If you’re dreaming of going off grid soon but are waiting until you save enough money to do it, there are ways to do it on the cheap.
Let’s say you could raise $10,000 in cash. The question then becomes, could you go off grid for $10k? Realistically speaking, even with $10k it would be tough, but very doable. OK, so you have $10k, where do you invest the money that makes the most sense?
LAND = $1000 (down payment)
First and foremost you need land. There are properties you can purchase for only a few hundred dollars down and a couple hundred per month with little or no credit.
Many landowners will finance the land themselves, or offer a lease option or contract for deed. Contract for deed might be a better deal for both you and the landowner, depending on your negotiating skills and the amount of homework you do.
There are many properties in the USA you can buy for a thousand dollars down or less. So let’s say you put $1000 down on a couple of acres of land. You have $9000 of your cash leftover. A lot can be done with that.
SHELTER = $4000
You’ll need shelter to house yourself and your family. A used travel trailer is ideal, or you can buy a tiny house or cabin on the cheap. There are also ways to build a small cabin for about $2000. You can stay in the travel trailer, RV, or another small shelter while you build your dream home.
If you allocate about $4000 for your tiny shelter, you can do any of the above options fairly simply.
Now you have about $5000 leftover to buy everything else you need.
FOOD = $1000
You’ll need food to feed your family with. For about $500 you can purchase the necessities like beans, rice, and meat. That’s a good start, but you’ll want to start setting up your property with longer-term food options.
Aquaponics: You can also build a small aquaponics system for about $500 or less if you scrounge for recycled and reclaimed materials.
Livestock: Chickens and rabbits are inexpensive food sources. Chickens produce eggs, and rabbits and chickens both produce fertilizer for your garden.
Fruit: Fruit trees take a little while to grow, so they won’t give you a solid source of sugars in your diet right away, but starting them as soon as you can will allow you to reap rewards later.
Vegetable garden: You can start a small garden and build up to larger growing areas as you work on your homestead.
You must have food, so figure in $750 to $1000 for this necessity.
WATER = Included with land purchase
This really should be before food but should be included in the land purchase. Ultimately you’ll need a property that already has water on the land in the form of a well, natural spring, stream, river, lake, or pond.
Hauled water is OK, but it’s not sustainable. Simple as that. You don’t want to be stuck without water if something happens and you are unable to haul it in.
Ultimately you need water immediately after moving onto your land. Digging a well is a good option, but will add considerably to your expenses.
So whatever you buy, buy a property with water.
SEWAGE & WASTE TREATMENT = $1000
Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. The nuts and bolts of your homestead. Unless you’re going to use Humanure, you’ll have to figure out a way to handle your waste.
If you’ve chosen a travel trailer or RV, then you already have it covered. You simply need to make arrangements with the local septic company to haul away your waste. You could also get a composting toilet.
ELECTRICITY = $1000
A good small 500 Watt solar power system can be had for around $1000 depending on the manufacturer. This is more than enough to power a small refrigerator and your laptop computer, maybe a small LED TV and LED lighting.
The quickest way to provide heat is a wood stove. If you’ve got a travel trailer or RV, then propane is probably going to heat your home.
Refrigerator/Freezer = $250 – You can buy a good fridge for a couple hundred bucks, or even get it free if you know how to wheel and deal.
Cook Stove: = $250 – If you’re building your cabin and not living in a travel trailer or RV, then you’ll need to buy a stove to cook your meals on.
$1000 CASH For Emergencies and Overages
That’s it. That’s all you really need. If you plan right, shop around and take your time, you can go off grid for $10k. Maybe you can do it for less…
Got any ideas, leave a comment below…
The point is, it’s doable. you can go off grid for $10k. Sure, you won’t be living in luxury, but you will certainly be living off the grid.
And that’s what counts.
UPDATE: We’ve gone more in depth on this and updated some of the calculations here: How to move off grid now for $10k