What Does it Cost to Start a Homestead? Our Monthly Expense Reports

We are frequently asked the question “How much does it cost to start a homestead?” The answer is not a simple one as it can depend on an unlimited number of variables. That said, we thought that we could create a living page that we update monthly with our homestead expenses for both our own benefit and to help others understand the various costs associated with starting a homestead from scratch.

How to Use This Page

This page will include an overview of monthly expenses over time, but you can also click on each month for a more detailed report on where the money was spent. Homesteading expenses come and go, and there are a lot of costs in the beginning that allow you to live a frugal month later own down the road.

Jump right into our expense reports below or jump to more information to learn more about the goals for this page, which expenses we’re tracking and how you can contribute.

2015 Expenses

For a detailed explanation of what each category entails, click here.

MonthHousehold
UtilitiesVehiclesLandConsumablesAssetsTotal
TOTAL$3,706.01$1,030.99$3,990.75$11,646.84$781.55$13,367.00$34,523.14
August 2015???$4,540.00?$4,600.00$9,140.00
September 2015$873.29$120.00$583.45$2,377.20$125.00$3,981.00$8,059.94
October 2015
$855.02$111.58$2,520.88$3,757.20$196.93$3,397.00$10,838.61
November 2015$1,120.00$503.16
$545.23 $357.20$438.00$751.00$3,714.59
December 2015$857.70$296.25$341.19$615.24$21.62$638.00$2,770.00

2016 Expenses

For a detailed explanation of what each category entails, click here.

MonthHousehold
UtilitiesVehiclesLandConsumablesAssetsTotal
TOTAL$11,628.09$3,006.92$6,032.75$11,140.51$723.26$7,974.06$40,505.59
January 2016$621.29$340.05$311.78$357.20$4.57$440.00$2,074.89
February 2016$936.94$291.89$365.68$357.20$130.15$285.36$2,367.22
March 2016$862.43$288.05$477.50$570.86$186.96$135.35$2,521.15
April 2016$673.80$226.20$488.86$715.24$32.77$1,998.93$4,135.80
May 2016$916.98$265.89$426.45$489.70$55.71$1,141.56$3,296.29
June 2016$1,535.57$196.50$851.16$386.00$67.00$816.27$3,852.50
July 2016$1,218.53$199.99$503.66$357.20$180.30$1,338.43$3,798.11
August 2016$1,216.79$240.59$874.38$357.20$0.00$574.70$3,263.66
September 2016$878.49$197.39$432.38$1,520.75$20.02$557.21$3,606.24
October 2016$580.35$223.38$360.09$357.20$8.79$312.03$1,841.84
November 2016$919.27$224.46$421.12$736.13$15.00$294.74$2,610.72
December 2016$1,267.65$312.53$519.69$4,935.83$21.99$79.48$7,137.17

2017 Expenses

For a detailed explanation of what each category entails, click here.

MonthHousehold
UtilitiesVehiclesLandConsumablesAssetsTotal
TOTAL$2,968.73$936.52$1,974.19$1,132.38$213.05$354.41$7,579.28
January 2017$1,077.27$380.95$453.88$357.20$182.70$239.96$2,691.96
February 2017$1,049.85$269.45$538.56$357.20$30.35$79.48$2,324.89
March 2017$841.61$286.12$981.75$417.98$0.00$34.97$2,562.43

More Info About This Page

What are our month-to-month living expenses?

Our expenses look deceiving because we’re investing a lot of money right now into our property, as you will see in the detailed monthly reports. That said, our month-to-month expenses are becoming quite predictable and they are as follows:

  • Land payment: $357 (hope to pay off within the next 1-2 years but can take 15)
  • Land taxes: $43
  • Generator fuel: $150
  • Generator payment: $200 (0% interest, strategic decision to not pay this in full but will pay it off within next year)
  • Propane: $35 (much lower in summer)
  • Gasoline for car: $50 (we don’t drive much since we work from home)
  • Food: $500 (hopefully we can significantly reduce this when we start gardening / hunting / canning / storing food)
  • Water: $1.50
  • Laundry: $20
  • Internet: $65
  • Storage unit: $60 (will go away when we have our barn built)
  • Car payment: $187 (hope to pay this off in next year)
  • Car insurance: $78
  • Other: $100 (household items, postage, clothing, other random stuff)

As you can see, our month-to-month expenses aren’t terrible. When our land, generator and car are paid off, that will lower our monthly expenses significantly. We will then be able to invest in things like solar which will be expensive, and even starting a garden, but will save us money over time. I don’t know that so long as the current financial system is in place that we will ever have no need for money, but the idea is to be much less dependent on it. Even if we are spending money, at least it is on things that make us more self-sufficient.

