Setting boundaries is something that no one wants to hear. Having a garden and raising animals is something that allows us to dream and see the cuteness in the animals we raise.
To set boundaries around that is anything but fun. But here’s the thing. I don’t know anyone who has an unlimited budget. Do you? Sure we all know those people who seem to act like money is no object but even they have a limit. Even if their bar is far higher than yours.
Why Boundaries Are Good
Boundaries give us clear lines in which we can work. We don’t have to question our distinction even if it is a hard one.
Four Key Areas I Want You To Think Though
I have four main areas I want you to think through and set your own boundaries on.
How much you will spend on an animal if it gets sick or injured.
This one is no fun and I have said it before. When in the heat of the moment our hearts what to say “do whatever it takes”. But what if that bill for doing whatever it takes is more than your car? Or costs as much as your house payment this month? Then what?
The first thing I look at is the quality of life the animal will have after the treatment is given. If the animal is going to be in pain or stuck in a life situation that will drive it crazy. You have to ask yourself if it’s worth the animal’s distress and or pain. To keep you from feeling guilty or emotional pain for a time.
Make An Emergency Fund
I don’t think this is new to anyone but set aside the cash or just now that you have $500 or $1000 in your savings account in case something goes wrong. And you chose to fix the animal.
How much time you will let each project or income stream take out of your overall day.
You have to be careful of what you expect yourself to do and what is logical. It makes my jaw drop when I hear the list of things homesteaders expect themselves to do ON TOP OF making money or working a 9-5.
Do the things you enjoy but if you only have a few hours a night or early mourning for a project chose your favorite and let it be that. We don’t live in a world where all of our bills can be paid from the crops we produce.
You need money. Even if it’s for a small parentage of your necessities.
Once the project (whether it’s a garden, animal, or product) is up and running, think about how much time it will cost you to run or do each day. Then where are you going to find those hours?
Think through that EVERY TIME you are wanting to raise that new animal or grow that new thing.
How much time you will allow customers to take of your time.
This is more likely to happen with people who buy animals. They tend to come back even years later to ask questions. Which is fine. But this can really eat into your time off. You have to set clear boundaries of when you will answer questions or respond back.
And do you know what will help you answer their questions even quicker? Write a blog post every time you get a question more than twice.
Yep, you read that right. How much quicker would it be if you could send someone a link to the words you have already typed up?
You don’t have to use a paid site service if you don’t intend to do anything more with it. Just start a free blog on wordpress.com
When will you stop trying to raise an animal, start a project, or income stream that isn’t working out like you had hoped?
Sometimes things are not what we thought they would be and that’s ok. I got a pair of pigeons the same time my mom did and ended up not sticking to it because they just aren’t for me.
It’s better that you get out as soon as you realize something isn’t right for you and find something that is. Now if it’s the work that causes you to dip then we have a problem. Life is not meant to be without work. But I do think you should love what you do.
Now I’m not saying you can’t ever go outside the lines. They serve as a warning sign to you so that if you decide to spend more than your original budget or take on an unplanned animal. There could be consciences for your choices. You have to be willing to pay those consequences.