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This should almost be a sticky.

There are always posts on here with amazement at how much it costs to live "the simple life" or homestead as it's been called. We all have that sticker shock over costs of good land, fencing, tractors and equipment, livestock housing, tools, woodstoves etc. Before jumping in, quitting your day job and moving to the country many should understand the costs involved. Of course there's deals to be had but not for everything and every one.

Here's a simple one. I just need some hay, luckily I already have a truck, trailer and tractor with a loader. Round bales are bringing $40 per bale around here. Needed bulk feed to and it's now $13.89 per hundred.
 

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Trainer of kids, dogs and horses...fears nothing
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And invariably, those "deals to be had" aren't around when you need them! ;)
 

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Thats why alot of folks (including ME) on here,didn't realize we were living THE LIFE in our younger years. Now it cost an "arm and a leg" to get back to that lifestyle and once back, you gunna need that "arm and leg" to make it work.:doh: lol Eddie
 

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Gimme a YAAAAY!
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This should almost be a sticky.

There are always posts on here with amazement at how much it costs to live "the simple life" or homestead as it's been called. We all have that sticker shock over costs of good land, fencing, tractors and equipment, livestock housing, tools, woodstoves etc. Before jumping in, quitting your day job and moving to the country many should understand the costs involved. Of course there's deals to be had but not for everything and every one.

Here's a simple one. I just need some hay, luckily I already have a truck, trailer and tractor with a loader. Round bales are bringing $40 per bale around here. Needed bulk feed to and it's now $13.89 per hundred.
It SHOULD be a sticky! It would serve others well to read about typical (and not so typical) expenses that arise in a "simple life".

DH is considering selling our cattle. We raise our own hay, but with the price of feed, etc., it just doesn't compute. We'd do better turning the rest of our pastures into additional hay fields and sell hay. More profitable than cattle.

Cattle prices are way down now around here, so it doesn't even pay to sell them just yet.
 

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A very good point!

I bought garden supplies and made a garden, which saved on the groceries.

GREAT!

So, I took the money saved from groceries, and I bought Christmas tree seedlings so we could have our own trees and save $30 a year.

Great! So I took the money I saved from the garden THAT year and I bought chickens and building supplies for a tiny hen house

SUPER! And I took the money saved on the eggs and the garden and the Christmas trees and I bought bee hives and bees.

WONDERFULL!

But, you know, I haven't seen any more cash than I would have if I had lived in town and did nothing! As soon as one enterprise pays off, I add another! My profit is ZERO! And, I spend as much as if I lived in town, and MORE than if I lived in an efficiency apartment!
 

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The problem is: what definition of "simple" do you use? Who defines necessity? and what is a homestead?

Just by reading the posts on this forum, I can see there are a very, very wide range of answers.
 

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Dallas
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Yes, but the garden, chickens, hen house, trees, bee's and beehives have value and you have increased the value of your homestead and your net worth. You may not have more $ in your pocket but if you were to sell out you'd get more for your homestead than you paid. (this does get trickier when land and housing costs are dropping - but you've still improved your homestead)
 

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We don't raise anything but a few chickens and a garden. We don't make any money on it, but we do save some by raising our own. We sell some of the eggs and that's enough to pay for the chicken feed, so they basically are free to raise. Of course, like I said, we don't have much. Our garden is tilled up with our tiller, so we don't have any big equipment. Just a small garden for us and a small garden for the chickens. I'm learning to save seeds, so other than the labor put into it, it really is becoming a more simple life for us.
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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Like most things, there is always ways of doing things that people don't think of. In fact, I daresay that most of the fencing, barns, etc that we have now is vastly superior (and overkill in a lot of instances) to what was in the past.

The problem arises when we always have to do the "recommended, suggested, ideal" approaches to what was simple in the past.

Of course in the past it wasn't a hobby for most people so they weren't away at work when the cows broke through the fence and their neighbors were more apt to help them catch the cows than sue them for eating their prize Hydrangeas.

There are certainly costs associated with it. ESPECIALLY if you want to live somewhere in between "city" and actual rural lifestyle. If you want disposable income then homesteading and the "simple country life" isn't for you. That said, some people's "simple life" isn't very simple.
 

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Yes, but the garden, chickens, hen house, trees, bee's and beehives have value and you have increased the value of your homestead and your net worth. You may not have more $ in your pocket but if you were to sell out you'd get more for your homestead than you paid. (this does get trickier when land and housing costs are dropping - but you've still improved your homestead)
Actually, in this area, nobody will want the chickens and such. That is just the sort of area I live in! I only know of one other lady who even has a garden, and we all have 1 acre lots!

