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master gardener
Posts: 3425
Location: southern Illinois.
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I have given this post several hours of thought.  I figured it would be best to share my experience.  When I made my first attempt at homesteading full time, my 10 acre property and 2 wheel drive pickup were paid off.   I built a 12 x 32 cabin to live in. It was also paid off. My student loans ...in fact all loans...were paid off.  We had enough savings to last a year. We had no children nor plans for any.  Within a year it was clear I needed a job. I got one at a tad above minimum wage. Within 4 years of our start date, it was clear it wasn’t going to work as planned.  We sold the property, and moved where we could find work to rebuild savings and a better climate.  Then, we found property near those jobs ...on a 10 year mortgage ...making double payments. When the savings were adequate, the property paid off, and the 2 wheel drive pick up was paid off, I quit my regular job and went after it again.  I kept a part time job teaching online. I kept a job as a part time job as an accreditation surveyor. And, I still worked part time as an RN.  The benefit off the three jobs was that in all cases I set my own schedule.  I could take 3 months off without any problem.   So, April to Oct, I could keep my work schedule light. Nov to March, I poured on the hours. The second time things worked.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2658
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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So I get your thought process. It's super normal. I used to think like that. We bought 2 cars, a house, tractor all new. Had some personal loans. Had medical debt. Had student loans. We had everything, super normal. But man is normal hard to keep up. All those payments. It hurts. So we decided to change that. It took us less than a year to pay everything but the house off. Now houses, those things aren't easy. Even now it's painful because our property taxes and insurance have gone up so much to be painful. But what if it was just your house you owed money on? How much money would you have not fleeing your pockets every month? Could you live on one income if you only had a mortgage?

Only you could answer that question. My only worry is the little rainstorms stacking up on your while you're in so much debt and just killing not only your life but your marriage. Money problems are the main thing people divorce over.

If you want to know how we did it, well it was budgeting. It was having cash in envelopes we paid with. It was hard but it was temporary. We only did that for a year and then we just had the mortgage and we stopped the intensity. I'm happy they never repo'd our kid. ;)

And stuff kept happening man. Broken cars. Injuries. Kids over kids. Water heater lit on fire, did you know that could happen? Life is crazy! It's just not financially painful when things happen cuz we got money in the bank. It puts these things in a different perspective.
 
pollinator
Posts: 253
Location: USDA Zone 8b
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Another thing you can do to get out of debt is:

__8) Liquidate unused assets

A) If you have not used something in 6 months you probably wont miss it. Sell it and use that income to pay off debt.

B) Prioritize depreciating assets first.

C) Try not to tie up income in new depreciating assets until debt is paid off. Prioritize the debt with the highest interest rate first.

D) When out of debt then reinvest in appreciating assets or assets that reduce expenses or increase income. Investing in something with all 3 of those qualities is best.
 
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Hi Brody
There are a couple of points you make that I would like to comment on. The first is about your unwillingness to sell something you foraged, as opposed to something you planted. To me there is no difference, as the plant has no sense of ownership, and a seed grows, blooms, and becomes fertilizer if it is not consumed by an animal. Todays modern society has separated us from how our ancestors harvested food. You will be one of the few that forages, so as long as you leave the forest intact you have every right to exchange it for whatever the market will bear. I live in a small Laos village and the locals collect from the jungle all the time, and either eat or trade what they find

As others have said stay focused on one project, and keep a log of your progress. Check out BSF if you live in a warm climate. They are without doubt one of natures real treasures. They will convert waste food into a grub that is 70%fat and protean in a few weeks, so are great feed for small birds and fish.

One thing to be sure of and that is automation will discard what ever skill you have eventually, so stay focused and you will make it.

Chris
 
pollinator
Posts: 449
Location: Iron River MI zone 3b
42
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John F Dean wrote:I have given this post several hours of thought.  I figured it would be best to share my experience.  When I made my first attempt at homesteading full time, my 10 acre property and 2 wheel drive pickup were paid off.   I built a 12 x 32 cabin to live in. It was also paid off. My student loans ...in fact all loans...were paid off.  We had enough savings to last a year. We had no children nor plans for any.  Within a year it was clear I needed a job. I got one at a tad above minimum wage. Within 4 years of our start date, it was clear it wasn’t going to work as planned.  We sold the property, and moved where we could find work to rebuild savings and a better climate.  Then, we found property near those jobs ...on a 10 year mortgage ...making double payments. When the savings were adequate, the property paid off, and the 2 wheel drive pick up was paid off, I quit my regular job and went after it again.  I kept a part time job teaching online. I kept a job as a part time job as an accreditation surveyor. And, I still worked part time as an RN.  The benefit off the three jobs was that in all cases I set my own schedule.  I could take 3 months off without any problem.   So, April to Oct, I could keep my work schedule light. Nov to March, I poured on the hours. The second time things worked.



