The Importance of Simplifying Your Life

Take a good look at your lifestyle.  I think it is safe to say that most of us live under such a cloud clutter that we have long forgotten what it is like to live a simple life. In fact, we are so far down that path that we no longer even think about simplifying our life. 

There are also many things that clutter our lives and yet produce no value. Our homes are cluttered with possessions. Our business lives are cluttered with busy work and meetings. Our personal time is cluttered with endless emails, voicemails, text messages, and phone calls. Furthermore, our personal and family lives are cluttered with an endless list of obligations. To make matters even more stressful, our financial lives are buried under a crushing load of debt.

There are so many things in our lives that cost us money every month and yet do not truly enrich us. Most people never even realize how much this clutter and the long list of meaningless obligations eats away our time and our back...

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Why the 30 Year Mortgage Is Not Your Friend

money matters Nov 05, 2020

In today’s culture, borrowing money seems to be a way of life. It is the only way most of us obtain those “big ticket” items. In fact, many of us could not fathom how our lives would function if we were not able to finance our lives.  So we borrow money, make payments with interest, pay off the loan and thus establish a sound financial history. But what is this was not necessary? What if we could just have a simply life without complication? What if simplicity was the norm? 

A good credit history serves us well down the road when we want to purchase other more expensive items especially real estate. Mortgage loans thus make it feasible for the common person to purchase a home or land so that we may “have our own place”.
Such practices are so common place in our culture that we take it for granted. After all, it is these types of financial practices, the ability to buy now and pay later, that make so many things available to us in life. However,...

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How to Improve Your Off Grid Skills

Living off grid requires dedication, commitment, and a considerable amount of knowledge and skill.  Most people do not acquire those skills over night.  Therefore, if this is concerning, continue reading and learn how to improve your off grid skills.  

Most people I’ve met that live a self sufficient lifestyle are motivated, flexible, self-starters. They are hardy do-it-yourself types, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. Furthermore, those that avidly work toward self sufficiency realize that it is almost impossible to know everything. It takes some time to acquire the needed off grid skills and knowledge. Most folks learn by doing. Creativity and ingenuity become your best friends.

Being able to manage your own resources and provide most of your daily needs  requires a considerable amount of skill and knowledge. I know this can be intimidating but you need to start somewhere. 

 

WHAT TYPES OF OFF GRID SKILLS ARE NECESSARY?

 

There seems...

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Establishing an Emergency Food Supply

An important first step in preparing for the unexpected is simply establishing an emergency food supply. From the perspective of being self sufficient, having extra supplies is fundamental.

I grew up with two working farms in the family and we always had a large walk-in closet that was well stocked with home canned goods, extra dry goods, and other basic supplies. This was a normal part of being self sufficient. I would strongly recommend that you do the same thing. This is something that is very easy and inexpensive to accomplish and it is similar to having an insurance policy.

 

ADVANTAGES TO having AN EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLY

 

There are several distinct advantages to establishing and emergency food supply. On a very practical level, if something were to happen and you either could not work or you were simply unemployed for a period of time, you would still be able feed yourself. If a major storm comes through your area and there is a significant interruption in the local...

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The Simple Truth About Bugging Out: A Case for Being Self Sufficient

What is Bugging Out?

I am the type of person that constantly searches for and reads articles concerning self-sufficiency, homesteading, green living, etc.  I often come across some interesting discussions that catch my interest. One of the things I repeatedly come across is the term bugging out. This term is usually related to some survival or disaster scenario.

Even though the subject of this blog is not really about survival and prepping, I thought is was appropriate to at least address this issue of bugging out.  In many ways it is actually related to self-sufficiency. Certainly if you decided that “bugging out” was necessary, it is in your best interest to know how to take care of yourself and your family.

The term “bugging out” comes from military jargon and may have originated as far back as the Korean War. Sometimes military personnel found themselves in a position that was no longer defensible or was likely to be overrun by enemy forces. In...

