Homesteading for beginners

Homesteading for beginners

As with any lifestyle, homesteading is not for everyone. It takes dedication, determination, sacrifice, skills, knowledge, and of course money, in some cases, lots of money. As we have talked about in our other articles, there are various definitions or meanings for the term homesteading but for this article we are going to be talking about basic ideas that are common to almost any version of homesteading.  Homesteading may sound like a lot of fun but be assured that to be successful it is 80% hard work, 10% planning for hard work, and 10% more hard work. The work can be enjoyable and very fulfilling but at the same time, stressful and challenging.  If you are weak, lazy, or have a history of poor judgment then probably homesteading is not the best idea for you.
The Lifestyle:
Successful homesteading is not something that happens overnight. It requires very deliberate and purposeful preparation and planning. It can have very large financial and life-changing implications and therefore you must carefully consider all the factors before committing even one penny. You may decide that it is not worth the effort or money once you have put together a plan with an accurate budget. You may find that you still need to keep a regular job to make it all work. Having a regular job along with the added responsibilities and expense of a homestead with crops and animals is a lot to take on and may be more than you can or wish to commit to. With that said, many dedicated people manage to do it every day and are able to successfully achieve their goals and live the lifestyle of their dreams.
Property:
The most basic and most expensive requirement for homesteading is the land or property where you plan to live and raise crops and animals. The level of Self-Sufficiency for homesteading is determined by the amount of space that you have to raise and grow them. Your animals and crops will require a large amount of room. If you have only a small space, you will have a limited amount of crops and animals. If your goal is to raise, harvest, and preserve enough meat and greens to eliminate those items from the grocery bill, then the size of your property needs to accommodate the need. Property can be very expensive and can be a huge burden on a limited start-up budget. In a perfect world, it would be paid for outright allowing you to invest your money into the day-to-day operation of your homestead. Click here to learn more about Property.
Housing:
Depending on where you are located, there are various zoning regulations and restrictions that you are required to follow when building living quarters on your property. You should always check these before purchasing the property so that you don't end up with property that you are unable to build on or keep animals on. Besides the regulations, you will need some form of power, water, sewer, heating and cooling, security, and various resources to run your day-to-day operations. If you are planning to process and preserve food, you will need plenty of storage area to keep the preserved food such as a cellar or cool protected area.
Income:
One decision that you will need to make in the planning stage of your homesteading endeavor is to decide if you plan to use your homesteading lifestyle to generate a revenue stream to help finance the operation. Most homesteaders will try to supplement their lifestyle with income that they generate from extra produce that they grow or meat that they raise. This can be very helpful to assist with living expenses and general costs associated with the lifestyle. If you have decided to create revenue with your homesteading, then you should check your local laws and regulations and treat it as a business. This may require you to acquire a business license and pay taxes on the money that you make. Below are just a few of the many ways to generate revenue from your homestead:

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