Hypothetical Homestead

simplicity, self-reliance, financial independence

Shopping Your Pantry + A Foolproof Formula for Amazing Stew

Food is probably the most danger-prone area of our household budget. Once upon a time, we lived in a really fun neighbourhood full of amazing restaurants. I cringe thinking about the thousands of dollars we spent on Thai takeout and burritos. Thankfully, we tend to be a bit more conscious of our spending (and our caloric intake) these days.

When we first started living together, we shared a really tiny apartment. And I was really terrible at cooking. I mean, I made an effort, and whatever I made usually tasted good in the end. But I really didn’t know how to make anything without a very specific recipe. Sometimes I would spend hours scouring the internet for a promising recipe that I could make with the ingredients I happened to have in my ill-stocked pantry. Other times, I would choose whatever sounded appealing and rush to the grocery store to buy $60 on condiments I would only use once.

The truth is, this is the way most of us cook. It’s the reason why we end up buying things like frozen pizzas and pre-made soups just to make life a little easier. Finding a recipe that matches the ingredients we have on hand is stressful and time-consuming. Rushing out to buy specialty ingredients is stressful, time-consuming and expensive. Continue reading

Homestead Maintenance Checklist

Homesteads can be a lot of work. Even a pseudo-homestead like ours is a lot of work if you don’t break tasks down into manageable parts. Given my love of all things aviation, it’s no wonder we employ a Homestead Maintenance Checklist to ensure that preventative maintenance is completed around the house. This simple checklist ensures that Continue reading

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. We are so excited to continue our positive momentum into the new year and hope that you and your family are ready to do the same. The Christmas season is a time for rest around the Homestead. We have some simple traditions that we enjoy but the focus is always on rest, recuperation, and planning for the future together.

We thought we should share some of these traditions and how they further our primary goals; simplicity, self-reliance, and financial independence. Continue reading

quick builds: vehicle ramps

prepping the homestead mobile for winter

This is an embarrassingly simple build. But sometimes the easiest things are the most useful. I present to you, dear reader, our car ramps.

We here on the Homestead believe in DIY’ing everything. Why pay someone to change your oil when it is simpler, cheaper, and more rewarding to Continue reading

Airbnb and the Homestead, November update

Yeah, yeah. It’s late. Balancing my end-of year-work push and Jenn’s end-of-semester stress fest has been a challenge (more on that to come). But November was a banner month on the Homestead for Airbnb! We managed to book 6 successful nights, met some fantastic (and repeat) guests, and generally reinforced our passive income potential through hospitality.

 

Homestead Inn and Suite, Moncton, NB
Date Number of nights rate per night Total fees stay expenses Profit
04-Nov-16 1 $50.00 -$1.50 $0.00 $48.50
10-Nov-16 3 $50.00 -$4.50 $0.00 $145.50
25-Nov-16 2 $55.00 -$3.30 $0.00 $106.70
Total: 6 -$9.30 $0.00 $300.70

 

One note of interest is that we varied tried varying the price per night slightly. After careful consideration we quickly changed back. We examined the additional winter-related costs (additional heat primarily) and decided that the price increase simply is not justified. We have no interest in gouging other like-minded people and hope that the universe will pay us back in not being gouged ourselves.

A solid month. I know we have said it before, but just give Airbnb a try. It really is not big deal with very minimal work. The washing machine just beeped signaling clean sheets to air dry for our guests tomorrow night!

 

 

 

We love giving things away… part 2!

Thanks everyone for all your support! While we are not interested in pouring over the crazy amount of site stats our web host can provide, we are encouraged that people are enjoying and benefiting from Hypothetical Homestead.

A winner has been selected! We will email the lucky winner directly and will share some photos of what you won shortly (we are currently finalizing the prize).

Keep it up. We share some simple and very old ideas around here, but ideas that are still valuable. Happiness is the only concrete action worth pursuing. We honestly believe that.

How to Plan Your Dream Wedding and Get Away With It

build-life-wedding-ecard-someecardsWe had planned to get married for a long time before we did. We talked at length about what making that commitment meant to us, and made serious, concrete plans for our shared life. We talked about where we would live and what we wanted to accomplish individually, and how our goals would fit together and even complement each other. We talked about our excitement about actually saying vows and tying the knot, and looked forward to referring to each other as husband and wife.

But the conversation never once turned to what kind of party we would have. Even in the midst of making all these grand plans for the future, we never thought about venues, a guest list, flower arrangements, or bridesmaid’s dresses. I never found myself wishing for an elaborate proposal or a big sparkly ring (I’ll save my thoughts on engagement rings for another occasion).

Truthfully, the prospect of marrying Steve has always felt to me like a perfect fit, but having a traditional wedding never has.  Continue reading

Airbnb and the Homestead – October update

Steady as she goes! October continued to confirm our Hypothesis that Airbnb is a good fit for our Homestead. Even with our limited availability (turns out law school in your second language is hard, who knew!), we still booked 4 nights. Right on our target!

The work really was very minimal and we now have the routine of room/bathroom cleaning down to a solid 15 minutes. I replaced the overhead halogen light fixture in the room with a builder-basic 2 bulb model from Home Depot. The halogen light fixture really is nice in some applications, but not when you are going for a modern Scandinavian aesthetic like we are. This micro-remodel turned out cash neutral as we sold the old fixture on Kijiji for the price of the new one, too easy!

All said and told about 2 hours of work that netted us almost 200 bucks in replaced income. Not too shabby. Airbnb is quickly becoming a cornerstone in our replaced-income strategy to financial independence.

 

Homestead Inn and Suite, Moncton, NB
Date Number of nights rate per night Total fees stay expenses Profit
01-Oct 1 $50.00 -$1.50 $0.00 $48.50
07-Oct 1 $50.00 -$1.50 $0.00 $48.50
09-Oct 1 $50.00 -$1.50 $0.00 $48.50
21-Oct 1 $50.00 -$1.50 $0.00 $48.50
Total: 4  – -$6.00 $0.00 $194.00

 

 

We love to give things away

 

share the Homestead and you will win a goat!*

share the Homestead and you will win a goat!*

Jenn and I are very excited by the reaction Hypothetical Homestead has received. It really is encouraging to hear from other like-minded people who enjoy living simple lives full of awesomeness and happiness. We all learn more together and the kinds of things we talk about here are so much more effective when shared.

 

As a thank you, for the month of November everyone who subscribes or shares Hypothetical Homestead will be entered into a draw to win… Continue reading

life skills: principled negotiation

getting-to-yes-coverThis is not a book review. I’m no good at writing those and hell, you don’t want to read one anyway. But a while ago, a colleague recommended to Jenn she read a book called Getting to Yes. This little book quickly became required family reading – a seriously life-changing book.

Getting to Yes starts with something that at some level we all understand: we are all negotiators. But it is interesting to explicitly think about our daily interactions as exercises in negotiation. Whenever we try to “convince” someone, we are negotiating. It’s really as simple as that.

To aid this effort, the book outlines an idea called principled negotiation – a way to focus on Continue reading

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