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Hi Everybody

We bought our homestead in the fall of 2013 and recently got rid of in the fall of 2014. We only had it for a year and I am sad but relieved to get it into the hands of someone that really could use it....I work two jobs so finding time and energy to get out there was not happening...

So how do you folks actually get off the 9-5 hamster wheel and actually live off the land??

I really enjoy my garage time and my old truck projects too...how do you guys do life and still find garage time too???...I question how you folks keep going and still have a life with hobbies and such???

Maybe I am not the homesteading kind of guy??I dont really know now...I love the peace and quiet of the country but it seems only in certain terms...I need electricity to use for my shop...welders and grinders dont run on solar or wind power either....well maybe they do I just have never seen them...

Any insight would be awesome...

MikeC
 

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A lucky few inherited. Many are retirees that scrimped and saved and did without in order to be able to afford to purchase. Some, one spouse works full-time off the homestead while the other stays home and takes care of it. Some, both spouses work off the homestead and try to fit in the homestead work when they're home to do it. Some are single and work, but balance what they want to do vs. what they can do during their time at home.

I think for many, the homestead is the hobbies (or the hobbies are things related to home, like baking, quilting, tinkering, canning etc.), and taking care of it is the life they want to have. They are willing to give up a lot of wants (new cars, expensive toys, designer jeans, the deluxe cable package) because this life is what they want most of all.

I won't make assumptions about your lifestyle, but will suggest that you take a look at how you spend your time and money, and see if there aren't some changes you could make that would get you off that treadmill. It's possible, too, that this is something you want, but now isn't the right time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
A lucky few inherited. Many are retirees that scrimped and saved and did without in order to be able to afford to purchase. Some, one spouse works full-time off the homestead while the other stays home and takes care of it. Some, both spouses work off the homestead and try to fit in the homestead work when they're home to do it. Some are single and work, but balance what they want to do vs. what they can do during their time at home.

I think for many, the homestead is the hobbies (or the hobbies are things related to home, like baking, quilting, tinkering, canning etc.), and taking care of it is the life they want to have. They are willing to give up a lot of wants (new cars, expensive toys, designer jeans, the deluxe cable package) because this life is what they want most of all.

I won't make assumptions about your lifestyle, but will suggest that you take a look at how you spend your time and money, and see if there aren't some changes you could make that would get you off that treadmill. It's possible, too, that this is something you want, but now isn't the right time.
Hi Ceilismom

Yeah my lifestyle is so basis it isn't even funny. This past summer I bought a brand new (to me) 1998 S10 Chevy truck (135,000 miles on it)....because I wont go in dept for a vehicle.... We shop at thrift stores / garage sales all the time...I currently save 1/3 of my net income too...

I buy as much made in the USA stuff as I can to support where I live...

I have never ever had (I am 53) a new vehicle or a new house...I have owned like 4 houses and they are all as the Realtors call them "Handyman Specials"...
I work 2 jobs so I can pay cash for everything...we even burn wood to help heat our house...


When we bought the Homestead I looked at it like it was nothing more than another job I guess....so If I dont work as much then I wont have money to put into it????....I kinda went into panic mode really...I can handle 2 jobs and my junk I work on in my garage but darn 3 jobs?????....I dont think I could handle it and still have time to work in my garage (which is like quiet time in my life)....we went up to the property I think 4 times in the year we owned and everytime we went there was traffic event or a weather event or something was amiss for sure...never seemed to be a peaceful place in my eyes...

I guess maybe I am an outdoors kinda guy but maybe not a farmer as I had hoped I was gonna be...I could even see myself on a small tractor with my corncob pipe and everything...

It looks like so much fun in all the back to the earth blogs I read and the videos I watch but darn...but when actually trying to live in those situations isnt all that much fun I guess.....

It seems as I get older all the folks that I know have this chaos we all call life all figured out.....I am still working weekends and not getting any wheres...

So what is the trick to living in the sticks and enjoying it???

MikeC
 

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For me and my wife it was't too hard.. She wanted to keep working... That leaves me at home all day every day to deal with the house and land..

