Convincing your significant other that homsteading is the way to go

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by crwilson, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. crwilson

    crwilson Well-Known Member

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    hey people have any of you managed to persuade a loved one about that benefits of homesteading, im 24 and my girlfriend is going to be 21 soon, i cant really expect her to marry me if i choose this lifestyle because she loves the "spending money" society ,and she was really poor most of her life. She does see how it is better but shes really scared of becomming poor, and she will probably come out of school 70 grand in debt... obviosuly we will need to pay that off, but after that i want to just mostly homestead and maybee work 2 months a year off the homestead...
    Basically how do you compromise and come up with a solution
    thanks.
    Rick
     
  2. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's a personal case by case basis, cr. All the talk in the world really won't convince someone to be "country" if they don't want to in the first place. Either be prepared to live her style or find sombody else. If you do not have this much in common now, what's the attraction and what's your future?
     

  3. KindredCanuck

    KindredCanuck In Remembrance

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    cr... don't think you can convince anyone.. its a lifestyle choice.. On SingleTree forum.. I have read many posts ending in divorce .. its your dream.. find someone like minded..

    JMHO..
    KC~
     
  4. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    The way we did it was we made a deal with each other. We agreed to: try it for a year. Well, we both wanted to live in the woods, but the idea that we were doing an experiment -- and could go back; was what did the trick.

    We told our friends that too. They said, "Your're going where? To do what?" Well, we just didn't care what they thought. And, we told them and family too, "We will be back in one year if we don't like it."

    We BOTH wanted to go -- that is important too.

    Good luck, you need it.

    Alex
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with Kindred Canuck and goatlady. If your girlfriend is already with a different constitution abou this than you, luck and wishing probably won't get you through I'm afraid.
    You also are young with some tough things to sort out with the debt.
    Also, the plan to work 2 months away from the country homestead? Did you figure out how that will be managed if you have animals and property to watch.
    As stated, each situation can differ. If you can't take the ups with the downs than it's going to be a difficult row to hoe for your futures. Good Luck.
     
  6. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    ok on my third marriage here.....
    and my third farm .... the farms were all good, the first two husbands werent !


    there is no way you can "make" someone want to homestead , it just doesnt happen , someone has to have some type of DIY drive there for it to work ,
    its jsut the way it is , look through the archives others have had long discussions on this same subject , but it boils down to in love and life you cant make someone like what you like, they either do or they dont, theres not really an inbetween
     
  7. cchapman84

    cchapman84 Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest a compromise. What is it that your girlfriend likes to spend money on? Is it just one or two things, or is it everything? Are there certain things she'd be willing to give up, or do with less? If you really love her and want to make a life with her, you can figure out some sort of compromise. Maybe you could move to an area that is country, but within commuting distance of a large enough town so that she could do the career thing if she wanted, and you could do the homesteading aspect. That would give her the additional income to have the lifestyle she wants, and would give you the fulfillment you want. Is there some way that she could work from home doing something in her chosen career? With internet access, you can do almost anything from home. Do a reversal, you be the stay-at-home dad (and homesteader) and she can be the primary breadwinner. There are ways to come to a compromise on this, you just have to think outside the box. If she insists on having a beautiful 5000 square foot house in the 'burbs, then maybe you've got a problem. But if she can handle having a cute little cottage in a small town, then maybe you can handle her weekly shopping trip! By homesteading and cutting back on some things, you could end up with more disposable income than you would have had if you'd lived a "mainstream" life. You need to sit down and figure out what each of your priorities are, and what each of you are willing to compromise on. Then decide if they can be brought together somehow, or if there are just too many conflicting needs. Each of you should make three lists, things you absolutely have to have/do, things that you'd like but are willing to compromise on, and things that you absolutely won't have/do. It's something to figure out now. Tell her that you'll try it for a year, and if it doesn't work out, you'll figure out something different (which might include going your seperate ways). You never know, she may end up loving the homesteading lifestyle and you may end up hating it...you both might end up hating it...or you both might love it! You'll never know unless you give it a shot!
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Well, you COULD do what my DH and I did. I homestead: he works in town.

    It does have certain advantages. We get insurance through his work, and his income pays us year-round. He enjoys gallons of blackberries, warm fresh bread, and not being able to hear the neighbors when they argue.

    We live just off of a major artery so that he can drive to work conveniently. Our home is a standard middle-class home. DH likes the place for the house and the convenience to town: I like it for the land.

    A "mixed marriage" is doable. But, you have another problem. $70,000 is an awfully lot to owe, even if she went to college entirely off of loans. I suspect that you two have VERY different philosophies of handling money. It would be a GOOD idea to work out a budget that you can BOTH live with, and practice staying on it.
     
