HomeAll VideosHomesteading Resilience – Is Your Homestead Living Paycheck to Paycheck?
Homesteading Resilience – Is Your Homestead Living Paycheck to Paycheck?
October 28, 2023
This Pantry Chat Podcast is a bit of a departure from our normal homesteading topics. However, we feel like it goes hand in hand with building systems and resiliency on the homestead. We’ve discussed livestock resilience, garden resilience and food resilience, but there’s one other area we think isn’t discussed enough: financial resilience.
WELCOME! We’re so glad you’re here! We are Josh and Carolyn Thomas. Together with our eleven children, we are The Homesteading Family where we’re living a self-sustainable life in beautiful North Idaho. Let us welcome you and show you a bit about us here:
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Hey you guys this is Josh and Carolyn With homesteading family and welcome to This week's episode of The Pantry chat Food For Thought this week we're Actually talking about a topic that we Don't usually discuss you know around Here we talk about uh livestock Resilience we talk about uh Garden Resilience we talk about food resilience There's something else that you really Need to consider when you're thinking About personal resilience and that is Financial resilience on the homestead Absolutely and you know that actually Includes all of those things from the Homesteaders perspective so we're going To talk a little bit about our views on Financial resilience this is not so much An investing discussion we're not in Investing counselors or financial Advisers definitely but we sure have a Perspective for the homestead or for Weathering uh life in general and Certainly more and more unpredictable Times there some good strategy we think Are worth sharing in creating Financial Resilience on your homestead so it's Going to be a good topic I'm excited About this one we'll get to that in a Little bit but first uh a little Chitchat and a question or two from our Subscribers so what's going on with you Here we're like full-fledged into fall We are full-fledged into fall the
Harvest is actually wrapping up and That's kind of exciting it's been a Longer fall we've had a longer string of Um I guess a longer run on the the Harvest side and so that's been nice It's been able to be a little more Gradual instead of some years you know It's like mid September and you're just Here it comes we got to get it all out And it's a I think we even have a video Of one day where we had to do that and We had to take everything out of the Garden cuz it was going to freeze solid The next day and we just did not have a Year like that which I'm really thankful For we've had a real kind of gradual Year so um so we are getting through it We are getting Harvest all done we're Getting the roots in in and down into The Root Cellar as we speak um and so That's that's good that's what we've Been focusing on in that side on the Other side you know we kind of start Talking back to school season all all The indoor things that start happening Now instead you'd like to think it slows Down and it does outside in our mind it Slows down in our mind it slows down but There's other just work to do more Schooling mhm planning Mhm indoor work of All Sorts there's Always something to organize there's Always something that needs to you know It's kind of the year the time of the
Year where we get to come inside and be Like okay uh let's clean up this area And let's get this area organized Because once you get back outside next Spring you you're busy elsewhere the Pace does change though it does it is a It's a softer Pace especially than Spring and fall when you're either Everything starting to grow fast and you Got to catch up and get things planted And dealt with or you got to get Everything harvested so so it is a it is A nice mellower Pace More Time by the Fire more time getting to discuss and Plan things which is fun yeah it's Always nice good what about you what Have you been up to oh man you know Mostly getting ready for winter um and That has to do with the barn and just The addition to the barn where we've got More room for our cows more room for our Deep beding management system for all of The animals CU we're under roof for at Least 5 months sometimes 6 months a year And that's a a lot of feed to stock up And that's a lot of manure to manage and We want to do that in a very healthy Efficient way right and um so we did a Barn Edition that we're just it's not Completely done but it's done for the Winter we've got done what we can and so That's a great great Improvement really Excited about that that is going to make Our work easier in the winter nice and
Lighten up the load a bit so anywhere Where you can get out of the weather When you're working up here in North Idaho in the winter makes life easier Yeah Absolutely good good well you want to Take a question or am I taking a Question let's see let a question you a Question ant nutmeg on the how to plant Garlic video asks if you mulch heavily In the fall do you need to clear some or All of that mulch in the spring so that The garlic can Sprout yeah in general no I mean I'm going to assume you're not Putting like 6 to 8 inches of mulch on Your garden of heavy chips I've never Done that so I might think that might be A little bit of a struggle for garlic But if you're mulching your Gardens you Know 3 in 4 in somewhere in there um That should not be a problem hopefully You're planting your garlic early enough Where it actually is getting started it Might not come up above the mulch per se If you've got a deep Mulch on there but Hopefully that garlic is starting to Sprout a little bit that's our goal to Get it early enough to get it started It's getting rooted and so it's it's Going to do better through the winter And going to do better in the spring but Otherwise no assuming that you're kind Of mulching normally and not doing a a Heavy heavy mulch there you go yeah good