We saved for a long time, then bought our place..

Eventually we hope to get a home based business started, then she can stop working and work with me..

We live in the middle of nowhere with a whole lot of other people that live the life you wanted.. They work one job, then come home and wok until bed time.. Others, the wife works, the men don;t... And then others, the men work, and the wives deal with the house..

It's not something a person can go at alone..
 

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Maybe you could consider a smaller step toward homesteading? Here's what we did and so far, it's working. A little background - neither DH nor I grew up rural - city folks all our lives. We knew when the kids grew up/moved out, we wanted a more rural life so we started learning, practicing what we could in the suburban life & downsizing. When we bought, we did not try to buy our 'forever' homestead. We bought a house that needed fixing up but was habitable. We bought 5 acres (not 100) with city water and electric, but septic (new to us). It came with a well-ventilated (lol) barn. We added a driveway and a work shop. We are close enough I can commute to my job ($$/health insurance) and far enough out to have land & livestock. DH runs the homestead during the week and he is building some additional income streams. We had a 5 year plan to improve the property and to learn about a much bigger garden, more canning, dehydrating, first time orchard and beginner livestock- chickens first, then ducks and then goats and now we're up to pigs. That was 2.5 years ago and I think we're learning a lot.

I guess what I'm saying is that maybe it doesn't have to be from the burbs to 100 acres off grid and your forever place in one big leap. It might be a stepping stone to make use of what you know and learn more of what you don't. After you're there for a while, you can decide if you want to go bigger or farther out.

Just one idea that's working for us.
 

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All different, some do like the people above describe and some are like me. I quit my job ( when I finally had enough saved up ) and moved onto the "100 acres". It had a cabin on it and thats where I live today. I have electricity but haul water and heat it on the wood stove. Cut wood to heat the cabin, grow our own food, and sell some at farmers markets and to local people.

I don't work a regular job. What I do takes work but I find it easier than conventional work. And yes there are some things I have sacrificed in order to afford this life. No health insurance, no home insurance, few conveniences, no cellphones, no laptops. We keep a truck running but rarely leave the farm. My wife works 2 or three days a week in town. We live on roughly 16k a year.
 

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The saying around here is "You can live off the land . . . if you have a high enough paying job". It is pretty harsh here - short seasons, high fuel costs, snow, cold, and other expenses related to living in what is similar to Siberia.

There is some truth in that. To live off the land (to some extent) and get off the hamster wheel, you will need to live simply. No new truck - instead shop for some salvage vehicle at 1/10th the cost (sounds like you are already doing this). Smaller home that can be so well insulated that you can heat it with a small wood stove. Simple vacations - camping and fishing rather than theme parks. And the list goes on. These are not even "homesteading" things necessarily, but they are almost needed actions in order to somewhat live off the land via less time on your job(s) and more time at home. And if all of this seems unappealing, then perhaps yes, this life in the stix might not be for you. You do not need to live on a farmstead to have garage hobbies - and being in or near the city will allow you more time for these.
 

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Hi Everybody

We bought our homestead in the fall of 2013 and recently got rid of in the fall of 2014. We only had it for a year and I am sad but relieved to get it into the hands of someone that really could use it....I work two jobs so finding time and energy to get out there was not happening...

So how do you folks actually get off the 9-5 hamster wheel and actually live off the land??

I really enjoy my garage time and my old truck projects too...how do you guys do life and still find garage time too???...I question how you folks keep going and still have a life with hobbies and such???

Maybe I am not the homesteading kind of guy??I dont really know now...I love the peace and quiet of the country but it seems only in certain terms...I need electricity to use for my shop...welders and grinders dont run on solar or wind power either....well maybe they do I just have never seen them...

Any insight would be awesome...

MikeC
For me it is called retirement. I did so 6 years early on my own money. That will not exactly get one off the tread mill. Wants must change. Still one has daily chore needs. If one lives in the country (homesteads) the new tread mill for most is feeding animals. If you want vacations to far away places I would say stay in the city. Since moving to the country home stead I suddenly found I have no desire to go hiking and camping in the woods. Have plenty here. The advantage is I don't have to carry food and water and can sleep on a regular bed. When I lived in the city I would take day trips all over the state and occasionally out of state.
 

