Home > Money > How Much Will You Need to Live On?

How Much Will You Need to Live On?

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 12 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Money Self-sufficient Lifestyle Bills

To ascertain how much money you will need to live on, you first need to work out how much you spend now. Obviously you will not be spending money on food bills, but you should take into account other outgoings such as council tax, utility bills and money for emergencies, such as medical care for you and your family and veterinary care for you animals.

Household Bills

Before you embark on your self-sufficient life, you must get all of your finances in order. Make sure all of your outstanding debts are paid and look at your household bills to work out how much you will have to pay each month. It’s a good idea to pay off your mortgage before you become self-sufficient to avoid the monthly chore of paying it. Also, if you can afford the initial cost, invest in a wind turbine or a set of solar panels. This will dramatically reduce your monthly outgoings; hopefully rendering electricity bills a thing of the past (you may even find the National Grid pays you for the surplus electricity you generate).

Add up bills such as council tax and utility bills such as water (will you be using main water? If not, you won’t have to pay a water rate). Look at each monthly bill and see how you can reduce it – for example switch to electricity instead of gas and use your wind turbine to generate it.

If you drive, consider how much you need to use your car, and if you can manage to live without it. If not, think about switching to a diesel engine and running it off hydrogenated oil (recycled vegetable fat). You will also need to pay car tax, insurance and maintenance costs, so factor these into your yearly outgoings.

Food and Clothing

Living a self-sufficient lifestyle should mean that you grow all of your own fruit and vegetables. However, there are some things you cannot grow, such as tea, coffee, sugar and rice. Work out how much you spend on these every month, and consider setting up an arrangement with your local shop owner, who may be willing to swap a bag of sugar for half a dozen eggs.

You should also be prepared for poor harvests. A particularly wet or dry summer can wreak havoc on the vegetable plot, and you may find you have to turn to buying some food items if your harvest has been poor.

Obviously you will not have the same budget for clothes shopping as you had when you were in full time employment, but you will find you will not need to buy so many clothes. You will need plenty of old clothes to wear for working in the garden, and many other items can be made yourself, or bought from a charity shop at a fraction of their original price. However, you should still have a budget to buy clothes even if just for the basics.

Other Costs

If you keep animals, you will need to pay for their food and bedding, unless you grow it yourself. The cost each month will depend on the type of animal and how many you have. You will also need to set aside an amount for any unplanned veterinary costs if your animals become ill.

A self sufficient lifestyle doesn’t require as much money as your current working life does, which probably involves travel costs to work, buying food to both cook at home and eat on the go, and clothes to wear for work. However, there will be some bills that won’t go away, and you should save money to pay for these, or sell some of your produce to pay for them.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Rukhs
    Re: Selling from Your Allotment
    Any idea where I can sell my allotment produce.
    28 September 2019
  • Grubbygreenfingers
    Re: Our First Year in the Allotment: A Case Study
    Horticultural Black Plastic sheets can be a great answer for weeds it is also sold as silage sheeting.…
    21 September 2019
  • Charly
    Re: Make Your Own Biodegradable Plant Pots
    I like this piece, however it doesn't make sense to use sellotape when making the pots as that isn't bio degradable.
    21 July 2019
  • Billy
    Re: Building Your Own Cob House
    I am looking to buy a plot of land approx 50 - 100 acres. My desire is to live off the land sustainably. My partner and I would…
    22 June 2019
  • Rob the roller
    Re: What Not to Do in Your Allotment
    Hi Giancarlo I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate condition. There is nothing to prevent you growing mushrooms etc…
    27 November 2018
  • Kate br
    Re: Selling from Your Allotment
    I would recommend. Country markets as local places to sell surplus veg
    9 November 2018
  • JoJo
    Re: Foraging for Mushrooms
    @Amy - Lepiota (Dapperlings) which look like smaller versions of Parasols have an approx 7cm diametre. They can be very poisonous - so…
    3 September 2018
  • Amy
    Re: Foraging for Mushrooms
    Hello, Im wanting some advice please,ive found a fungi/mushroom in my garden...ive been searching on the internet and it seems as its a…
    1 September 2018
  • Mick
    Re: Self-Sufficient Energy
    I am looking into a thermoelectric generator to place on my solid fuel burning stove. The stove is hot all but two weeks out of the year.
    26 June 2018
  • GoSelfSufficient
    Re: What Not to Do in Your Allotment
    Giancarlo - Your Question:Hello,My name is Giancarlo Cristea, I live in Tooting, London, where I came 3 years ago.…
    24 May 2018