Going Off Grid? How to Prepare for Your First Year
Going Off Grid? How to Prepare for Your First Year by Will Ryan for The Organic Preppr
If you’re looking to start your first off-grid homestead, try to keep your expectations in check. It could take years for you to create the ideal home in the middle of the wilderness. Things can easily take a turn for the worse, from rough weather to unexpected delays, even if you planned out every aspect of your new remote lifestyle.
Homesteading usually requires a lot of trial and error. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Homesteading is an integral part of our country’s history. Families would purchase large land plots for next to nothing as they attempted to build a life on the frontier.
Don’t let small mistakes ruin your dream of living off the grid. Use these tips to plan out the first year of your homestead and focus on taking things one step at a time.
Budget (with Plenty of Wiggle Room)
The first thing you’re going to need is money. Homesteading can cost up to $5,000 over the first two years, and that doesn’t include the cost of land, real estate, or constructing your own house. Most of this money will go toward working the land, building a greenhouse or garden, and growing your food.
You should also include the cost of electricity, whether you generated it yourself or purchased it from your local utility company. Sustainable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal to reduce your expenses are excellent options.
Before you pack up and hit the road, go over your budget with a fine-toothed comb, and leave plenty of room for error. The $5,000 mentioned is a rather conservative estimate. You may need some emergency funds if your first crop fails, a major storm damages your house, or you can’t generate your own electricity.
Many homesteaders will maintain a source of income during the first few years. Here are a few ideas to pad your income:
- Work part-time from home
- Sell your fruits and vegetables to a local vendor
- Become a freelance handyman/woman
Whatever you choose to do for income shouldn’t take too much away from your homestead. But, it is nice to have some money coming in, so you don’t have to pinch every penny quite as hard.