How do we make an income?

Working side-by-side in a coffee shop in Seattle last year. We love being partners in crime and think we make a really great time (most days...!).
Working side-by-side in a coffee shop in Seattle last year. We love being partners in crime and think we make a really great time (most days…!).

We make an income various ways, but most all of our efforts go towards creating residual streams of income. We don’t do dollars-for-hours work, but work on things that will produce money long-term, whether or not we work. This strategy has worked well enough that we were able to take six months off from working and we continued to have our basic expenses met.

You can learn some of the ways we make an income online in this post. Don’t be fooled… making money online isn’t easy, and if you try to research it, there are a lot of scams out there. Scam-free, it’s really, really tough work. We work our butts off (often 14-16 hours / day when we work, for months on end) but we feel it’s worth it.

Between a rental property, payments from a business Jesse sold and our residual income online (various websites we’ve built that produce an income, a product we built that still gets sales, and a rental service we offer), we have a reliable $2,600+ coming in, whether or not we work. On top of that, we also keep our eyes open for opportunities to make money the less-passive way because we will need significant amounts of cash to develop our property. We take on a very small number of marketing consulting clients yearly, provide some online services, and are working on flipping a few of our websites that we own (hopefully for a lot more money than we put into them). Again, no walk in the park, but it works for us and is very aligned with our life goals.

Best of all, we can both push this work along so it’s not one of us working more than the other. This is also strategic because there may be times when one of us is unable to work as much, or is just burned out. We like to think that we are a one-income family rather than two which we feel will give us more flexibility.

Why are we tracking our homesteading expenses?

  1. Track our own expenses so as to be aware of our spending: It’s always great to review what we’re spending our money on and why. This can help us to identify patterns and opportunities for substantial savings, or better investments.
  2. Share our expenses with others: For others that are interested starting a homestead from scratch, it can be helpful to see which expenses you may incur.
  3. Demonstrate that homesteading can be done in a reasonably tight budget: We do have an income but we also are working with a tight budget. You don’t need to be a millionaire to start a homestead, just need to pay close attention to how things are done.
  4. Share with others what we’re buying: We hope to share how we found certain materials or tools and what we paid for them so that you can try to do the same or even better.
  5. Demonstrate that one need not have a substantial income to begin a homestead, live off grid or own land: Our income isn’t grossly large but we are finding a way to make homesteading happen.
  6. Show others how to create and manage a budget that will help them adjust their spending habits to fit the lifestyle they want and allow them to finally realize their dreams: Many thing that to achieve their dreams they need a boat load of money, but that is not usually the case. Dreams can be achieved on a very limited budget, but you do need to become aware of your own spending and learn how you can make your money work for you.
  7. Challenge ourselves to be proper stewards of our finances so as not to jeopardize our journey: Even though we have a fairly good grasp on where our money goes any given month or year, it really helps us to sit down monthly and pick over our finances with a fine-toothed come. Often, we think we spent more or less money than we did but numbers never lie.
  8. Document how using alternative buying techniques can save you phenomenal amounts of money: We are challenging ourselves to not buy everything brand new as there can be substantial savings in alternative buying techniques such as buying materials used or even bartering. We are not opposed to buying new things, but want to make sure we’re carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option.
  9. Demonstrate that using time, not money, can change how you think about money and the job needed to earn it: Many materials we gather ourselves rather than spending our time working jobs to earn money to buy the materials. It’s not always best to use time instead of money, but it is another option to be aware of and have in your tool kit.
  10. Demonstrate how having time available to capitalize on opportunities often missed by people who are too busy can save you more than you could earn in an equal amount of time: Many of the tools or materials we collect are at a huge savings and that’s because we have time to take advantage of good deals. We hope to share with others how being available for opportunities can save you a lot of money on your homestead throughout your journey.

Which homesteading expenses will we be tracking?

For the sake of these expense reports, we will be categorizing the expenses based on five types of groups.

Household: These are basic expenses that are required to run a household including groceries, cell phones, clothing, cleaning items, household items, eating out, coffee, and things like that. These obviously will vary drastically from household to household depending on a number of different factors.

Utilities: In a normal household, these are typically power, water, gas and maybe internet. Living off grid without a fully-developed home, it includes fuel for our generator, water, showers and even laundry.

Land / Development: These are expenses including our land payment, property taxes, and any development we do to the property such as septic installation, paving a driveway, etc.

