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Why You Need to Create a Budget for Your Home and Homestead

Imagine this scenario: you've poured your heart, sweat, and savings into creating a cozy home and a thriving homestead. And you are seeing the fruits of your labor, but you also feel stress. Stress about how you are going to do the next steps, how you are going to expand the barn, or how you're going to buy a new type of livestock. Or how are you going to grow more next year? And that unease is lingering. Could it be that you're missing a crucial component in ensuring the long-term success and sustainability on your homestead and in your home? The answer lies in one word: Budget. Yes, you heard that right. In this episode, I am going to walk you through the reason why and help you find the shocking truth of how a budget can help you move forward on your growing journey. Let’s get growing.

Main Points

  • Avoiding Financial Stress

  • Maximizing Resources

  • Creating a Roadmap for Financial Goals

  • Building a Strong Foundation for Future Growth

Resources Mentioned:

Show Notes

Hello Fellow Growers and welcome to the Pray, Just Plant podcast. I am your host Crystal Mediate and today in Season 12 Episode 3 we are going to talk about that word that we don’t normally think is a good thing but a budget. How you can use something that you may think is controlling, (maybe that was only me) and actually make it a tool. A tool that can help you accomplish many of your home and homesteading goals. Can help you relieve stress. Can help you look to the future. And much more. Budgeting can seem like a daunting task. But when you take that step forward and start implementing a budget in our homes and especially on our homestead there can be true growth that happens that you may never thought that would or could happen.

Now if you are following along with the Purposeful Growing Journey this episode is part of our job as a homemaker. Because it is the homemaker who usually handles all the finances. And even if you are just getting started in growing a garden or a homestead, you need to know your budget and financial situation before you can dive into that area. So logically this episode is for those of you in the Purposeful Homemaker Stage of the Purposeful Growing Journey.

What is the Purposeful Growing Journey, well it is a journey that I have broken apart into stages that I see that a grower needs to go through to gain success in growing their own food for their family and embrace the homesteading lifestyle. This journey includes six stages. The first being the Just Grow stage where you ask the questions, why and is growing a homestead for you. Stage two is the Purposeful Kitchen stage where I feel that every grower should start in the kitchen, especially growers without land just yet should start in the kitchen. The third stage is the Purposeful Home stage. This is where we are organizing things in our home and creating a warm, inviting environment for our families. And of course talking about budgets. The fourth stage is the Purposeful Garden where you are getting outside growing a garden. Next is the Purposeful Homestead where you are adding animals to your growing journey. The last and sixth stage is the Purposeful Life where you will bring all the stages together in harmony and even expand each stage and work them in more depth.

Now that you see what stage this episode is in, let's get started talking about creating a budget for your home and your homestead and why your home and homestead desperately need a budget.

Shocking Truth: Why Your Home and Homestead Desperately Need a Budget

In the opening credits I asked you to imagine a scenario. I asked you to imagine you've poured your heart, sweat, and savings into creating a cozy home and a thriving homestead for your family. The fruits of your labor, but there is this feeling of unease and a nagging feeling is lingering. And I told you that maybe that unease could be that you are missing something that could create long-term success and sustainability, a budget. Many of us think that a budget couldn’t do those things but I am going to show you how today, a budget can help you take control of your finances and unleash your true potential. So the first reason you need a budget is to avoid financial stress.

Avoiding Financial Stress

One of the most significant benefits of having a budget in place is that it provides a sense of control and confidence in your financial decisions. By having a clear understanding of where your money is going, you can make informed choices that prioritize your needs and align with your long-term goals.

Avoid Financial Stress

Without a budget, it's easy to fall into the trap of overspending or losing track of expenses. I know I do this when I am unsure of how many bags of grain I bought for my laying hens. But by actively managing your finances through a budget, you can identify potential areas of overspending and implement strategies to curb unnecessary expenses. This newfound awareness will not only alleviate financial stress but also empower you to make intentional choices that support the overall well-being of your home and homestead.

I always thought a budget was something that was restricting, not as a tool. Over the years that my husband and I have implemented a budget. We have felt this lessening of stress. Reduced stress in how we talk to each other about money. Reduced stress on how we decide what projects we are going to be doing each year on the homestead and in wondering where money is going to come from for emergencies. You know emergencies happen.

Are you in the Purposeful Home stage?

