The common goal between my wife and I, of living off-grid in a cabin down Nowhere Lane; Was committed to early in our relationship. We have been gathering knowledge, making connections and distilling our lifestyle for years now. We sort of did things in reverse, and I would recommend a slightly altered approach (financially). Instead of worrying about projects and how to build a timber frame home and buying a used chainsaw you don't need yet... Get right, in the wallet.
Without a shadow of a doubt nor a moment's hesitation, Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" should be required reading for any independent thinker and valuer of true wealth. Not just greenbacks. This book, after The Bible, is the second most powerful text in my home. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme, it's not a short cut, it's not a free-pass. It is a well-thought out, well-mapped, digestible, fundamental reshaping of your thoughts regarding money. Ramsey boils everything down to it's absolute essence. You will want to hit yourself in the head for feeling so idiotic. When you feel like an idiot; That means you learned something. Being wrong is beautiful, so long as you embrace what's right when someone teaches you.
If you want the house/cabin, land, farm, independence, freedom, etc.. You must be debt free. Debt is a ball and chain. This book is all about getting debt-free, getting off credit, forever (minus mortgages), getting on track and saving for the future. Banks are business, correct? Businesses exist to do what -- make money. Off. Of. You. A 'great rate' isn't the bank doing you a favor. If you can't afford it, but you could finance it -- that means you can't afford it. Debt is a scam created to make banks money. That's it. Credit scores are along the same lines. If you keep a budget and distribute your money correctly, you can buy everything in cash, forever. Will there be sacrifices and long waits? Of course. Dave goes into all of that in the first part of the book; Major attitude/perspective overhaul.
It all boils down to making your money work for you, not the other way around. Keeping track with a detailed budget, knowing what's coming in/going out and how it's doing so, down to the penny. You know... like people did for generations? Remember when you bought your first car, in cash? You were a kid, probably working part time and saved up 3 summers worth of money to buy a freaking car. Why didn't you just keep doing that? It lasted for long time and got you from A to B. Somewhere along the line, marketing took over the country and keeping up with the Jonses became of paramount importance.
I simply cannot overstate what this book has done. It is a life-altering, thought provoking smack on the back of the head. I literally feel like I can see better! Can't recommend it highly enough to ANYONE, of ANY socioeconomic status or way of life, really.