  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Oh, yes. I worked full or part-time for many years, working my land as I had the energy. You do what you gotta do to balance the books and not go into the red. ;)
     
  10. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree that it sounds like the two of you have very different philosophies of life, and it's likely to cause a lot of friction in your relationship. Also, starting out deep in debt is a really BAD thing to do. Yikes, I'm 47, and never in my life were my husband and I *that* deep in debt, not even for a house! I have no debts at all now, and it is such a comfort to be free of that weight. Being in debt is like being a slave. Does your girlfriend have a plan for paying all that money back? Has her education really benefitted her that much, to be worth that much money?? (I don't need the answers to these questions, they are for you and her to think about.)

    Kathleen
     
  11. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

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    Wow, when dh and I were your ages we didn't have a plan at all! By the time we bought our first house, we were forced to live in the country, just to find what we could afford, and things progressed from there. It started with a garden, then a chainsaw, then we didn't like the HOA teling us what we could or couldn't do....so we moved further out. Both of us are interested in being more self reliant and spending less. Now we would like to move again, even more rural and larger property, just waiting on the right time. Both dh and I were raised in small cities.

    So, I think it is doable for you two. You can accomplish a lot on just one acre of land, so don't rule out a house in the suburbs. Help her figure out a way to pay off he debt as fast as possible. If she can't/won't give up shopping, help her figure out a budget were she can spend x amount per month, then make it a challenge to see how much she can get for her money. Instead of the mall (if that's where she goes) try flea markets, yard sales, auctions etc. Money stretches much further there. Or since she is afraid of poverty, tell her to put what she spends shopping into savings! (And find out what being poor means to her, driving a used car is not "poor")

    There are ways to make it work if you are BOTH willing to do it. If she won't try to blend her lifestyle into yours, then you will have problems. Sit down and have a long talk with her about each of your goals and expectations and see where you are at.

    Carla
     
  12. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    Compromises are possible, if the other person is flexible to them, too. When I met my DSO, he was a city boy, through and through. Didn't know the business end of a screwdriver. Me, I was raised in the country with a garden and horses. He was living in the suburbs when I met him: his dream was a "really cool, modern" apartment downtown. :eek:

    So we did some "city" things he enjoyed, and then it would be my turn and I'd drag him out to "the farm" and show him around the "country." He and I will never forget the day I asked him if he'd like to see some deer. He said, "What?! You can't just go see deer." Well, it was near dusk and there was an area in a corner of a field that abutted the woods - ALWAYS deer grazing there. So I made him a bet, and took him there. I won the bet. At least a half-dozen grazing Bambis. :D Then I took him to a pond where a family of beaver were known (by me) to live. He couldn't get over it. Plus, on the way to the pond, we spooked out another deer. LOL

    Little by little, he came to enjoy these forays out into the boonies. When we moved in together, I brought my plants and love of gardening with me, and started a veggie garden. Poor boy had never had a FRESH tomato, beans or peas in his life! :no: I don't think we had cooked peas all season, because he'd eat them all raw. He didn't know a thing about recycling, fixing things, conserving water, etc. But he was open to learning. He balked when I started a compost pile and kept a bucket in the kitchen for scraps, but when he saw the resulting compost and lovely veggies that resulted, he became a confirmed composter himself.

    I introduced him to my horse. He's still not a "horse person," but he was entranced by the serenity of watching the horses graze at pasture.

    One day he announced, "We should move out to the country." And we have. And he loves it. He's having way too much fun playing with the tractor and chainsaw (cutting firewood) and other things, but that's OK. :haha: Now he wants more land, less neighbors. He's learned to spot his own deer, instead of me pointing them out to him. And he knows the business end of a screwdriver. ;)

    We live in a fairly rural area, though it's getting built up. He works in town at a corporate job - about a 30-minute commute if traffic's good. We've got a few acres - not a lot - 11 1/2, enough to keep the horses, have a garden, some woods, and a bit of privacy. We're definitely on the grid here, but we work hard to keep our usage to a minimum and have alternatives in case of... I'm happy, he's happy. It's taken 8 years to get here, though, and a significant other who was open to trying something different than what he grew up with. Will we ever be "real" homesteaders? No. We both know we could never raise our own meat. We'd raise the cow/pig/chicken/etc and it'd become a pet. We know this, so he has a job and we go to the grocery store and buy meat. We'll never be self sufficient, but we work hard to be less dependant. We know ourselves well enough to know what's possible and what isn't. We compromise, we do what we can, and it works for us.

