Homesteading can save you money, but it isn’t guaranteed to do so.
In case you are not aware, Homesteading is when you live off the land and your home is where you get food and maybe even a few textiles.
Living on your land and growing your own food will not automatically make all your bills disappear, and unexpected costs tend to crop up, but if you are frugal and able to roll with the punches, you can certainly save money in the long run.
This article will explain the money-saving benefits and costs of homesteading in greater detail.
What are examples of costs associated with the land you own as a homesteader?
While buying dozens of acres of open land to start a homestead may seem appealing, keep in mind that the more land you have, the more costs you will have to deal with long-term. For example, more land for raising animals requires more fencing and feed, and more land for farming requires more seeds.
How does a specific homestead plot affect homesteading costs?
Moving onto a homestead with its barns and fences gives you the advantage of having some infrastructure already in place, but it will require spending money for repair and upkeep.
On the other hand, if you buy an undeveloped plot, you can choose where to put buildings and fences, but you’ll have to spend more time, money, and energy in the beginning.
What machinery and vehicle costs can you expect?
Any tractor, trailer, or other vehicle or machinery you own on your homestead will require maintenance, upkeep, and repairs. In addition, even devices inside the home, like pressure canners and dehydrators, can potentially break down and require repairs or even outright replacement.
What are examples of unexpected monthly costs?
Costs that seem routine in the city, such as electric and Internet service bills, may shoot up when you move to a homestead.
For example, if you live in a hard-to-reach rural area, you might not be able to get a good deal on the Internet. Any heating equipment for milk or livestock will add to your electric bill.
Should you plan many big, expensive projects?
It would help if you dreamed with a sense of perspective. It is tempting to envision raising every possible animal, growing every possible crop, and building every possible coop, barn, and shed for your slice of heaven. But even though you may have the time and elbow grease to work on a project immediately, you still need to start small if your money is limited.
Should you jump right into homesteading or work a job?
According to the Rooted Revival blog, it is prudent to continue working a full-time job in tandem with developing a homestead over a few years so that you can qualify for home loans and maintain health insurance coverage and a steady income. This way, you can remain financially solvent while raising your homestead to true self-sufficiency.
Will your food bills go down or stay the same?
If you stop eating out every month in favor of homegrown produce and meat, you can likely expect a drop in recurring food costs.
However, if you already spend relatively little on food because you prefer boxed dinners, your food costs might stay the same on a homestead, even if you’re now eating higher-quality food than anything Kraft or Swanson can offer.
Do you save money on food, or are the costs shifted?
While you won’t be spending as much money at the supermarket or eating out as you would in an urban or suburban environment, you are still spending a decent amount of money on food, with the costs shifting from one area to another.
Instead of paying for eggs at the store, for instance, you are paying for feed and upkeep for your chickens.
How is homesteading like owning your organic grocery store?
According to the Pioneering Today podcast, homesteaders can enjoy high-quality meat and produce that wouldn’t be available to them at the exact cost at an organic grocery store.
In this way, growing and canning your vegetables and raising and preserving your meat can be viewed as a high-end organic store that you own.
Can you afford to buy cheaper tools and materials?
While homesteading doesn’t automatically require you to buy the most expensive materials or tools for every project, you really can’t afford to skimp on new parts for what is essentially your livelihood.
In addition, you can save money by doing a lot of your repairs on the homestead, but there are still repairs and fixes that you will need to spend money on to outsource.
How does spending more on materials and equipment save you money?
The adage goes, “You get what you pay for.” It may bite to spend twice as much on a quality tool than on a budget-friendly discount option, but a reliable tool or device from a reputable brand is far more likely to outlast the cheaper choice, which means more money in your pocket later down the road.
What are some differences between homestead budgeting versus regular budgeting?
One drawback to country life is that the budget advice that works for city dwellers is rarely applicable to homesteaders.
An urbanite can save a bundle by cutting out daily coffees or switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle, but most homesteaders are probably not spending money on the former anyway, and a smaller vehicle won’t cut it for hauling or pulling.
What are some essential financial principles?
When first developing your homestead, you should start small and work at a pace that your wallet and available time can handle. In addition, you will need to switch from a consumerist mentality to a mindset that focuses on salvaging and reusing resources and avoids the financially debilitating trap of comparing yourself to other homesteaders.
Can you track your expenses as a homesteader?
Homesteaders should log how much money they put into their animals and crops to know their overall costs and the value they are getting out of each pound of meat or bushel of produce. If you keep track of your expenses, you’ll be able to see which costs you can cut by improving your raising and growing processes.
How can you reduce costs when growing and raising food?
If you keep track of your expenses, you can find areas for improvement, which may reduce both time and monetary costs. People who raise cows or pigs might want to improve the quality of their pastureland to make them cost less per pound, so they might decide to fertilize and water the land more.
How does the economy affect homesteading costs?
Any agrarian lifestyle will experience both lean and fat years. In seasons when conditions of weather, soil, and other factors align and lead to a bumper crop, you can come out far ahead of someone living in the city, but in years when the crops just aren’t growing well, you may end up spending more to buy from a local store or even a neighbor.
What are some other ways to cut costs?
Besides improving your growing and raising processes to maximize output and efficiency, one of the simplest ways to avoid spending a lot as a homesteader is to remember that you don’t need everything all at once. As lovely as a new barn or tractor may be, it may not be necessary, at least in the initial stages of your homesteading journey.
Can you reduce your medical and health costs?
One of the most evident benefits of homesteading is having control over the quality of your food. If you have nutrition-related health issues, you may be able to save money on medical costs by improving the quality of your diet by raising nutritious animals and growing healthy crops.
Are there “invisible” or intangible cost benefits?
Apart from potentially reducing your dietary-related expenses, homesteading can benefit you financially through the improved quality of life it offers. If you feel healthier and more energetic because you are consuming excellent food and spending so much time outdoors, you can expect to be more productive for yourself and your family.
Can you save money homesteading in the long run?
Homesteading has a lot of up-front costs and maintenance and upkeep costs that you need to be aware of before you take the plunge. However, if you are willing to stick it out and power through the lean years while remaining frugal even during the fat years, you should be saving money over time.
Is homesteading worth it?
The best way to discover the time, effort, and rewards is first-hand experience. According to the homesteading blog A Farmish Kind of Life, you must pay living costs no matter where you are, but homesteading gives you the chance to be independent and grow quality food unlike anything in a city supermarket.
Image by [BearFotos] via [Shutterstock.com].