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The Ultimate Guide to Practical Self-Sufficiency

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Self-sufficiency stereotypically equals raising your own food, generating your own power, and being entirely independent. However, self-sufficiency is much simpler than that. Self-sufficiency is letting go of what doesn’t matter so you have more time and freedom for what does matter to you, while you remain in control. And that puts self-sufficiency in reach of many people living in suburban and rural areas. Here is the ultimate guide to practical self-sufficiency.

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Start with the Basics

Self-sufficiency starts with the basics: water, shelter, food, energy, money and community. Think about what you can do to ensure you can meet these needs, but be realistic. Buy a home you can afford and upgrade over time. Start stocking up on bottled water and food. You can get a water tank and water filters later. Consider what skills you bring to the table. Figure out ways to use those skills to save money or earn money. Knowing what you can do in a home business gives you a backup source of income if you lose your job. But you don’t have to quit your job right now to build your homestead.


Know Your Limits

Know what you don’t know, and ask for help when you need it. Don’t take on jobs best left to the professionals. This includes tasks where the person doing the work is at serious risk of injury, expensive property damage, or both if they make a mistake. This is especially true when it comes to appliance repairs.

For example, if you don’t know how to work safely around high voltage equipment, you’re at risk of getting shocked. An appliance that seems to work after your makeshift repairs may still have problems you can’t recognize. Then the electrical shorts could cause a fire or more expensive damage to the appliance, while a water leak could turn into a flood. The little money you saved by doing it yourself is wiped out by the repair bill when you finally call a professional. That’s why you should always work with a professional when it comes to an appliance repair.


Be Frugal

Frugality does not equal poverty. Instead, it means living below your means. Skip the luxuries like satellite TV so that you know you can pay your electric bill. Hit the library instead of the movie theater. Cook at home instead of eating out. Buy high quality, durable items that last for years instead of a ton of disposable items. Try to buy seasonal foods, since they’ll be cheaper than imported items. It also leads to greater variety in your diet.


Think Long-Term

There are a number of benefits to thinking long-term. If you plan long-term, you’re more likely to make wise investments like strategic upgrades in your home. Have a long-term vision for your property, and you can plan how you’ll make it a reality. However, you should pace yourself;only take on one or two major projects each year so you aren’t strapped for cash or time. Save up for major purchases, too, like more energy efficient appliances.

A self-reliant and sufficient lifestyle gives you more freedom and security than modern life. And that’s one of the attractions. However, you have to do it right in order to achieve it.

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