I have just realized that I am really a homesteader. I am self reliant! This makes me proud. But until today, I kept looking at my house, that after eight years of living here, I still did not have my plumbing in, or my downstairs bedroom built on, so I must be doing something wrong. But no, this is not a disadvantage. It is clearly, an advantage over the present system the general public lives with. Their life of paying bills. Of running in place for their whole life.
Today, I would like to touch a little on the subject of homesteading, and what it means to me. Lately, I have been feeling financially stressed, as there were many places that I wanted to put my money. Too many! There are always things that you need, or run out of, and then there are things that you really need to fix, or to do, that take that money. But when you start homesteading, you are trying to be independent, self sufficient or, self reliant. So let's see what that covers, food, shelter and heat (especially in the winter!). If we grow our own food, and basically eat only that, then you are on the right track. Shelter, would have to be your home, so the best thing you could do, is to pay off your mortgage as soon as possible. And for heat, you would need to provide it yourself. So you would need a woodstove for heat, and maybe a wood cookstove for cooking, plus, a forest of trees, needing to be pruned. And that takes care of your basic needs.
Your next basic needs, would be clothing and that would include shoes too. So now, this is when you start using that money. Thrift stores, garage sales, rummage sales, free cycle are all good places to start looking for some used clothing. Make a list, with the sizes you are looking for and spend a day shopping. But under no circumstances, should you purchase your clothing at a new store! Issue yourself a challenge to go a whole year without buying one piece of new clothing, with the exception of shoes, sock or underclothes. What I plan on doing, is to check the newspapers for garage sales in the rich areas of your next closest city and spend the day there. What a fun idea! You could probably get some great clothes.
Now for transportation. I can't do much on that. I already have a vehicle with a payment, and even though I hate having a payment, I love driving a vehicle that I don't have to worry constantly about. I hated those clunkers, that you didn't know if you'd get home or not. Plus, with a decent vehicle, it seems like your gas lasts longer. I'm not sure if that is true or not. I just know that I love my Dodge Dakota pick up! But if something happened, I do have three strong horses who could, and would, travel many miles if they had to. I even have a doctor's buggy for them to drive!