Browsed by
Tag: Money

Budgeting on the Homestead

Budgeting on the Homestead

Homesteading isn’t for those who want to be rich in money, but knowing where your money is going and how it is working for you is an essential skill to have.

Like many of you who may be reading this post, the main thing that is currently holding us back from homesteading (100%) is money. Money can be considered the root of all evil, but these days, it is required. To help us better understand where our money is coming from and what our money is doing, we started budgeting.

When we first started out budgeting, which was about 2 years ago now, we tried a couple of different methods. We tried using spreadsheets, we tried used a variety of apps, we even tried putting money in envelops for different expenditures. What ended up working out the best for us is a website/app called YNAB (You Need a Budget).

YNAB

For my wife and I, YNAB is what has worked the best for us. They have made a great piece of software that is very easy to use. The program and the whole methodology is based around these 4 rules –

  1. Give Every Dollar a Job
  2. Embrace Your True Expenses
  3. Roll with the Punches
  4. Age Your Money

Accounts and Spending Categories

The program allows you go in and setup all of your income sources and accounts, and then you go and create your budget. You can customize the budget anyway that you need to. The way that it works is that you setup various spending categories (Bills, Groceries, Giving, Savings Goals, etc.), and then assign a dollar amount to that category for each month. It is very straightforward and you can see exactly how your money is being spent each month.

Recording Purchases

So now where this tool becomes very effective is through the use of the app that accompanies the program. When you make a purchase, from your smartphone, you can record the Payee, the dollar amount, the account the money is coming from, and what category it belongs to. This way, your budget is always up to date. This also works very well for my wife and I as we can share the account and both use the app and follow the same budget. We always know where our money is going and we can easily plan for future expenses.

You can try YNAB free for 34 days –¬†https://www.youneedabudget.com

Like anything, there are a ton of websites/apps out there, but this is the one that has worked best for us. We are budgeting so that we can better follow our homesteading dream. We are working to pay off our mortgage so that we can have a little more monetary freedom so that we can pursue all areas of homesteading!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Identifying Our Dependencies on Other Stuff

Identifying Our Dependencies on Other Stuff

In this third and final post of the series “Identifying Our Dependencies”, I’m going to touch on the other parts of life that we are dependent on and how we plan to break free from them.

Animal Feed

Rabbit

We currently have one rabbit but we plan on getting more. Rabbits produce great manure for the compost and they are great pets for the kids. Additionally down the road we have started looking into raising rabbits for meat. With that said, rabbit food, just for our one rabbit can get pretty expensive! We currently buy it rabbit pellets to eat but we want to start giving the rabbit more organic food to eat. We plan to feed it a lot more vegetables that we produce ourselves as well other feed that is produced by us.

Chickens

The plan is to get chickens in the spring and the chicken coop build is currently underway. After doing just a little research we have found out that chicken feed, let alone organic chicken feed, can be quite pricey! We haven’t gotten around to doing a lot of research quite yet, but just like for the rabbits, we want to start creating our own chicken feed as well.

Schooling

As you may know, we have 3 young boys, ages 5, 3 and 1, and we have a new baby due in a few months, a GIRL! We chose to homeschool our children for multiple reasons, which we will go into more in another post. By homeschooling our children we are able to be less dependent on the system, on schedules, and whole lot more!

Home Repairs

When something breaks around the house, either the water heater, the boiler, the pool, etc., there is nothing worse than having to call someone to repair it for you! Having someone else do it for you will cost you twice as much! I’d imagine that everyone by now has heard of YouTube, instead of just having funny cat videos, it has videos on how to repair pretty much anything! In the past couple of years we have been pretty good at trying to fix things ourselves, but we want to get better and we are trying to depend on service technicians less and less.

Vehicles

Talk about money holes, vehicles are near the top of the list! We currently have 2 vehicles, a commuter car, and a van to transport the whole family around. I would love for us to be able to get down to 1 vehicle, but I’m not sure if that would happen, unless of course we were able to start a home business where we wouldn’t have to leave the house for work (more on that below). However, whether we have 1 vehicle, or 2 vehicles, one of the best ways that we can save money and become less dependent on the system, is to do the repairs ourselves. This is an area that is going to require a lot of learning and hard work, but it’s definitely possible.

Money

moneyAnd money, yeah that green stuff, the root of all evil. Unfortunately these days everyone needs money, it’s just the way it works. My wife and I both currently work, my wife part-time and myself full-time. Working takes away from so much family time that it should be considered a crime. We’ve been tossing around some ideas for the last couple of years of how we could both stop working and start some sort of home business, but we’re not quite there. Thinking about the possibility of us both working from home, including the whole family in the business, just seems like the perfect scenario. We will continue to purse what opportunities we have as we follow our homesteading dream and will be sure to update you as progress is made!

Well we hope this series was beneficial for you, I know it was for us. Listing out these main areas of life that we are currently dependent on certainly was an eye-opener. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to a lot of the things that we had listed out, and if you have any tips you could provide us, please leave them in the comments below!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria