Why have so many people opted to live the self-sufficient life? Besides enjoying the romantic, pastoral lifestyle, there are plenty of practical benefits for being self-sufficient. Here are just a few:
You’ll pollute less. By being self-sufficient, you’ll learn to compost food scraps, grow your own organic food, build with local materials, generate renewable energy, and avoid shopping. Each step makes a difference towards lowering your environmental impact.
You’ll save lots of money. Imagine if you didn’t have any more expenses: no more car payments, no more auto insurance, no more utility bills, and free food and housing. If you practice extreme self-sufficiency, you could literally live without any money.
You don’t need to do everything yourself, nor do you need to quit your job. If gardening is too much hassle, for example, you could always buy produce from the farmers market. Likewise, it may be prudent to keep your job to help build savings. However, the more self-sufficient you become, the more you’ll save, and the fewer financial obligations you’ll have. Every little bit of self-sufficient frugality can increase your freedom.
You’ll pay off your debts quickly. If you work full-time in addition to homesteading, you’ll have an income with virtually no expenses. Undeveloped land is cheap, so you can often purchase it without a mortgage. After a few short years of hard work, you’ll own a house debt-free. A self-sufficient homestead can provide freedom from the turbulent state of the economy. After all, wouldn’t you rather spend your mornings gathering firewood than worrying about mortgage payments?
You’ll be more independent. Once you learn self-sufficiency skills, you’ll no longer depend on modern conveniences like restaurants, department stores, and gas stations. You’ll also no longer need the utilities company for water and power. Not only is self-sufficiency convenient, it could save your life during an emergency. During a serious crisis, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or a terrorist attack, you might be left stranded for weeks without basic necessities. By being self-sufficient today, your family will be much better prepared for future emergencies.
You’ll learn to be more resourceful. Many of us today can’t survive without cappuccinos and WiFi internet, let alone life in the rural countryside. But if you’ve ever wanted to explore different parts of the world or buy back-country property, it helps to learn self-sufficiency skills. As a benefit, the cost of living will be far cheaper. You can combine this with a telecommuting job to build savings.
You’ll enjoy the learning experience (hopefully). As you become self-sufficient, you’ll acquire practical skills that teach you about the environment and sustainable development. Up until the last century, these primitive skills were mostly common knowledge; we’re merely re-learning them today. This knowledge can help us better understand both historical cultures and the world around us.
Self-sufficiency is a fusion of many related ideas. It’s half low-cost lifestyle and part do-it-yourself ingenuity, mixed in with sustainable development and a touch of emergency preparedness.It can be a lot of fun. Really.