    I hope you find a way for both of you to be happy. Compromise is key. And time, probably. :)

    Diana
     
  13. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rick my DH is NOT a homesteader. We got (past tense, but plan same in future) a suburban type home at the end of a suburban type block of houses (but off a country road a few miles out of town) with 6 acres 'farm' hanging off the end of the block. He agreed so long as his responsibilities ended where the lawn did (did insist on ac and indoor plumbing and elec), and tolerated a commute not much further than anywhere else in town would've been. I only made him help me when I had an animal needing more than one adult human to handle it- about twice in 4 years. Esp if you are 'handy' since you have probably more strength than me (being the man) you two will be better off than me since you won't so often as me wish you had a strong man helping you. So if she can live on the edge of town and still do her job that part might work. Balance the increased cost of such a homestead (if you had planned to start in a tent for instance) by having her pay for more of the place out of her earnings.

    More important tho is the money issue: it might be tough psychologically for both of you for her to earn a lot of money compared to what you bring in as actual cash (as opposed to the benefit of eating homegrown food and living in the country). Friends might pester her with concerns that she is being taken advantage of. Or for her to feel like she is taking care of you not you her if she pays the bills even if they're higher because of her purchases or utility use. I am a bit selfreliant so it was even tough for me to live off DH when I was earning less, tho having made MORE than him til I semiretired helped my selfesteem in that regard, but I think it can be even tougher if the man is 'working'/'earning' less than the wife. Best to keep separate accounts if her spending philosophy is a lot more extravagant than yours.

    Also if she works fulltime would you do the housework/childcare or not really? How would you make each other feel it is fair? I'm not much of a housewife but it might be easier for me as a woman than for you- I dunno- though actually when Dh and I both work the same it makes me pretty angry at him if I do more at home so I sort of balance how much outside work+housework I do against his fulltime outside work (I'd rather feel guilty and lazy than angry at him). Also we have always counted my homesteading as my hobby, so I can't actually demand he give up his relaxation time so I can make homemade bread / milk a goat - if I can't let us all have mostly what we want I'll have to buy bread at the store...

    And if she's working all day and you're just livign the easy :haha: homestead lifestyle (after a few years of getting things going anyway) will you get lonesome for her? Get into trouble with the neighbor farmgirl? Or will you be happy to only see her at night?
     
  14. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Just want to add that she may not see eye to eye on 'spending' for things you requre doing homestead lifestyle. A good example is buying a tractor or some equipment she may not feel is as desireable than spending on something she's sees better fit such as maybe a nicer car. You may not appreciate that she wants to spend on things she wants, and so on. You may even negotiate that it's what you both want to do now, but nothing is guaranteed for the future acceptance about these things. I would also address how you both might manage unforeseen stressful situations, such as a possible health concern that pops up, how children will fit in with your 'plan' regarding that cost and schooling, and mostly what is the allure that you WITH your future partner about homesteading as a guiding principal. Those issues may not seem apparent, but can fester with consequences.
     
  15. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    someting to remember.... there is a difference in being "poor" and being "broke" being poor is a state of mind and is more or less permanent in nature, very hard to turn it around with a mindset of everyting being poor no matter what a person does.

    Being "broke" is a temporary thing, and nothing wrong with being out of a medium of exchange for a short period of time, it can drag a person down if they have to make payments and cannot trade enough goods or services for the medium of exchange needed to make those payments.

    A few years ago, my wife and i both recieved separate insurance settlements for different accidents within five months..... within another 5 months the $27,000.00 we recieved was gone and we have a few toys around to show for it.... we did however make a mistake in not investing most of that into the homestead better [anyone wanna buy a boxing ring?]

    The one thing i do know we should have done, is purchase a different size homestead..... either only an acre or two and build a small house from the ground up, or purchase 100 acres plus and have a better size farm than the five acres we do have..... not enough pasture for the horses plus hay for the winter.... so we have another expense..... yes horses are a luxery of sorts but can have benefits as well.

    You cant really "make" anyone decide to do anything, and if you can do so you may have regrets one day down the road.....

    As for working only a couple months off the homestead, you may be able to do so, but most folks find that a couple months turns alost always into the full 12, as the grind gets harder to leave once you get into it [a persons mind sez "i need that shovel replaced so one more week wont hurt"] or it gets harder to find a temporary employer who only needs you for a few weeks every year, cause someone who donthave a good history is "suspect".... been there done that, became a contractor to cover the rocky past..... still work for myself after these years i guess I can be considered "self-unemployed" but i stil cant just go fishing when i want to I got to plan it ahead. Not to say you cant do what you intend, just that it is harder and harder to do what you want to do and be good at it. Depending upon where you choose to live, your market for selling home made goods will be slow to middling, once you get a customer base built up, of course you probably will have " ole Murphy" stick his head up and thwart your activities a little [some people dont].

    Good luck in your endeavors, may Almighty God Bless you.

    William
     
  16. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Holy CRAP $70,ooo debt.....I have never carried that much debt my entire life...Hope she likes working in town to pay that one back...she'll be 30yo before she can afford a place in the burbs!

