It might seem like you’ll never be able to purchase a homestead. But if you have a plan in place to save, you can be harvesting fresh eggs and vegetables on your own property before you know it.
It will just take a little work. Are you ready to begin saving?
Start with a budget
The first thing that you need to do is start with a written budget and put your money to work for you. When you are living without a budget, you often have little idea of where your money went at the end of the week or month. Even if you are making good money.
Attach a name to each dollar you spend. You’ll probably feel like you received a raise.
There are a couple different ways to get started, depending on how basic you want to go. That would just be a pen and paper. A computer program like Microsoft Excel is well suited for a budget. Or you can go for an online budgeting program like Every Dollar.
What I love about Every Dollar is that you don’t just list what you are planning to spend, but you include actual expenses for that month. You can do this with other budgeting formats. This just makes it easier.
So the first step to getting your finances in order is to know where the money is going.
Prioritize your expenses
Having a budget will allow you to do two important things: set realistic goals and prioritize spending.
Is there anything frivolous you can cut out of your budget? Maybe for just 12-18 months? With the goal of purchasing a homestead I would say it’s worth a shot.
Once you’ve made a budget, figured out where your money is going and cut unnecessary expenses, you can outline goals on how long it will take to buy your homestead.
One of the first things you will need to do is price out comparable properties. It’s not quite as easy as pricing comps in a subdivision, but you can get a general idea on land value and quality of the house.
This is also a good time to figure out if you need to move to make this happen. Either way, you need to know what you plan on spending.
And trust me, it’s a lot easier to save and sacrifice when you have a reason and you know how long it will be.
Pay off debt
At the same time, work on paying off any consumer debt you might have. Your homestead will feel like a cursing if you buy it when you are still paying off debt.
Because something will come up. And when it does, you don’t want to wonder how you are going to pay to repair it.
Once your debt is paid off, take that money and put it toward your homestead.
Get a second job
If you’ve cut your budget as much as you can, but you still have a ways to go, you need to work on the income side of the equation.
Take a second or third job to make the homestead happen. Remember, this is just temporary until you hit your goals.
Here’s a tip: if you work in retail or fast food, you are going to be working a long time making very little money.
Rather, work for yourself. Cut grass, shovel/ plow snow (if you’re in that part of the country), freelance, drive for Uber or Lyft. Even though it’s small, these entrepreneurial style jobs will go much further to hitting your goals. And you can work on your time.
Most people have extra stuff laying around their house that they never use. They probably don’t even realize it.
Now would be a good time to go through closets, attics or basements and see what you can do without. You can always have a garage sale, but eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist make selling items so easy that you almost don’t need to if you don’t want to take up half a Saturday.
Beyond small items you hadn’t seen in 10 years, maybe you have a larger item you are willing to part with. A motorcycle? A boat? I’m not saying you need to get rid of anything you love, but it’s something to think about.
Is it worth it? That’s for you to decide.
Understand the sacrifice
This ties in with budgeting, cutting out unnecessary expenses and working extra jobs, but understand there will be sacrifice.
You might not be able to eat out as much. Maybe you cancel a vacation and choose to stay around town this year.
That’s okay. It will be worth it when you remember what you are sacrificing for.
A homestead is not that far off. When you make these decisions to begin saving today, are intentional with your money and plan for the future, your dreams of living off the land will soon become a reality.
Now is a great time to get started.
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If you have money saving tips that have worked for you then please take a moment to add those tips in the comments section below. Thank you.