The #1 Mistake New Off Grid Homesteaders Make

“There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.

Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.”

Napoleon Hill

Off Grid Living Is Expensive… Initially

When I’ve spoken with other excited homesteaders in our area, a comment I hear often is, “I didn’t realize how expensive this was going to be!” In my mind, I think to myself, “who told you it was going to be cheap?”

And this is the biggest mistake that is made. They go into the off-grid lifestyle thinking it will be a cheap way to live. It can be that way when you look at the costs over the long run but at the start… not so much.

The caveat with living the off-grid dream is that you still pay for electricity, water, and housing, you just pay for it upfront. The example I use in the video embedded below was for our solar system. Initially, it cost $14,000 and based on the size, the panels will last 25+ years and since we used recycled lithium-ion batteries from a Tesla, they should last 10+ years. You can learn more about why we used them and their benefits in our Off Grid Solar Basics course.

$14,000 ÷ 10 years = $1,400 per year

$1,400 ÷ 12 months = $116.67 per month

My electrical bill is still a normal amount per month but instead of paying it every month over the next 10 years, I’ve made a one-time investment upfront.

The beautiful thing is that energy prices from a utility company can fluctuate dramatically but my bill will not change. My per month spending actually decreases the longer the system stays in service.

Learn How To Save Money

If you are in the habit of spending less money then you are earning, that is a net positive.

If you are in the habit of spending the same amount of money that you earn, that is a net neutral.

If you are in the habit of spending more money then you are earning, that is a net negative.

Notice that I used the word habit. How you spend the money you earn is a habit and I want to hammer that point down for an important reason.

Most people think that the solution to their money woes is to earn more money. But if how much money we spend is a habit, then if you earn more money, habitually, you will spend more money.

There are many cliche examples to prove this point. The majority of lottery winners end up spending all of their winnings only to return to their previous financial state. Professional athletes who go from rags to riches, overspend on houses, cars and the like. If their career ends prematurely (or they just spend way too much), they may have to claim bankruptcy since they can’t pay off their debts.

For the 3 years prior to living with Hannah while I was traveling through Canada, Australia and Southeast Asia, I earned less than $12,000 per year. I was still able to travel, save money and live my life on my own terms.

How was I able to do this? I valued every dollar that I brought in, cut down on my expenses dramatically and minimized every aspect of my life.

For those 3 years, I didn’t own a car. I chose to live in places that had great weather year round so I could ride my bike everywhere. I saved on gas, insurance, repair fees, oil changes, etc.

I found inexpensive living situations. I lived rent-free for 7 months while residing on Vancouver Island by house sitting. I also found places to rent for typically less than $500 per month.

You have to be creative with cutting down expenses and it does mean your life may have to change. This is something that is hard for people because they don’t want to give up certain luxuries but those habits are draining there bank account every month.

Start A Side Hustle

Invoke the entrepreneurial spirit in yourself. This is something that I’ve done since I was a kid. I always had something going on to make some extra dollars on the side.

I shoveled driveways during the winter, I cut grass during the summer and I time kept hockey games at the local arena. I did all of this before I was even 16.

I was learning valuable lessons that if I wanted something, like a Play Station gaming console, I had to go out and earn it by creating value to others.

As I got older, the side hustle took different forms. When I learned how to sew, I made wallets out of recycle bicycle tire tubes. When I was working as an electrician, I could do odd electrical jobs for people. When I traveled, I started posting videos to YouTube which was eventually a springboard to creating a business with my wife.

Start a side hustle on doing something that you love to do and provides a lot of value to others. If you love pets, start pet sitting for people that need the service. Who knows, maybe it could be a full-time business at some point and you can quit your day job.

I’d say it is important to do something that you’re passionate about on the side to make some extra dollars. If it starts to grow then it could be a fulfilling career that you cherish.

Here is the most important part. That extra money you earn, save it towards your off grid dream!

Study Success Material

My favorite book is Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. My mentor Bob Proctor started reading this book when he was in his 20s and is still reading it to this day and he is over 80 years old now.

You might think… why would he keep reading the same book over and over again? What’s the value in that?

We’re taught that if you can just recite the information in a book, then you understand it. That’s not the case though. Reciting what you learned from a book through memory is one thing, understanding and applying the wisdom within, is completely different.

When you read the same chapters over and over again, you start to see and understand what is being said in a different way. Why does this happen? Because you are reading the material at a different level of consciousness from the first time you did. You may pick up certain ideas or sentences that you didn’t see before.

When I was first starting to become serious with studying success material, I watched Bob Proctor’s free seminar on YouTube, ‘You Were Born Rich‘ all the time. I’ve probably watched or listened to it 100 times now. I can recite many of the stories pretty well word for word.

This way of studying and learning is not taught in most schools. You’re taught to read, regurgitate and move on.

In T&GR, Hill espouses the wisdom of the most successful people in the world at the time of the writing. Buy this book, read it over and over again. Chapter 4 on Auto-Suggestion is currently the chapter that I’m reading right now, it’s wonderful.