Consumables: These are things that need to be purchased but don’t really last so they can’t be considered an asset. Some examples are screws, antifreeze, caulk, paint… things that you consume and then they are gone!

Assets: These are frequently larger expenses that only need to be made once (or at least very infrequently). These are things such as tools and reusable building materials.

We may adjust these definitions periodically as we refine our tracking and how to make sense of it all. Ideally we’ll begin creating an expense log so you can get a realistic idea how much money is needed at each stage or starting a homestead.

How can you help make this page better?

We hope you’ll take a moment and share with us any ideas you have on making the page better, easier to understand or information you might want to added. Ideally this page will be simple to update and easy for folks to grasp so while we might be able to add many features we want to keep it basic and straightforward.

Feel free to leave comments below! While we want to document our expenses for our own benefit, we also want to be sure that we are presenting the data in a way that is easy for others to understand as well.

Follow along this young couple's journey of starting a homestead 100% from scratch, including monthly expense reports. Great resource if you're looking to start your own homestead one day. #homestead #homesteading #offthegrid #offgrid

Comments

  1. don hoon says

    i have just watched your water video on youtube and I believe you have given the idea of water caching a short shrift. i have researched the idea of erecting a pole barn(a roof with a pole in each corner, no walls) with gutters to gather the water. it seems very efficent and you already have all the materials on hand ( you make your own lumber and the tin sheets make the roof) cost would be sooooo much less than a well even with adding a filter system to clean it.

  2. Rachel says

    Ya’ll are so awesome and inspiring!! Thanks for sharing your lives with the world and how you do what you do!!

  3. paul says

    just wanted to say thanks for sharing all your videos. I’m really learning a lot and hope some day to start building on my teardrop camper which is the start for me and my wife to start our journey. don’t be afraid to put in a lot of details, not saying u don’t, just saying for us beginners it really helps. I wish u both success and a happy journey. thanks Paul and Ashley

    • says

      Hey guys! Glad you’re enjoying our videos and expense reports! We try to include what we think is relevant and go back in forth with whether to include more info or not. Things like food or buying a mattress aren’t really related to this lifestyle, but then again it kinda is because those expenses don’t stop coming and don’t go away, so it’s all about taking care of business while making progress on your dreams. We’ll at least continue to post these with the same amount of detail until future notice! And we do include just about everything we buy, at least for the property 😉

      • Esther says

        My husband and I were JUST discussing the mattress situation. So yes feel free to include it. I definitely think it’s related. I watch your show and ready your blog faithfully. We are attempting to make the plunge into Alaska. Your blog has made our imagination into reality. Thank you. We are at the very beginning stages of planning.

      • says

        Am very interested in the Machinery you’ve used on Property, trailers, quad, Backhoe w/trencher/plow. How you found these, the costs, rental fees etc. Of course, if you wish to disclose. I have generally bought refurbished or certified used, over New, all my life. Of 25 vehicles we’ve had: cars, trucks, motorbikes, RVs
        etc only 5 were New. They were gotten on great year end or other type deals and always, good finc rates.
        All used were Low Mileage great condition, couldnt passup deals. I mention this to say, if you Plan ahead & know what you Need, things have a way of working to our advantage.
        You seem to have this attitude. How rewarding it can be.
        I mention this, to be a contributor, to be helpful and encouraging. Times are tough and I live off very little and have to be careful and mindfull of every dollar. Yet maintain a happiness in my life style. Which I do.
        Thanks for sharing yer Journey with us. Thats where disclosing honest costs can be helpful to us. Who knows which of us may decide to take on something similar or even greater, that was inspired by your path taken. I hope that yer efforts have a positive effect on many.
        GET ER DONE

  4. Ben Balcombe says

    It would be great to see some breakdown on the income side of the balance sheet, i.e. are you breaking even, making enough to save something each month, or simply burning through whatever savings/equity you might have had going in? I know that as my wife and I consider a lifestyle change it’s the income that’s a bigger concern than the expense….