I really appreciate your thoughtful response! I love the idea of setting my own hours/work schedule. I also think that keeping at least 1 part time job would probably be necessary for me during the transition from my current job to relying on a new source of income.
 
Brody Ekberg
pollinator
Posts: 449
Location: Iron River MI zone 3b
42
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elle sagenev wrote:So I get your thought process. It's super normal. I used to think like that. We bought 2 cars, a house, tractor all new. Had some personal loans. Had medical debt. Had student loans. We had everything, super normal. But man is normal hard to keep up. All those payments. It hurts. So we decided to change that. It took us less than a year to pay everything but the house off. Now houses, those things aren't easy. Even now it's painful because our property taxes and insurance have gone up so much to be painful. But what if it was just your house you owed money on? How much money would you have not fleeing your pockets every month? Could you live on one income if you only had a mortgage?

Only you could answer that question. My only worry is the little rainstorms stacking up on your while you're in so much debt and just killing not only your life but your marriage. Money problems are the main thing people divorce over.

If you want to know how we did it, well it was budgeting. It was having cash in envelopes we paid with. It was hard but it was temporary. We only did that for a year and then we just had the mortgage and we stopped the intensity. I'm happy they never repo'd our kid. ;)

And stuff kept happening man. Broken cars. Injuries. Kids over kids. Water heater lit on fire, did you know that could happen? Life is crazy! It's just not financially painful when things happen cuz we got money in the bank. It puts these things in a different perspective.



You’re right, normal is hard to keep up. I’d go even farther and say normal is downright insane and unsustainable. But I think what we’re going for is transitioning that old normal into a new, sustainable normal. At least that’s how I’m looking at it.

And if our mortgage was our only debt, we would certainly have more freedom. In a perfect world, we could knock out all of our debts besides student loans and mortgage probably this year alone. But as of now, we may be needing to replace a vehicle (should find out later today) and a garage roof soon. Our emergency fund could handle one or the other, but I’d rather take from the savings for both and leave the emergency fund in case the old hot water heater or water line decides to give us any surprises! But we are doing well financially right now and paying off at least a couple small debts soon would be wise. We also want to talk to a financial advisor about investing a little bit of money into what I believe to be some really good ideas. That may turn out to be a surprise source of income in a few years.
 
Brody Ekberg
pollinator
Posts: 449
Location: Iron River MI zone 3b
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T Simpson wrote:Another thing you can do to get out of debt is:

__8) Liquidate unused assets

A) If you have not used something in 6 months you probably wont miss it. Sell it and use that income to pay off debt.

B) Prioritize depreciating assets first.

C) Try not to tie up income in new depreciating assets until debt is paid off. Prioritize the debt with the highest interest rate first.

D) When out of debt then reinvest in appreciating assets or assets that reduce expenses or increase income. Investing in something with all 3 of those qualities is best.



Do you recommend focusing payments on smaller debts first, or the higher interest rate debts first? I love the idea of knocking the smaller ones out first, and I think Dave Ramsey recommends that. But I think our larger debts are the ones with higher interest. I’d have to double check though.
 
steward
Posts: 11156
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I like the Dave Ramsey approach.  Get the small wins and then plow into the bigguns.
 
Brody Ekberg
pollinator
Posts: 449
Location: Iron River MI zone 3b
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Chris Perkins wrote:Hi Brody
There are a couple of points you make that I would like to comment on. The first is about your unwillingness to sell something you foraged, as opposed to something you planted. To me there is no difference, as the plant has no sense of ownership, and a seed grows, blooms, and becomes fertilizer if it is not consumed by an animal. Todays modern society has separated us from how our ancestors harvested food. You will be one of the few that forages, so as long as you leave the forest intact you have every right to exchange it for whatever the market will bear. I live in a small Laos village and the locals collect from the jungle all the time, and either eat or trade what they find

As others have said stay focused on one project, and keep a log of your progress. Check out BSF if you live in a warm climate. They are without doubt one of natures real treasures. They will convert waste food into a grub that is 70%fat and protean in a few weeks, so are great feed for small birds and fish.

One thing to be sure of and that is automation will discard what ever skill you have eventually, so stay focused and you will make it.