Script Your Off Grid Dream Life

The final thing we’ll go over in this article is Life Scripting. This is going to give your off grid dream a tremendous amount of power.

I want you to sit in a comfortable chair and relax. Focus on your breathing and start to think about the life you truly want without giving any thought to how it’s going to happen.

Think of the land you want to buy, think of the house you’ll be living in, the vehicles you’re driving, how you’re making money… you get the idea.

Feel so good and relish in that feeling while visualizing the dream life you have for yourself and your family.

The important here is to feel amazing while thinking about it because after all, it’s what you truly want.

If negative thoughts creep in saying, “you can’t afford that”, “you don’t need that”, smile at those thoughts and let them drift away.

Pull yourself back to that vision and the good feelings around it.

Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. When you return back to this world, write out that vision in the present tense.

Start off by saying, “I’m so happy and grateful now that…”

You want to script your life in the present tense. If you phrase it such that it will only exist in the future, then it will stay that way, always out of reach.

I am so happy and grateful now that I live in a beautiful off grid tiny house that I built myself. I love that I get to share this experience with my amazing partner who is so supportive of my efforts. I am so happy and grateful now that I am earning a monthly income of $10,000 through passive online sources. I love my life and all the opportunities that are coming to me.

That is somewhat similar to what I wrote down 3 1/2 years ago in my parent’s basement. I wrote pages of this script going into detail about the emotions I’d be feeling, the things I’d see, hear, smell, taste or touch. I got all the senses involved so that the vision in my mind felt real.

If you don’t know how this is going to happen. Great! If you knew how to do it, you would’ve already done it.

Just because you’ve written this down doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. The vision has to be applied consistently which is what Hill talks about in T&GR.

If you want to know my daily habits that I’ve used to go from earning $12,000 per year and living in my parent’s basement to creating my off-grid dream and being financially independent and abundant, enter your name and email below.

Here’s What You’ll Learn In My Success Habits Cheat Sheet

  • The 6 habits that I do each and every morning to set my day up for success
  • The best time to wake up each morning to increase your productivity while everyone else is sleeping
  • The one habit that allowed me to completely eliminate a year long drug habit
  • How to create a beautiful vision of your off grid dream life and how to make it manifest
  • The best way to study that is unconventional but is what the most successful people do
  • The kick in the butt you need to create a life based on freedom and independence

8 thoughts on “The #1 Mistake New Off Grid Homesteaders Make

  1. jjbond says:

    Thank you Derek, great article… people need to remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint, we’re doing this for the long term, not instant gratification. Jen

  2. Kailey Gullickson says:

    I have been watching your videos and Hannah’s for about two-three years now. I tried veganism which didn’t last long but i fig. Practice makes perfect. It is something I am working on. You two are living the dream I want in my future. You two are so insperational! I am now looking in to the spiritual healing that Hannah just went through. It is on my to do list. Travel to costa rica and continue a path of healing physically and spiritually. Thank you both for all the motivation and inspiration you provide me. Keep being you. Much love, Kailey Shae Gullickson 😚

  3. horned lizard says:

    growing up in Germany we are taught to save first and then buy it. one of the biggest problems in the US is the dead on a credit card. the average person owe’s $ 15 000 to a bank most the time paying 20% or more interest. For some strange reason it is not computing in their brain to change that habit. It must be a simulate behavior like an alcoholic, or an overweight person.

    • Derek Howlett says:

      That’s an interesting way of putting it!

      I believe the stat is that 50% of Americans have some type of consumer debt and if you include mortgages it is about 80%.

      People think to themselves “I’ll pay it off later”

  4. gunther says:

    Inspirational. Been trying to build financial freedom for a while now. working on a course right now to teach people how to sell merch passively. This is something you guys should do as well to supplement your income more. I would love to give it to you for free when it launches if you give me a shoutout! let me know! I’m done with all the course materials, Just gotta record the voice overs and tidy everything up.

  5. Rick Rose says:

    Hi Derek,
    I’ve been watching your videos for about 4 months now, and want to build an off grid house in Mexico where I bought some land. I live with my wife there so I am saving lots of money currently, and have planed out everything from Solar, cistern, grey water, septic/bio-digester, security system, and vegetable garden. Although there is nothing small about this house I hope I can build it for under $170K. I was also watching the couple on the PureLivingForLife youtube channel but your explanation of thier Solar power mistakes made a lot of sense to me so I bought your plans on constructing a solar power system. I intend to not go into debt doing this and have about half the money to start the build at this point, and my intent is to pay the construction bills as we go on a monthly basis as I earn the money. I just want to thank you for your well thought out builds and channel. I have learned so much from you that I can apply to building my new house. Building in Mx comes with its own complications but we will push on until its done, and your channel has been a wealth of help.

    Regards, peace,
    Rick and Esther Rose

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