    • says

      I guess that isn’t a simple answer, but I’ll give it a shot. Almost every dime we spend, we try to invest. While we do like to have some financial cushion for the unexpected, we generally don’t make a habit of having money simply sit in our bank account, but we try to make our money work for us. For the past year, I guess you can say that we haven’t had anything left over in the bank account because we are putting it all towards our property, towards our business, or towards paying off debt, and we’ve taken care of a lot of debt since making the lifestyle change. We don’t plan on building a substantial savings account while we’re building a house and we fully expect to pay out the nose for a few years, but if we could own our home outright in our 30s would that be so bad? To fund our build and pay off debt, we do need to maintain somewhat of a high income which comes from various streams that we’ve worked hard to build. We work hard to be location-independent and almost all of our income comes from our online ventures that we can work on as we want to. We haven’t touched our online businesses since February but because we invested in them wisely over the winter, they are continuing to grow and work for us as we work on our property. I guess the income solution isn’t one size fits all, but it is definitely something that needs to be considered when living this type of lifestyle. Our long-term goal is to live off maybe $1,000-$1,500/month, so a low enough number that one of us could easily make working part-time maybe, or both of us working a little bit a month to keep our businesses rolling. Right now is just so expensive because we have A LOT of ground to get to the point where we are completely debt-free and own both a home and land!

      • Fred says

        Hi Alyssa: I think you are accomplishing a great deal given the modest expenses you are generating given the size of the project. Someone once told me ‘show me a young person who does not have debt and I will show you an old man who is poor’.

        Given you have a revenue stream it may be fiscally prudent to assume some debt to complete your home and barn before interest rates rise significantly. Lower interest rates combined with your ability to do most of the labor yourself tells me that you would be paying yourself a sizeable amount each day you devote to this project.

        Just a suggestion.

        I make it because I don’t think I’ve seen too many couples who are as hardworking and determined as you two are. From a lenders perspective this would be a low risk loan.

  5. Harley says

    hello i just found your blog and i gotta say i have has exactly the same goals and dreams as yall for a long time, we are currently spending $3,250 with a state job and overtime (1 income) its barely enough and the debt is killing us. we are going to shop and look around for a 5th wheel and some land and hopefully that will cut our bills down some. Any advice? Thanks.

    • Guy says

      Harley, What expenses do you have that are money or land related ? ie – interest, rates, fees, etc… those costs are maintaining your level of debt by keeping you floating in your debt !… Not sure that explains it well. You need to be able to put money aside to go in this direction before – you go in this direction. If you lived there now what income could you derive from being in that situation ? Alyssa and Jessie have the incredibly handy skillset of marketing which enables them to self market if you like.

      Your costs are mindblowing and they need to be cut where ever they can be of course. Maybe you need to move first or downsize … before you move to this if you get me. Cheers and good luck – Guy – New Zealand.

    • says

      Harley, I’ve known 2 harleys, neither were bikes. On land.. look, look, look. Get to know whats out there, for what prices. Look all seasons to be familiar with identifying problem land. Swampy, buggy, to lousy views to great views. You want a place w a view, of something. Learn about tree types, that wiil tell about a property. Fall colors to wildlife variety. Mast trees, acorn, nuts, pinecone seeds. Check local well depths, water issues. County tax records are Public Domain, lots of Free Info: prop taxes paid, owners addresses and property lines. Check which banks etc carry repossesed and land auctions thru sherriff depts, Good Luck watch for any Back Taxes owed on a property.

      • says

        Great Idea for those looking @ property (clickbaithere). If possible find a serious group that would Split a Large property (if it is splitable). 100 to 450 acre sites for sale, if Splitable, could Price Out to $500 to $3000 per Acre when split! Thats often only way to get 40 acres as low as $30k to $60k cost. Just an Idea. Dont buy without Splitting, then you all have to deal with ea other.

  6. Keith Byerly says

    We full time RV’rs 38 ft motor home, Diesel pusher.
    Haven’t watched all the videos yet but the ones I have are great. I’m part time handyman, retired from the drywall business, on SS we get about 2000 a month. We are still paying on the motor home should be paid off June next year. Our last child left the nest Dec 2014. We are now in FL was rent free while we remodeled two houses, but that’s done so now he wants rent 300 a month, not unreasonable
    because it includes electric. Our daughters live in IL one has a 5 acre Farm . We spent the summer with them and of course they want us to stay all the time, but winters are brutal. If we do decide well be using your idea of put the RV in a building . This the building we are looking at. https://www.versatube.com. we can get a fully in closed building under 5000 minus the door, large enough to get the RV in 43x16x12. Plus a concrete slab. Or for under 3000 and close it in with bartered material or used. Anyway thanks for the blog it really is a blessing. Keith.. Psychological I did set up the Amazon thing I buy a lot from Amazon through the year.

  7. Jana Emhardt says

    After looking at your annual expenses for this year to date and last year, I have to ask if the money being spent is from savings and investments or are you earning a decent amount from your online businesses? If the latter, I would like to know about your online businesses…struggles and successes.

