Lifestyle not a living?
modcons;302231 wrote: After reading this forum at length I get the distinct impression noone actually makes any money from their block. Have I got it right?
tigger;302234 wrote: We aim to have everything paying for itself as far as the animals go, so that cost of our feed etc is covered by what we can sell and its a break even - no paddock ornaments!
If we ever manage to break even with the expenses from our block, I will be over the moon. I keep quite a close tab on income vs. outgoings with the help of a couple of spreadsheets, one of which itemises by animal type, so I can see where the money is going.
kindajojo;304939 wrote: ...as above our 23 acres covers its costs, fills the freezer, pays the rates and I think we sort of break even lol, but we bought it for the lifestyle..not to make money.
In our best year sales-wise, we managed to sell $15k worth of various animals. But we still didn't break even, because at that time, our chook/duck/turkey/goose population was around the 200 mark :eek: :eek: :eek:
Up here, there is only one feed mill, so feed is very expensive, and we have to drive an hour each way to collect the feed, which we bring in a trailer-load at a time. Also, we cannot sell all the eggs we produce, so the surplus get boiled up and fed to the pigs. This is good for the pigs, but not so good for our finances because the eggs are more valuable than the feed pellets which they replace.
This year, our chook etc. population is down around 60 head, so feed costs have dropped a lot. However, it looks as though our total animal sales will only be around $7k to $8k this year because animal prices are lower due to the drought, we didn't get so many steers this year, and our pigs have not produced any litters so far. Normally we would have had a summer litter, but something went wrong between our new boar and the sow. Fingers crossed that the next try for springtime piglets will be successful.
The only animals which are in the black so far this year (ending June 30) are the sheep, but the cattle will also make some money once all the calves are weaned, and some of their mothers are sold. The big money pit continues to be the chooks, but Inger likes to breed them, so I have to accept some losses there.
When I talk about breaking even, I am ignoring the rates, insurance, spraying costs, fertiliser costs, and fencing costs, all of which I tend to view as an expense more associated with ownership of the property, rather than related to the animals we do or don't have.
So, here's hoping we manage to break even one day, but I'm not holding my breath. We certainly didn't ever anticipate making a profit from our block, but it would be nice just to cover the costs. As others have said, there are "fringe benefits" associated with owning a block, and we certainly never have to buy any meat. That is a definite saving, but would be more so, if we still had kids at home to help eat it all...
Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather
Hell, there are plenty of ways to make money and your Dad may be a key if he has mechanical experience and can fix things for the neighbours as an example. Barter services if possible. At the end of the day, it really comes down to what your outgoings are. I am mortgage free for example but if I expected the LSB to pay a mortgage, it wouldn't on top of other outgoings. But - I don't actively generate an income from it so can't complain.
Would I swap the past 21 years (on this block but 30 years total) with my daughters growing up on a block where they could row a dingy in the dam, fish for eels, raise animals, have and train horses - not in a heartbeat! They have grown into amazing self sufficient caring and responsible adults and I believe that their lifestyle acccounts for much of who they are today.