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Decide what you really enjoy. Try to think it all the way through before you start and find yourself strapped for time, money or enjoyment. The latter definitely happened poorly for me. The previous owner of our place offered us the goats... DH was all enthused to keep them. I'm the one who came to love them as pets and ended up doing much of the work and worry, etc., etc., etc. I see now that that is a pattern for him. Always getting ready for some endeavor or adventure, but not carrying through. I don't live there any more.
 

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Well my wife and I started young. At 18 we married. We both worked full time at regular 9 to 5 jobs making good money. I grew up farming she grew up in the city. One day we decided is time to do what we want. We sold our city house. We bought the cheapest house we could find. It was 30 k . I fixed it up and lived in it 2 years. Then sold it for 130k. Took the 100k profit and bought the cheapest farm we could. It took us and hour and a half from home and family but it's what we wanted. My wife is now a stay at home mom. We run a wood working business and farm. We have no TV or Internet. Just cell phones. We heat with wood and are very frugal. We grow raise and hunt all our own food. It was a huge change but week worth it. You just have to say I'm going to do this and walk away from your old life. Cold turkey. Lol
 

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Hi Ceilismom

Yeah my lifestyle is so basis it isn't even funny. This past summer I bought a brand new (to me) 1998 S10 Chevy truck (135,000 miles on it)....because I wont go in dept for a vehicle.... We shop at thrift stores / garage sales all the time...I currently save 1/3 of my net income too...

I buy as much made in the USA stuff as I can to support where I live...

I have never ever had (I am 53) a new vehicle or a new house...I have owned like 4 houses and they are all as the Realtors call them "Handyman Specials"...
I work 2 jobs so I can pay cash for everything...we even burn wood to help heat our house...


When we bought the Homestead I looked at it like it was nothing more than another job I guess....so If I dont work as much then I wont have money to put into it????....I kinda went into panic mode really...I can handle 2 jobs and my junk I work on in my garage but darn 3 jobs?????....I dont think I could handle it and still have time to work in my garage (which is like quiet time in my life)....we went up to the property I think 4 times in the year we owned and everytime we went there was traffic event or a weather event or something was amiss for sure...never seemed to be a peaceful place in my eyes...

I guess maybe I am an outdoors kinda guy but maybe not a farmer as I had hoped I was gonna be...I could even see myself on a small tractor with my corncob pipe and everything...

It looks like so much fun in all the back to the earth blogs I read and the videos I watch but darn...but when actually trying to live in those situations isnt all that much fun I guess.....

It seems as I get older all the folks that I know have this chaos we all call life all figured out.....I am still working weekends and not getting any wheres...

So what is the trick to living in the sticks and enjoying it???

MikeC
Bet 1 o yer problems is financing everything. I finance nothing. No cash no buy. Yep I have waited 3 months to replace a stolen trailer. Gives me time to do other things that need done.

If I financed that trailer instead of it costing me $1500 or so it would cost me $2000 or so at a minimum. $500 is a lot of dinners out or gasoline. I financed a house once and if I kept it to pay off I would have paid the bank more than twice the price of the house. What is the cost of that new vehicle to impress the Jones? It does not do anything an older vehicle does. New ones are in the shop all the time. That is how mechanics earn a living. I can do most of the upkeep work on an older vehicle. Instead of paying someone $150 for a tune up I can do it for $50. I even saw a female changing spark plugs at a parts house a couple weeks ago. If I take my vehicle some where it takes more of my time than if I did it myself and I do not have to pay taxes on the money I would have spent.

Say it costs $150 for a tune up. I must earn that money somewhere else. I found it cost 1/3 of my wage to get that money. Now my cost is $200 instead of $150. If I do it myself I keep $150 in my pocket and only spend an hour at most of my TV time. If I have someone else do it, it takes one and a half hours travel time, at least an hour in a waiting room if I'm lucky. Last time my vehicle was in the shop it was more than 4 hours.
 

