60 each time. This is such a waste of hard earned money. When I go to the grocery store and figure the cost of the same meal I could save more than half the cost of eating out.

These are just a few things that you need to sit down and decide for you and your family. If you truly want to be homesteaders and put cash away you may need to adjust your family expenses and get rid of some luxury items in order to live on much less and have additional funds for your homesteading projects.

Get the family involved

Homesteading is a family lifestyle. It takes hard work by everyone in the family. When it comes to finances the entire household needs to be on the same page. There needs to be family conversations and open communication with everyone in order to have everyone working towards the same goals.

Budgets

Like I said in the beginning living on half of a family’s income is hard. It takes serious discipline and special planning. If you put your mind to it you can make anything happen as long as you have a plan and stick to it. The key elements that led us to be able to live on half was making wise choices, work to cut out all debt, and being creative. In some future articles we will take a much closer look at budgeting and setting some financial goals.

Related Links:

5 Budgeting Tips

Budgeting ideas for mom’s

Helpful tips for family budget

 

 


Posted by Tom in Budgeting, Homestead