Being a homesteader and living an old-fashioned life sometimes means that money will be tight. Whether it’s an unexpected emergency on the homestead or something that cost a little more than expected, financial worries are unfortunately not going to be entirely absent even on a homestead.
To help deal with this, most homesteaders are what others would call ‘frugal.’ Personally, I’ve never really liked that term, as the idea of using what you have and living within your means seems more like common sense than frugality to me… but regardless, being cautious with your money is a lifestyle that goes well with homesteading.
Here are some old-fashioned frugality lessons that will help every homesteader get a better into the right mindset and steer away from debt.
1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and improve things, but rather that there’s no sense in replacing something simply because it’s old. If it works, then use it until it doesn’t. My parents have furniture and items in their house that are older than I am and still functioning perfectly. You don’t need the newest things, no matter how tempting they may be, if what you have still works just fine.
2. If it is broken, try to fix it.
We live in a consumerist society where it’s encouraged to go and purchase a new device or item as soon as the old one breaks. People look at you strangely when you say that you’d rather fix what you have, and you’d be surprised at how many things you can fix yourself.
3. Don’t buy it if you can make it.
Most of the time you can make better quality food and items at home than you could purchase in the store. Many times, it costs less per ounce or less overall to do it that way. Bonus: you get to make it exactly to your specifications and desired quality. No icky chemicals, lower quality items, or fabrication shortcuts here!
4. Use what you have first.
Part of being old-fashioned is using what you have instead of going out and buying everything new. You’d be amazed what you can substitute when you’re cooking, or how easy it is to make things work with what you have. Only when you’re certain you have nothing that will suffice should you look into purchasing something new. That way, you’re guaranteed to only buy things you really need.
5. More stuff will not make you happier.
If you watch or read any kind of media, the constant theme is that you need stuff to make you happy. A new phone, a bigger television, some name-brand jewelry, or a specific kind of car… but the truth of the matter is that you don’t actually need those things. Happiness comes from other places, like pride in your home, spending time with loved ones, or accomplishing things on your own. It might be nice to have a new computer, but it isn’t going to make you any happier. Once you realize that, then a lot of extra spending will suddenly seem worthless, and you can put that money towards things that matter.
What old-fashioned frugal lessons do you live by? Do you have any that you’d like to share? Leave me a note below and let me know!!