Whether you aim to save for a major home improvement project or invest in equipment for your homestead, a well-planned budget will guide you towards achieving these milestones. By outlining your income, expenses, and savings targets, a budget ensures that you're making progress towards your goals while also covering your essential needs.

Now let’s talk about financial stress in a little more depth. Financial stress can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being, straining relationships and hindering your ability to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you are worried about certain things you may not be able to enjoy those fresh strawberries or tomatoes to their fullest. By implementing a budget, you can create a sense of stability and security within your home and homestead, fostering a peaceful environment for you and your loved ones and for you to have those hard conversations about money. The biggest thing that couples argue about is money and when it comes to, not only spending money for your family, but then to spend money on a garden or more animals it adds even more stress. But if you know you have a budget that is a tool and point you in the right direction. That will guide you in these conversations, it is going to take away that stress. And you will be able to have a more relaxing conversation with your loved ones about money and especially pay for that milk cow of your dreams.

Now we are going to be getting to the next reason why you should have a budget for home and homestead in just a moment but now it is time for the Tips and Tricks segment of this episode where I share a seasonal tip I am using right now on Red Ridge Farmstead.

The Tip and Trick is found in the episode above.

Maximizing Resources

The next reason why you should budget is to Maximize your Resources. Sometimes when we want to grow our own food and to build that homestead we don’t have a huge amount of resources to pull from. It could be resources for education, even financial resources or even land resources. Maybe you are still living in the city and you want to break out to start our purposeful journey and grow our own food. Having a budget can do the opposite for you, it can maximize your resources because it is going to show what you have to work with. Show where you can start and where you can go from there. What you can do to save, to spend and so much more.

Maximizing Your Financial Resources

Creating a budget not only provides stability and security, but it also allows you to maximize the resources within your home and homestead. When you have a clear understanding of your financial situation, you can identify areas where you may be overspending or wasting resources, and redirect those funds towards more meaningful endeavors. By diligently tracking your expenses and income, you can uncover potential savings and make strategic decisions that align with your long-term financial goals.

One way to maximize your resources is by prioritizing your spending. With a budget in place, you can identify which expenses are essential and which can be minimized or eliminated altogether. This deliberate approach to spending ensures that your hard-earned money is allocated to the areas that truly matter to you and your family. Whether it's investing in a 401k, the barn of your dreams, sustainable homestead practices, upgrading essential equipment, or even saving for future expansion, a budget allows you to make intentional choices that align with your values and aspirations.

I do want to say here, when I first thought and was thinking about budgets. I really didn’t understand the need for one. I thought, again, that they were controlling and telling me what I should be doing with my money. Telling me I can’t do things that I enjoy. It was that word, can’t, but when I read a book, I will be sharing more about this book in a future episode, that broke down budgeting for me and opened my eyes to the fact that I can have those things too. Because budgeting is a tool for you to tell your money what to do. So if you want to tell your money that you want to save for that new dairy barn, but you spend over your budget for a few things that are not essential. Where is that extra money going to come from?

Purposeful Growing Journey

It can’t come from your grocery budget or your electricity bill budget. Those things are necessary. It is going to come from that money you want to set aside for your dairy barn. And I never saw it that way and maybe you don’t either. Having a budget can help you maximize your resources by just knowing where your money is going and that if you overspend in one area you are taking away from your dreams and goals in a different area. I hope that was clearer than mud for you. But this is how I realized that a budget was more than a restriction but a guide to helping my homestead dreams come true. It was myself that was my own worst enemy and it was I that was stopping my own dreams from coming true with my spending problems.

Another benefit of maximizing resources through budgeting is the ability to plan for future growth and emergencies. Having a budget can help you plan for those emergencies, like losing a dairy cow or not having enough hay to get through the season. Those are homesteading emergencies but there are things like medical bills or if your husband can’t work for a week because he gets sick. By setting aside a portion of your income for savings or an emergency fund, you can protect yourself from unexpected financial setbacks.

One thing that we do here at Red Ridge Farmstead is that we have a rank for our savings. When we do have money beyond our essentials, we first use a portion of the money to pay off any debt. For example if we have $1000 extra we split it in half. The first half goes to paying down any debt and the other half goes to another saving goal. But if our debt is all paid down except our mortgage then that first half goes toward medical savings until it has reached a total that my husband and I have decided on together. We have established a rank of importance for our savings in accordance with our goals and financial worries. There is more to a budget than you think. Guess what happens when the medical savings has been reached. You may be surprised but we have this money go toward something fun, Our Vacation Fund! We reward ourselves for having those other savings built up. Oh I forgot because we got this savings built up years ago that this first half actually went to an emergency fund. In this fund we have about three months of necessary bill funds set aside for an emergency.

