It's a tough choice that many homesteader's, farmers, and others have to make.
I drive a used car, and actually am hoping next month to use it as a down payment for a used truck. That will give me a small monthly car payment, which I have never had before, but it's a necessary thing. We cannot do all we want to, without a truck to haul things.
The only other bills I have are my lot rent for the land I lease, and my monthly utilities. My electric, my internet, and Netflix. We don't do cable, we have a house phone that works off the internet.
My goal is not to upgrade things that serve no purpose. We won't suddenly get cable because we can. What we will do, is use the money to help get our place to where we want it. I won't use more electricity because I can afford a higher bill each month. I won't buy a brand new truck because I don't want huge payments for something that is going to take a beating on a weekly basis. Second hand is just fine for me.
A few of the goals we have in the next few months with the extra money:
-New to me truck
-New lawnmower (this is one area I will not go second hand on again, got burned last year on this one)
-Supplies to enclose our old greenhouse into a dual purpose coop with a large split run for meat birds and turkeys
-Buy said turkeys
-Supplies to build a small garage
-A secondhand freezer for storing meat and such
-An emergency fund
As a single mom, with my last child turning 18 at the end of the year, I have to be able to replace the child support that I will no longer get. It isn't a huge amount, and I know how lucky I am to have a responsible ex. But, I depend on that income to help cover my monthly expenses. With a lot of hard work and perseverance, I am praying that I can stop working the part time job after about a year. By then we should have our farm stand up and running, and with the income we will generate from that, and some other projects I have in the works for the winter months, we should do nicely.
One of my biggest goals with this weekend job, is to be able to get the things I need, in order to make the homestead work, so I don't have to work quite as hard. It makes for a long week. I work 11 hours both Saturday and Sunday, usually take Monday for rest, then the rest of the week is spent working on the homestead projects. Mowing, tilling the garden, setting up new projects. But to me it's worth it, for a year or so of extra income to make ends meet, and get ahead on some goals I have.
Do you work outside the homestead? Please share your stories and how you make it work. I would love to hear from others!