saving is what you should do if you are tired of employment and feel that it’s time for you to do something passionate like homesteading. Well although it’s a frugal lifestyle, it’s not as easy as it looks. You will meet people giving you pipped dreams on how you can start a homestead without any money.
Homesteading is just like any other real estate investment and it requires financial discipline and sacrifice. However, the freedom and satisfaction that you get in worthwhile. this article will give you a step by step process for becoming your own boss through saving. Read on to learn more.
The Journey to Saving For Your Homestead
Becoming a homesteader can be a daunting thing, especially if you are a prepper or survivalist who don’t have enough capital. Understanding the term down payment is crucial as it will be used a lot in the article. I have been researching online on the best way to save for your first homestead and decided to share that information with you as I found it very helpful myself.
So, how can you save to become a homesteader? Saving to buy a homestead or a ranch involves clearing all your existing debts and building your credit score. You also need to have a workable budget to guide you on how to use your disposable income by minimizing expenditures and increasing your savings to afford your dream homestead.
Below is a step by step guide that will help you cultivate good money habits that will help you save for your farm. They include:
1) Create a Workable Budget
If you are planning to buy a homestead or build one form scratch, you should have a budget as it will show you your income and expenditures. As a result allowing you to know what you can save comfortably. With a budget, you can also estimate the time it will take you to come up with the down payment for your house.
If you have never created a budget before, you need to keep it simple and realistic enough for you to maintain it. You need to categorize your expenditures into needs, wants, and debt payment or savings.
Use percentage instead of figures as it’s easier to understand interests compared to numbers. For ease of understanding, things you can’t do away with like rent and food fall under needs. However, going for an expensive dinner or a movie falls under wants, and finally, savings and debt payments are just that.
You can decide to assign needs 50% of your income, 20% can be allocated to wants as you can scrap them or replace them with something affordable. However, since you want to reach your goals in record time, you can save the rest 30% of your income.
You have the option of tailoring your budget to your needs, and with the many apps available online, you are spoilt for choices.
2) Decide On the Type of House You Need
There are different types of homestead designs that you can choose from depending on your budget, size of your family, or taste and preference. You have the option of selecting a single-family homestead where you will be the only person in the compound. You can also go for multifamily and rent out the extra one, which can be earning you the mortgage payment. The two types have additional costs, like taking care of the garden and collecting garbage. The good thing is you can convert garbage to compost. Buying a multi-family homestead allows you to rent out the extra houses to off-grid lovers on vacation. AirBnB will also come in handy and you can host guest at your own convenience.
3) Decide On the Down Payment to Save Depending On What You Earn
What is a down payment? It is a percentage of the total cost of the property that is contributed by the buyer. The down payment is a form of insurance that you won’t walk away from the deal when the going gets tough. Since you have invested in the project, you will be prompt when it comes to a timely mortgage payment.
It’s advisable for you to not spend more than 25% of your income on a mortgage. You may end up tying so much on your income on loan without considerations that you have other expenditures like car loans, education, upkeep, and emergencies that may come up from time to time.
When saving for a down payment, put into consideration other costs that come with taking a mortgage like taxes, insurance fees, and additional association fees. With this in mind, you can go ahead and start saving up for your first half. Many lenders request a down payment of between 10-20 % of the total cost of the property.
4) Prioritize Saving For the Homestead above All Other Expenditures
If you want to become a homesteader fast, you need to make sacrifices and prioritize saving for the apartment above everything else. It’s a tough decision, but in the long run, you will have saved enough to put in a large deposit for your mortgage. You will also have the upper hand when bargain for the mortgage rates compared to when you have a small deposit. Another benefit of prioritizing saving is you will be saved from having private mortgage insurance (PMI), especially if this is your first property.
Having an automated savings plan will help you meet this target as you won’t initiate the transfer by yourself.
5) Pay off Other Debts
You can’t start saving for your homestead if you still owe lenders money as they will lower your credit score. The most common loan is the credit card. Before embarking on saving for your down payment, first clear of your credit card debt as it will drastically improve your credit rating.
If you have other obligations like car loans, clear them out and transfer the payment you used to make towards the car to saving for your house. In the long run, you will increase your down payment a lot as both amounts will be going towards your home down payment.
6) Sell Things You Don’t Need
Your house may be jammed with stuff you don’t currently use like that washing machine that was given to you at your wedding. Selling it will not only clear some space in your already crowded apartment but will also fetch you the money you can funnel to your homestead kitty.
If you have tones of items that you are not using, you can quickly sell them online. Also, try visiting the local thrift shop that deals with used second-hand items, and you will be surprised by how easy it is for you to dispose of them off. There is always a person who wants to buy that original DVD you bought in 1999, but you no longer watch it. You can start by approaching Declutter. They are famed for being middlemen to items you need to dispose of your house.
7) Have a Passive Income
You can also boost your income by looking for something that can make you money in your sleep. If you enjoy writing and have a passion for something. You can start a niche website. You can start a niche blog about homesteading and survival where you will be assisting people as you save so they can keep and buy their first farm.
Although starting a blog will take your time and will require patience, it’s doable, so don’t despair. Just dive in and see where it takes you. You will learn to navigate these issues, and the more problems you get along the way, the more motivated you will be to succeed.
8) Avoid Expensive Holidays or Do Them on a Cheap
If you are used to taking expensive vacations in Europe, you can sacrifice them by taking something affordable within the country. You also can skip one or two holidays and channel the funds towards the down payment kitty.
You don’t have to do away with the vacations completely, but you can reduce how much you spend on them. For example, instead of taking two weeks of Safari in East Africa, you can take a long weekend camping with your family. It will cost you less but will still give you ample time to bond with your family as you teach your son fishing.