I have not mentioned the other half yet. But it gets split between several different savings that are necessary. For example clothing. Clothing needs to be purchased regularly but not always. We have a budgeted amount that has a cap and every time we spend money from this area the extra savings goes into this saving to fill it back up. Clothing is not the only thing we save for there are 9 other items as well. Such as, eye care, dentist, Christmas and Holidays, Birthdays, homestead, home, car, mini emergency, homeschool, and vacation. This is how we do a budget but there are so many ways that you can make a budget work for you.

This system works for us because when a need comes up in these areas we know that this necessity is not going to pull resources from other areas. We have the resources we need for each area when we need it. This not only provides peace of mind but also safeguards your home and homestead against potential obstacles that could hinder your progress. With a budget as your guide, you can confidently navigate the twists and turns of your financial journey, knowing that you have the resources to overcome any challenges that may arise.

Road Map to your Financial goals

Maximizing resources through budgeting also promotes a culture of efficiency and sustainability within your home and homestead. When you are conscious of your financial decisions, you naturally become more aware of your consumption patterns and strive to minimize waste. The first step of building a budget is to track your spending and follow your patterns. And when you find out where your money is going you can pinpoint your weaknesses and strengths when it comes to money. This mindset extends beyond just financial matters and translates into a holistic approach towards resource management. Whether it's conserving energy, reducing water usage, or finding creative ways to repurpose materials, a budget empowers you to be mindful of your impact on the environment and make choices that promote sustainability.

By effectively managing your resources through budgeting, you not only create a stable financial foundation but also unlock the potential for growth, efficiency, and sustainability within your home and homestead.

Creating a Roadmap for Financial Goals

Now that you have harnessed this newfound financial clarity, it's time to use it as a roadmap to guide your pursuit of long-term financial goals. Building a strong foundation for future growth is essential, but it's equally important to have a plan in place to navigate the road ahead. Without a roadmap, it can be easy to lose focus or falter when faced with unexpected financial challenges or opportunities.

When you look at a budget as a tool or a road map you can also be seen as a mindset. Because a mindset can extend beyond just your financial matters and translate to a holistic approach to how you manage everything. You may want to save money on your electric bill so you start following your kids through the house and turning off lights. Which results in conserving energy too. There are many areas that can be managed through a budget besides just money.

Build your financial road map

By creating a roadmap for your financial goals, you gain a sense of direction and purpose. It provides you with a clear path forward and helps you prioritize your financial decisions. Whether your goals involve paying off debt, saving for a down payment on a new home, or starting a small business, a roadmap ensures that you stay on track and make progress towards your objectives.

To create a roadmap, start by identifying your long-term financial goals. What do you hope to achieve financially in the next five, ten, or twenty years? Or could be the next ten minutes or the next week if things are extremely tight. Once you have a clear vision of your desired outcomes, break them down into smaller, manageable milestones. These milestones become the markers on your roadmap, guiding you towards your ultimate destination.

This is what my husband and I did. We sat down and answered these questions and found that we each had different needs for savings, different goals, and even different ideas of how these goals could be met. One goal we did have in common is that we wanted to take a family trip to Hawaii. I had been there during High School and I want my family to experience that blue clear ocean only found there.

As we discussed our differences we found that both were valid so we decided to take any extra money beyond our basic needs budget would be split 50/50. My husband made a list of actions for what 50% of the money went toward and I made an actions list for the other 50%. We came up with a compromise that met both of our goals. And each action also had a place for vacation once other goals were met.

One extra idea that you could do for your homestead is to develop a homestead operations fund that is separate from your homestead improvements fund. This fund would be where you put the funds for the everyday expenses for your homestead, like feed, buy extra meat chickens every year, buy hay for the year. We use a portion of our tax refund every year to fill this operations fund.

