Hypothetical Homestead

simplicity, self-reliance, financial independence

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Chia, Oat and Blueberry Jam Breakfast Nests

img_8898I can’t believe there was ever a time in my life where I wouldn’t eat before leaving the house in the morning. Nevermind having to spend a few hours dying of hunger (and/or hanger) before I could take a break, I used to buy things like oat bars from Starbucks and croissants from Tim Horton’s on a regular basis.

Now, both of us eat oatmeal almost every single morning. It’s basically nature’s perfect food: infinitely customizable, ridiculously healthy, and cheap as hell. Plus, you can go from 0 to breakfast in just 45 seconds of microwave time.

But sometimes it’s still nice to be able to take your breakfast with you, or have something a little fancier to serve to guests. These little “nests” are part thumbprint cookie, part baked oatmeal. They’re a delicious, healthy alternative to whatever you were going to order at Starbucks, and they have no weird preservatives or refined sugar. They’re also vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free, in case you’re concerned.

If the cookie monsters in your house don’t gobble them up immediately, you can also freeze them and take them out individually whenever you need a breakfast or snack to go. They make a great kid-friendly lunchbox snack too! Continue reading

credit cards – a reward for discipline

tricked

This is a touchy subject. The Homestead will never advocate for debt. We also refuse to advance the modern tradition of rebranding debt as more appealing than it actually is. Words like “credit” and “leverage” are just such a rebranding. The idea of dressing up debt in a warm and fuzzy package is complete foolishness.

Debt is a burden to the pursuit of happiness and should be treated like an emergency. Sure, there are certain forms of debt which Continue reading

The 10-Year Lens – a powerful way to think

Spending is more important than earning. Every dollar you do not spend is two you do not need to make. All solid ideas but let’s put some meat on those bones.

The biggest shift in Homestead thinking over the past few years relates to long-term thinking. Not only do we set realistic goals professionally and with respect to education, we also rationalize the seemingly endless “everyday” costs through a 10-Year Lens.

Budgets just don’t work. A budget is like a Continue reading

Hypothesis! – homemade wine

blog-post-14-oct-2016We love wine. Truth be told, the Homestead loves all kinds of alcohol, but we love wine more than most. However purchasing wine by the bottle does not fit with our frugal lifestyle and will not allow us to reach FI any faster. Sure, a bottle here or there could be considered a treat and incidental to living a full and complete life, but there has to be a better way.

Our Hypothesis: homemade wine is a cost effective way to include more wine in our lives. 

To test this, the Homestead just Continue reading

homestead victory garden – planning for 2017

victory-gardenFor as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by Victory Gardens. The idea of empowering the masses to grow their own food as a way of conserving wartime resources flys completely in the face of modern consumerism.

Along the theme of F*CK you to the man,  Continue reading

the price of gas doesn’t matter

costco-gasThat’s a big statement. It does matter though… right? In this part of the country, the news loves to run daily stories on the price of gasoline. The radio often leads the news with Continue reading

Diagnose your financial health: Net worth and Savings Rate

little fish big netThe road to financial independence requires you to tackle your finances head on. Self-deception does not work. Burying your head in the sand and assuming what you spend or what you are worth is not a recipe for success. You need to know these things, but don’t worry, it really isn’t that hard!

It doesn’t matter what you make or how financially stable you are, you need to understand 2 basic personal stats: Continue reading

Airbnb and the Homestead – September update

I know, I know. This September update is a little bit late. It’s taken 3 straight days of rain to slow me down from Fall projects. The final few vegetables needed to be harvested, we had to preserve our too-quickly-ripening tomatoes, stain the back deck, wax the Homestead Mobile, plan our 2017 garden, etc, etc. All fun jobs, but writing has taken a back seat for about a week.

Our Airbnb Hypothesis is going very well! September saw us meet some great people from Continue reading

critical thinking kitchen – knives

knifeHere on the Homestead, we love to cook. A lot. It’s a skill we have been building for years. Creating meals from scratch is also a solid strategy to cut your grocery bill while enjoying quality time with loved ones.

Like most things, the journey to cooking your own food is laden with  endless consumerism traps. There are endless kitchen gadgets which promise to Continue reading

Building confidence by defining your goals and refusing to compete

card28332-380x232Changing your way of thinking is hard. Luckily for us, we met at a time in our lives where our own distinct, personal financial lifestyles had not yet been defined, and we spent a few years of trial and error figuring out what our common goals were. I used to take for granted that I wanted to have a successful professional career with matching salary, a big house, an expensive car, and all the designer handbags my heart desired.

I’ve mentioned before that we haven’t always been happy. What I mean is that we used to be really insecure in our pursuit of financial independence. When we first started on this path, family and friends questioned our decisions. They assumed we would eventually come to our senses and “treat ourselves” to the new sports car or  dream home that we could, by most people’s standards, comfortably afford . The truth is, we have been tempted by shiny things. It is extremely difficult to resist what the world expects your success to look like. We both come from a culture where success is measured by what’s in your driveway and on your ring finger, not necessarily by what you accomplish. We found ourselves nearly constantly angry that people didn’t see our success for what it was, and were sick of being one-upped at parties by people with bigger debts than us. Continue reading

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