Self Sufficiency Goals for 2014
This year me and the hubby spend some of our Christmas break taking time to go over our plans and our goals for 2014. It may seem that our life is mostly planned out but to be honest we are more spontaneous do-er’s which can get us into trouble. Although it seems like none of our plans for 2013 worked out, we realized that they were just that….plans without definitive actions on how to make them happen.
One of our big goals in the next 5 years is to pay off our house (and all our other debt). For our age and our income, this is a rather far reaching goal but we are very determined and with set action plans we know we can make this happen. (Our goal has always been to be debt free by the time we are 30, so 5 years to go.) To help keep us accountable, I thought we would post our goals for the year here and update as we go along with the year. Please post your own goals for 2014 in the comments section so we can share in this accountability together!
1. To start a new garden in our new property and grow a large amount of produce. The idea will be to preserve as much as possible to have very little if any produce expenditures through the fall and winter.
2. To plant a small orchard. Pears and apples this year.
3. To get chickens and ducks. We will be raising them as 100% free range as possible with added food scraps. I plan also to learn how to make my own chicken feed for winter.
4. To clear the pasture and get ready for cows. We aren’t sure yet if we will be able to clear them to get cattle this year or if we will have to wait until the spring of 2015. The previous owners overgrazed the pasture land with sheep and ponies (both animals are very hard on pasture grass) and as a result we have quite a mess to clean up and try and re-grow.
5. To start a berry patch. I want to get this going as soon as possible since berries can take a few years to produce.
6. To connect a generator to our main system. This is an easier one for us since it’s mostly set up, we just need to get a generator large enough to handle the farm should the power go out. Our electric system is set up so the regular power can be off and a switch simply flipped to set to generator power.
7. Be conscious towards power usage in our home. Make a list of non-electric items to consider switching out in 2015. When we get to move in that is!
8. Pay off as much debt possible. For us, this will mean paying triple on our house each month (I realize that sounds crazy but our mortgage is very very low and since we are ag property we have almost no taxes), and paying as much on other debts as we can.
9. Move further away from consumerism. It’s so easy to get caught up in consumerism these days and to feel like we have to be “doing something” or going somewhere all the time. This year my goal is to only go to town if absolutely necessary and no more than twice a month. I believe this will cut down on un-necessary spending and help us focus even more on togetherness and family activities. Plus I think we will be busy with all of the above!
10. Leave social media behind. We mostly cut out personal Facebook last year but after we moved I started posting a little more since we were away from family and got a bit caught up in it. We decided that in 2014 we won’t be using it anymore (for the personal side of it, don’t worry, we will still be posting blog stuff there!) and will be going back to snail mail exchanges with family and friends. Why? Because in 10 years when Facebook no longer exists, neither will any photos or communication we had with loved ones there. I want my friends and family to have pictures and words to remember this time in our lives by and something to look back on someday when we are all old and joking about the “good old days”. I want to make memories and not profile pictures.
Basically many of the things we have this year are “getting ready”. We don’t want to overwhelm ourselves with too much all at once but at the same time I don’t want to wait until future years to get certain things going that will take longer to produce. Plus since much of these things we’ve done before, it will be easier for us to ease back into everything since it’s not new. I am very much looking forward to having a huge garden. We walked out the existing garden last week and found it to be 100 x 55 feet. Plenty of room for just about anything! I’ve already got almost all of my seeds figured out and have a great post headed your way on planting enough for canning very soon so keep watching or make sure to sign up for our newsletter to follow our progress.
One more thing…to help you decide on your self sufficiency goals for 2014 and to stay motivated, we made this fun little printable to write all your goals on. Mine in going to stay right in my kitchen where we can see it all the time, just like our bills worksheet.
Share your self sufficiency goals for 2014 in the comments section!