Save Money by Renting Goats for Weed Control

Save Money by Renting Goats for Weed Control

If your property has become overgrown by brush and invasive plant species are taking over, perhaps it’s time to consider goats. Yes…that’s right, goats. These hearty animals will eat a wide variety of weeds which makes them effective eating machines when you need to clear large tracts of land. And, it provides a safe and natural alternative to harmful herbicides. However, the most convincing reason is that you save a ton of money by renting goats for weed control. So, if you are looking for ways to avoid renting machinery or hiring labor, here’s how a herd of goats can eat away at the total expense.

Why Are People Renting Goats?

People have been raising goats for thousands of years. Nowadays, some have used them to create lucrative business opportunities. With the many harmful side effects of harsh chemicals and herbicides, more people are looking for more eco-friendly options. Goats are a natural way to clear brush and overgrown yards or commercial lots.

What makes them so effective is that they will eat just about anything. They will happily munch on the weeds and invasive plant species such as poison ivy, poison oak, sumac, kudzu, milk thistle, knotweed, wisteria, and reed grass, just to name a few. However, some plants are toxic to goats and must be removed before they can graze. But, goats can handle most of the bramble and thorny plants you wouldn’t want to remove by hand.

Although there are many benefits in using goats for weed control, here are some of the most common reasons why people prefer using them:

  • Goats quickly clear the land you want to use.
  • They provide natural fertilizer and enrich the soil.
  • Their hooves till the soil, saving you a ton of labor if you plan to use the area for gardening.
  • Goats are excellent climbers, meaning they can reach places machines can’t. So, they are more effective for steep, rocky terrain and wetlands.
  • It eliminates the use of herbicides which can harm your health and the environment.
  • Targeting grazing is a great preventative measure in areas prone to wildfires.
  • Renting goats is much cheaper than hiring a landscaping company.
  • You don’t need a permit to let goats graze on your land.

How Can You Save Money by Renting Goats for Weed Control?

Although there are many practical benefits for renting goats, let’s discuss the dollar and cents of it. In addition to all the environmental benefits, here is how you can save money by renting goats for weed control.

1. It is cheaper than paying for a professional landscaping service.

First and foremost, using goats is much cheaper than paying for professional weed removal. Landscaping companies typically charge between $50 and $100 an hour for their services. Depending on the size of your lot and the density of the overgrowth, it might cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per acre to clear and remove all the yard waste. On the other hand, you can rent a herd of goats for about $400-$800 per acre. If you go with the goats, you can save a lot of cabbage.

2. There are no disposal fees.

This brings me to the second point: you don’t have to pay for disposal fees. Since the goats are eating the yard waste, there is no debris to burn or haul away. So, you can completely avoid the cost and further reduce the total bill for weed control.

3. They provide free fertilizer to enrich the soil.

Another added benefit is that goats will provide free fertilizer. As any gardener will tell you, nothing beats good, ol’ fashioned fertilizer to enrich your soil. Hiring goats will provide a nutrient-rich base if you want to lay sod or plant a garden in the area they are clearing. So, you can spend less money on expensive potting soils from your local gardening center. And, the goats will even till it into the soil with their hooves, saving a lot of man-hours.

4. You don’t need to buy herbicides for future treatments.

If you rent goats to get rid of your weeds, you don’t need to spend money on herbicides down the line. While more resilient weeds will return, you can clear the majority of your weeds in a single visit. The first time that you use targeted grazing takes the longest since there are years of growth to clear. However, a few more applications should clear all unwanted foliage from your property and eliminate the need to use herbicides.

5. You can save even more if assist.

If you don’t have facilities that are suitable for livestock, it can take some time to prepare. However, some companies may offer a discount for those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. With more people to assist, it greatly reduces the time and labor costs of setting up. So, offering to help remove toxic plants, set up electric fences, or feed and water the herd could drastically cut the final costs.

Where Can You Rent Goats?

For those looking to rent goats, you can do a local search to see if there are any goat rental services near you. If you aren’t getting any hits, look up other keywords like “targeted grazing” or “conservation grazing” to widen the search. Be sure you check the reviews to choose the best fit for your job.

However, this is still a relatively new business idea. You can always ask for a referral from someone who knows about renting goats for weed control. Or, you might try contacting local farmers who keep goats. Even if they don’t have a rental company, they may be willing to offer their services for the right price.

Why Aren’t More People Using Goats?

Many people still prefer the fastest and easiest methods for weed control. It takes time for the goats to eat, and even longer when all their favorite vegetation is gone.

Furthermore, using goats won’t give you the same finished look that landscaping companies offer. They cannot distinguish between weeds and manicured landscaping. So, they may decide your shrubs and expensive flowers are more preferable to the weeds you want them to eat. Although it is effective, it isn’t always pretty.