The REAL benefit is that we eat like kings!:buds:
 

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Voice of Reason
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Tell me about it. After pricing chimney pipe for a wood stove, I can tell you that it's a lot cheaper to buy a brand new forced-draft furnace for a home than to install a wood stove, and I even got the wood stove itself for free. The simple life may be easier, but it's certainly no cheaper.
 

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Suburban Homesteader
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Terri, but think about all the pleasure you get :) To paraphrase a former neighbor; "It keeps ya out of trouble!" ;)

ETA- Cage wire... WOW WOW WOW!!!! It certainly hasn't gone down in price!
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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Tell me about it. After pricing chimney pipe for a wood stove, I can tell you that it's a lot cheaper to buy a brand new forced-draft furnace for a home than to install a wood stove, and I even got the wood stove itself for free. The simple life may be easier, but it's certainly no cheaper.
Really Nevada?

How much is your forced air stove to buy? How much for the installation, let's assume you are allowed to install it on you own... how much to have your propane tank set, bought and filled. What about each time you fill it?

You may be able to argue in some spots, but wood burning stove including chimney pipe isn't one of them.

Lowes had 3 foot pieces for around 80 - 90 bucks. In your cabin I can't imagine needing more than 5 pieces. Include another 90 bucks for a "through the wall" kit and you're looking at no more than 600.00 bucks.
 

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Voice of Reason
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how much to have your propane tank set, bought and filled. What about each time you fill it?
I decided to go with my own 100# tanks. I fill them as I need them. Right now it takes about $60 to fill a 100# tank, and that lasts me about 2 weeks in the worst time if the year (December & January).

Lowes had 3 foot pieces for around 80 - 90 bucks. In your cabin I can't imagine needing more than 5 pieces. Include another 90 bucks for a "through the wall" kit and you're looking at no more than 600.00 bucks.
The wood stove I got for free takes 8" Class A chimney pipe. It's a lot more. I'm going to trade-off the wood stove some kitchen cabinets and look for a smaller, more appropriate wood stove for my place some other year. Actually, the savings from going from 8" chimney pipe to 6" should pay for the wood stove.
 

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some people disparage city folks for "keeping up with the jones' " by buying fancy new cars and 3,000 sq ft houses. Then someone on the forum posts a pick of their new tractor, or new barn, or more acreage purchase, and the envy comes roaring out. :D Many times the so-called "simple life" is really just choosing a different set of role models to chase after, but it's just as much "consumerism" as the city variety, just a different type of consumption. How many people are really using all those acres they have? Yes, I know it keeps the neighbors away, and many are being good stewards by keeping the trees. But are they really using it?

because of this, I don't want a huge amount of property. I'd be happy with an acre, a large garden, and maybe some chickens, and about a 600-1000 sq ft house that's well designed. (altho if I get a decent price I'd certainly take more land, but realistically, I'm not likely to do much with it.) I'm more likely to get a large patch of land in order to get the right zoning rather because I actually need the land. I don't want a tractor, with the attendant mechanical problems, and storage needs.

And I'm not likely to raise lots of animals in order to keep it simple. People with animals can't go on vacation for a few days very easily.

--sgl
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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I decided to go with my own 100# tanks. I fill them as I need them. Right now it takes about $60 to fill a 100# tank, and that lasts me about 2 weeks in the worst time if the year (December & January).



The wood stove I got for free takes 8" Class A chimney pipe. It's a lot more. I'm going to trade-off the wood stove some kitchen cabinets and look for a smaller, more appropriate wood stove for my place some other year. Actually, the savings from going from 8" chimney pipe to 6" should pay for the wood stove.
I think you're on the the right path with 6" stove, but if you need 8" check out this auction... http://cgi.ebay.com/AMERICAN-METAL-8-INCH-INSULATED-CHIMNEY-STOVE-PIPE-NIB_W0QQitemZ110313973143QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item110313973143&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318


That said, ebay stinks anymore... too bad they used to be good.
 

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Yes it all costs all right but I think (hope) it will balance out as I get older as pertaining to the health benefits and all the exercise and fresh air I get fencing, gardening, and wood cutting and splitting. I think it has to some extent now that I am 51 and in good shape for my age (knock on wood, so to speak). The equipment costs a lot but it will last 20 years or more if cared for. Just about anything I have could be classified as "antique" ! :D
 

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Gimme a YAAAAY!
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All of that aside...

Peace of Mind..... PRICELESS!
 

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SHHHHHHHHHH!

My husband needs to know nothing besides how good everything tastes!

Shamefully, I'm not a neat as a pin farmer and I dont care if my free range chickens crap at the front door I sweep it daily....or that my white goat is at the front door if I'm late to milking and leaves wild raisins.

My steer got loose this summer before he went in the freezer and he,too, came to the front door. Thank goodness he didn't poop before I tied him up!

Happy critters waiting for their keeper....can't wait for those money trees to start producing!
 
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