Our Exit Strategy
Last updated by Lauren in April 2017
Every day I sit at my desk I feel my body telling me it desires to be outside. It wants to work and move. It wants to be productive by growing plants and tending to other creatures. And no, my 2 African violet office plants don't count as growing plants.
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Tim and I have talked it over, and know that we can't just quit our jobs and rough it out. We need a plan. We need a financial plan, a skills plan and dream plan. So these are our conclusions over the last few months of hashing it out.
In order to move from the city we need 2 things. Capital and mobile income. We also need a debt payoff plan.
Capital: We need cash to buy land, build/fix dwellings and invest in tools. We need cash to invest in our own skills. We also need cash to pay for things we can't barter or trade for, say car insurance, and estates taxes. Preferably we want to buy land with cash and build with cash to avoid mortgage debt. We are trying to keep our expenses low so we can save money for capital.
Mobile Income: Passive income would be great, it would be money we don't have to work for. However being realistic, you need lots of money to make passive income. So we have come to the conclusion what we really need is mobile income. Income that doesn't require us to work specific hours or in a specific place. We need income that we can start now in our apartment and travel with us to the farm. This income would be to provide on-going cash flow while we work to set up the farm and to ease the stress of financial uncertainties. This blog is part of our mobile income plan.
We both recognize we don't have the skills we need to farm, it's just not what we were trained to do. We have made a list of skills we want to learn, and have started to check things off the list. While we amass capital and build mobile income, we can also learn skills.
- Mass Hunter's Education Course (official website)
- Mass License to Carry Live Fire course (Boston Firearm School)
- Foraging in Massachusetts (Russ Cohen, Forager)
- Bachelor in Mathematics (Lauren)
- Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering (Tim)
- Hydroponics and fluid mechanical systems
- Aurdino and Micro-controlled systems
- Brewing Homemade Beer
- Fundamentals of Green Building Design
- Blogging and Online Businesses
- Outdoor and Indoor gardening
- Canning and Soap-making
- Large Animal Training and Care
- Painting and Quilting
- Deer Hunting + Butchering (learning from a friend)
- Dairy Animal Care (The Milk Shanty)
- Cheese/Butter/Yogurt making (The Milk Shanty)
- First Aid (American Red Cross)
- Basic carpentry
- Basic welding
- Wood Felling, Cutting, Stacking, Milling, etc
- Home-building (framing, windows, flooring, insulation)
- Solar panel and independent electric generation systems
- Composting ("The Humanure Handbook" by Joseph Jenkins)
- Permaculture and Sustainable Agriculture
- Chicken Care and Butchering
Tim and I have thought a lot about what we really want. I want to spend time outside in the garden or barnyard. I want to have time for family and friends. I want to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient. I want to fill the world with more beauty that I found it. I want to paint and create beauty in whatever form that takes. Tim would like to have a more relaxed job with time to play video games. Tim wants time to play guitar and jam with friends. Tim would one day like to repair old cars and build a hands-off automated brewing system.
- Buy raw land (+5 acres) with or without a house
- Live in RV while building or renovating the house
- Build a root cellar + chicken coops
- Plant a garden and orchard
- Build the barn + workshop
- Build greenhouses or walipini
- Upgrade and expand house as desired
Of course it's all variable. Maybe we will build the barn/workshop first and live in that while building the cabin. This would provide storage for materials and tools while finishing the house. It could then be converted to a guest house/ in-law apartment when we move to the cabin. Maybe we find land with a house already and skip straight to the gardens! Maybe we take a gap year traveling the country in an RV, before we settle down on land, one never knows!
Time-frame: So when's this whole moving to the farm thing gonna happen? Honestly I have no idea.
We want to set ourselves up for success. And for me that means not setting a hard deadline. I could make it and be rushed into it. I could miss the deadline and be disappointed and frustrated. Or I could be ready before the deadline, who knows. So for now, we are going to keep working on the plan and see how it evolves with time.
Our financial plan give us a goal to work toward.
Our skills plan gives us something to focus on now.
Our dream plan gives us hope and spark.
We want to inspire others to follow along our journey. We want to learn from others that are farther along this same path and be encouraged by their passion. This path won't be easy, but we think it'll be worth it.
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