Making Ends Meet...Livin' on the Cheap
OK folks I can't spend to much time on this contraption, so you'll be getting it in small bits. Before one ever chooses to live the simple homesteader, small farmer type life you need to be sure you really want to do it. You must enjoy it or you will be miserable. Enjoying the work is often one of the only rewards you get. If you a married, be sure your spouse wants to live this way too. Nothing can mess up a marriage faster. I've seen it happen, so be sure. Your marriage is more important than enjoying the simple life. That being said, I'll offer a few little ways that we "make ends meet" out here.
- If you don't need it, don't buy it.
- If you can make it yourself, make it.
- Barter with people in your community.
- Don't buy ANYTHING new.
Bartering is a great way to do business when you are cash poor. I have several arrangements with local folks. I trade waste milk for cheap pork. I trade raw milk out of my tank for bread. We trade the use of tractors, trucks and implements. Why own something you only use once in blue moon. If the guy down the road has one, you can use his and you let him use something that he needs of yours. Use Freecycle. Its great. People who need to get rid of stuff give to you for free. When we chose to use cloth diapers we were having trouble coming up with cash to buy them. We posted on freecycle and within a day we had about $250 worth of them for free! We never buy new clothes. I don't think I own a pair of jeans that cost more than 50 cents. All clothes are bought by the wife at summer yard and rummage sales. Don't ever buy new cars or trucks. We even get some of them for free. Folks get a new job or something and buy new ones. We have had several cars and trucks given to us that lasted a year or more. We couldn't afford health insurance anymore. We got involved with Samaritan Ministries cost sharing program and it works good and is more biblical than insurance. We still pay for doctor visits. We just pay so much a month. Tell the Doc you don't have ins. and they will nock off some of the bill. We do homebirths for the babies for more reasons than price, but you can't beat the price! Our midwife even nocks 10% off the bill because she doesn't have to deal with insurance companies! These are just a few things we do to live on the cheap. Anyone with any more ideas, feel free to comment. If I think of some more I'll put em there too.