Unplugging to Reconnect: A Journey Toward Full-Time Homesteading - Finances, Part 1


Full-Time Homesteading

Welcome to "Unplugging to Reconnect," a new series of posts documenting my family's break from a conventional, dual income, nine-to-five, suburban and harried life in order to establish a full-time homestead, homeschool our four kids, and become more involved with community in a laid-back locale. Part how-to guide and part fodder for homestead voyeurs, I hope our grand life experiment is both informative and inspirational.

To be honest, it was hard to decide where to begin this tale, for the beginning is not always the best place to start with a story. Rather than focus on a particular timeframe or event in our ongoing process, I settled on an issue that we confronted early on (and continue to discuss on a regular basis) and that prevents most people from acting on a deep desire to pursue a "back-to-the-earth" lifestyle or other dreams — fear; more specifically, fear of financial uncertainty, if not ruin.

So...kicking off this series is the first of several bite-sized, easily digestible posts on the financial aspects of making the move, taking the plunge, going whole hog into this different lifestyle. Enjoy!


To begin with, we spent two years intensely researching our trajectory before we launched. Specifically, we sought out information from people who had gone before us. We voraciously read related materials, from Pritchard's "Gaining Ground" to anecdotes on Internet homesteading fora. We attended MOTHER EARTH NEWS conferences, where we listened to Joel Salatin and others address relevant topics. We scoured websites for anecdotes, guidance, horror stories, and such. We talked to people who were living off-grid and producing much of their own food.

What did we learn? At the risk of stating the obvious and sounding naive, we quickly focused in on the fact that not all paths are the same that lead to homesteading or building a farmette or simply adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. As with many things in life, we all cut our own trail; ours is unique and yours will be, too.

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