Debt Free

One of the biggest reasons that we love our Tiny House Homestead is that it is helping us on our journey to becoming self-reliant and debt free.

We have a lot of goals we are always working on, but when we moved out to our homestead we determined that we would do everything without taking on new debt. In addition we wanted to pay off existing debt as fast as we could. We are not debt free, but are always working towards this end by paying off old debt and staying away from new debt. This is one of the reasons that it takes us so long to get some projects finished around here, but we have felt blessed to go at the speed that we have been able to go at. It is also one of the reasons that we decided that part of our plan needed to include a home business to help pay off our debt faster.

I personally love this debt snowball calculator. When you go into this calculator it will calculate highest interest rate paid off first, but you can change that at the bottom. I personally like to calculate it with the lowest balance paid off first.

I think that part of our self-reliance journey has been learning as much as we can.  As we learn how to do new things we feel empowered. Its nice to know I can do something myself instead of paying someone else to do it. When we build our kitchen table we saved hundred of dollars by buying the supplies and building it ourselves and in the process we were able to build it exactly the size that fit our space.

Financial Goals for 2018

  • Continue to live without going into any new debt including cash flowing the kids college classes and the car repairs.
  • Make extra payments on our property.
  • Build up an emergency fund for our family and for our business.
  • Build a work space for our business and continue to grow our business.
  • Finish phase 1 of the fence for the pasture and seed the pasture.
  • Add 2 trees to our bee orchard, replace 2 trees if necessary and add one berry bush.
  • Fence in the orchard. Add some chicken wire to one side of the orchard to keep rabbits out and the last gate the orchard itself. Successful
  • Add pergola to the perennial garden.
  • Build a cold frame.
  • Work on our greenhouse.
  • Paint our shed door.
  • Build a windmill. We decided not to get a windmill. Instead we will work on improving the functionality of the systems that we already have on our property.
  • Finish the tool shed.
  • Get a  large water tank. Successful
  • Hook up the water heater to the large propane tank.
  • Finish the bathroom.
  • Finish skirting the house.
  • Insulate and panel the library.
  • Build bookshelves in the library.
  • Add bees to our homestead.
  • Plant mulberry tree.
  • Plant 2 Sea buckthorn trees.
  • Plant 300 plants or seeds.
  • Hatch ducks and chickens to sell.We have decided to focus on the animals that we have right now and making sure all of their enclosures meet their needs.
  • Facilitate at least 3 homestead classes.
  • Add wheels and lower section to the chicken tractor.
  • Dig pond for the ducks.
  • Fence in the pond.
  • Add small pond to the orchard.

Financial/Self-reliance Goals for 2017:I am going to try to write more specific goals for this coming year. Although the list for this year is long, I wanted to put everything on the list that I wanted to work on, however this list is not all the projects that we will be working on. As always there are dozens of homestead projects that we work on all the time. We probably won’t get to everything on this list, and it we don’t then we will just move them to the next year.

  • Continue to live without going into any new debt including cash flowing the kids college classes and the car repairs.
  • Make extra payments on our property. Because we started a home business we were not able to work on this goal, but it is definitely staying on the list for next year.
  • Build up an emergency fund. All our resources went towards starting a home business but this goal will definietly stay on the list for next year.
  • Launch our home business. Successful!
  • Finish fence for the pasture and seed the pasture. Made great progress! We put in more fencing and we put in grass seed into a paddock. This goal will stay on the list.
  • Add trees to our orchard. (As of right now we have one apple tree in our orchard and one apple tree in the perennial garden we fenced in during 2016.) Huge Success! Added 10 new trees. We were able to add 10 new trees this year. We have definitely reached our goal for the year.
  • Fence in the orchard. Successful! We did fence in the orchard but we we have some chicken wire to add to one side to keep rabbits out and a gate to add to the orchard itself, but it is a second gate so it is definitely fenced in.
  • Add ducks to the orchard.Successful!
  • Build Duck coop. Made great progress! We have 2 duck enclosures that the ducks are able to use.
  • Add raspberries and strawberries to the perennial garden. Successful! The raspberries were definitely a fail, but we did add more strawberries. At this time I don’t plan to add raspberries to the garden. I am going to focus on other plants.
  • Add pergola to the perennial garden.This goal is still on the list but we weren’t able to get to it this year so we are moving it to next year.
  • Build a cold frame. We are moving this to next year.
  • Work on our greenhouse. We are moving this to next year.
  • Paint our shed. Partial Success! This was a partial success. We painted everyting except the door. We definitely need to paint the door next year.
  • Build a windmill. Moving this to next year
  • Paint the house. Successful!
  • Build a cold frame using bricks we got for free in 2016. We are taking this one off the list.
  • Get a water tank. I am going to call this a success! We did get a water tank, but it was a small one. We still need to get a larger tank as soon as we are able to.
  • Hook up the water heater to the large propane tank.
  • Finish the bathroom.
  • Skirt the house. Half completed.We finished skirting the portion of the house that we planned to this year.
  • Put wood panels in the family room ceiling.
  • Insulate and panel the library.
  • Build bookshelves in the library.
  • Add bees to our homestead. Unsure! I am not sure how I want to call this one. We did get bees, but they didn’t do well. We still have bees but we might not have a queen anymore and we may have to start over next year. We did learn a lot and we are anxious to keep working on this goal.
  • Start paddock for the chickens. Changed plan to grass area for the rabbits.
  • Move the t-posts from the unsuccessful raspberry garden to help finish fencing in the goat paddock and to fence in the orchard. Successful. Completed January 2017

Financial/Self-reliance Goals for 2016:

  • Continue to live on cash only Successful
  • Save money for future projects
  • Build a green house for our homestead
  • Add more perennial plants and trees to our homestead.Successful
  • Continue to work on a home business.
  • Continue to add to our food storage and learn how to eat more long term storage foods.
  • Pay off the addition out our tiny house. Completed
  • Continue to climb out of debt with a focus on paying down the debt on our property. We were able to make two extra payments. Every little bit helps.
  • Add more animals to our homestead.Successful
  • Fenced in perennial garden and added many plants to the perennial garden.
  • Connected the two buildings making one house.
  • Built a new chicken coop.
  • Fenced in a chicken yard.
  • Painted the office.  Successful
  • Started planning our home business We started planning our home business, but we have not competed this project.
  • Started fencing in a new goat paddock.