You hear the question all the time. “Why Aren’t You Off Grid? What Are You Waiting For?” This is a brief opinion editorial on why people are not moving off grid sooner.
The main reason (in my experience; we’ve polled thousands of people) why people don’t go off grid sooner is not because of the “work” involved (as some folks say) or even the lifestyle, but rather because of the money and the time it takes to save that money so they can make the move.
It takes money to move off grid… More than most people think. There are a good number of factors involved here, and it’s not as simple as “Hey, lets move off grid.”
Solar panels, wind turbines, battery banks, charge controllers, inverters, generators, heating and cooling, shelter/cabin/house/trailer, waste and septic system, water/well/cisterns, barn/workshop, and finally the land to put it on. Not to mention building permits and zoning ordinances. They all add up. They all cost money.
While people are saving to move off grid, they still have to pay their regular bills and support their families. They can’t just drop everything and move like someone who is single with no kids and no bills to speak of. It’s much easier to make the move off grid when it’s just you and you have no one to support but yourself.
A lot of people are mortgaged “upside down” in their current living situation, or if they are married and own a home, they are trapped in a mortgage and they don’t have enough equity in their home or in savings to finance their off grid dream while still providing for their families.
People work 40, 50, 60, even 80 hours a week just to make ends meet. Yet while they’re paying all their current bills, there is ZERO or little money leftover to actually buy the land and equipment you need to live off the grid.
So. It’s not really about work as much as it is about money and being able to afford both your regular bills and make the move when you have the money to do it.
Living small is a start, but it’s hard, and many people either don’t want to move into a tiny house or they cannot have a small place because they have kids. Kids are in school and parents work sometimes 2 jobs. Employment is also an issue.
Where does one work when off grid? How does one provide for their family?
Living off grid often means picking a property far from a large city or town. So…How do you make a living and provide a roof over your head and food in your children’s bellies if you’re so far away from town that a commute back and forth to work doesn’t make good financial sense?
There are ways. It will take time. Save what money you can and sell everything you don’t absolutely need. This will help you finance your dream. Start planning.
Make money online and off grid. Yes, you’re still off grid even if you are on the internet. Start a home-based business. Start a farm or a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). One couple has created a business making $140k in gross sales annually from their farm. There are many others out there. You can sell arts and crafts, sell livestock, organic food, run an online store, start a blog, build chickens coops and sell them.
The list of things you can do off grid and sell online is infinite.
Online classes and government-approved curriculums are available for children from K-12. Education is the most important thing for your child’s future. You can even get college degrees online, and from reputable schools like MIT and Princeton. Here’s a great resource for those wanting a higher education but can’t afford the big elite schools. Coursera.org
You Can Do It!
The point of this article is to show that it can be done with some creative thinking and little ingenuity. Dedication and discipline are helpful along with a good work ethic. Put in the work, the money will come, and then you can do it.
You can realize your off grid dream.