Question for "off-the-grid"-ers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-02-2006, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question for you!! My DH and I have often talked about this as a dream down the road. one thing that keeps standing in the way is the commute to work, and hospital.

What do you do for a living? Is work important or are all your needs met by your living circumstances? How does it work? I'd love to find a way to make it happen but I cant imagine us living without an income.

Thank you so much for any and all tips!
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#2 of 10 Old 01-02-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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Why would someone need to work outside of producing food and shelter? That's why most people have jobs -- to buy food, pay for their home that they spend 20 to 30 years paying on, buy stuff to put in their home, and buy clothing and adornments for their body. But if you could do all of that yourself, why would you need a job? For a few things that you cannot make yourself, you can always sell a few things that you do make to get the money to buy those things. If you make it a rule to always buy used, you won't need very much money. Or you can ask for them for Christmas presents for all of those family members who think that they have to have money and go to work to get it. On that thought, what is money really? At some point in time, people started trading in coins instead of just trading in their goods. Then some folks created banks to store coins and issued pieces of paper saying that the paper represented the coins they had in the bank. And now those pieces of paper have become something that people think they really, really need and work really hard to get them. They have become an end of their own end. But do we really need those bits of paper? Well, yes, we do need some because we have these governments that want some money in exchange for us claiming a piece of land as our own. We may not always like what they do with those pieces of paper we give them, but they do use at least some of them on things we're okay with. But if we don't earn very many pieces of paper, they really don't want us to give them a bunch. And it is possible just to earn a very minimum of them, just to give them to our governments. That can easily be done with a temporary job. By keeping that temp job just down to a couple of weeks, the government will not demand that you pay them for earning those pieces of paper. You'll just have to pay them enough to claim a piece of land as your own.

To answer your question, my husband works as little as possible outside of our place.

: madrone - : SAHM to 12 y.o. DS, : 9 y.o. DD, and : 4 y.o. DS
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#3 of 10 Old 01-02-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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Hi, We're about to be off-the-griders and we were once before we had kids.
Our plan is to sell our home and use the profits to build our new one. We are going to have high annual payments on our land for five years and so with the profits from our house sale, we are going to invest it in something secure like bonds and take only what we need each year.
DD gets SSI of 600$ a month which is plenty for us to live on with no mortgage.

DH is quitting his job in June and then he'll be with us building our inexpensive straw-bale house. If he needs to work because we aren't getting by with our 600$, he'll either look for a cabinet building job he can do from home or a drafting job he can do from home. At the worst case, I'll get a job as a waitress or we'll take some out of our savings.

Another thing we are thinking of doing is building a small rental on our land so we can have about 300$ extra income a month.
We intend to grow as much food as possible, buy in bulk the things we don't grow but need, and perhaps even getting some farm animals to provide milk, meat, and cheese. I'm even considdering getting some sheep for the wool and then selling yarn or knitted goods at the local flee market or through shops.

All the childcare would have to stop and I'd have to go back to trading with other moms. Driving would be limited since gas in super high here.

I don't expect to grow everything I need, weave all my fabric, sew or knit all our clothes, produce biodiesel from sunflowers we've grown, etc.; I just intend to live a better life, closer to the land and my family.

It is possible to make the transition. Good luck if you decide to do it.

BTW, we'll be about 45 minutes from the hospital but there is a doctor and a nurse living on the same mountain.
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#4 of 10 Old 01-02-2006, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much!! my dream would be to be self sustaining. id love to grow my own food, make our own clothes, you name it. but i also have kids, both of whom have unusual & expensive medical needs and im hoping will love to learn & want to go to college someday. so i guess its not so much that i personally need money as much as it is that i want my kids to be provided for with their special needs and i'd like to provide them the opportunity to start out life without having to incur debt of their own in college or starting a family. i'm working on finding a way to be self-employed right now as well... like many wonderful women ive seen on here i'm wanting to maybe start a homemade fabric diaper & accessories service. I'm also very into photography and am working on building up my clientelle with that as well. I was just curious what others did to bring in any extra money they might need. thanks!
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#5 of 10 Old 01-02-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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I guess I was in a weird mood earlier. Sorry. I get that way sometimes.

Because I live in Europe, I don't have to worry about health care. Nor college savings, if they decide to go. My children do have savings accounts provided by a grandparent though, if they need some funds to start them out. I also hope to have purchased enough land for them by the time they are adults so that they will be able to sustain themselves and a family on it if they choose to do that. I know that I am really lucky to live in Europe. Even if I am a bit of an anarchist.

On clothes, I don't make them myself. I buy them second hand for next to nothing.

: madrone - : SAHM to 12 y.o. DS, : 9 y.o. DD, and : 4 y.o. DS
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#6 of 10 Old 01-06-2006, 03:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stretchmark
...so with the profits from our house sale, we are going to invest it in something secure like bonds and take only what we need each year.
Invest in metals - silver and gold are much more secure than bonds. Coins appreciate, pieces of paper depreciate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stretchmark
Another thing we are thinking of doing is building a small rental on our land so we can have about 300$ extra income a month.
Check into permit requirements in your area, you don't want huge fines or have to redo work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stretchmark
BTW, we'll be about 45 minutes from the hospital but there is a doctor and a nurse living on the same mountain.
OK, so I'm not completely off the grid, but do live closer to the earth and I wanted to post anyway... if you do decide to move to the country, try to find a piece of land that is relatively close to the main highway. We live on 5+ acres and feel secluded, yet are within 4 miles of the local grocery and within 20min. of the hospital.

I'm a SAHM and we're getting by, not breaking the bank. DH is working within 10 -30 miles from home, earning an income. We've been here 2 years and are still working toward a more self-sustainable lifestyle. It helps to stock up on food, make the most of what you have, have a garden... tons of things you can do to trim down. There really is so much out there that we do NOT need.

Good luck!
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#7 of 10 Old 01-06-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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I suggest reading as much as you can about self sustained living. 2 good books are living the good life and Mortgage free. Both have lots of great information from people who have done it before.
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#8 of 10 Old 01-06-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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I'm so glad I found this thread. This is my dream and dh is super supportive. We recently moved from a high cost area to a lower cost, so we could buy 5 acres and have a small og farm. But by the time we moved the areas real estate had soared and we are once again going to be on the move. My question is how do we afford land w/out cash and w/out a loan. I don't think we could afford a loan for land only on my dh's salary. We're totally willing to live cheap and have been lately to pay our too high mortgage (which I would love to get out of) We're hoping to make a little off the sale of this house in another year after a few fix ups, but it probably won't be a whole lot. We lived in a tepee, an airstream trailer, and we are willing to do this again for a time if it will get us our little spot out there somewhere. Any suggestions please?
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#9 of 10 Old 01-12-2006, 05:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beebalmmama
My question is how do we afford land w/out cash and w/out a loan. \
Hi there. One thing you should look into is land contracts, where you buy the property from someone by paying monthly payments. I have actually seen these while looking for property where they list the land price but add that land contracts are a possiblity. It is usually in places where the real estate market is slow. BTW- love your user name, bee balm is one of my favorites.

Oh, and to answer the OP, my dh is a teacher so he has summers off as well as a good chunk of time off in the spring, so thats when we tackle huge projects. I do most of the day-to-day chores of running the farm, and dh does a lot after school and on weekends.
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#10 of 10 Old 01-13-2006, 12:23 PM
 
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Hi again, checking this thread again.

The only worry about permits in my area out in rural agricultural is 1 house per 3/4 acre so I'm not worried about building a rental or 2 or 3
We already bought our land, yesterday and we are actually fine being far from the hospital. The only thing near the hospital out here is the upscale neighborhood that is really windy and where land is around 200,000 an acre.
I can't imgaine investing in silver or gold and my FIL is an investment guy so we're going to consult with him. We might even just build that rental right away with our money.
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