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Not living on the property and being absentee land owner is tough. Good way for things to go missing or be disturbed not to mention how wildlife can mess things up. "homestead" on your property you have now or find land closer so you can still work and live on the property. sometimes it is just a matter of finding out which things you really want to spend your time. time and or money is always the limiting factor.

it sounds like you have many other hobbies and as nice as homesteading my be it just might not be your time yet. it does take a lot of money to homestead the extra gas to commute is a killer. Where there is a will there will be a way.
 

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Well I'm a woman whose husband makes 3x more money than she does. I just work out of the home because I tried staying home once and he came home to find I'd crotcheted a noose. That was before we bought our property. Now I'm keeping my job until I get the infrastructure of my homestead funded, as that's hugely costly. Also might have to keep it a bit longer because DH wants to get his MBA. So eventually I'll be a full time farmer. Getting out there now is kind of stubborness though. I grab the toddlers and go out or I wait until they're in bed. It's difficult.
 

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I work a "9-5 job," but do it remotely out of my home. Cutting out the commute has the been the single biggest driver in allowing me to take some big steps forward. It's been 13 months that I've been 100% telecommute. Without that, i would not have a dairy cow or pigs.

I've also allowed homesteading to become my hobby. Sure, I still watch football and play with the kids and stuff. But I've largely shelved my music composing and guitar playing for the time being to get things up and running.

I guess, in my mind, it comes down to priorities. What's most important? Are you willing to sacrifice for it?
 
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I would flounder like a fish outta water were I to dive in to full homesteading right now.

I grew up rural, but at darned-near 50, the skills I learned as a child are not honed to a level that could sustain me... It'll take a while of practicing to get to where I feel vaguely ready to make that plunge. So, in the mean time, I pretend - at our little city home, in my back yard. Taking baby steps, and getting my skills figured out.

I suggest that you have a place in town, maybe with a bit of land where you can practice, and take those Garage Moments that you so value (DH is a garage dweller, too) and see if you can develop one of those hobbies into a sell-able skill. Your therapeutic tinkering could make you side-income out on the Ranch later... :-D Especially if you get a following of folks who use and appreciate your skill.

Be it car repairs, or woodworking, or welding, or inventions... Whatever it is that your feeling like you miss, can be a possible income later.

Don't give up. Just take a smaller bite, and take your time to grow into it.
 

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Mike, I would suggest reading "The Richest Man in Babylon". Its a good parable story about getting ahead in life. I tend to do the opposite of what many have suggested here, and there is nothing wrong with the suggestions, you just have to be okay with what you have to work with. I don't have a lot of land (1/3 acre in the burbs) so I started with a raised garden this year. Next year, we are expanding the garden and I'm going to try my hand at canning. I'm content with that for now. Sometimes being content with what you have is the hard part.

Living in the sticks might not be for everyone, my wife is one of them, while living 30 minutes outside of a decent sized town is a good compromise. Start with what you have right now. Begin a garden and try to grow half of your food, or build up to that. Volunteer at a local farm a few days a month.
 

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Mikec
I think the trick to living in the sticks for you will be having a house and your shop on some kind of acreage. Just 4 acres or what ever. I believe being a "homesteader" is every bit as much about working in a shop as a garden. Everybody got different skills. Sounds like you've got some talent.

I was able to quit work at 52. Always saved and I have a wife that want quit work. Let me tell you when I quit at 52 it was like I stepped off the planet but at least I got off the hamster wheel. One of the first things I did was build me a nice welding table. Was aready living here and had a pole barn for the equipment. Next time plan a place with a house and a shop and start from there.

Be carefull watching Facebook farmers. They can be misleading.

Bellcow
 

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Pretty hard to get off the treadmill working 2 jobs and having all the toys one wants, IF you want a lot of toys. Homesteading is a way of life, simple and rewarding. Not for everyone. You can enjoy living simple IF you want to but you have to want to but it takes time, you cannot hurry all the time. Course, who wants to. My toys support my way of life....James
 
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