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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You're Never too Old to be Debt Free

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions
- Benjamin Franklin



You’re Never Too Old to Be Debt-Free

 by Diane Smith


We are both in our 70s and are just finishing our home that was built out of pocket with no debt.


We were fortunate to have purchased our lot as a package deal when we bought and built our former home. This lot — 2 3/4 acres with a well and septic — came with the deal. We had to purchase both lots or nothing. We let this lot sit for about 10 years while we finished the other home. This time we wanted no debt so decided to build as we went.


We sold our former home too quickly and had to move into our new house way too early. It was just a shell. We stayed in a hotel for the first two weeks while we got some plumbing done.


We decided on a log home and bought our logs from a mill down the road that was milling "beetle kill" logs. We paid $4,500 for the total package. Each square log had to be routered (to accept chinking) and set into place. We used a "cherry picker" that my husband rigged with a small motor to help us lift our logs into place. Some were more than 20 feet long. It worked quite well for us. The two of us put the entire two-story shell up alone.


We have built the entire home by ourselves over the past six years, metal roof and all. Our kids have come down some weekends and helped with some of the heavier jobs.


Our two-story home measures 30 by 20 feet — just under 1,450 square feet. It has two bedrooms and a bath upstairs, as well as a great room, kitchen and bath downstairs.


We have spent approximately $50,000 finishing our home. It is still a work in progress, but nearly finished.


We live in rural Alaska and do not have to deal with building codes or building inspectors, so that is a big plus for us.


At our age, we probably would not do this again, but it has certainly been an interesting journey. We live a better life without a mortgage hanging over our heads.




Reduce Your Water Bill with Rain Barrels
Like many people, you may have planted a garden, hoping to put a dent in your food bill and put more natural and delicious food on your table. That is, until you open your water bill and cringe at the total. Before you throw in the garden towel, consider setting up some rain barrels. It is an easy and extremely affordable way to harness Mother Nature's bounty, and much more beneficial to your garden as well.




Unless you have unlimited funds (rare these days), my advice to anyone building as we did is to be prepared to camp out in your home for an extended period of time. Be patient when you are still installing all your plumbing and have to wash your dishes in your bathroom sink because the kitchen is not ready. Learn to live with particle board on your floors until you can get carpet or tile down. (We stained the particle board to be able to scrub it). Enjoy your particle-board countertops (we used three coats of varnish). They work great until the permanent tops are installed.


Each new addition to the house is a joy. Not everyone would do this, but if you can live in the mess of construction, the joy of a debt-free home is worth every day of building.


Excerpted from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, the Original Guide to Living Wisely. To read more articles from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, please visit or call (800) 234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright 2014 by Ogden Publications Inc.


Electric rates are going up, so cooling our homes is getting more expensive due to Obama’s war on coal and new EPA regulations.

And, it's not just electricity for cooling. It won't be too long before we'll be heating our homes this winter. With the exception of natural gas, most heating oil has gone up dramatically. For instance, a gallon of #2 fuel oil has gone from $2.36 in 2007 to $3.90 today (source Bureau of Labor Statistics).


Make a Biogas Generator
Mother Earth News #Prepper #Survival



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Bruce ‘the Poor Man’



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