Chris



I know that my unwillingness to sell foraged goods is limiting. It limits my ability to make money doing things that I love, without a doubt. And I think that I would probably have to come to terms with that and entertain the possibility in the future if things get messy. But as of now, the idea just feels wrong to me. For me, eating, giving or trading foraged goods is fine. It’s the way commerce should be in my opinion. But to sell something that I was given as a gift, for free, doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe if I went on a long, arduous journey risking my life and putting in a bunch of effort. Then maybe I would feel that I “earned” the right to sell these gifts. But so far, it hasn’t been like that. Its more like “oh wow, that tree is covered in mushrooms “ so I pull over and harvest several pounds of mushrooms in a minute or two. And I suppose I could justify by saying the money could pay for my gas or repairs on my car, but I wasn’t driving around looking for anything. I just come across stuff accidentally all the time. And I dont think we should be driving anyway, so to justify selling gifts to support a bad habit also doesn’t sit well with me!

But I’m aware of the way life likes to face us with whatever we want to deny. And so I would not be surprised if life circumstances make me deeply re-evaluate my perspective on the topic of selling foraged goods at some point. And if that time comes, hopefully I can keep my morals while harvesting and not start looking at the wilderness as a potential for profit.

We’re in a temperate climate so I’m not sure how the black soldier flies would do, but I may look into it for chicken feed in the future.

And you’re absolutely right. About 50% of my current job duties have already been replaced by technology. Most of what I liked about my job is gone and now I spend a lot of time at a desk or sitting in a truck. These things also contribute to me wanting/feeling obligated to work on a different source of income.
 
T Simpson
pollinator
Posts: 253
Location: USDA Zone 8b
43
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Brody Ekberg wrote:
Do you recommend focusing payments on smaller debts first, or the higher interest rate debts first?  



If the total interest rates of the smaller debts surpass the interest rate of the larger debt then I would focus on those until that is no longer the case.

It may also help if you can consolidate all the debt into one payment or on one credit card to try and reduce total interest across all debts if you can. Your goal is to reduce the cut the middle man is taking by getting interest as low as possible across all debt. Often times this is negotiable but obviously institutions don't like you doing this to often so it may become harder to leverage debt in the future. Some strategy is up to personal preference.
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2658
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
442
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Brody Ekberg wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:So I get your thought process. It's super normal. I used to think like that. We bought 2 cars, a house, tractor all new. Had some personal loans. Had medical debt. Had student loans. We had everything, super normal. But man is normal hard to keep up. All those payments. It hurts. So we decided to change that. It took us less than a year to pay everything but the house off. Now houses, those things aren't easy. Even now it's painful because our property taxes and insurance have gone up so much to be painful. But what if it was just your house you owed money on? How much money would you have not fleeing your pockets every month? Could you live on one income if you only had a mortgage?

Only you could answer that question. My only worry is the little rainstorms stacking up on your while you're in so much debt and just killing not only your life but your marriage. Money problems are the main thing people divorce over.

If you want to know how we did it, well it was budgeting. It was having cash in envelopes we paid with. It was hard but it was temporary. We only did that for a year and then we just had the mortgage and we stopped the intensity. I'm happy they never repo'd our kid. ;)

And stuff kept happening man. Broken cars. Injuries. Kids over kids. Water heater lit on fire, did you know that could happen? Life is crazy! It's just not financially painful when things happen cuz we got money in the bank. It puts these things in a different perspective.



You’re right, normal is hard to keep up. I’d go even farther and say normal is downright insane and unsustainable. But I think what we’re going for is transitioning that old normal into a new, sustainable normal. At least that’s how I’m looking at it.

And if our mortgage was our only debt, we would certainly have more freedom. In a perfect world, we could knock out all of our debts besides student loans and mortgage probably this year alone. But as of now, we may be needing to replace a vehicle (should find out later today) and a garage roof soon. Our emergency fund could handle one or the other, but I’d rather take from the savings for both and leave the emergency fund in case the old hot water heater or water line decides to give us any surprises! But we are doing well financially right now and paying off at least a couple small debts soon would be wise. We also want to talk to a financial advisor about investing a little bit of money into what I believe to be some really good ideas. That may turn out to be a surprise source of income in a few years.



You've no idea how many "good idea" peddlers we represent so just be careful out there and good luck.
 
Brody Ekberg
pollinator
Posts: 449
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Brody Ekberg wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:We also want to talk to a financial advisor about investing a little bit of money into what I believe to be some really good ideas. That may turn out to be a surprise source of income in a few years.



You've no idea how many "good idea" peddlers we represent so just be careful out there and good luck.



I’m not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying investing money into “good ideas” is a bad idea?
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Brody Ekberg wrote:

Brody Ekberg wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:We also want to talk to a financial advisor about investing a little bit of money into what I believe to be some really good ideas. That may turn out to be a surprise source of income in a few years.



You've no idea how many "good idea" peddlers we represent so just be careful out there and good luck.



I’m not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying investing money into “good ideas” is a bad idea?



I'm saying anyone promising you easy money is likely a scam. Some of the scams I see are so elaborate and real looking they fool experts.
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