    When you finally grow up one stops measuring by appearence, fashion and money....your health and emotional well-being are far more important. Animals are great for lowering blood pressure....self-esteem from growing/doing your own food...security is knowing you know how to and can do enough to survive no matter if TSHTF.
     
  17. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    When you are 24 and in love, it is hard to hear what I'm going to tell you.

    The 2 of you are not a match. If you decide to marry this girl, you will eventually end up in divorce. You do not share the same values and philosophy of life. There is only so much compromising that can be done in a relationship and the 2 of you are too far apart on this issue to make it work for the long haul. If you give in enough to make her happy, you will eventually feel like you have given up too much of your dream. If she gives in enough to live the homestead lifestyle, she will be miserable thinking about her dream of a upper class lifestyle of nice homes, nice clothes and nice cars. You might make it work if you become a doctor or dentist or lawyer and can afford a large ranch.
     
  18. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm with Mudwoman.

    Even before the talk of marriage, it seems that the two of you are really not a good match. Not saying that one of you is right and the other wrong, but you love different things and have different goals for your lives. There's no sense in ignoring the inevitable: you'll make each other as miserable as the day is long, and the days will seem VERY long indeed.

    Also, I'm curious: Who is expected to pay for those $70k in student loans? That's a lot of debt with which to start a marriage....

    Pony!
     
  19. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I am going to disagree with some of the other folks. Right now, a LOT of high school counselors tell the kids that the way to go to college is to take out loans. And, a few years of living off of loans can REALLY add up! :waa:

    I am going to assume that she believed what the counselor said, and followed his advice. My own nephew did something similar, even though all of the older relatives tried to warn him. He is now out of debt at age 30. :rolleyes:

    As for the the different ideas on how to manage money, you need to work this out ahead of time. Find a compromise that you both can live with, and above all else. AVOID CREDIT CARDS! Use them only in emergencies, and not wanting to cook after a 12 hour shift is not an emergency. Eat a sandwich if you are too tired to cook, or use money or a check.

    Budget the loan payments into your monthly budget, and live off of the rest. Put some aside if you at all can: if you don't need it to service the car you can use it for a down payment.

    I married my first (and only) love when I was 20. My major was animal science (as in livestock), his was in City Planning. He gets SERIOUSLY excited about the shape of curbs and the elegance of street design! And, after all of these years I still can't see why! A more unlikely couple you couldn't hope to meet, but we have been ridiculously happy for 30 odd years.

    Talk. Love. Find a way. Make it work.

    And, as for my first assumption that she is in debt because of college loans? If this is NOT the case, and these are credit card debts, then you need to find a way to keep your finances separate from hers. A high debt coming out of college HAS become the norm. If, however, she ran up that debt on cards while she was working, then she has a major problem that she needs to see to.

    Don't get me wrong, love her anyways. But don't mingle your funds. I am a little vague as to how this is done, but I have seen notices in the paper that say "after this date, I am only responsible for my own debts", or some such thing.

    Good fortune with your love and with your marriage!
     
  20. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed she will be broke with that kind of financial planning.

    70 grand payoff in ten years at 5% 760.00 month.
    average income for collage graduates approx. 32,000.00 (2005)

    Average income in the US 37,000.00 (2002 most recent available).
    collage grade on average makes 10% higher salery long term.
    760.00 a month for 12 months = 9120.00 this is included in the tabulation.

    So collage or not?

    Yes their is a difference in pay long term. It is as follows based on a modest 5% increase per year. This noting that the same person who could succesfully complete collage would also perform well in a different field.

    start............20,800 year (10.00) an hour to start...........32,000.00
    year 1..........20,800....................................................-17,500
    year 2..........21,840....................................................-35,000
    year 3..........22,932....................................................-53,500
    year 4..........24,078....................................................-70,000
    year 5..........25,282.....................................................22,880
    year 6..........26,546.....................................................24,480
    year 7..........27,873.....................................................26,160
    year 8..........29,266.....................................................27,924
    year 9..........30,729.....................................................29,776
    Year 10........32,256.....................................................31,580

    At this point the lucky grad. has achieved his long term "10% above average salery cap" of 40,700.00.
    non - grad income of 37,000. cap achieved at 13 years.

    grad debt paid off finally. lets see how they are now
    year 15.........37,000.....................................................40,700
    total income so far.

    ..............463,901.00............................................329,820.00
    Thats a difference of $134,081 at this point you are approx. 33 years young. At the modest differance in pay of 10% or $3,700.00 it will take you 36 years to catch up. at a nice old age of 69 just in time for retirement.




    The numbers used were reflective of national averages. National averages are just that average. So your numbers may be very different. No effort was made to account for inflation or lifestyle. Both factors can and do skew the results.