Going Self-Sufficient

by Kat
(Australia)

Hello,

This is my first forum post and I do apologise in advance for any faux pas I might make.
A few years ago, my partner and I have decided to save some money and buy a self sufficient farm. We both work 9-5 jobs in a major city and are a bit tired of the noise and fumes. We’ve also decided, we don’t want a boss anymore and once we have enough money to buy land and build a house on it (we want to buy land by the end of this year and then build a house and stables on it within 3 years), we’ll work for ourselves.
The house will not use gas or electricity from the grid, only renewable energy, there will be a well and massive rainwater tank, so we don’t have to buy water and we also plan on building a reed bed system for treatment of sewage. I know it’s a bit crazy to solely rely on renewable energy, but I like to think that as the technology and batteries improve, we’ll be able to store surplus energy and if things get really bad, we’ll have a biodiesel generator. Maybe it’s a bit naive to think we can pull this off, but we’ll certainly try. And it’s not all about cutting costs, but mainly to be environmentally friendly. There will also be a few chucks, goats and everything we consume will be grown on the farm or foraged.
Despite all this, we’ll still need to pay health insurance, some sort of retirement money, there has to be a car and with that comes road tax/rego/car insurance and costs just build up. There is no doubt that we will need to get around $400 every month. The obvious thing would be to sell our produce and I plan on selling gourmet goat’s cheese and surplus farm produce in a little shop on site, but what if the crops fail/ animals get sick?
I’ve decided I want to try alternative ways of earning money and despite being opposed to the idea for a long time as I just didn’t believe it would ever work, I have signed up for affiliate programs with Amazon and Clickbank, and also started writing an e-book about homemade cosmetics, that I intend to sell online. It might fail terribly, but could also just solve our problem. So last month I’ve started a blog about our journey to self sufficiency at www.onthewaytoselfsufficiency.com, opened an amazon and clickbank accounts and stuck some ads on my blog. I don’t have many visitors, but the number is steadily climbing up as I tell my friends and family about it. I intend to create a few websites and do product reviews. I know it’s not that easy and I have to work hard to get decent audience. But then again I’m not trying to make millions, ‘only’ $400 a month. The book I got my ideas from is called The Laptop Millionaire and despite the massive, unbelievable success story I finished it and focused on what I liked about it (I have always been veeeery sceptical about internet marketing and found it hard to believe). There are many helpful hints in this book, although for an average person I think the success stories should be taken with a pinch of salt. I like to think that my blog might help people as going self-sufficient will be a steep learning curve for us both and my e-books will be on what I believe will help people live a more healthy life. It will cost me about $12 a year to get 1 website up and running and then an hour of my time on the train to work. So not the most expensive ‘start up’, but I think it’s worth exploring as a business idea. The author of the Laptop Millionaire claims it’s possible to make millions online and maybe it is if you work hard enough. It certainly doesn’t look to be an overnight money machine, but as I said, worth looking into. If this works our dream of the eco self sufficient life will come true, without doubt.

MEG: HI KAT. YOUR DREAM SOUNDS ACHIEVABLE, AND GOOD LUCK TO YOU WITH IT. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO PAY FOR TRAFFIC IN TERMS OF ONGOING TIME AND/OR MONEY, YOU NEED SEO. I LEARNT HOW TO DO SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION OF WEBSITES FROM SIGNING UP WITH SBI - SEE LINK AT BOTTOM OF PAGE - AND IT ALSO PROVIDES MANY USEFUL TOOLS TO CHECK OUT DEMAND AND COMPETITION FOR KEYWORDS ETC THAT I USE ON OTHER NON-SBI SITES WE ARE WORKING ON.

Comments for Going Self-Sufficient

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 26, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Using Oxen over Horses
by: Sanket

Great advice everyone, thanks. We grow a lot of our own food, keep bees, make wine and I'm now trying to grow my own mushrooms and tobacco. When the SHTF I reckon stuff like wine, honey and tobacco will be great barter currency.

Very interested to hear more about your experiences Steven F with the oxen. It makes so much more sense to me than horses having an animal that can give milk, eat rough feed and work for you too. Can you please share some pics and info on this forum? How do you train them? What kind of cattle do you recommend?

Mar 16, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
COMMENT ON GOING SELF SUFFICIENT
by: Peter

Anonymous as said a lot. Having just moved onto a farm with a view of making a living off it commercially and not in a self sufficiency way, let me say Anonymous is right in many ways.

BUT

He does not know you, your determination or your skill set. I would be looking to earn a heck of a lot more than $400/month. I would also be learning a lot about the law and how to handle myself in a legal setting. Yes it can be done off the internet if you are discerning. Are you planning on self sufficiency in cloths as well, making tools? Just how far are you going to take the self sufficiency thing?

Having looked at it for many years, I've decided that it is OK to rely on others for some of life's necessities. it is also desirable to, to form strong bonds with the community you are moving in to. In fact that will be a necessity, even if it is for your own sense of place and connection

The bottom line is however is if you have a STRONG dream it can motivate you in ways you can't imagine now. It is amazing how resourceful you become when you are working your dream.

Best wishes

Peter

Mar 15, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Good luck
by: Steven F

It all sounds great. The best of luck to you. We first tried to be self sufficient in the 1970's and we are still pretty much following the same path. We have used draft horses and now use oxen for a lot of the farm work. Oxen have a lot of advantages over horses but I won't go into that here. We found that complete self sufficiency is very, very hard work. Best to do the things you do best and trade and barter your products. We have learnt that the most valuable thing a small farmer can have is an off farm income of some sort.
As to the book you mention about making a million dollars from the internet I must say I am very sceptical of these "get rich" books. If the author really figured out how to do it why would he be writing a book about it. You make very little money from a book so why would the author be telling eveyone else how to do it when his time would be better spent making millions for himself. Maybe I am just an old cynic but I have seen dozens of books like this over the years and they are all a load of sh..

Anyway, as I said, all the best. It is a great feeling when you get off the rat-race treadmill and figure out that you really can live with much less income.

Steve

Mar 15, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Dream, dream,
by: Anonymous

Good luck - Sounds idyllic but I have found through many life experiences and observing others, that the homesteading/self-sufficient lifestyle is synonomuous with "living in poverty".
I am a real estate broker in the mountains of NW Arkansas and just recently, a "homesteader/self-sufficient family put most of their land on the market because the dry summer killed the crops they planned on selling at the farmer's market. Their dream is over after three short years. That's typical. One bad year, the party's over.
Hate to rain on your parade, but listen to an old man: Get that online income going, get some kind of income going, THEN make the move.
Most of the "make millions" guys are making bucks off what you pay them rather than making money off what they tell you to do. Don;t be a sucker!
I don;t know where you live, but $400 a month ain't much money and I think you will have a very rude awakening when you actually try to live off that.
Mother Earth News and like publications paint a rosy picture of the self-sufficient lifestyle and sustainability BS but life is tough and it's a damned tough way to try to live year in and year out. When one is in their 20s-30s, that's one thing. But, when the ole bod starts wearing down at 50-60, that lifestyle can become a daily nighmare. Then what? No up-to-date job skills, no recent job experiance. Then what?
Keep your day jobs until you get something going that provides a real work-at-home income. Then, buy a place and take the work-at-home business with you.
You might want to consider real estate. I work in the rural areas and do OK. There's lots of ups and downs, but there are more people making a living selling real estate than making a living peddling something on the internet.
Please give this self sufficient lifestyle thing really serious considertion before making the leap. It's hard to start over when it fails.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Small Business Ideas Forum.