9) Get a Second Job
If you cannot stretch your already overstretched budget further, you can always look for another source of income in the form of a side hustle. There are many things you can do to earn an extra income, like getting a second job. You can also tap into one of your hobbies and monetize it. If you like codding, you can start creating websites for clients, there are tons of online gigs like editing, writing content, or blogging, which you can do to earn that extra dollar.
10) Trim Your Daily Expenses
Trimming your expenses is crucial to the success of your saving plans. Costs eat into your funds, and cutting them will leave you with a sizable potion which you can save. You can reduce expenses through the following:
a) Cancel Subscriptions
You can decorate your costs by canceling subscriptions you don’t need e.g., gym membership, luxury dinners, Taxi transport, food expenses, utility bills, and skipping online shopping. Ditch expensive habits like buying coffee from Starbucks. Instead, you could buy the coffee beans and prepare your coffee from home.
b) Reduce Food Expense
Food takes most of your income after rent. You can reduce spending on food by buying groceries or your cooking stock in bulk as it’s cheaper. Instead of taking your lunch from an expensive restaurant, develop a habit of taking packed lunch to the office. You will be surprised at how healthy you will be eating while saving a fortune. The extra funds collected from food can be transferred to your down payment kitty.
c) Reduce Transport Costs
You can reduce the money you are currently using on gas or taxis by buying a bicycle and riding it to work. You will be killing two birds with a single stone as you will not only save on spending money, but you will also have regular exercise, which is crucial for you to remain healthy.
In short, what you need is to reduce your holiday expenditure with your eyes on the prize (Your house down payment). With online services like Trim, you will drastically reduce your costs as it cancels unwanted subscriptions that you no longer need. It also tracks your spending and helps you review some of the spending that could be eating into your savings. Once you trim your expenditure, transfer the extra funds to your savings.
11) Transfer Extra Cash to the Saving Account
If you have a job, you will have windfalls, salary raise, coupons and discounts, bonuses, spare time earnings. Instead of misusing this additional fund, you could religiously channel them to your saving kitty. You will be surprised at how you will continue living a modest life but having confidence that your project is a step away from being actualized.
Automate the savings from your checking account to your savings account (have two accounts)
Automating your checking account to have money transferred to the savings account immediately it comes will help you save money. To begin with, setting up a standing order to be debit your account on a specific date will allow you to avoid, especially if you are a busy person.
It’s effortless to set up a standing order as all you need to do is talk to your bank regarding the service. In some instances, you can set the service up using your banks’ mobile application.
12) Use Cash More Instead Of Your Credit Card
There is a tendency to buy on impulse when using a credit card as compared to paying on cash. Therefore, avoid having your debit or credit card on you, especially when you are going shopping or when you are out with your friends. Many people fall victim to overspending when they run out of cash but have the cards on them.
13) Downsize Your Car
You could be driving a car with a big engine size. This means more costs in terms of gas and maintenance. You can decide to reduce these costs by using the car sparingly. You can reduce the car cost by selling it and getting something smaller and less costly to maintain. Alternatively, you could also resort to other money-saving means like walking, using a bicycle, taking the bus, or taking the train.
14) Lock Your Money in a Certificate Deposit Account
In a fixed deposit savings account, you get a fix interest rate for a term period of 12 months. The catch is withdrawing before the expiry date may lead to penalties. Having a fixed deposit account helps you in that you can’t withdraw it on short notice. Further, you risk losing whatever interest that had accumulated over time.
15) View Yourself as a Broke Person
Whenever you receive money into your checking account and all your wants have been met, it’s always essential to transfer the remaining to a savings account. Its human nature to overspend whenever we have idle money lying around. However, when it’s stashed elsewhere, it’s easy to adapt and live like you don’t have any money. That does not yet make you broke as you have goals of owning your farm-house, and that driver will motivate you to save more.
16) Rent out The Room You Are Not Using
If you have a big house with places that you don’t use. It’s essential for you to earn money from them by renting the extra space out. You could have a garage or a basement that you are not currently using. With the room, you could fetch $100 monthly on rent, which could be added to your savings for your down payment.
All you need is look for a good client who will abide by your rules and pay rent regularly and on time.
17) Invest In an Asset That Doesn’t Depreciate
Buying second-hand stuff is the right way of investing in non-depreciating assets. You may buy a second-hand item today and sell it next year for the same price or even a higher rate depending on its demand. New stuff depreciates very fast, and for those people who know how to get bargain buys, the second-hand store is the first stop.
Other items whose value remains relatively the same include:
Antiquities, art items, sculptures, vintage watches, etc.
18) Move to a Cheaper House
You can move to a more affordable house and use the extra money as savings for the down payment of your future homestead. Alternatively, you can entertain the idea of sharing your current home with another family member or another person to reduce the costs. You could see then funnel the extra funds to savings, and with a good saving plan, you could considerably increase your down payment amount.
19) Join Hands with Your Partner To Save
In case you and your partner are living in separate apartments but are planning for a future together, you can move in along and open a joint savings account. You can use it to channel the extra rent to the savings account and start accumulating the down payment together. You could decide to live on one income and save the other pay as you have common goals. This would make an excellent couple’s goal.
Conclussion to saving for your homestead
Saving for your homestead is a journey that requires patience and perseverance. There are times when you will feel like quitting. However, sticking to your budget and refusing to be swayed by spending temptations will make you the winner. Be creative with the way you reduce your expenses and create new hobbies that earn you money. Also, avoid things that will make you spend for no reason, and the sky will be the limit for you.