Self-sufficiency a dream that many people aim for in life, but often there are too many ties keeping them trapped in their current situation. These ties can include everything from work to debts to family to fear of the unknown.
But while it can be a challenge to cast of the shackles of reliance on the electrical grid to the scrutiny of the bank, it’s not impossible to do it yourself and become self-sufficient. With the modern world being so full of opportunities, it’s arguably never been easier to become self-sufficient by choice.
If you’ve been feeling the call of something different from the drab and ordinary lifestyle of normality, here are some steps you can take to become self-sufficient. Even if you don’t wholly dive into doing it all yourself, there are still benefits you can experience.
If you want to go entirely off the grid, you may need to find ways to source water yourself, as you cannot rely on the water companies any longer. However, this is not as challenging as it sounds, as long as you find an area where there is an abundant water source.
If you live somewhere close to continuously flowing rivers or streams, you can collect water from here and store it in a small water tank to use as and when you need it. You won’t need to worry about hot water, as the energy generated will heat the water for you, and you can also collect rainwater during rainy seasons.
Solar energy is a fantastic way to do your bit for the environment and provide yourself with enough electricity to power your home. Using renewable energy is excellent for doing your bit to help save the planet and also reduces energy costs, which you can then put towards self-sufficient living.
However, it is not always easy to install solar panels, and depending on where you live, it could prove too expensive. It’s best to do some research beforehand to make sure it is a profitable endeavor for your self-sufficient plans.
Grow Your Own
Growing your own food will not only free you from the prices you pay at the supermarket, but it will also allow you to prevent wastage caused by plastic packaging and also unsold or uneaten food being thrown out.
If you have space in your backyard, you can start by growing more simple herbs and vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, or green beans, and over time you’ll become greater accustomed to the level of work involved in growing your food. Don’t worry if you have an abundance of produce, because you can always sell that by the side of the road or at local markets.
Create a Business
Arguably the most effective way of becoming more self-sufficient is starting your own business, such as freelancing. You don’t need to launch it to rival Amazon or Coca-Cola. But having a steady stream of income that is entirely yours to do with what you please will make you feel more independent and more self-sufficient.
However, starting a business is never easy. Unless your business idea has the backing it needs to turn a profit immediately, you won’t be able to quit your job and say sayonara to the nine-to-five grind. Instead, it’s best to lay the groundwork while still employed, and build your business from the ground up.
You may eventually find yourself in a position to be a boss all by yourself and operate your business from the comfort of your home.
You can’t expect to live self-sufficiently if you do not embrace the wonders of frugality, especially early on. Living frugally will help teach you how to prevent food and water waste, while also encouraging you to pinch pennies and save as much as possible.
If you’re accustomed to brand-name food and drink, it might take some time to wean yourself away from the logo and onto a product that, at its core, is precisely the same aside from one being vastly cheaper than the other. You should also do what you can to reduce emissions from overusing electricity, heating, and personal transport. Not only will this save you money, but it will also save the planet, too.
Pay Off Debts
Owning money is one of the significant causes of stress, and it leads to a lack of agency. Those in debt are always worried about the next bill payment and are concerned whether they will be able to pay it. Before you consider going self-sufficient, you must pay off your debts to ease the financial pressure that is grinding you down.
If you run a small side business from home, you can use these funds to help pay off your debts early on. If you do not run a side business, then learning to budget properly (which will also help with embracing frugality) will help you reach your financial goals quicker.
Fewer debts also mean an increased credit score, which can be beneficial for purchasing plots of land should you want to build a property for a full off-the-grid experience.
Learn Vital Skills
Part of self-sufficiency is being independent of everyone else, but this is hard to do when you cannot complete basic things such as even repairs by yourself.
Learning vital skills are always beneficial, regardless of how old you are. Whether it’s something to do with fixing bits and bobs around the house, changing a tire, or tending to your garden, you’ll never need to call out an independent contractor again.
When completing these tasks yourself, you’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and they are skills you can pass onto your children and grandchildren to adequately prepare them for living a self-sufficient life themselves.
Simple living is something that won’t appeal to everybody, and it conjures up images of a life without the internet, without smartphones, without Netflix of all things. However, by understanding that it doesn’t mean you have to leave these things behind, you can quickly come around to the idea of exploring ways you can live a more satisfying and self-sufficient lifestyle.