Once we decided to stay in the valley, we knew it was time to really start saving for our own little farm. We had a shared vision, knew what our goals were and together, we started working to fulfill them.
A Couple On a Mission
As I look back at our intensity, I have to laugh! We were like two steam engines pulling the same train. Anything that dared get in our way was promptly blown out of the way! And though I laugh, I do have to take my hat off in respect of our determination.
We wanted to be intentional about where our money went. So we set a tight budget for ourselves. And then? We stuck to it like our dreams depended on it!
Our goal was to be settled before children came. And not just settled. Naturally raised food seemed to be one of the key components for avoiding Lyme relapses. And so, we needed more than a clean home. We also needed a good, food-producing setup before we were willing to put my body under the strain of a pregnancy.
We set our immediate sights on saving, our mid-way sights on purchasing land and our further sights on making babies! Yep, that’s the truth!
Becoming a Homemaker Who Makes Cents
While my man busily worked outside the home, I began to work inside. Meals were made from scratch. I purchased our core ingredients in bulk. Hygienic items were handmade. Hang drying our laundry was a common occurrence.
Because we were staying, I didn’t hesitate to build my canning jar collection. I pounced on every deal I could find! You can be sure I filled those jars with fruit, pickled vegetables and anything else that was safe to water bath can. I think it became an addiction!
After I was gifted an All-American pressure canner late summer, I also learned to put up meat, broth, basic vegetables and more!
Since we were putting down roots, we also bought a large chest freezer. By fall, it was filled with our home-raised turkeys, the deer my man hunted and a variety of home raised (or gleaned) fruits and vegetables.
While it certainly helped us save money, it wasn’t just about money. It was also about health.
Saving Wasn’t Easy
While it all sounds wonderful, it wasn’t easy. Rewarding, yes. Oodles of hard, hard work? You bet! Sometimes, we were happy with our resolve. And other times, we felt stifled by our lifestyle and budget.
When I was busy patching our jeans and underwear (true story!), I sometimes felt like rebelling. After a season of long, hard work, my man often felt like indulging in a real snowboarding trip.
We’re only human! And we struggled to deny ourselves.
The only thing that kept us sane was that we did allow ourselves a wee bit of spending money each month. It was only $10 per person, but somehow, that tiny bit of wiggle room helped us stay on course.
Some people thought we were crazy. And we were! We were crazy about reaching our goal and wanted to get there as soon as possible! And so, we (mostly) pushed aside whatever didn’t help.
But We Did Continue to Give
However, we did do one thing that didn’t help us reach our goals! We continued giving both time and money to those in need around us.
Somehow, the act of giving kept us from becoming greedy. It was a reality check, a reminder that life isn’t about money, that our hard-earned cash wasn’t actually our own. We knew we wanted every area of our lives to be surrendered to God’s hands. So we gave.
We Developed An Important Skill For the Future
That season of extreme saving wasn’t fun, but we knew it was necessary for building our savings account And that’s all we knew! Neither of us stopped to consider we were developing a skill that would serve us well in years to come.
But it did. My goodness, did it ever!
At this point in the story, we only knew budgeting was the key to saving and saving was the key to moving forward. Moving forward meant we could start setting up, and setting up meant we could start a family. And so, we held to our goals with a dogged determination.