8 Quick Steps to a Debt-Free Homesteading Budget
Homesteading in today’s society comes with its own set of issues: money management. Budgeting is a vital component of personal financial management, regardless of lifestyle. It is especially crucial for homesteaders because the lifestyle is generally more “risky” than a 9-to-5 job and a city house.
Why Is It So Important for Homesteaders to Budget?
Budgeting is crucial to homesteaders or individuals who live alone for various reasons. Here are a few examples:
- Seasonal costs, such as buying seeds and beginning equipment in the spring or bulk feed for livestock in the fall, are typical for homesteaders.
- Income isn’t always a consistent monthly check. Homesteaders and those with different revenue streams from their land must appropriately manage them for budgeting and tax purposes.
- Unforeseen emergencies are more likely to occur.
- Compared to a family in the city with one automobile, a homesteader’s equipment and machinery repair expenditures are far more likely.
- Homesteaders may not have an income immediately. This situation is a regular occurrence for people who abandon their jobs to relocate. A budget will guarantee that you are financially secure and that your debt is kept to a minimum until you get back on your feet.
How to Create a Quick and Easy Monthly Budget?
Making a budget isn’t difficult in the least. You can get by with just a pen and a notepad on a low-tech budget. Because most individuals have access to a computer, even if they don’t have an Internet connection, they can typically use a budgeting tool such as a check stub maker. Both Microsoft Excel and Open Office (both free to download) allow you to create a spreadsheet budget. You may also use the automated formula choices to determine totals for income and spending.
After you’ve decided whether to use pen and paper or a spreadsheet application, you’ll need to gather or compose a list of a few more items, such as:
- Monthly bills that you must pay regularly.
- Expenses that are due regularly, such as bi-monthly, quarterly, annually, and so on.
- Expenses during the month.
- High upcoming costs for seasonal or other large purchases.
- You must meet any debts, loans, automobile payments, or other obligations.
Calculating your costs might be a time-consuming task. This stage will be a lot simpler if you’ve been keeping track of your receipts. If you haven’t done so, you’ll either have to look through your credit/debit card history or just brainstorm and do the arithmetic if you’ve only been spending cash.
Suppose you’re running your farm like a company. I would propose setting separate monthly budgets for your household and your homestead. It is best done using remote tools such as a check stub maker. Here are eight quick steps to a debt-free homesteading budget to bring it all together.
1. Create a budget template
Create a chart in your notebook or set up a spreadsheet on the computer. It is entirely up to you to create the design. Some folks utilize the lines on the notebook paper or a Word Document.
2. Increase Your Income
List of all of your sources of revenue for the month. You can also provide expected income minimums. It would be best if you wrote down the paycheck dates for the following stage.
3. Enter the monthly bills and their due dates.
You’ll now want to enter your monthly bills into the budget, along with their due dates. If you are paid throughout the month, due dates are helpful. You’ll be able to figure out which bills you should pay sooner rather than later in the month.
4. Compile a list of monthly expenses.
After you’ve figured out your monthly costs, it’s essential to figure up your expected household and homestead expenses. You may classify these charges as thoroughly as you like by subject. It would be best if you broke out costs such as “Groceries,” “Clothing,” “School Supplies for Kids,” “Livestock Feed,” and so on at the very least.
5. Include the required savings for each month.
Remember how you gathered your quarterly and annual costs up top? You’ll need to sum them all together and divide them by 12 or whatever many months the expenditure is due. It will tell you how much money you’ll need to set aside each month to pay for this forthcoming debt or cost.
6. Manually calculate or enter a formula for Carry-Overs
You may calculate or input a formula after the budget to see how much money you’ll have leftover after all of your spendings. Either you’ll be in debt and go back and see where you can save money, break even with your earnings, or have some cash leftover for saves. Don’t worry if this appears excessive. You may utilize budget spreadsheet templates integrated into Excel and Open Office. Templates are also available on the internet. These templates might be either simple or quite complex.
I strongly recommend using a check stub maker to create pay stubs designed for this purpose if you’re operating your homestead like a company. You need to keep track of each pay your employees get, income tax, revenue, and other compensation packages.
7. Make a plan for the future.
It would help if you had a strategy for the future. Speak with a financial advisor. Get recommendations for individuals you can trust from your friends. You should be able to put your money to work for you. Speak with your spouse about your objectives and when you want to reach them. Find out how much they cost and how much money you’ll need to save.
8. Have an emergency fund
An emergency fund should be kept on hand by everyone. Your money should ideally be able to cover three months’ worth of spending. You never know when you’ll need it, whether someone will fall sick or if your income would suddenly decrease. Aside from that, having an emergency fund is a must! Even if it’s just an extra $240, you’ll be grateful.
The best piece of advice is so simple that many people overlook it when it comes to budgeting. Make use of what you’re going to make use of. For example, even if you use the best budgeting tool on the market, you’re likely to abandon your budgeting efforts if you’re not tech-savvy. People who enjoy detail and automation yet become tired of pen and paper are in the same boat.
Budgeting is a financial strategy that takes time to develop. Remember that budgeting isn’t by its very nature restricted, which is why many individuals are hesitant to use it. In reality, sticking to a budget increases your chances of living joyfully, freely, and stress-free.