    • says

      The first chunk of money we spent came from savings / sales of large assets such as a car, but month-to-month it comes from mostly our online businesses. We have a post on some of the ways we make money here: In short, we’ve put in A LOT of time to transferring our income online, have spent thousands (and lost thousands) on the education, but today it produces an income for us that we have to work very little to maintain, giving us the freedom to work on our property and pay the way.

  8. Chris says

    I realize you may be leaving out details on purpose but…… I would really like to know details on your online businesses and just how specifically you started this. THAT is the TRUE off grid even being online. THAT makes you independent in my opinion. I wish you both all the happiness in the world. FREEDOM is a wonderful journey and goal.

  9. Maryl Burke says

    Your links that say “For a detailed explanation of what each category entails, click here” link back to this page.

    When you have time to fix it, I’d love to read that page.

    Thanks!
    Maryl

  10. says

    My Wife & I retired at 52 and 47, (sold everything!) bought a (cheap) 5th wheel, and hit the road. Within 6 months, we were managing a Forest Service Campground. Then working at a KOA, then another RV park, always getting free rent, utilities (including propane) and paid too! During some of the jobs on the road, we were able to “bank” $500 per WEEK, by NOT having cable TV, the latest phone, the newest car etc. We see many people wanting the “latest” EVERYTHING, with no thoughts of (their future) “what happens down the road.” Drive by a junk yard and stop to look at somebody’s “gotta have the latest” and try to understand, what you see was somebody’s “dream”. “Going without” is the only way to “save for the future!” We are now 78 and 73, happily retired, living the dream and debt free! The ONLY way to live the “new life” is to CHANGE THE WAY YOU ARE LIVING NOW! Thank you Alyssa and Jesse, for reminding all of us, there is a “dream” that anybody can reach, but it requires hard work, deep thought and perseverance!

    • says

      A reply to Roger Mathews’ post. I just wanted to say thank you for the entire paragraph, but mostly the sentence, “The ONLY way to live the’ we life’…” I’m 63 and I know that, but I’m 63 and sometimes I need a reminder. Thank you.

  11. Jeff says

    I find your detailed and honest record of expenses extremely value. This really let’s people know what they can expect during those first few years when they are trying to get their homestead off the ground.

  12. ERIC WELCH says

    Super videos. You are clearly a delightful couple with a nice sense of humor. A couple of comments:
    – cover your license plates in the videos. You would be amazed at how much personal information that can be obtained from a license plate number.
    – On your spreadsheets you total in assets under expenses. Does the asset column represent a real cost? Or the increased value of something. That gives a very unrealistic picture of costs. What you spend on the land does represent an asset ultimately but it should not be included in the total expense column (assuming that’s what it is.)

    Very professional job on the videos. Best of luck in your projects!

    • says

      Glad you enjoy our videos and thanks for the feedback! The asset column represents the real cost, not the increased value. Just the actual dollars out of our pocket. That said, it makes sense to us to include in the total expense column. And thanks for the kind wishes!

  13. Noel Lemen says

    Thank you so much for your posts with hard numbers on starting your homestead- I can’t tell you how helpful it is to get actual costs. I know that every homestead is different, and excavators, for example, cost more in my area, etc etc, but having numbers off of which to even base estimates is WONDERFUL!

  14. Ryan Fleming says

    I want you to know I love your YouTube channel/blog. For the last few years I’ve wanted be a homesteader and seeing my dream being created through your eyes is wonderful. One day I’ll be out on the land and your tips and insight are wonderful because you give the perspective of young thriving individuals. I am only 24 years old and I am sure you two are close in age. Thanks for continueing your journey together, I wish you the best of luck and I hope to encourage you two. I appreciate your hard work and dedication never give up you two are great together!

  15. Dustin says

    saw your wood stove on youtube. My dad had that exact one. would you be willing to tell me where to get one like it?

  16. Denise says

    One thing the blogs (except mine does) won’t tell you: if you live in a trailer on land off grid with kids, expect do-gooders to call someone. We had that happen to us, so we haven’t been able to live on our property while we build. That means, we haven’t built, because we have moved from friend to friend and can’t keep jobs. Difficulty level: 9. We are persevering.

  17. Justin Kochenderfer says

    Hello!! I just wanted to say, I am 29 years old and have a family of myself and my 10 year old daughter. You two have inspired us to cut our bills, budget and get out of debt. We purchased a country home on 3 acres. We are excited for spring, as we are planting our first fruit trees!! We love to can and garden!