Yeah garlic is a pretty strong Sprout so It really pushes up through most things Um definitely The Mulch and and it might Push through the heavier I've just never Done that so I I would be hesitant to do Like 6 in or something like that and Really you don't need that on your Garden bed you might do that in your Orchard or walkways or something but you Don't need that much mulch in your Garden unless it's a like a firste Garden that planning in the winter okay We're going to talk about financial Resilience a subject we really really Like we don't really talk about it in This way much because it's we're not Here generally talking about finances But it's something we all are always Managing and thinking about and so I'm Going to ask you a question if you okay I'm almost just to segue into this well What does what does Financial resilience Mean to You Um having your finances in order in a Way that it Can they can keep humming On even with the hits of life when Things kind of get bumpy when the road Gets bumpy yeah uh I guess that's what That would mean to me it's like being Being in a place even if somebody's sick Or something happens unexpectedly that Your finances are still in a position
That they can take care of you through That without additional input maybe is a Way to say that yeah I can withstand Well what if the input stop right Exactly or get slowed down significantly Because of whatever a job loss the Economy drastically Changes um you know various things in Life yeah can you withstand that yeah You know and how long can you withstand It right so that that's what I would Think yeah yeah no I think so and I Think that leads into the thought of Understanding um so to have resilience We have to have some systems we have to Some have some things in place when We're dealing with finances we're Generally dealing with either inflows And outflows we generally think of money But it can be a lot of different things But money is the medium um we can have Assets which things are of value right And we can have liabilities and those Are debts okay those are things that Work against the inflows or the savings And everything so if you want to build Resilience the first thing you've got to Do is reduce the liabilities ah reduce The debts H reduce the debts right this We live in a debt driven economy and World yeah so that would be like uh Credit cards debt that would be any sort Of Consumer Debt like that right any Kind of Consumer Debt yeah we want to
Minimize that ideally we want to get rid Of it uh or at least make sure you're Operating where you can pay it off every Month yeah so we early on started trying To really focus on getting out of debt Ourselves you know and um for us we both Had student loans that was something That we came both came into the marriage With a pretty hefty student loans Especially on my side and so we spent a Lot of time trying to just put extra Money to those student loans and really Pay those down pay them off and in General we try to stay out of debt at This PL Point minus mortgage mortgage is A hard one it is and so we pay extra on That we work very hard to put every Little bit in that we can extra to Reduce that and so because we don't have A ton of time I don't want to dwell on Debt too long but but if you're talking About financial resilience before you Think about inputs before you think About assets we need to reduce the Liabilities we should always have a goal Of reducing liabilities you don't want To build a homestead on debt yeah bad Bad way to go you know other again than Than a mortgage we would be supportive Of yeah and but do that well don't go Buying a piece of property in fear and Getting yourself over indebted on a Piece of property that you can't make Maintain through financial hard times
Even even the mortgage payment so don't Get the goats on credit is that what You're saying please don't get the goats On credit they might come confiscate Your goats and well you might be happy I Don't Know okay so but other things that we Want to reduce definitely you know Liabilities and debt is that and that's Important to bring out because we're a Debt driven Society we are and a lot of People have a lot of debt in our society So start dropping that down but um Maybe you have this later in this Discussion but what about reducing costs Too because costs ongoing regular costs Are kind of a type of liability aren't They I mean maybe not technically in Financial terms but well yeah being Dependent the more dependent we are on Outside inputs which would have costs Then yeah we have a higher operating Cost right right and so we want to learn How to run more efficiently in and Reduce educe those costs I mean a lot of Us as homesteaders are inherently trying To do that on some level by raising our Own vegetables our own fruits our own Meats making a lot of our own things Fixing our own things so that's that's Hopefully inherent in the homesteading Lifestyle but it's a big key of it that That reduced our dependence on outside Costs good thought good yeah all right
Another one is reducing waste oo this is A big one you know recycling but not Necessarily just in the terms of Thinking of taking your cans your glass And putting it in the right can and Taking it to the right bin and all of That that's all good if if that's you Know where you're at or or you have Those systems we try to do a bit of that But there's a lot we can produce a lot Of waste in a household yes what kind of Waste do we produce and can we produce Waste that is reusable well and a lot of Times in our modern world what we call Waste used to be assets right like you Know the the kitchen waste the food Waste right now that's not a was waste In our house actually it either is going Into the compost or we say we we call it Homestead Alchemy because we turn it Into bacon you know turn bacon our eggs Most BAC us yeah rarely does it go to The compost pile anymore because it can Produce food which produces manure right And then that feeds the compost P well And that was the other waste I was going To pull out you we often talk about that But there are other things in the Household um you know if you've ever Watched any of David the good he talks a Lot about like taking the incoming paper Into your household and composting with That um turning other things that are Waste that are coming in and turning
