Lots of people have asked us how we can live this lifestyle on such a shoe-string budget. I’ve heard people talk about how they wish they could live like us, but can’t leave their jobs. They’re worried about all the bills they have; car payments, mortgages, utilities and the like. They’re afraid they won’t be able to make enough money to pay for everything they have.
We’ve all seen the memes on social media: you know the ones that have a terrible face with the caption “When you realize tomorrow’s Monday” or the ones posted on Monday that show someone overwhelmed and exhausted with the caption “I’m ready for Friday, but it’s only Monday”. Yeah, we can relate, but we don’t even care what day of the week it is anymore!
We’re here to tell you why you’re still wishing instead of doing. If you’re serious about wanting a simpler life here’s 5 reasons you haven’t been able to break free yet.
You aren’t willing to sacrifice.
This lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. It’s all about freedom, and the only way to get that is by simplicity. You can’t have new cars and fancy homes in a simple life. Learn how to pay cash for everything. This is frightening to most people because society tells us that we have to finance everything and work all our lives to keep our credit scores up. Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret: credit scores don’t do you any good in this lifestyle! This lifestyle means that if you want something, you pay cash for it. Don’t have the cash? Pick up a side job to get it or better yet barter and trade with someone, otherwise, you don’t want that item bad enough. Cut the plastic and forget about ever using it. The easiest way to fail at homesteading is to finance anything.
We’ve addressed this in a post entitled “5 Steps to Simplicity – On Your Way to Homesteading”.
You’re still listening to what others say.
While it may seem impossible to some, true freedom comes when you realize that you just don’t care about what other people say or think about how you should live your life. You don’t have to be stuck in the societal norm. It’s OKAY to break free from the “rules” that everyone else plays by. Listen to that still small voice in your heart and see if it’s telling you that it’s tired of worrying about what others think. If it is, it’s time to do something about it.
You’ve always paid someone else to fix things.
How do you change the oil in your vehicle? How do you fix the plumbing when it breaks? If you’ve always paid someone else to do the routine maintenance on your home or vehicle you have to stop! Learn how to take care of things yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s not a failure unless you haven’t learned anything. When you mess something up in the process, don’t sit back and hire someone else, research how to do it. Watch some YouTube videos, read the manuals, do the leg work to figure it out and don’t give up until it’s done.
If any human has built it, you can figure out a way to fix it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even pretty, to be fixed. We’ve all heard of redneck engineering, but if you think about it, at least rednecks can get it done!
Home-cooked is when someone else makes it for you.
When’s the last time you made a home-cooked meal? I’m not talking about buying something in a can, box or frozen section at the grocery store. I’m talking about combining ingredients that need to be measured and making something from scratch. Most people eat out so often, they feel like there isn’t any choice for somewhere good to go. We know, we’ve been there too. You’re tired from a long and often stressful day at work, the last thing you want to do when you get home is to cook a family meal. Who has time for that, right?
You have to know how to cook to live this way. It’s not easy all the time, and there are days when you would give your right hand for a meal at a nice restaurant. But it’s so satisfying when everyone gathers around the table to eat what you’ve prepared and actually like what’s on their plate. It makes it easier to do it again and again. Plus, it’s a fantastic way for kids to learn as well; most even enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Yes, even boys like it!
You have an entertainment budget.
Most people don’t think about it, but cable or satellite TV is part of an entertainment budget. Can you imagine life without TV, a trip to the movies on the weekends, or a day playing mini-golf and arcade games? What would you do with your spare time?
There isn’t much spare time on the homestead, so don’t worry about it. But on those days when you need some down time, reading a book is our favorite past time. I’m not saying that we don’t keep up with the news or current affairs, we have internet after all, but we don’t have a bill for our TV. We use the antenna shown below through Amazon, it’s inexpensive and works well. We usually get all the major networks and that’s plenty for us. Plus, we can always rent movies from the local library when we need more and it doesn’t cost a dime!