Making an Income from the Homestead

Firewood Pile

Though we may dream of simply living off the land and paying no bills, in reality, unless we want to join an offgrid community like the Amish, most of us have to pay for property taxes, fuel for travel, goods that require too much effort to be worth making ourselves, medical care, and many other needs or wants to maintain modern lifestyles. There are many ways to make a living still without having to commute off of your homestead.

If you currently have an employer in a suitable industry, ask them if you can telecommute from home. More and more business allow this as they can cut costs maintaining an office and many studies show working from home to be more productive in a lot of cases. The internet has opened the doors to work from home for so many industries. We can do what would be unimaginable just a couple decades ago.

Perhaps you enjoy gardening, woodworking, making crafts, or something else so much you would like to sell goods you make or grow at home. Simply increase your planting or production for some cash. Farmers markets, restaurants, or other local businesses might be great local customers.

If you can diversify your income through a few different methods, this can help you get through times when one income stream drops. Also save up an emergency fund if you can to keep paying the bills during income deficient times.

Once you have an income stream, see what hours work best for you. Can you work half time and still have enough income to get by? Or must you work full time or more?

Cut unnecessary costs so you can get by making less. Make a list of expenses and decide what can and cannot go. Sometimes something unnecessary is still not too expensive and makes a big difference in the quality of your life. Like our homemade espresso. Making it at home everyday and roasting our own coffee beans saves quite a bit of money. If you have more time and little money, you can usually save by stuff like cooking from scratch, not hiring out anything you can learn yourself, scavenge craigslist or classifieds for used tools/supplies, and grow the majority of your own food. All of this cuts expenses allowing you to stretch your income further. This is especially important if your income stream is not constant or guaranteed.

Find something you enjoy (or at least do not mind) and find out how to make money from it. The quality of life is so much better when you can pick your own hours, avoid commuting, and getting the fresh air on your own property. I stay 6 days a week at my home but have enough projects and family nearby that I do not feel isolated at all. Being home to raise kids is also such a blessing.

Sometimes income streams can take time to develop. Maybe you have to still commute for now, but if you can get your side hustle going, this may allow you to retire from your regular job. Be patient and enjoy the process as best as you can. Count your blessings and save your income.

Best of success to you and your homestead!