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How Debt Kills The Dream Of Self-Sufficiency

debt self-sufficiency homesteadCrime, noise, pollution, taxes, traffic and competition for resources — for all of these reasons and more there is a growing trend among people to seek a different kind of life. That is, a life less dependent upon urban utilities and questionable sources for basic essentials such as water and food.

Over the past few decades, rural living has slowly vanished from the collective human experience. Perceptions of more predictable and stable lives in and near big cities drove this change, but what once seemed steady and safe has become increasingly unpredictable and perplexing. With the increase of uncertainties in urban and suburban living on the rise, the balance has begun to sway more toward the rural experience of the past.

Make no mistake: The reality of making a living away from urban centers and on one’s own land in a more self-sustainable environment does not come without challenges. All such challenges can be overcome, but it takes time and patience.

The transition into a new way of life requires a fresh look at many of the behaviors that urban life has produced.

Near the top of this list is the need to reduce and eliminate debt. Carrying large mortgages, credit card balances and other lines of credit has become a normal way of life in and around the big cities. For those who want to break free from “the norm,” debt elimination should be the first step.

No amount of research and planning for rural and off-grid living can succeed if old ideas about debt are carried into it.

New book reveals how to keep this “gangster” economy from murdering your money…

Although paying off debt can be time-consuming and feel quite painful to those not accustomed to it, the steps and patience pay off more dividends than simply having less or no debt. Paying down those large balances does take time and commitment, but this is a tremendous skill to have when taking the first “real” steps onto the off-grid life. The period of debt elimination also provides a wonderful opportunity for research and investigation into “the dream.” The notion that a person who spent a lifetime in the city can successfully transition into rural life quickly is false. It takes time to learn and develop the skills and attitudes needed.

Time is different in the forests and pastures than it is in the concrete jungle. Sometimes things just don’t go the way they were planned and there are much fewer options to fall back on in a rural setting. To add the burden of debt into the equation is a recipe for disaster, but it can be avoided.

Some people may find that they need to take on a second (or third) job in order to make a sizeable impact on their debt, but this, too, is a valuable lesson for the rural life. Tending one’s own land and livestock is not a 9 to 5 experience. It can take long hours, day and night, to manage the daily activities of a homestead. In addition, the extra work can expose many of the wrong ideas people have about time, money and resources. There is nothing more eye-opening into the habits of excess than the effort expelled trying to eliminate the resulting debt.

Whatever method is used to pay off debt, the most crucial step is to keep the dream of self-sufficiency alive. There is no doubt that delayed gratification is a lost art, but it is an essential component of homestead life. No matter how long it takes and how hard one has to work, in the end when the challenge has been met, there is no greater feeling. It may feel like you are never going to get there during your debt repayment phase, but keep your dream at the forefront of your thoughts.

Accomplishment is redefined when it isn’t achieved on credit, but instead from one’s own hard work, dedication and initiative.

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  1. This is so true! We follow the methods and ways of Dave Ramsey to help get rid of our student loan debt and show us how to make our income be utilized the best it can!

  2. Don’t forget you must also save-up enough for that sustainable life without going into debt to do it.

    If your debts are significantly more than your assets, and you don’t plan on going into debt to finance your dream; Consider bankruptcy; Assuming your debts can be lost(not student loans/court/gov).

    It can give you years worth of head-start on your goal. It basically starts you at $0.00 debt with no possibility of a loan; If your already gainfully employed, that $0 debt can let you dump extra cash into savings(This assumes you live well within your means already).

    Ethics can come into play, is it ‘right’ to declare bankruptcy, and thats for you to choose, but I recommend educating yourself on the fractional reserve/fiat currency we currently use. IT could be determined the cash you received for your debt was created from nothing vs investors.

  3. I would never recommend declaring bankruptcy in order to become self-sufficient. I believe we accumulate debt of our own accord (for the most part) and part of being a homesteader is the traditional value of honesty and integrity. Your neighbors need to trust you and you need to trust your neighbors. If a person goes into a homesteading scenario with the idea that they are not responsible for their debts, it could lead to long-term consequences.

    The idea of paying off debt (and taking the time and patience to do it) aids homesteaders in understanding better how money works and how to better manage it on their homestead. It is better to learn this lesson long before stepping foot onto your own land.

  4. This is the right web site for anyone who wishes
    to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa).
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  5. Anyone who sees a moral problem with declaring bankruptcy has no idea what debt is and how it is created. Learn about what money is and how it is created and you will realize that modern fractional reserve banking is FRAUD. Banks NEVER “loan” you their money. The money you borrow is created by the promissory note you sign. By definition, no bank can ever lose money on a loan it originated.

    I agree that we should all be getting ourselves out of debt and if bankruptcy is your best option for doing so, then by all means go that route and don’t have any moral qualms about it… But getting out of debt is only part of this. If you really want to escape the system of debt slavery that has been imposed upon our society by international banking cartels, then you have to get away from using debt based money like the federal reserve note.

    So long as the current monetary system is in place (and we have not formed local currencies to completely replace it) we will need to us federal reserve notes to some extent, but we should seek to limit this to the greatest extent possible. NEVER EVER hold your long term savings in federal reserve notes (or any other debt based currency). You should keep you excess cash savings in real money like gold and/or silver. To the extent that you can you should trade using gold/silver or barter rather than debt based currency. I know that these things are little beyond the scope of the conversation here, but they shouldn’t be. When you think about it they are central to the problem and the solution.

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