Start Building a Budget

Your next step too will be to determine the specific actions and strategies you need to adopt to reach each milestone. This could involve increasing your savings rate, investing in your education, or exploring additional streams of income. Or you could do a no spend month and use your whole larder instead of purchasing groceries. Or you could save a small amount every week or you look through your budget and get rid of old subscriptions you are no longer using. Or you save with every transaction you make with your debit card and round up each transaction, like a charge for $10.50 becomes $11.These will add up quicker then you think. You could do this by using cash for transactions as well and save all your coins in a jar. With each action step, consider the resources, time, and effort required and incorporate them into your roadmap.

Remember, a roadmap is not set in stone. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change along the way. It's important to regularly reassess and adjust your roadmap as needed. Stay flexible and be open to new opportunities and challenges that may arise. Your roadmap serves as a guide, but it's your adaptability and determination that will ultimately propel you towards financial success and fulfillment.

With a roadmap in place, you can confidently navigate the twists and turns of your financial journey. It provides clarity, direction, and a sense of purpose. Let’s dive into my next tip in just a moment but now it is time for the Growing with God segment of this episode where you and I study the Bible and learn more about our Lord and Savior.

You can listen to this segment in the episode download above.

Building a Strong Foundation for Future Growth

With a solid budget in place, you've laid the groundwork for financial stability and success. Now, it's time to take things a step further and build a strong foundation for future growth. Just like a sturdy foundation is essential for a house, a strong financial foundation is crucial for your home and homestead.

To begin, find out where your money is going and how it is being spent. Once you follow the trails you will be able to find a place where you overspend or find habits that hold you back from saving money. This gives you a foundation to build from.

Next, decide on your goals and aspirations. Think about where you want to be in the future and what you hope to achieve. Your budget is a tool that can help you reach these goals, but it's important to have a clear vision of what you're working towards. Maybe you want to pay off your mortgage early, save for a new addition to your homestead, or invest in sustainable energy sources. Whatever it may be, this is where you tell your money what it needs to do for you and create a budget. Build a foundation so that you can grow in the future.

Build your Financial Foundation

Next, it's time to evaluate your spending habits. Take a close look at your budget and identify areas where you can make adjustments. Are there any unnecessary expenses that can be cut back or eliminated? Are there ways to reduce your utility bills or save money on groceries? By tightening up your spending and being more intentional with your money, you'll free up additional funds to allocate towards your long-term goals. Don’t get stuck on just bad habits but look for the spending or saving habits that will help your bottom line too.

In addition to evaluating your spending, it's crucial to establish an emergency fund. Life is full of unexpected surprises, and having a financial safety net in place can provide peace of mind and protect you from potential setbacks. Aim to save at least three to six months' worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account. This fund will serve as a buffer during challenging times, allowing you to weather any storm that comes your way.

As you continue to build your financial foundation, consider diversifying your income streams or ways you save your money as well. You don’t want all of your assets in the same basket, diversify. Relying solely on one source of income can be risky, especially in uncertain times. Look for opportunities to generate additional revenue, whether it's through a side business, rental property, or investments. By diversifying your income, you'll not only increase your financial security but also open up doors for future growth and prosperity.

This can come to the homestead too. You can diversify in the animals you raise or the crops that we grow in our garden. Because when you do you can also easily bring in different income streams with different crops. We have a mini-dairy where I sell milk, we grow beef to sell, as well as poultry like turkeys and chicken. And all the customers are different for each product.

Start Your Journey

Lastly, don't forget to regularly assess and adjust your progress. Just as you revisit your budget on a regular basis, it's important to evaluate how your financial foundation is shaping up. Are you making progress towards your goals? Do you need to make any adjustments? By staying proactive and adaptable, you can ensure that your foundation remains strong and able to support your future growth.

With a strong foundation in place, you can confidently pursue your financial goals and dreams. The roadmap you have created through budgeting provides the clarity and direction you need to navigate your financial journey.

It's undeniable that implementing a budget for your home and homestead is crucial for long-term success and sustainability. Because you can avoid financial stress, maximizing resources, creating a roadmap for financial goals, and building a strong foundation for future growth, you can take control of your finances and set yourself up for a brighter future. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." So, don't wait any longer - start budgeting today and pave the way for a prosperous tomorrow. Remember, the journey to financial freedom begins with a single step. Embrace the power of budgeting and unlock the true potential of your home and homestead.

Be sure to check out the Purposeful Growing Journey and dive into your stage and start growing!

Don’t let the world hold you back,

Pray, Just Plant

Why You Need to Create a Budget for Your Home and Homestead

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