General Homesteading Skills

The Challenges of Self Sufficient Living

countryside-336686_640Work – life balance and self sufficient living has a number of challenges to it. The first for most is; how to get to a self-sufficient stage? It’s all very well recycling and incorporating a number of changes into your life, perhaps growing your own food or other productive projects.

But for most people, self sufficient living usually requires that they still have to go to work each and every day, to help make ends meet. In reality you are working for someone else, someone unseen. You are making them money and spending your precious time making someone else’s dream come true. Even if it is the companies shareholders.

barn-1031613_640 (1)At some point you have to stop; step out of this ‘World’ and decide to go for it, if you really truly want to be self-sufficient. That really means that you’ll need to have some land. If you can find good work in a rural area that is probably a good place to start. The next thing is to find a suitable property with enough land to sustain yourself and your family on. Of course, it doesn’t have to be anything big or extravagant. You just need to have enough land for you and your family. If the house you find is smaller than you would like, you could always think about adding portable cabins to your land so you can increase the amount of living space that you have. It could even be made into a home office if you work from home. The options are endless. However, finding a suitable property as soon as possible may be in your best interest first. Ask the local realtors. There are inevitably a number of local properties where the previous owners have moved on and has perhaps a large garden which is unkempt.

home-429571_640You have to look for such places and ‘see through’ the mess, clutter and overgrown garden. Even if the house itself may require work. In the long run this is of great benefit to you. You can make improvements then once you have made a good appraisal refinance the property praying up some capital to make further improvements to it and to the land. By doing this you get to make improvements and reduce your long term expenditure.

Being self-sufficient helps with the long-term process of paying down the debt. Making sacrifices early on makes this much for manageable. If you have insulated; saved on grocery bills, reduced your transport costs and by living simply the debts soon become manageable. You can even start another business within your home which can generate additional income. Think about what hobbies you enjoy and how is it possible to monetize them. Selling produce at local markets or from your gate is a quick way to make a few hundred extra dollars each month or even each week if you are very proactive.

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If you are going to have to remain in employment for some time do not purchase a homestead in the middle of nowhere, employment opportunities will be few and far between. Perhaps locate near to a small town? This is ideal. You will probably want to be able to connected the ‘real world’ near public transport and be able to use broadband and cell phone coverage. It  would be a shame to move into the ‘wilderness’ to discover there’s no money to be made and you’ve become an effective hermit for months at a time. 

Make sure you do not overpay.  Ask realtors for properties which have been listed for a long time. Have a look at the number of days on market, you should be able to find a few bargains in any marketplace.

Once you have taken the plunge to become self-sufficient and you have a larger amount of land you will discover that there is always something that needs to be done. Hobby farms do require work, but if it is a life that you have chosen it isn’t technically work at all. It is just living.

Excellent resources for self sufficient living: