Is homesteading worth it? Starting to build a new lifestyle can be a wonderful journey. No matter if it’s a fitness and health lifestyle or a lifestyle that revolves around lakes and living on boats!
The one thing I wish more people who promote a lifestyle would tell interested people is that you need patience above all else.
There is always a learning curve. There is always an investment of time and money. You do need to support your chosen lifestyle.

Starting The Homestead Lifestyle 

Some people can buy a turn key ready to go farm, which is fantastic if that’s what you want!. We couldn’t and, honestly, I didn’t really want too!

I wanted to build my own farm to our own specific ideas and dreams. When you buy a piece of undeveloped acreage you do not have a farm… You have a piece of land. You need to develop it into a farm. Depending on what you want to farm you may need some or all of the following;

  • a feed room,
  • barns,
  • sheds,
  • coops,
  • farm equipment,
  • fencing, and more fencing!

Meaning you need time, money and lots of patience. The ability to be flexible is good too! Yes, there are ways to do things frugally but these things sometimes take very more time. Here is a good article on Things to consider if you start a homestead Starting a Homestead

Not to mention the cost of good livestock, which may or may not work out for your climate, your resources, and it may die! Building the soil for a healthy garden takes so much time, but raised beds (investment a little more money) can speed that up! Your land may possibly need pasture improvements depending on what you want to raise. Grazing pasture seed is SO expensive! I had no idea!!

Knowing what your goal is will help you avoid disappointment

Depending on your vision, it may be a farm business or a subsistence farm or maybe a little hobby farm. Three entirely different things! With three very different paths and different expectations. 
I like saving money but I had no patience when we started building our homestead. Now I like saving money even more but this life has taught me the value of being patient too. It was necessary!

Year 6. The whole front is raised beds and fenced gardens. The entire house and at least 12 acres is also fenced now but there is more to go!

Worth Every Penny

For us, the investment in the right land was first for a self-reliant farm that would provide almost all our food. Enough of the right land to keep us out of the grocery store ( it does!) We want to grow our food and be self-reliant. Since we enjoy growing our food (most days!) and we like living in the country, homesteading life works and is worth the money spent.
Hopefully, at some point, a part of it could be taken to the next level and create a viable small farm business (update: 2017 we did! and then we did it again in 2019). Yet, that business can’t hinder us from our first priority. It has to be run like a business, not a homestead lifestyle choice! I’m thankful I married a man who understands that because at first, I did not! 

Year 1 sad depleted soil that nothing would grow in

Year 6 Thriving Healthy Gardens that produce ALL our veggies!

It’s not about the money until it’s about the money

We often get asked about ‘breaking even’ on our investment on this farm. I’m not saying for one minute it’s not about the money! We can’t go broke trying to build a farm. That’s not exactly part of a self-sustaining farm! With a subsistence farm model in mind, for us, it was really just about not going broke building it for our choice of lifestyle. Kinda like building your dream house with a budget. 

Instead of home improvements like a sauna or hot tub we use our money to develop the farm. We take No vacations. Seriously a couple of thousand dollars for a week… Or a new fence that could last thirty years for donkeys I can enjoy every day!! Our lifestyle improvements are different now. And that’s ok! I embrace that because now I don’t like leaving my farm anyway!

Build the life you don’t need a vacation from…

Once we got the infrastructures built, settled on gardens and livestock that worked for our land, climate and personalities it is a dream lifestyle for us. We no longer really need to go anywhere else. But that may not be ok for some people. If vacations are a strong part of your current life really consider the added expense of not only building a farm, but also the need for farm setters while you vacation.

Ask yourself, How much of your current lifestyle do you want to give up in order to build a new lifestyle?

Any new lifestyle will have its give and take moments.  

One of our investments for recreation on the farm is donkeys! Really, they are a multipurpose part of our lifestyle. They can do farm work, provide mass amounts of manure for my gardens (I never have to buy compost or fertilizers!) as well as provide relaxing drives or rides on the farm! More about them and how they changed my life and my farm here: Donkey Listener

When we purchased there was A little garage, no fencing or animal housing what so ever!

Year 6. The same garage area is the center of the livestock areas, barn, feed room, loads of fencing, multiple animals sheds all around. Tractor and other equipment.

What does breaking even have to do with the lifestyle?

As I said, Building and developing a piece of land into a farm does take a lot of money. Even done on the hardscrabble hillbilly cheap like we did a lot of stuff … It’s not cheap.No matter if it’s just to produce your own food. Which sounds simple enough,, it’s not and the investment in fencing, buildings and so many things that go into growing all your own food is no small task. After 6 years of solid working to develop our land we are still not done. But that’s fine, it’s no different from someone who’s lived in the same house for 10 years that’s constantly upgrading it. Right?

Homesteading and “Prepping” are NOT the same thing

Speaking of lifestyles… Homesteaders get accused of being preppers all the time! It can be both, but it’s not always one in the same thing! Now maybe there’s a little prepper in us, but if it was all about being a ‘prepper’ we’d been better off building a big comfy bunker and stocking it with 5 years worth of food!
It would have been cheaper and a more practical plan for a prepper with not near as much work as building a working farm. Then we could have also put in a hot tub and took a vacation! Then the rest of our time would probably be spent collecting ammo and guns…learning krav maga and how to build fires without matches. Living the real preppers lifestyle! That actually doesn’t sound bad ⚔

No one breaking even on that lifestyle either though…

Is your homestead a business or your life?

so, now….why do I need to break even on my chosen home and farm improvements?
Our farm is more about the lifestyle we are choosing to lead. There’s no break even on how you choose to live. It’s our lifestyle, not a business!

 Businesses need to break even and then profit! This is just how we live and we need to support it like any other lifestyle we have chosen in the past. You don’t plan to break even when you buy a new car. Or Break even when you buy the latest fashion statement handbag or shoes ….why would I break even on the new fencing we are building for my donkeys? I was once asked by someone who just couldn’t grasp why we chose this lifestyle (city gal). When talking about our daily routines on the farm, she asks, “but when do you get to live your life?”

Really… This is my chosen way to live my life. That was a Weird question or maybe it’s just me 🤔

Not Going Broke is a real thing though!

Growing extra poultry or dairy goats to help you break even on the feed bill is an entirely different thing! You’re trying to cut an ongoing cost here. Like clipping coupons and saving money like with these tips here: Saving Money On your Feed Bill or stopping waste with this DIY Hay Feeder

Selling extra livestock or excess produce. Selling extra hand made farm goods are really all part of a subsistence farm… Meant to cut ongoing costs. It’s not a real farm business or top priority. On the other hand, investing in dairy equipment to start a real working dairy you expect at some point to break even and then make money. It’s your job, but not necessarily your lifestyle. Neither one should make you go broke though!
See my point?? 

homestead lifestyle

Love your Homesteading Lifestyle

So to all you starting out homesteaders out there trying to provide your family with a nice country home and the best food possible … 

If it’s about the lifestyle, you don’t have to feel the need to break even on every little thing you invest in your farm. Is homesteading worth it? YES! If it’s the life style you will enjoy.

You’re simply living your life…

Your chosen way…

So give thanks to God in heaven for the opportunity and to all the men who died for America to be free so that you can live the way you choose!

Take nothing for granted …enjoy this life you chose and built.

Always remember, you can not break even on a lifestyle. 

Also, if you decide you don’t like it. Say, it’s Not what you signed up for after all.

You can sell it all and maybe take up Krav Maga 😜

Be blessed beautiful people!!! And always… happy homesteading! Enjoy Your Chosen Lifestyle! No matter what it is.