Finally, renting goats is not practical for smaller pieces of property. Most companies have a one-acre minimum for jobs they take. They have a limited number of animals, so they have to choose jobs that will be profitable.

However, if you think goats are the right answer for you, contact local companies for quotes and see just how much you can save!

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5 Things You Can Stop Paying For That Will Save You Money

 

5 Things You Can Stop Paying For That Will Save You Money

In today’s day and age, there are certain services and items that we can all stop paying for right now. Technology and access to the internet have completely changed the way we communicate and find entertainment. Some of these resources are even free! So, if you need to tighten the purse strings a bit, take a look at how much you spend on the following things each month. Chances are that you could eliminate many of these expenses and save yourself a ton of money.

5 Things You Can Stop Paying For Today

1. Music

Music is one of my greatest passions. I love finding new music, supporting local artists, going to concerts, and organizing my playlists. Although I don’t spend nearly as much on live music these days, I am constantly looking for ways to support my addiction without breaking the bank.

There are a MILLION options to explore new music: Spotify (my personal favorite), Pandora, YouTube, Grooveshark, 8tracks, and Soundcloud just to name a few. By all means, continue to buy albums and support these people. But also remember that when you play their songs to completion on sites like Spotify or Pandora, these artists are receiving money through royalties. You can still support your favorite bands and singers using these convenient apps.

2. Books

Can you remember the last time you physically went into a library? Yes, they still exist. Libraries are amazing and full of amazing resources. One cool trend popping up in Atlanta is roadside libraries. If you have seen them, they look like birdhouses, but they are full of books! You drive up, drop off your books, and pick one to read. It is a great idea and definitely builds a sense of community. If you don’t have these available in your neighborhood, you can create your own. If you don’t want to build a roadside library, that’s fine. You can set up a book exchange in your office, neighborhood, or social circles instead.

If you are more interested in e-books, there are also a ton of free resources online. This list not only directs towards the best sites but can even help you choose titles tailored to your tastes.

3. Fast Food

This is a convenience for which you pay a premium. Fast food is usually more expensive than cooking at home, and very rarely healthy. Furthermore, you pay even higher prices if you order through food delivery services. A little foresight and meal planning will help you cut this unnecessary convenience out of your life for good. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and make fast food one of the things you can stop paying for.

4. Cable

cut cable

I was once the type of person who religiously watched my favorite TV shows each week, anxiously waiting for new ones to be released. However, after cutting the cord, I’ve found a million other uses for my time. I can honestly say I’m a much happier person because of it. Instead of going home from work and vegging out on the couch, I do more meaningful tasks such as cooking, walking my dog, gardening, or catching up with friends. It is so simple and so fulfilling. I do not miss the tube at all. However, I still subscribe to Netflix, I can get my fix of TV if need be. For $8.99 a month, the basic membership gives me access rather than spending $100+ for cable packages.

5. Gym Membership

This has been the hardest for me, but the extra work I’ve put in so far has been worth the savings. Not only do I save on membership fees, but also on the commute time and gas money. I am fortunate to have a gym at my office, but without this, I would still be able to stay fit. There are so many resources and free exercise routines available online that you can still get a full workout at home. Simply look up your favorite activity on YouTube. I bet you will find a dozen free channels to get you started. Whether you enjoy yoga, jazzercise, or free weight training, there is certain to be something out there for you.

The Budget Breakdown

My savings this year from the changes I’ve made: (January – March)
Cable ($360) – Netflix ($36) savings = $324
Spotify Subscription savings = $30
Books (I was a frequent Amazon book buyer) savings = roughly $50
Fast Food = roughly $40
Gym membership savings = $180

That is over $600 in savings for almost three months. The savings speak for themselves, but I am also living a much more fulfilling and healthier lifestyle. However, it can be a struggle to get started. But, the only way to get a handle on your finances is to tackle the problem head-on. First, you need to collect all your financial information and sit down to balance your books. This means calculating your total take-home income after taxes. Then, you need to add up all your monthly expenses and subtract them from your income. Creating a budget does not need to be another tedious task. You may be surprised when you look at your daily expenditures and find even more things you can stop paying for.

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Next Steps after Reaching Your Savings Goal

One of the earliest pieces of financial advice we receive is to start saving early. Set savings goals and work hard to achieve them. Although it is wise to build your savings account, we often do not give much thought to the next steps after reaching your savings goal. But this begs the question, when can you say you have reached your savings goal? And shouldn’t you set another savings goal once you reach it?

Only you can answer these questions, so it is important to take them into consideration when planning for the future. Here are a few suggestions to evaluate your savings plan and decide what to do once you achieve your goal.

