My husband Matt and I are dreamers. One of our favorite things to talk about is the future—what would we do if we had X amount of money? What house projects do we want to try and tackle next? What hobbies are we wanting to pick up? What business ventures would be fun to try out?
But for the past few years, our #1 Very Favorite Dream is…
It’s hard to say when the dream started, exactly. More than anything, it’s something that’s evolved slowly over time, as we’ve experimented with paring down our possessions, looking into the FIRE movement (financial independence/retiring early), and wanting to spend more time outdoors and less time on screens. Now that we have three kids, we also want the dream for them–we want them to know how to work hard and take care of themselves, as well as learning to look after and care for things outside themselves (chickens, gardens, living spaces).
Right now, Matt works as the shipping manager for a company that manufactures food for small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas), and I (Torrie) stay at home with our kids. We live on 0.28 acres in the suburbs of Northern Utah. In the future, we’d love for Matt to go down to part-time work or even retire early completely (or to have one or both of us work from home on one of our passion projects), and we want to purchase more land. However, me being the personal finance nerd that I am, I know that we are a long, LONG way from being able to make that happen.
The 10-year goal is to move to a place with more land–5+ acres is the goal. Ideally, we would like to purchase our homestead here in Northern Utah. With that land, we have 3 potential directions we would like to go (not all at once–we’d have to narrow it down):
1 – A mini flower farm,
2 – An outdoor “studio” for photographers, and
3 – A small-scale animal rescue.
In addition to the three above ideas, we would use some of the land for our own needs–having a big kitchen garden, carving out a space for our chicken flock, possibly getting some pigs and a couple cows, and having ample space for our kids to explore and run around.
There are a few ways we can make this happen, and we’re not sure exactly how it will all play out. We can either work to increase our income and save like crazy so that we can afford more land and have one or both of us continue to work on a full- or part-time basis while we get the homestead up and running. (In this scenario, we might look into renting out our current home to provide a stream of passive income.) Our other main option at this point is to sell our current home, which has gained quite a bit in equity over the almost-three years we’ve been here thanks to a hot real estate market, move into a much smaller home (or a fixer upper), then live there for a few years and sell at a profit (or rent it out) when we can afford the property we want.
However, ten years is a long time to let the dream sit, and while more land will always be our Big Goal, we are currently working on cultivating our current land and learning and perfect our homesteading skills NOW as much as possible.
Our current plan, in addition to saving up for our big goal?
1- Increase our chicken flock and have our oldest daughter start a mini egg-selling business to teach her about managing money,
2 – Add at least two more raised garden beds to our backyard (we currently have 4) and start learning how to cultivate flowers for cutting in small spaces,
3 – Learn how to take advantage of the full growing season and learning to maximize our vegetable and other crop yields in our small space,
4 – Learn proper and varied preservation techniques so that our hard efforts of growing our own food don’t go to waste,
5 – Be intentional about how we spend our time, simplify where possible, and teach our children how to work hard, be independent, and have a fun time without relying on screens.
Here at I Dream of Acres, we’ll be blogging about our successes and failures, our progress towards all of our goals, techniques and tricks we’ve learned and want to share, and personal stories and reflection of what it means for us to live the abundant life.
Hope you’ll follow us on the journey!