    I look forward to more of your wonderful videos, and you two(s) wonderful personality! Thanks for taking the time!!

  18. says

    Just a couple of thoughts. There seems to be about a 800 difference between your itemized and you grand totals. I see the double land payment, but curious what the rest was. As for things that might help reduce costs I see a few that might make sense.
    a 100 to 500 gallon propane tank which your supplier would fill which would reduce overall cost of product, save hauling yourself and give you the ability to use propane for other things if it makes sense.
    a 200 to 300 gallon gasoline tank which should reduce your cost for gas and also save running for it at all as this too should be able to be filled by a delivery as opposed to you hauling yourself.
    I know you have been reasonably successful with solar to far, but before I would put more money in Solar panels, I would also look to see if a small wind generator would make sense in your location as they will supplement during dark days and night time, especially helpful in winter periods. Will be interested to see how you electrolyte change out pans out going forward. Looks promising.
    jb

    • Joe says

      Rather than wind, simply buy more solar, including storage. Solar panels have 20-30 year life span, whereas a windmill will breakdown before 10 years guaranteed, and probably with 5 years. Moving parts are the problem. And when one can afford maintenance free batteries, all the better as well.

  19. says

    would be interested to know how your buried water system is going. Has it remained unfrozen during the cold weather and what have you learned since installing it?? You know your expense profile is not unlike being retired and planning to cover everything from fixed sources of income, so a lot of your struggles are similar to those of us retired folk as well as the ways you get around them using your extra time and expertise to find lower cost ways of getting what you need.

  20. Richard GreyEagle says

    My wife and I have really enjoyed your insight and live coverage of your experience living as independently as possible. We are in the process of purchasing some off grid property to begin our transition to independent living off-grid. I want to thank you two for the foresight and courage to begin this journey. You are not alone, as you two have become leaders to us (I’m sure many others too timid to speak up) and we continue to watch your videos to learn and be entertained by your innocent humor. We have shared this with our respective families and they too have gathered ideas for their future as well because we are very much like minded. So, thank you with deep appreciation!

  21. HC says

    This is what my wife and I want to do. We want to be able to live and work camp in an rv for a couple of years and save to buy the land to do what you two have done, mostly so our grandchildren will have a place one day. We are in our late 50’s,I am medically retired and my wife is a home care nurse. Our youngest son and two of our grand children live in Sequim area. Any and all suggestions would be awesome. Peace and continued happiness to you both

  22. Larry Kunkler says

    Too many ads. They are very intrusive and detract from your excellent blog site. As iI said, I really like your blog. But every time I visit I get frustrated by the incessant ads…kunk

  23. Robert Jindra says

    Hey guys. I’ve been watching ur videos for a while now and been really like how much I’m learning. I am planning on doing exactly what u guys are doing in a few years once I get the finances together. I am planning to build my off grid home from shipping containers. Ive been doing a ton of research on this. What kind of advice can u give me on deciding on how much land to buy. I want to use wood heat for my main source of heat so I just was wondering how much land I need so I dont run out of wood. Also, I don’t want anyone near me. Thanks for ur time. Love ur videos.

  24. hector says

    Hello l’m from Puerto Rico, I love your chanel and your advice helps me make my decision to move to Alaska, if you can give me information on what I need to know to buy land in Alaska. Thank you for all the valuable information you give us.

    • Joe says

      They live in Idaho, not Alaska. Living their lifestyle in Alaska would be tough. Most of Alaska’s land is owned by the feds, what acreage is available for purchase is either expensive, or remote…and by remote I mean, not road accessible. Solar in Alaska is wonderful in summer, but abysmal in winter with the short days and long nights, so gotta have some bucks to run the generator. And yes, I live in Alaska, but on grid.

  25. Nick says

    I have been watching your progress from the beginning and may have missed the answer to this question. How are you going to fill your water storage when completed up on top of your little mountain? Are you planning some type of rain water recovery system?

    Also, I am a Private Pilot and have found that little teaser interesting as I have been there learning to fly. Began my training and had a 10 year break after completing my PPL because of LIFE and it’s responsibilities.

    • says

      Same way we do now… we’ll transport water in a tank and pump it to the top! Until we get a well at least. And very cool that you’re a private pilot!

  26. Charles says

    Just reviewed some of your commentary on your life style project. Unfortunately it looks like a life I led growing up. A lot of sweat equity going on and I admire your patience and tenacity for tackling such an endeavor. Just shows the rest of us what we CAN DO once we start moving. Congratulations on your progress and thank you for your willingness to share. Particularly interested in your portable solar panel discoveries I have electricians in my family but it doesn’t make gaining understanding of the complexities solar to practical energy usage any easier. Frankly they speak more “electro-geek” than I can follow when they get started. Great you where able to break through and discover a solution that fits your needs. Thank you for turning on the lights in this area for the rest of us. Best to you.

