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5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring

Experts say you should put 20% of your income into a savings account every month. For some of us, that’s darn near impossible after paying the bills, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt to save money at all. Even the smallest amount is worth something at the end of the day.

Homesteaders Should Save Money This Spring

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to document your budget. Knowing how much you make and spend each month is the first guideline for saving. You can do this a number of ways, from pen and paper, to excel spreadsheets, to popular online budgeting tools — whatever makes most sense to you. Once you’ve recorded your budget, you’ll know how much you have leftover to put in savings.

But what should you be saving for? And how much should you be setting aside for it?

Emergencies

Establishing and maintaining an emergency savings fund should be your top priority. Unexpected setbacks (such as job loss or expensive medical bills) can leave you scrambling to make ends meet — and ultimately put you into debt. It’s especially important not to count on credit cards to cover emergencies as the high interest rates can make your purchases cost thousands more in the long run. Using cash to pay off these unforeseen expenses will save you both money and stress.

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring emergency

Financial experts used to recommend saving three to six months’ worth of living expenses for an emergency fund. However, after the recession and the high unemployment rates that followed, they changed it to six months (at the very least) — 12 months if you can manage it. This substantial amount ensures that you’ll be able to keep your head above water no matter what happens.

If you haven’t started saving yet, this can sound like an impossible goal. The trick is to keep working toward it — again, every little bit counts. It helps to break it up into smaller goals, such as one month’s salary at a time, and then celebrate when you reach the milestones! Once you’ve established your emergency fund, you’ll find a lot of peace in knowing that you have enough money to stay financially safe in a time of need.

What’s more, once you’ve successfully built your emergency fund, you’ll have also developed a habit. This habit will allow you to continue saving toward other financial goals, such as the ones listed below. Just remember, your emergency fund should always come first!

Home Repair

If this is the first home you’ve owned (that is, you’ve only rented before), you’ll find that being responsible for all maintenance and repairs is not only irritating, it can also eat through money like nobody’s business. That’s why putting aside money for home repairs is so important. You just never know when your siding might start to crumble or your furnace may give up the ghost.

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring home repair

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring home repair

When it comes to maintenance and repair costs, the best rule of thumb is to budget one dollar per square foot, per year. That means that if you own a 1,500 square foot home, you should save $1,500 a year. While you may not necessarily spend $1,500 every year, there will be years where big ticket items (such as your roof) need repairs.

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Though the square foot idea is a reasonable estimate, it’s not perfect. There are many additional factors that may increase the likelihood and frequency of repairs. The age and condition of the house, it’s location, and the type of weather it is exposed to can all influence the need for repairs. For each of these factors that adversely affect your home, add an additional 10 percent to the square footage rule.

For example, if you own a 2,500 square foot house built at the turn of the 20th century, and it’s located in an area that experiences heavy snowfall in the winter, you’d add 20 percent to $2,500. That comes out to $3,000 a year. While that’s definitely a hefty chunk of change, the tax benefits of these repairs can help to offset these costs.

Animals

Adding animals to your homestead is often a worthwhile investment — whether you sell what they produce or keep them purely for self-sustainability. However, before you start bringing home chickens and goats, you’ll want to set money aside to cover a variety of costs.

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring animals

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring animals

Besides the purchase price of the animal, you’ll need to save for their housing, food, and care. The money you put down initially is just the start. Continuing food and veterinary needs will have to be calculated into your budget. Different animals have different needs, and it’s your job to know what those needs are before you commit to raising them.

New Vehicle

As we all know, buying a car is a big deal — not only because it’s exciting, but also because it’s a huge financial commitment. The average price of a new car is $33,453, and a reliable used car averages at $18,100. However, if you need to upgrade so you can haul horse trailer or hay, you don’t have much of an option. It has to be done.

When budgeting for a new car, you’re most likely going to be budgeting for an auto loan. The general rule of thumb is that no more than 20% of your monthly income should go to your car loan payments. However, if you already have a lot of expenses, and there isn’t much you can cut from your budget, that number should go down to 10-15%. Determining how much you can realistically afford — and buying within your means — is incredibly important.

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring new vehicle

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring new vehicle

Furthermore, the larger down payment you can make, the better. With fewer total payments in the life of the loan, you’ll pay a lot less in interest. Just like buying a home, aim to save 20% of the price of the car for the down payment.

Once you know what you can afford and have found a few cars that fit into your budget, you can start hitting the lots. The biggest thing to remember is this: don’t let a salesperson push you around or into something you’re not looking for. Dealers will always try to sell you more car than you need — and when lenders let you borrow more than you can afford, you’ll find yourself in a bad situation. Be firm and insist the salesperson show you exactly what you’re looking for. If at any time in the process, you find that the monthly payments they project are getting out of hand, walk away.

It’s also important to note that a new (or used) car will cost more than just the purchase price. You will need a new registration, which usually runs from $50 to $125, depending on the age of the car. The newer a car, the higher the registration and insurance costs.

Vacation

Working on the homestead is hard — and you deserve a break every now and then! Start with where you want to go and how long you want to be gone. Then, collect information on what airfare (or gas) will cost, as well as hotels in the area. With a rough idea of how long you’ll be gone, you can work out the estimated costs for food, rental cars, gas, souvenirs, and entertainment. Once you have a ballpark figure of how much money the trip will cost, you can start saving!

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring vacation

5 Things Homesteaders Should Save Money For This Spring vacation

Determine how much money you have available to save each month, and how many months it will take you to save the necessary funds for your trip. Don’t forget to add in pre-trip costs, such as passports, travel insurance, and immunizations. When you have everything mapped out, you’ll have a vacation start date and can start the countdown!

When saving for anything, be it emergencies or vacations, the key to success is to stick to your plan. Augment your savings by cutting back where you can, from working to save energy (and thus lower your bills) to planning your meals and eating out less. Pay yourself first and always treat your deposits like any other bill — non-negotiable and subject to a schedule. If you do this, you’ll find yourself financially secure in no time. And that’s a feeling that beats just about anything.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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