Archive for July, 2012

Turkey for Thanksgiving!

Taken by Yousif Waleed

Well, I just got off the phone with Meyer Hatchery and ordered turkeys for Thanksgiving.  Meyer Hatchery is not a local farm where I’ll go pick up a turkey around Thanksgiving, they are a great hatchery out of Ohio that will be sending us 15 day old turkeys in about 2 weeks.  I have ordered from Meyer Hatchery many times before, and they have healthy birds and great service.

Now you may be asking why I categorized this post as “Debt & Homesteading” and not just “Homesteading”.  Well, one of the reasons we moved to our farm 4 years ago was to become more self sufficient not only by raising and growing our own food, but also financially.  We will not be eating 15 turkeys for Thanksgiving (I do like turkey, but not that much!).  We purchase more turkeys every year and then raise the surplus and sell them to people who want a good, pasture/grass raised turkey that is given the opportunity to live a normal life without having to be raised in a poultry house with no sun or nature.  We don’t make a lot of money off of the turkeys, but we make enough to pay for the feed, the processing, and then a little extra for our time each day to make sure the turkeys are well taken care of (about an hour a day).

I read on a lot of other PF blogs about getting side jobs, well, one of my side jobs is right here at my home.  We raise chickens for eggs and meat, turkeys and we are raising a cow that we are planning on selling milk shares later on, all to help us become more independent and self sufficient.  With our farm, I don’t have time to go deliver pizza’s or take another job away from home.  I do have time to do some extra work on the farm to help make a little bit more money to help us reach our goals.
What are you doing to help supplement your income?

“7 Steps to Paying off Debt” Infographic

As I was checking my Mint.com account to see if there was anything that I didn’t know about (I’ll talk about mint.com later, but it’s a great way for me to get an overview of my accounts and what is happening in them).  I came across a good post on the Mint.com blog, MintLife. Today they posted a very simple infographic detailing seven steps to paying off debt.  None of them are so amazing that they’ll make you go “WOW!!!”, but as I looked over them I kept going “Why am I not doing this?” which is the biggest question, why has it taken me so long to figure out these easy steps.  Julia knew them, I just wasn’t there to help out doing them.  Time for me to step up and help out and help get this done!

Here is the infographic (it is a little wide for my blog, so click on it or the link above to go to the web page).

Snowball vs. Interest vs. Emotional Debt Reduction

As I’ve been reading over the last few weeks about debt reduction, I’ve come across three main theories of how to reduce your debt.

  1. Snowball
  2. Interest
  3. Emotional

I thought I would talk about these fairly quickly today and see if anybody is actually reading and willing to post what they like about one over another.  Then in a later post I’ll talk about what I am planning on doing.

Snowball

The snowball plan is fairly simple and straight forward.  I’ve heard about this for years, we just have never put it in to play (our bad!).  What the idea is, is you list out all your debts.  You then order them from lowest amount owed to most amount owed.  You pay the minimum on each debt, and put any extra money you have each month to the debt that has the lowest amount owed.  That will help pay off the lowest debt first and quickest.  This is to help give you confidence that you can pay off debt.  Once that first debt is paid off, you will have extra money the next month (money that you had been using to pay off the lowest debt).  You take 100% of that money and put it towards paying off the next debt.  Once you pay off that debt, you move all the money to the next one and so on until all of your debts are paid off.  Like a snowball rolling down a hill, your payments grow in size as it keeps rolling.

Interest

The interest plan is exactly like the snowball (and in reality, the Emotional is as well).  The difference here is you don’t list your debts by lowest owed to highest owed, you list them by HIGHEST Interest rate to LOWEST interest rate.  That way you pay off your highest interest rate first and then slowly pay down your lower cards.

Emotional

This final plan I call Emotional.  I first read about it over on Baker’s Man vs. Debt and he calls it a Debt Tsunami.  You still list out all your debts in order, and then you look at each individual debt and see which ones would really, EMOTIONALLY feel the best to get out of the way first!  Go over and read a much better post about the Debt Tsunami.  This is a great way to get rid of debts you may feel really bad about or a company that just doesn’t give you the customer service you need.  Sometimes it might be linked to Interest rate, sometimes it won’t.  You may want to get a school loan out of the way ASAP!  You have to decide what is the best way for your debts to go away.

There is a site that lets you put in your debts, your payments and the interest rate, and it will let you look at how your debts will disappear with the Snowball vs. the Interest plan.  It doesn’t have the ability to do an Emotional plan, but someday maybe it will.  🙂  http://www.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx?country=us

I took our personal debts* (not counting mortgages) and entered them in to the calculator and I thought I would share the differences.

Personal Snowball

It will take you 40 months to pay off these debts if you snowball correctly. During that time, you’ll pay $3,569.00 in interest.

Personal Interest

It will take you 40 months to pay off these debts if you snowball correctly. During that time, you’ll pay $3,475.00 in interest.

Now as you can see, it will take us EXACTLY the same amount of time for the snowball and the interest plan.  With the interest plan, we would pay about $94 less in interest.  I haven’t decided which of the three plans will work the best for us, I’m still trying to look at the Emotional plan and see if any of the debts are most emotional for us.

Do you follow any certain plans?  Do you look at your debts a certain way.  Let me know!

*Unlike other sites, I won’t be sharing our personal debt here on the blog.  I’ll share percentages, and other non-specific numbers, but not the total numbers.  I just don’t think that helps anyone. 

Homestead Freedom on the 4th of July!

I thought today would be a great day to start a blog I’ve been thinking about for a little while, Homestead FREEdom!  The name Homestead Freedom comes from a couple of different places.  My wife, I and our three daughters moved to our small farm almost exactly four years ago.  We have a dream to make our farm self-sustaining and raise most of what we need right here on our farm, we want it to be our homestead.

Freedom, well I’ve been reading some blogs lately (I’ll get in to all of them later) and one of them is Man vs. Debt.  One of his posts last year was a post of a TEDx talk he gave late last year.  In his post, “My TEDx Talk:  Sell Your Crap, Pay Off Your Debt, Do What You Love…” he asked a question that has had me thinking the last few days.  His question was:

What does FREEDOM mean to you?

He explains that he isn’t asking what the word freedom mean, but what does it mean to us in our life?  What will being free mean to us?  I’ve thought about that, and I don’t know if I have a perfect answer, but I know what some of the answers are.  One is to be debt free, another to be able to live off of our farm, and finally to run my own business.

One thing he says in there is that most people don’t like their jobs.  I am one of the people who does like my job.  I really enjoy the people I work with, I enjoy what I do, but I don’t want to do it the rest of my life.  I would rather be at home on my farm and make money from my farm, but since that isn’t possible now, I really enjoy what I am doing!

My hope with this blog is to share our journey of getting out of debt (and that may be a long journey), our journey to adding to our farm, working with our farm, and working towards our dreams.  I hope you’ll join us on this journey and I hope to learn from anyone reading.

So, what does FREEDOM mean to you?

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