You don't mention your ages or the ages of any kids. Nor do you mention the type of job skills you may have that may or may not translate to a more rural area. Homesteading is NOT cheaper than living on the dole. Often in the rural areas you will need to drill and maintain a well which is like paying for ten years of water bills all at one time. You can live without much power if you use propane for refrigeration etc but that is more expensive as well. I would suggest, repairing your crappy credit, taking some building classes, offering to work for knowledge at a nearby farm or homesteading area. Also, if you are overwhelmed working 35 hours per week you will not make it homesteading by yourselves. I homestead with two others and we all work our butts off every day for like 12 hours at the stead. Our regular jobs happen on top of that number.