Next Steps after Reaching Your Savings Goal

 

The 50/30/20 Rule for Reaching Your Savings Goal

The first step is to create a plan to reach your savings goal. The 50/30/20 rule is a basic equation for people who do not like or struggle with detailed budgeting. Instead of tracking several categories, this strategy breaks your spending into three main categories: needs, wants, and savings. The actual amounts will vary based on your take-home income.

This simple approach cuts down the time you spend calculating your monthly budget. However, you still need to dedicate some time to sit down and work out the figures. First, you must determine your total monthly income after taxes. From the final amount, allot 50% for your needs. Then 30% can be used for things you want. Then, about 20% should be put towards your savings goal.


For example, let’s say your monthly take-home income is approximately $3,000. That means $1,500 would pay for your daily necessities. Be certain you are only including things you need to survive. This includes expenses for basic necessities like housing, food, utilities, transportation, health care costs, and minimum debt payments. If 30% has been dedicated for your wants, you should have about $900 available to spend. Finally, about $600 would go towards your savings.

There has been some dispute for those who live in places with a high cost of living. If food and housing are more expensive where you live, more of your monthly budget will go to your daily needs. Another point of contention is with the percentages for higher income earners.  Some argue 30% is way too much to spend on your wants. While the 50/30/20 rule is an excellent guideline, you may decide to tailor it to your finances to build your savings account or take the next steps after reaching your savings goal.

5 Steps After Reaching Your Savings Goal

 

1. Evaluate you Budget and Savings Goal

 

Keeping tabs on your finances and living under stricter spending limits helps you achieve your savings goals faster. After you create a monthly budget, you can also learn to spot negative patterns. Try to find ways to cut unnecessary spending and redirect money to pad your savings account. Those micro-transactions can really add up quickly and work against you.

If you have extra money at the end of the month, double-check your statements to make sure there were no missed payments. However, if you still have money to spend, it is time to create a plan for your next steps after reaching your savings goal.

 

2. Pay Down Your Debts

 

Becoming debt free is a common financial goal. If you have a little left over, it could be an opportunity to pay down more on the principle amount owed. There are two approaches towards tackling debt repayment; the Debt Snowball vs. Avalanche methods. Both have been highly successful in helping people become debt free, but perhaps one will be more beneficial to you. The Debt Snowball method pays off the smallest debts first to reduce the number of lenders you owe. However, the Debt Avalanche method takes on the debts with highest interest first. Whichever approach you choose, paying down debt is an important step after reaching your savings goal.

 

3. Use Your Savings to Invest

 

Another wise way to secure your savings is through investments. You can use that extra amount to buy shares in mutual funds or open supplemental retirement accounts. If you want to contribute to your family’s future financial security, you could invest in stocks or bonds for your children. With compounding interest and time, small investments can accrue into significant sums of money. When they become of legal age, they could have a large lump sum to help give them a head start in life.

Here are five of the best investing apps you can use to start saving to invest. We included the fees and minimum and what it is best for so that you have a glimpse of what these apps are.

AppFees and MinimumBest for:
RobinhoodFreeInvesting for Everyone
Acorns$1 per month
Spare change investing
Ellevest$1-$9 per month
no account minimum
Investing for the future.
The Motley Fool$99 for the first year.Stock advising

4. Look for New Opportunities

 

For some people, the next step after reaching your savings goal is to look for new opportunities. Perhaps you decide to splurge a little on yourself or use your savings for something that you enjoy. You could take up a new hobby or try an activity that was previously out of the budget. It could be the perfect time to use the funds to finally take that dream vacation or buy a vacation home at your favorite spot. You could also fund that business venture you have always talked about pursuing. Once you have taken care of all your other financial obligations, it is a good time to look for new opportunities.

5. Secure Your Financial Future

 

For others, the most practical next step after reaching your savings goal is to secure your future. First, revisit insurance policies to ensure that you are appropriately covered and your loved ones are taken care of. While you likely already regularly contribute to your retirement accounts, you can increase the amount or find new vehicles to supplement your retirement funds as well. Investing in your future is always sound advice.

Furthermore, you may want to secure your family’s financial future. If you are just starting a family or looking for more space, you could use your savings as a down payment on a home. You may also consider opening an account in your children’s name or starting a college fund for them. These are huge expenses later in life, so every bit helps lessen the financial burden.

 

What to Do After Reaching Your Savings Goal

Although it may still be a pipe dream, you should consider what you would like to do after you reach your savings goal. You cannot be in a constant state of striving for the next goal. It is important to recognize the milestones as they come. This doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, but take time to celebrate your successes along the way.

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