Them into an asset yeah and that comes Back to thinking about what's coming in As well and what you're buying and Reducing some of the waste some of the Trash or if you do I'd rather have paper I can compost paper which adds to my Compost which builds carbon in the soil And that's that you're you're you now Have an input that's bringing value onto Your property yeah yeah and so looking At all those things is really really Important we're not striving for Perfection we're we're not striving to Be a purely organic perfect system but The more of that we do the more Resilience we build right right so that Kind of goes right along that old say Saying like a dollar a penny saved is a Penny earned except for now it's like a Penny saved is two pennies earned Because of taxes and everything else so Oh go yeah saving it in the beginning is Actually way better than having to make The income to buide again here here's a Just you this was not in my notes but This is a neat little side thing that That make sure you guys think of I Love Thinking of the value of the food that We produce MH it's non- taxable income Most people have a job your income gets Taxed you pay taxes on it then you go Buy Groceries uh the more you raise your own Food yeah you've got some inputs that
You're going to buy and but they're Hopefully less and what you're paying For food and you get to raise that food That value is much higher than even the Comparison to the store cost because you Haven't had to pay tax on that food Abely that's a bit of resiliency right There besides just you know taking a Little bit of our money back from that's A big cost saving from the big Uncle up There well but so the heart of this to To that I want to get to and talk about Is assets Financial resiliency is really Built around assets having things that Hold value and or produce value for you They're not a liab ility they are an Asset so there's a lot of things that Are termed assets like as you get into The financial world but when you get Into homesteading you actually have a Whole different class of assets open up To you which is kind of cool it really I Think so I don't know I think that's Kind of neat it's like all of a sudden We have different ways to hold and Produce value right and so there's you Know we generally when we're thinking Finances and investing we want Reproducible assets right you want you Want stocks that go in value or they or They have a dividend they produce return You want you want bonds you want real Estate those are all Financial tools uh That are considered assets that
Hopefully grow in value and bring you a Return later bring you an ongoing return But we have a lot of things that aren't Considered um technically Assets in the Financial world but they're assets on The homestead in the farm we have a few And they live right up in the barn right They're reproducing assets because They're going to have calves or kids or Whatever it is in the spring and we're Going to have more of them so animals Right so thinking of your animals as Reproducing acids but in order to do That you have to not just buy a milk cow You have to not just buy feeder pigs Every year that's good and that's a good Start but you want to move forward in How can you reproduce that with less Cost right so that is having that male Counterpart either you owning the male Counterpart to the animal or having a System in your community where you guys Can work together so that you get less Dependent on buying animals and you can Reproduce those animals absolutely so That means you end up with more of them MH and you can either consume them Yourself as additional assets that you Didn't have to buy or you can sell them Right for for an income or bringing in Some more assets well and often both I Mean we get a lot of questions about Making money on the homestead and that's That's kind of a a well it is that's a
Huge different subject but one way to Enter into it or to supplement your Income is to have you know animals Instead of having a whole lot of Different animals maybe you want to Start a little smaller and develop you Know a system of reproducing those Animals and selling off what you don't Need as feeder animals for somebody else To fatten and feed up or or raising them Up yourselves and selling them for Somebody else to butcher somewhere in That process but you can do that while You're raising your own that's a great Way way also to learn and explore income Opportunities on the homestead Definitely yeah um I had a thought and It totally flew past me So so sorry but that's um that is a big Difference between just you know I'm Going to go and get a couple pigs like You said the feeder pigs or something For the year and feeder family just Butcher it at the end there's not really A reproducible asset there yes it's an Asset in that you've got meat on the Hoof right but when you get into that Reproducible asset then you bring in the Male pig or you figure out how to raise Breeding pigs and then every year not Only do you have those feeder pigs that You need but you're selling off the Extra and you find those different Markets available in your area well and
