When I was writing Part I of this post, I realized something. Having a frugal homestead isn’t a one time decision. It’s making a continuation of decisions based on the lifestyle you want. And it really is that — a lifestyle. So, don’t get your hopes up and think that one miraculous decision will change your financial situation for eternity. But don’t worry. I’m going to teach you how to have fun being a cheapskate! We’re the king and queen of stupidly cheap fun!
In my first post, I described 7 ways to have a beautiful homestead on a penny’s salary. Here, I want to add a few more tips. These tips, however, are going to be a little different. Being frugal isn’t about coupon clipping, extreme budgeting, or even freezing your ass off because you want your energy bill to go from $52.16 to $48.93.
Your mindset is key to success.
The Beard and I joke halfheartedly that being frugal is only fun when you don’t have to be. Sometimes, when things are so tight or money is flying out the door quicker than a child on Christmas — it can be depressing and hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So cliche but true.
Make it a game to see how frugal you can be. With your partner, your spouse, your kids — see who can stretch a dollar for improvements on the homestead. When you can trick your mind into thinking it’s fun, you won’t be so butt hurt wishing and hoping you had things. And many times, the things you long for aren’t necessary.
I’ve learned from experience. Yes, I still need The Beard to be my voice of reason when shopping sometimes. But, I’ve come a long way. Keep your mind looking forward to the goals you want to achieve.
Say for instance, you know you want that faux fur throw that would just look beautiful at the end of your bed. But will $20 be better spent on that throw or put into your piggy bank for the perfect home, coop, or garden?
With each decision, it will get easier. You’ll learn to look at things from a positive point of view. Your friends, family, and neighbors may not get it. But at least you do!
Find a frugal partner to share your life with.
I really lucked out with this one. The Beard has been super awesome with me even when I was a high maintenance wanna be housewife something. Well, I’m still somewhat of a housewife — minus the heels, dress, and bitchy attitude (unless I’m hungry, than please forgive me).
When you have someone that wants to join you on your frugal, cheapskate journey, it makes it so much easier. There are two of you to keep you on track and make the right decisions for your homestead. No one can always have the voice of reason. It’s like trying to eat healthy when your spouse wants to eat chocolate cake all day and every day.
And you will have someone to bitch to in your moments of your immediate gratification spiral. I’ll tell you sometimes it’s hard. But there is someone there to help you get through the hard times and to keep moving you towards your goals, instead of succumbing to our ever greedy and unappreciative society. “No you don’t need to go to the thrift store just to have a ‘look around.’ We don’t need anything and it’s wasting gas.” Whether it’s a thrift store or a new retailer, it’s still money that doesn’t necessarily need to be spent and could be put back into your homestead.
Moment of truth. Listen guys. I get weak. I stumble. I buy things I shouldn’t. We eat out because the dishes are dirty or we think there is nothing in the house to eat.
Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I just want to go shopping! It gives me a sugar rush, a caffeine fix, whatever you want to call it. And sometimes it’s hard to suppress the urge. But I have The Beard to thank for that. Find your super partner that keeps you looking ahead and can make the right decisions for you when you just want to have a temper tantrum and eat ice cream.
Have long term goals written down and in your head.
And speaking of goals. This one is HUGE! If you don’t have goals written down or in your mind, where are you headed? If you aren’t sure what you want out of life, start thinking about it.
We want acreage, a creek, outbuildings, donkeys, goats, chickens, solar, etc. The list goes on and I won’t bore you with all the minute details. But we know what we want for our dream homestead. We’ve thought a lot about it and it’s getting closer every day.
It’s a lot easier to make decisions when you know what you want from your homestead. Do I want take out or do I want to invest that money into something on the homestead. Or maybe I can put it in my savings to purchase the dream homestead. Homesteading isn’t always cheap and the more conscious decisions we make with our money, the better our homestead will function and the more abundant things will become. Our homestead may start making us money when we invest back into it.
Shopping still pulls on the reigns but not as hard anymore. I ask myself what I want for The Beard and I long term. Will a perfect outfit give me the years of gratification that a homestead can give me? Or will my decisions affect our future children? Or will our animals not produce as well because of the decisions we make?
The more I remind myself of these goals, the easier decisions become. Again, the game isn’t over if you fall down and heat that credit card up every once in a while. We all make mistakes and sometimes those immediate decisions are like little presents to ourselves and we shouldn’t feel bad about it. Just don’t make it a habit.
Build a homestead community.
If you want to be frugal, here is one of the number one tips! This should probably be higher on the list but I wanted you to keep reading because even the little tips help.
Reaching out to local homesteaders, farmers, and gardeners can be the most money saving decision for your homestead. Maybe some of these people will let you borrow equipment for big projects. Or you might need an outbuilding put up and you need a couple work horses. These are your people.
But remember, you need to repay them. Not always in monetary amounts but with your own time, or maybe produce, jellies, baked goods, or even a quilt. No one likes a greedy person who shares nothing with anyone else.
Your community may already be strong in your area. Would a community garden work for your homestead? How about a community summer kitchen? And we all know not everyone needs to keep cows to stay fed. But maybe your cow farming neighbor will trade you for some honey and black raspberries. Yum!
Not everyone needs every tool, gadget, spice, tractor, pan, or animal to make multiple homesteads go round. Borrow what you need from others but also offer your skills, tools, and abundant produce. You will be rewarded. Scouts honor. (Though I was never a scout because well — I’m a gal with sass 🙂 )
These tips aren’t ways to save you pennies or even dimes. These tips help you change your mindset and the way you look at building your dream homestead by saving hundreds of dollars. Having a positive outlook and building a supportive community where you give and receive is like a local bartering system without money.
Often times, homesteads don’t need Fort Knox to survive. True homesteaders and farmers rely on bartering for deficiencies on there homestead. In the end, saving you more money!
Your picturesque homestead is that much closer!
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