Money is the main reason why people aren’t going off grid sooner. Your financial obligations hold you to life ON THE GRID. Reasons and excuses for not going off grid sooner tend to be money related. But is it really about the money?
Here’s another question.
What’s stopping you from going off grid today? I’ll answer the question for you. Nothing, really. Look at it like this. If you were going to be homeless tomorrow. Where would you go, what would you do? Do you have a plan of action? Most people don’t.
You don’t have to do it all at once. If you don’t have money to go off grid right now (like most people), you could sell your stuff to generate enough money to buy an RV or temporary shelter.
You might say you can’t live in an RV.
Your family is too big for an RV? No it’s not. Large RV’s sleep 4-6 people comfortably for short periods of time, and can be purchased for a few thousand dollars.
What if you can’t afford a big RV? The next thing is a towable camper. They’re cheaper (you can get a good used camper for about $2500-$5000) readily available, and they can also be used to store items you will use off grid while you generate more money.
An old school bus can work as a temporary shelter just like an RV or camper trailer.
The idea is NOT comfort right away, but rather to use the RV, Camper, or Bus as a transitional shelter to make the move off grid. A “Step 1 Action” if you will.
All this takes money of course. So where does the money come from?
You would be amazed at how much money you can generate with the items you’ve collected over your lifetime. If you own a car or jewelry, or anything of value, you can sell it to generate money for your mobile shelter.
Think about what you really need. A good way to do this is imagine a disaster scenario.
A Zombie Apocalypse, or similar disaster will work. (think of the people in New York and New Jersey who have been without power for nearly 2 weeks! Imagine yourself in that situation. Where would you go?
It sounds silly, but it will allow you to think outside of the norm and imagine what you really need to live.
If you live in the city or suburbs, whether you rent or own, there is always a way OUT and off the grid.
I know if I wanted to move to a place off grid and I had to do it now, I’d start selling my stuff for whatever I could get for it. Couch, bed, bookshelves, big screen TV, tables chairs, collectibles, CDs, DVDs, whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s just stuff, and I’d rather sell it and invest the money in my family’s future rather than keep it and risk losing it anyway.
Remember, you’re going off grid for a reason, and most people go off grid to live more sustainable fulfilling lives. And now in this economy, it’s about living affordably, consolidating, and cutting living expenses.
Living off grid is a lifestyle change
CHANGE being the operative word.
You first have to be willing to and WANT to change the way you live! Then you must be willing to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET.
You can still have all the STUFF you have now and live off grid. The comforts and luxuries you have now can be turned in CASH to get you off grid now, and then once you’re settled on your new homestead, you can start to rebuild your life again, better and more inexpensively than before.
As for your job. You may have to find a new job. If you don’t want to change jobs, then try to find a place near your current place of employment. Going off grid may be hindered by your current choice of career. Also, if you have children, their schooling is very important. So one must consider where they will send their kids to school. Homeschooling is ideal, but takes time, and lots of red tape to make it work. This is not for everyone, so you should make that decision with your partner about what to do about the children’s schooling. One thing to think of, a commute is not entirely out of the question. The money saved on rent, and all the other utilities and expenses living in the city may be offset enough to make up for commuting to a nearby school. Ideally that choice is up to you.
So, where will you go? You need a place to setup right? Is an RV park out of the question? Probably. But you could stay there while you search for small property suitable for your new off grid homestead.
Or you could work on selling all your stuff from where you are now. Give it a few months, sell it all slowly, get as much for your items as you can. There is no rush. Take your time, but don’t procrastinate about it or you may not make the move.
At the same time. Look for land in your area, or maybe another state. There are lots of choices, don’t limit yourself to your local area.
There are MANY states which have land for lees than $1000 per acre. I’ve seen many 20 acre parcels of land for $10,000. That’s $500 per acre.
These are EASY properties to get into with very little money down, and very small monthly payments.
Many of these parcels can be split into smaller parcels, and sold to other off gridders at a discounted price, essentially creating a small off grid community in a very short period of time.
This recoups any money lost by selling all your stuff, and can be reinvested into your property to upgrade your power systems, or, if you wanted to grow the property you could buy surrounding parcels of land to expand your homestead.
But we’re not there yet… You’re still sitting at home, wishing you could go off grid.
Once you get your RV or Camper, and you have raised the $2500-$5000 for the land by selling your stuff. You can now buy the land.
Most vacant land has no power hookups. Electrical will be provided by solar and wind energy because you will be off grid.
Water is your biggest need. Without water you don’t have sanitation, and you need water to drink. If you have an RV with a bathroom/septic tank, you’re good already. And most rural counties/cities don’t mind you living in your RV while you build your off grid home.
There are a few other things you will need.
– Solar Panel System – A complete system including the inverter can be had for $1000-$2500. To raise the money for it, sell your big bulky power hungry desktop computer and buy a smaller laptop. You could use the money from this sale to help purchase your solar panel system. Your laptop can easily run on the power generated by one 250 watt solar panel.
– Water Production System. You can haul water to your location, or drill a well. Drilling a well is usually NOT an option because of expense. A water well can cost $10,000-$25,000 to drill, and there is no guarantee you will get water. Hauling water is an option, and you can store it in tanks. If you purchase a property with water you’re one BIG step ahead.
– Food – You and your family need to eat. You can do this a few ways, but think about survival first. Buying in bulk will save you money. For a few hundred dollars you can buy enough food IN BULK (rice, flour, sugar, honey, beans, canned foods, dry goods, preserved foods from local canners and farmers markets) to last at least a couple months. A 10-20lb bag of rice is cheaper per pound than buying it at the grocery store.
– Chickens! – You may balk at having chickens, but they don’t eat a whole lot, and they not only produce eggs, they are food themselves. They’re inexpensive, and once you get your piece of land a chicken coup is easily built with old pallets and some chicken wire which is VERY CHEAP.
– Vertical Gardening & Aquaponics – Once your power system is hooked up, and your basic needs taken care of, then you can concentrate on an aquaponics vertical garden. An A-Frame of tiered shelf-type system is easy to build, and produces about 5-10 times the food in the same space a tradition raised bed will produce, depending on what veggies you grow.
This can all be done within 2-3 months of selling, planning, packing, and reorganizing your things and most importantly, reorganizing your priorities.
If you really want to go off grid, you will find a way.
It’s a major lifestyle change, and one that must be thoroughly thought through. The excuses for not going off grid don’t matter. Most people think they must save the money to go off grid for years before they make the move.
The fact is the economy is bad, and there’s no telling when it will recover. But you don’t need to save to move off grid. A little creative thinking, and moving your money around and you can go off grid with less effort than you might think.
One thing is for sure. You can do it if you really want to.
It’s up to you. What do you really want to do?
Aquaponics system: Growing Power