In hard times just like we saw a few Years ago through coid people start Looking for those things and what Happens well if you need animals all of A sudden your cost went way up because You're now the person going to find well I want a few extra pigs I want to raise A little bit more in my meat right you Know or now I decide I want a boar or I Want a bull um um but if you're the Person organizing that you know or Working within people you may not have Room for it you may say well I don't Have enough room well that's that's fine Work within your community work with Some people that you can work together On so that you have that ability to Breed even if you don't have it on house And all of a sudden you're able to Produce your own animals when the Environment's getting tougher to buy Them in and you're able to sell them Which usually the cost is up in that Environment so you're able to make a Little more for your efforts there okay So step one we're talking reducing the Liabilities two start working on Reproducible reproducing Assets um and so is there are there more Pieces well I think there's more Reproducible assets there's more things To talk about here things you can do Animals a lot of animals aren't the Right thing for everybody so there's
Different there's different items to Discuss here uh fruit trees is another One oh yeah you know fruit trees produce A yield every year for very little work MH and so even having more fruit trees Than you particularly need becomes you Have now have a surplus that has a value To it that either you can eat more fruit In harder times or you have something to Sell or make a product out of so this Very interesting because a lot of these Assets are not only Financial assets Financial reproducing assets but they're Food assets too like they cover a lot of The different bases right I mean you Have fruit trees you then are increasing Your livestock resilience because you Have maybe the ability to feed them Right you're increasing your community Resilience because you can invite your Neighbors to come pick the excess fruit Or share it with somebody so it's very Interesting to me that as we like so Many things that we see you know as we Bring things a little bit more home- Centered even Financial things all of a Sudden there's all these different Benefits that happen um that we've kind Of we've kind of lost as we um segment These things off so hard in our life you Know if we're just uh the financial Stuff happens over at the bank you know Instead of in our back we segregated it Off and and that's the point of this
Discussion right that Financial assets Are a lot more more than stocks and Bonds and a savings account these are All Financial assets that are creating Resiliency and not just because you're Saving money but you no longer you don't Have to worry about the same exchange of That money flow I mean we can get into Talking about what happens if there's Bank runs eventually what's going on With inflation you know oil's probably Going to go up again here soon and that Means everything goes up and so these Things all build res resilience and give You an alternative out of that system And yeah that uh you know an apple or a Pound of meat is going to hold its value No matter what right because we all need To eat yeah right for yeah I me Apple Depending on how long there's there's Different constraints but that's you can Think about these different things or Which ones are right for you in your System um you know growing vegetables And saving seeds is a whole another one A vegetable or well anything that grows From a seed is just an amazing thing one Little tiny seed and it cannot only Provide food for you when it matures it Can then throw off a whole lot of other Seeds to provide future food and you Know we also experienced what the the Seed Market looked like a few years ago In in some tough times right that's
Going to come again at some point in Time and so learning to save seeds and Store seeds is another whole deal of Saving some assets it's like a savings Account that not only saves you money You don't have to buy those seeds but Those seeds aren't going to Devalue assuming you're storing them Well yeah yeah and then you have Something for somebody else definitely That that's pretty neat are there other Yeah I mean there there are those are Those are some of the key ones but I you Know another thing I would talk about is And let's talk about your cash a little Bit cash is deteriorating it is always Losing its value and we've been in a Season of accelerated inflation which Means your dollar is losing its value so You know a lot of us were taught to save Money to save cash there was a time in This country and economy when that Worked well and And the interest rates worked so that You actually that was worthwhile it's Not anymore you need to have your money Somewhere where it's earning interest or It's not devaluing okay in the bank Account in my my perspective yes we Always want some cash sure in the bank Account and we want some cash hopefully In house somewhere as well MH but things Like bulk storage this is something you Deal with a lot yeah the grain that you
Buy today a bulk good I'll just say Grain mul of them you can rattle some Off in a minute it is going to cost you More tomorrow in the day after you know Some Market fluctuations you know aside There's always that but you know it's Better right here in the basement in Your pantry stored well you've got a Good store of your value instead of Having that money in the bank and Waiting to go get that grain when you're Almost getting low I think this is Something that nobody talks about I Almost think this a little bit of a like Slight of hand on the media's part is This idea that inflation is slowing Right right this if you think about that That sounds like oh good things are Getting Cheaper right they're not the rate of The rate at which they're getting more Expensive is slowing down Flating sometimes yeah and so it's like Things there we still my understanding Right now inflation is still incredibly High it's just slowed down from some of Those like Milestone highs that it was Hitting so it's not that high but it's Still getting more and more expensive Month over month and when you go to the Grocery store right now you're seeing That yeah I'm so thankful that we Stocked up last fall and really you know Did a good stock because now everything