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The Off Grid Mindset

Just mentioning the possibility of voluntarily living off grid is almost guaranteed to bring blank stares and questions regarding your sanity. The reason for this reaction is that most people have a lack of understanding about being off  grid. Such a thought conjures up visions of being thrown back into the dark ages with little or no conveniences, bathing in a cold stream, perhaps using animal skins for clothing, using an outhouse (or not), and living by candle light. However, with modern technology, the reality of living off grid is actually quite different.

 

Choosing such a lifestyle does not necessitate being a Luddite. Modern-day folks that live off grid often have a lifestyle that is a marriage between “old -fashioned” country skills and modern technology. They are often creative thinkers that manage to recreate many of the modern conveniences associated with city life. Their only real limitations are based on climate, regional conditions, available...

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Is True Self Sufficiency Achievable or Even Necessary?

What is Self Sufficiency?

True self sufficiency refers to the ability to support yourself or produce that which you need without outside help. Think of true self sufficiency as a sort of personal or collective autonomy. You rely only on your own capabilities, judgments, and resources. You are responsible for everything that you do and everything that you don’t do.

So many people talk about achieving self sufficiency, which of course has a nice romantic ring to it.  Self reliance is also a term that you will hear.  There have even been times in the history of the US when remarkable numbers of people decided to reject “the system” and go back to the land.  Many succeeded while many others failed. What made the difference?

This brings up the question of whether or not true self sufficiency is achievable. You must also ask the question of whether or not it is even possible? Or are we really aiming for self reliance?

 

What is Different Now?

At one...

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When Did Practicality Turn Into Prepping?

Having grown up with 2 working farms in the family, we were about as self sufficient as you could be. We raised cattle, chickens, pigs, rabbits, goats, and had an extensive garden. We hunted, fished, foraged, canned and preserved food in every way possible. We never really talked about self sufficiency. It was simply the way we lived. But, were we actually prepping? 

Practicality or Prepping?

When I was younger, I thought all the effort at self sufficiency was way to much work. I deemed it unpleasant if only for the reason that my parents made me do it. At the time, I knew little of how such experiences would shape my adult life.

For the past 20 years I have had a cabin that is 100% off grid. It is the usual story of the utility companies wanting to charge way to much money to supply services. I loved the property and the location so I dedicated myself to learning how to live off the grid.

I installed solar, high efficiency DC appliances, eventually LED lighting, and built a...

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Who Is Patrick, the Man Behind Off Grid Living News?

Where did Patrick come from and why

should you listen?

Childhood

In my early childhood my family moved around a lot. Although we lived in numerous different places, it was mostly limited to northern Georgia and south eastern Tennessee. We eventually settled in a house in Chattanooga which is where I spent a great deal of my childhood. The house was very small. I had a brother and two sisters. Neither of my parents graduated high school because they quit in order to help on the family farm. They were the average blue collar parents that worked very hard to provide everything they could. We never really did without anything but we had very limited financial means and the little extras in life were few and far between.

There were two working farms in the family and none of us were strangers to hard work. I often spent months at a time helping on one of the farms. Starting when I was about 5 years old, both of my grandfathers began teaching me how to work the farm. Donning over-sized...

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35 Things to Consider When Buying Rural Property

When Buying Rural Property, how do you find the right place?

I purchased a 46 acre property over 20 years ago that I considered to be my dream property. I had always wanted to build a log cabin and establish a homestead that was completely off-grid. That is exactly what I did. I still have that property today and still live there full-time. Fortunately for me, things worked out well despite my lack of forethought and planning.

At the time I also had a complete lack of understanding of all the possible considerations for buying rural property. I made many, many mistakes. It was only the second piece of real estate I had ever purchased in my life. When I found this place, I knew it was exactly what I wanted and I jumped at the opportunity.

Because I did not have a lot of money at the time,  I took a significant financial risk. Fortunately the people I dealt with were honest, extremely helpful, and willing to risk placing their trust in me. Only in retrospect did I realize just...

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