Let’s answer this right now. No, at least not at first. In fact, homesteading will cost you money. A lot of money. I talked about how much money you need for homesteading here. But that is a conservative estimate and definitely not all encompassing. In the first year we were on our homestead we exhausted our emergency fund four separate times. We have spent thousands of dollars on our goats between vet bills and general care, fencing, etc. So can homesteading save you money? No.
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Why Homestead Then?
Homesteading is not necessarily about saving money. Sure, there are somethings that we have saved a ton of money on. We no longer buy eggs because our chickens have solved that problem. We don’t have to buy chicken at the grocery store because we butcher our own. We don’t buy milk from the store unless we run out. I am able to grow most of our own lettuce for our bearded dragons which by itself saves us $15 a week. But when you look at the $100/month we have saved by how much we have spent? We are solidly in the red.
Spend More To Make More?
Because the farm is an LLC, which I highly recommend you do, we are able to write off a lot for taxes. That being said, last year’s return was eye opening. We spent over $3,000 in vet bills and another $5,000 on feed. That was only in six months. This year we are on par to double that. That doesn’t include the well pump that went out, or the water heater. Or all the fencing and structures for the goats and chickens.
But homesteading is not about saving money. It’s about living off the land, having livestock, learning new skills, and being self sufficient. Of course homesteading means different things for different people.
Can Homesteading Save You Money?
Once you get your homestead set up, you may find that will start saving money here and there. When you put your garden in, you can spend a lot of money between irrigation, soil, hoses, and more. But once that garden is producing and you are reaping the benefits of fresh fruits and veggies? You will break even. Especially, when you can all that delicious produce! The following year, provided all your supplies are in good shape, you will probably save money.
Since I can, I save money by preserving that harvest in jars. The initial set up of canning equipment, jars, and produce makes that first year a loss. But I can normally buy bushels of green beans, corn, tomatoes, etc and can them and save hundreds of dollars a year on those items. Again, the savings come later.
What I have found is that homesteading is a long term goal and commitment. You are probably not going to save money your first or your second year. If you are starting your homestead from the ground up, you will probably not see a positive until year five. But it really depends on your goals. If you want your homestead completely self sufficient but you are starting from scratch, it will take time. If you came into a property that has fencing, a barn, and garden. You are probably already ahead of the game.
If you are already saving money on your homestead, I would love to hear from you!