I mean that got us through a year on a Lot of items like we normally do uh Without paying all those prices well now We're going to have to restock again but If I buy it right now it's going to be Cheaper than what it'll be probably in The spring because of inflationary rates Definitely in the next year and over Time so it's a mindset to have and Inflation is just real whether we're in A accelerated inflationary period That's The nature of the economic system that We live in and that's why you can look Back 100 years and see what's happening And the reality is is wage growth does Not generally keep up with inflation With inflation and so anywhere we can Take our money instead of having it in a Savings account and this isn't this Isn't to ignore stocks and bonds and Proper Investments those those all have Their place so don't think that we're Saying don't do that we have that but um Where you have cash and where you want To build resiliency to step out of the System having these stores of things the Things that you use M what are the Things that you use regularly that you Can buy and bulk or or slowly stock up On or what are the things that you could Barter and trade that hold value yeah You know and and that that list is long I mean I think of salt I think of all Kinds of bullet Goods I think of coffee
I think of bullets I think of toilet Paper oddly enough I mean where does That come from but you know these these Things are a reality and and you're Those things at least they don't devalue If they're stored properly and so you Know in the right perspective for your Situation that builds resiliency instead Of just you know sitting in the bank and Getting devalued and waiting to pull it Out until you need something right now The interesting thing about buying book Like that too is that you're often also Reducing that liability because you're You're getting a better deal by buying Book right most of the times you can get That cheaper deal by buying book so not Only you saving money now for right now But you're saving it long term you're Saving substantial amounts of money so That's good yeah you know and another One um as as we start to wrap this up I Do think it is wise to have gold and Silver as assets not as investment tools So much but as a hedge against the Dollar and against inflation there's Probably some good disclaimer we're Supposed to say here maybe you said at The beginning we're not we're not Financial We're not giving you investment uh Advice at all right here but well There's just there's just historical Wisdom in how to manage what we have and
And that's been it's another thing we've Lost we think what we've lost the Knowledge of canning we've not lost the Knowledge of preserving animals and Preserving food and and how to work on The farm or the homestead and so Certainly we're reclaiming all those but With that we've lost mindsets about Financial value and and have just grown Up in this very fiat currency you know Which is now moving digital world that That is total counter to all these other Things we're trying to do yeah and so There's a mindset here to develop that That bridges that gap of finances in This hom setting world right and you Know uh so gold is a very very good one It's a very very good hedge it doesn't Change it's not hard to store you're not Going to worry about the freezer turning Off or your seeds getting too damp or You know something getting into the bulk Dried Goods you know and that doesn't Not to disparage those things they do Have their risks they all do MH precious Metals gold and silver are going to hold Their value over time so that being a Part of your financial strategy uh is Very very valuable good and we're going To talk more about that in an upcoming CH yeah we're going to talk a little bit More about that uh soon and you know Lastly and this well we're not financial Advisers any Financial ad ADV visor
Would tell you to diversify and Homesteaders farmers of old have always Known that older homesteaders had a Diverse Farm they had actually you hear Terms in permaculture and regenerative Agriculture about a diverse ecology and You know different species that was Known that that was basic to people to Have a diverse ecology on their Homestead to have a diversity of things We're talking about here of storage and Supplies and to have a diversity of Income streams and ass And so I think I want to close with that Resilience means having a diversity of Different things it has a diversity of Financial assets having a diversity of Stored goods and even when you have Animals fruit trees having a diversity Of those different things right some Fruit does better one year than another AB your something might come through and You might have a problem with your sheep But cows do good better this year and so Diversity is a is a very key Concept in Financial resilience probably in any Resilience what you're saying just in Resilience Homestead resilience as well Yeah yeah very good okay well that's a Different topic for us but good to talk About something everybody needs to be Thinking it is it's one I love and and Happy to share and so hopefully that's Got you thinking this is not an end all
But hopefully it's got you thinking and Getting creative with how you manage Your financial resilience on the Homestead all right it's been great Hanging out with you guys and we will See you real soon see you soon Goodbye