Often in life, we are faced with decisions which are far outside our individual comfort zones. For most of us, in most cases, we error on the side of caution. This is usually to stay with the herd or go with the path of least resistance, I am no different in most cases. The homestead lifestyle agrees with me, the quiet, slow and steady, provide for yourself mentally and piece of mind that comes from being more in touch with yourself and your values. But, society has ingrained in me/us to seek the safety of the herd, by this I mean, migrate to the city, find a good paying job, do what is asked of me, get promoted through the system and as a result, achieve security or at least the perception of security. As our income and perceived security within this system increases, we display it by buying larger homes, new vehicles and more stuff than we could ever use, this is evidensed by the growth of the u-store industry. For many people, the objective is not to keep up with the Jones, but to actually be the Jones. If I have learned anything in my journey through the ranks in the manufacturing sector, and I assure you I have learned much, it is that it is only a perceived security.
It is my belief that the North American city centers, as well as suburban areas are soon to face very difficult times. There are a great many factors at play here, just a few of which are, Globalization, increased energy costs, reduced domestic manufacturing demand and most importantly, our tendency to let the other guy fix it while we just complain. I have had enough debates with “Joe average”, to know that most persons just do not want to know how unstable and unsafe our system really is, some will become very unnerved at the suggestion that the systems built by government and large corporations do not provide any long term security. I would not do today’s issues any justice by discussing them further, but there are many good books on the subject, some examples would be, Billions and Billions, The Long Emergency, Crash Course -Preparing for peak oil and the list goes on. click on any of the above links to learn more or go to www.amazon.com and search for different titles, there are many, these are only the best of the ones I’ve read. I may choose to expand on this topic later as I am quite passionate on the subject and disturbed at our ignorance, both intentional and unintentional.
The main purpose for this page is how to transition from a bird in the hand factory paycheck to the reduced rural income. The first issue at hand is what is the realistic required income to survive day to day as well as put some away for the inevitable rainy day. As already mentioned, I know from my own experiences that a large portion of my factory paycheck has been squandered on the flavor of the day things that where completely unnecessary and very cash intensive. Examples for myself would be, a pilot’s license, two different airplanes, two motorcycles, boat, atv, too many take out meals, all these to acquire a state of temporary happiness which did not last. The start up of the homestead enterprise in itself can be costly, so for the purpose of this exercise, I will assume all major purchases have been made. The cost of commuting to the city for work is our largest current expense, even more costly than groceries. In our home of two persons, our cost for transportation and store bought groceries is a staggering $1800 per month. This is $21,600 after tax dollars per year and does not allow for auto repairs. We must keep in mind that these costs are all after taxation dollars, so one could easily tack on another 30% to them. This is a very large percentage of my salary and will continue to grow at a faster pace than my wages. I would estimate that within two to four years this will require 50% of my income. Returning to live in the city is NOT an option, nor is working just to purchase cars, gasoline and groceries. Hence, the self-sufficient homestead lifestyle or at least as close as possible.
We have determined that for various reasons, I should work towards multiple smaller flows of income. The single largest reason to start this transition sooner than later lies in the fact that todays manufacturing environment is extremely unstable. Persons who think themselves secure, find themselves unemployed on a regular bases. Also, I can not say that commuting two hours a day to a job which holds little personnal satisfaction and does not agree with my personnal beliefs or values is something I wish to do indefinity. I believed, once I achieved a high enough level within the organization, I would have it within my ability to exact change, but the corporate mentally is decades ingrained and will not be changed by single individuals within it. The hiearchal system is very deeply ingrained in the system. Multiple smaller sources of income is a giant leap of faith for myself, but on the fundamental level makes great sense. I have multiple talents, but bore easily, so must have regular change.
The nature of the rural landscape supports this type of existence. There aren’t any factories, office buildings or shopping malls here, but there are many smaller services which locals, visitors and cottagers desire. This is where my sources of income will be designed and it suits my personality well, I will no longer be traveling the same path every day to perform the same mind numbing tasks on a daily bases. Different tasks will be performed, either for self or customer on a seasonal, always changing bases. I am one of the fortunate ones, life has provided many experiences and knowledge of many different skills which are to be marketed, along with new skills which are yet to be learned. Marketable skills which will be used are home renovation, backhoe service, sell excess firewood, handyman service and assist local homebuilders. Skills which are being acquired for future at home income, as I will work off site for the require income, but would far prefer a home based sales and service business are poultry and poultry products, beekeeping, internet marketing, blacksmithing and metal fabrication, all will play future rolls.
This page is far from complete so please return later.