Homesteading With A Sober Eye



As a rule (and please don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong), the people who start upon the homesteading and/or rural living dream aren’t rich. That is because those who long for a simpler, more sustainable life generally don’t have the right mentality or the motivation for making a lot of money.

While I’m a huge advocate for this very lifestyle, and am passionate about simplifying and doing more on less, I believe one must be sober and walk this path with eyes wide open. You don’t have to be rich, but you need a stash of cash, some sort of a financial cushion, before you jump headlong into the homesteading adventure. If you barely have enough money to purchase your land and buy or build your house, you might very soon find yourself in a strait.

This is especially true if you buy a fixer-upper. When we bought this house, nearly four years ago, we saw all its flaws, but we had so many exciting plans – we would open a window from the kitchen, build a beautiful pergola with terracotta tiles, hire a tractor in order to make terraces on the part of our property which has a sharp slope, install a water recycling system… you get the idea.

Well, let me tell you, at this moment there’s still no window in the kitchen, and mornings are dismally dark because our only living area window faces full west. The pergola idea was abandoned in favor of a cheap little awning to keep the rain off the front step. The place where the terracotta tiles were supposed to be is still an ugly, uneven, sagging concrete square where water pools after every rain. And so on and so forth.

This happened mainly because we didn’t plan enough for unexpected expenses. A lot of money was swallowed up by urgent projects such as a leaky roof, drafty windows, and walls that needed to be plastered because the insulation was done all wrong (something we could have no idea of before living here for a few months).

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