  27. Matt says

    Hi Guys!

    I wanted to thank you for all your YouTube videos as they’re an incredible resource for anyone interested in a similar lifestyle. I’ve been following you two for a while now, and it’s great to see how you’re progressing. I also appreciate how you’re honest about some of the difficulties of building all this. It gives me a more realistic picture of what to expect when I start my own homestead.

    While reading the ‘about’ section on your website, I read that you were planning on building all this for $100,000 or less. Looking at your expenses from 2015 to now, you’re currently at over $80,000. After a couple years of working on this project, have you re-assessed what you anticipate the final bill to be? Do you think you can still do it all for around the $100,000 mark?

    Thanks again for all your hard work on the videos, and good luck with all your endeavors!

  28. Calvin says

    Hello fellow Homesteaders,

    We have been where you are now. Save yourself a huge amount of money (and misery) and get a pole barn built first … before you do any other projects. One big enough (three stalls) to park your trailer in on one side, a workshop/toolshed on another, and the center area as a covered open/living area. As a couple people have mentioned already, you have everything you need.

    Our favorite is Steelmaster: VERY inexpensive, strong, and super easy to construct. Pole Barn 1 was a Steelmaster and we love it. In fact, it evolved as part of our main home. Though I am sure other opinions exist out there… because … everyone has an opinion.
    http://www.steelmasterusa.com/

    You have to love the Northwests rocks…because it is too easy to hate them. LOL
    “They grow right out of the soil.”

    We used our rocks as siding to our ‘first’ pole barn. Excellent insulation. Concrete/Mortar and rocks can build a lot of long lasting ‘homesteading’ things. You can make money with your rocks by selling them to a gravel supply company… some will even come get them from your property as part of the deal.

    AND … We surrendered and got the well… huge headache behind us. The modern convenience of running water is [singing] WONDERFUL!

    Here is the order we went. 1. Buy land. 2. build pole/metal building. 3. Lay septic field (with an RV connection) 4. A slew of bad decisions 5. Payed the big bucks, and had a well drilled and plumbed to the pole barn. 6. Installed the things that come with running water!!! … a flushing toilet, a wash basin/sink, and a shower. 7. Electricity to the property and the Pole Barn (It was nice not having to fill up the generator all the time… and cheaper).

    Once you have the pole barn/metal building … you can have a wood burning stove!!! Better than a fireplace in our opinion.

    … Then everything just kind of happened naturally afterwards. There is no need to make everyday a camping trip while you build your dream home and create a business. You can always disconnect from the modern world later on as you build out. Note: The modern world does have a few perks over the people that live in caves. You have to ask yourself: “Just how far off the grid do you really want to live”?

    Then there is Starry Hilder. Her and her husband make it look so easy.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqTGYxXH21MTYnMoOZGvX6A

    I see you have gardens… plant and grow… then sell in the city at farmers market. Olympia has a great one, you WILL make good money there selling your fresh ‘organic’ herbs and ‘organic’ veggies there! Urbanites love their ‘organic’ food. Plus it is a nice place to spend time and visit with other like minded folks.

    We discovered Kelley Blocks. Not too costly and you can build strong and fast with their system of blocks. Their blocks look good too. Pole Barn 2 was build with them. Do a Google Images search to see and be amazed. They usually have a booth at the Seattle Home Show.
    http://www.kelleyblocks.com/index.html

    The Seattle Home Show is awesome! Good place for exhausted hearts to get re-energized.
    http://seattlehomeshow.com/

    Lastly, find like minded people to network with that live near you. Our modern world seems to make us forget that it is okay to ask for help. For example, a few extra hands would have been nice when you are pulling that pipe all over the place. Some jobs are simply bigger than two people can undertake. Pay with a hearty BBQ and Fresh greens from your garden.

    I hope you can keep your adventure going on YouTube. You both looked and sounded very worn out on your last video… maybe even ‘burned out’. Stick with it… the end result will be an awesome reward. Though don’t kid yourself, life on a homestead is always about a good amount of work/labor… and being debt free… less of a slave to the 9 to 5 grind that most people live with.

    Remember why you became husband and wife. Remember to say and be sorry for losing tempers. Stress from exhaustion is natural. You are doing a great thing building a debt free lifestyle.

