We are frequently asked the question “How much does it cost to start a homestead?” so we thought we’d start a homestead expense report series. Every month we will document how much money we’ve spent on our homestead-related activities and also on running our household. This is to track both our own progress and also to give you some insight as what it costs to start a homestead from scratch.
December 2015 Summary
December was the third full month on our homestead and also the first full month of winter weather! While the first couple of months on our land consisted of a lot of errand-running and land development, December consisted of a lot more hunkering down for the winter, working on our businesses and getting our travel trailer winterized.
Read all about what we accomplished on our property during this month in this post: Month Three Homestead Development Roundup
December was a much smaller month for us expense-wise. Because we didn’t do a lot of development on our property, our expenses were minimal. That said, we did run our generator a lot and had to buy a fair amount of materials.
This was also the first calm month since we’ve arrived so it’s a fairly accurate picture of what our monthly expenses will look like from here on out (during winter at least). The goal is to reduce our monthly expenses over time, pay off any debt, acquire more assets, and become more self-sustainable.
- Groceries: $496.60
This is not something we see the importance of spending a lot of time breaking down. We eat a high-quality diet consisting primarily of organic foods, and we eat both a lot of meat and dairy. It seems that we did a fair amount of snacking our way to recovery from the first three months as well…
- Dining Out: $10.70
We met up with some new friends once this month. This was the first month we really didn’t go anywhere so most all meals were eaten at home which has been a nice change.
- Cats: $68.41
We make our cats a raw food diet as it seems to be what they thrive on. Read all about our homemade cat food here. This is double the cost as the kitties are chunkin’ up for the winter and they were eating twice as much! Could we feed our cats cheaper? Yes. Would it be healthy for them? Most likely not.
- Household Necessities: $25.30
This month this included paper towels, toilet paper, a battery tester and a couple thermometers.
- Coffee Out: $50.00
Every time we have coffee out it’s $8-$12.00. We grabbed coffee at a local coffee stand a couple of times and also worked in town at a coffee shop a couple of times to change up the scenery.
- Storage unit: $60
- Clothing: $28.59
Made a Goodwill run for some work pants and a few extra winter layers.
- TOTAL: $857.70
- Generator fuel: $140
We have been running our generator A LOT. Because we work from home, we need to keep our laptops charged, and having the wifi on all days drains the RV battery quicker. We are running our generator maybe four hours a day. Learn more about portable generators.
- Propane: $35
This isn’t bad at all. This is for cooking and also for heating the inside of the RV. We keep it at around 60 degrees inside when we’re in it, and usually turn the heat off at night as the heat from the wood stove keeps things from freezing.
- Showers: $5
We’re able to take showers at the truck stop for $5 but only took one shower there in December. Because we have many 6-gallon water jugs, we’re able to take short, daily showers and keep our water tank topped off.
- Water: $1.25
We can get hundreds of gallons of water in town for a quarter. So every time we fill up our 6-gallon jugs, it’s a quarter.
- Laundry: $20
- Internet: $115
This was our first month of an internet payment as we just had our internet installed! The payment is only $65/month but we chose to pay the installation fee ($300) over six months rather than up front.
- TOTAL: $296.25
- Car payment: $187
- Insurance: $78
- Fuel: $55
We only had to fill up once this month as we really didn’t travel anywhere far. This has also been our lowest fuel bill since we’ve began this journey.
- Oil: $21.19
- TOTAL: $341.19
Land / Development*
- Land: $357.20
- Property taxes: $258.04
These are to be paid every six months.
- TOTAL: $615.24
- Antifreeze: $7.74 (3 gal @ $2.58/each)
- Distilled water: $0.88
- Screws: $13.00
- TOTAL: $21.62
- Air movers: $179.98 (2 @ $89.99/each)
We purchased these air movers to move the hot air from the wood stove to the back of the carport where critical rv components reside!
- 6-gal water jugs: $25.94 (2 @ $12.97/each)
We are using these 6-gallon water jugs to fill up our 25-gal water tank in our travel trailer. These are easy to lift when full and we can fill them all up for a quarter.
- Generator payment: $200
We have a 0% interest rate on our generator for a total of 18 months. Hope to get this paid off early in the year.
- Insulation: $232.08
I think this was four rolls of insulation. It wasn’t a purchase we were excited to make but we needed to insulate our carport so that it would retain a little bit of heat from the wood stove. This was a great reminder why we are trying to buy second-hand building materials… they aren’t cheap! However, we can reuse this in either the barn or the house.
- TOTAL: $638.00
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