If you suffer from Barnheart and would like to homestead but are unable to do so right now for whatever reasons (there are many), do not despair. There are still steps you can take in order to move yourself towards the goal of being more self-sufficient. Happily, most of them don’t involve much money! Here’s a list of my top 10:
1. Save more, spend less. The sad fact is that most people cannot afford to buy the homestead of their dreams … or any homestead, for that matter. In many places, acreage is expensive. In order to make your dream a reality, you may need to make some drastic changes. Thankfully, most of those changes have positive outcomes … stop eating out and instead, learn to cook the kinds of dishes you’ll be making when you can have your own garden. Cancel cable and instead, read books and magazines that will teach you about living self-sufficiently. Make time work for you, and contribute annually to your IRA. Your 70-year old self will thank you for it. Your co-workers and friends won’t understand why you want to live so simply … but they don’t have Barnheart.
2. Seek to become debt-free. Once you have begun spending less, and saving more, consider paying off those loans. No homesteader I know has ever said “I wish I owed more money.” Every dollar in interest you are paying on your home, car, or credit cards is one less dollar you have when at last you are able to purchase your homestead.
3. Learn a new skill. You may not be able to milk your own cow, but you can learn how to make your own yogurt and cheese. You may not be able to spin your own wool, but you can learn how to knit or crochet. You may not be able to build your own farmhouse, but you can learn how to do smaller woodworking projects. Sign up for a class, have a friend teach you, or watch you-tube.
4. Learn to preserve food. Anyone can learn how to can and dehydrate, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to get started. Someday you’ll have a huge garden and bumper crops of produce, but for now you can support your local farmer by buying in season and preserving the taste of summer all year round.