    Cheers, Peace, and Good Journey,

    The Silverbow’s

  29. Lauren Johnson says

    Hi guys!

    I have to say I am obsessed with your site and your youtube channel. I am currently living in Houston Texas and I literally can’t wait until I am able to go off grid! ( I have 4 kids, the youngest 7, so I almost have no choice to wait a few more years before I can go off grid the way I’d like.) I feel that the things you are sharing with us; finances, budgets, tips on how to make money while off griding…those are so helpful! I asked myself how y’all did it, (because I am sure that many people are not just trust fund babies or loaded with hundreds of thousands in a savings account) but I thankyou for sharing the ideas and avenues y’all use!

    Keep sharing and keep working hard! I know it seems exhausting but I know it will be all worth it when yall are finished…if you ever truly “finish” with being off grid :)

    I am curious though…I have seen something about y’all being in Oregon, but feel like I have heard y’all verbally mention that y’all are in Idaho. Which one? And with you being further North, do you find anything about the weather challenging? Like the snow, winter season, how you will manage the cold weather when you start raising animals?

    How do you get internet?

    Thanks in advance and thank you for sharing with everyone!!!

    L. Johnson

  30. Paul Lockett says

    You two are great, I look forward to every video you post. It is great that you have formed up for the pour. I did research on the 10 unit per foot measuring tape and it is a very old way to measure. When you get tired you are going to make mistakes and that just how it is. The blow out of the plumbing was very painful and I would have gone bizerk with bleep, bleep, bleep. You can never go wrong with extra cement. Are you going to use those free rocks for the exterior of you home as they should wash up real nice? I did not understand where the gray came from truck came from as I never saw you buying a new truck on the video. Keep up the good work and take a day off when you can or you will get sick or hurt.

  31. Dave Alward says

    I am 75 and not in the best of health so I will never be able to live the dream you folks are. Keep the videos coming. I am right along side you in heart. Don’t pay attention to the nay sayers. They are mostly jealous.

  32. ed says

    Fell in love with your progress, and well, with the two of you…
    Contributions can and do come in different forms. Mine comes with a suggestion:
    if and when you ever have the time to do something with that large (10-12′) sheared off tree to the right of the hot-tub.
    It occurred to me it would make a great “Spirit Totem”. Not sure if either of you are artistic enough to try and use
    your grand chisels in creating something of it or not. Maybe a spirit totem, reflecting the many supporters you have made
    along the way, the spirit that seems to come from nature itself.
    Are there any Indians in the area that would be willing to offer their talents with regards to this suggestion?
    Anyway, give it some thought before you decide to chop it down for firewood. It is so majestic, standing there like a sentinel
    of some sort (a grand Indian chief). I think of it as an overseer, perhaps keeping you from harm in its silent vigilance.
    But surely I need to keep my overly active imagination in check.
    Best regards, me.

  33. Raymond Day says

    Found your video looking for solar power. I guess like 2 months ago. Been watching all your video’s from then one and watched some video before that some.

    Looked on here some but what I like to know how did you 2 meat? How long you know each other? What do your parents think about this? How do you upload your videos to YouTube? I guess go out to eat some place but it must take hours to upload them?

    Thank you for you videos they are very good. Nice job doing them.

    -Raymond Day

  34. MIKE STEVENS says

    I was just wondering.. How much , if any, of the stuff you have gets donated to you. I saw the video ( say goodbye to the red shirt.. I think ) where you got stuff from Duluth Trading and you said they gave you the stuff.. How did you get them to do that??

  35. randall osborne says

    I enjoy your videos so much, it’s like I’m following friends. When you finish a project I rejoice with you. when you do a project and you do high heavy work I’m watching with concern. I know you are so busy right now with your timber framing, and that makes it hard to do videos. I check every night to see if one posts. I honestly think that some days you guys are only getting 3 to 4 hours sleep. I want God to bless each step and each thing you touch may you be safe in the hollow of his hand. Can’t wait to see the finished home. From Kingsport, Tennessee, see you on Youtube.

  36. says

    Nice job guys. This is the true American dream. It’s the journey as you go, not the faults sense of security the hamster wheel life brings… We have been trained to constantly seek immediate gratification. In doing so, we surrender our selves to the machine. Debt free living is the ONLY way to go. Build as you go with a solid plan and vision. I’m jealous of you two with the obvious connection and teamwork. You are an amazing inspiration to say the least. Thanks for sharing you’re lives with us…
    Sincerely, DeWayne “Booboo” Jones

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