Homesteading is a dream for many people, but how do you realize this dream if you do not have an income source outside of the homestead? How do you homestead without a job with bills to pay, a family to feed and take care of, and cover the costs of running the homestead?
Homesteading without a job can be done with the right commitment. You must use the land you have, cut living expenses to a minimum, become progressively more self-sufficient, upskill yourself, trade for goods and services rather than pay cash, and find a way to generate a profit from your homestead.
You need to know that homesteading without a job will be tough, especially if you are just starting your homesteading journey. Homesteading without a job can be done and many others before you have achieved this goal, but you need to have a plan and be prepared to change your mindset about how you are used to getting things done!
Ways To Homestead Without A Job
Homesteading without a job is not a romantic idea that you can dive into without having a plan. If you want your homestead to succeed, you need to enter this venture with your eyes wide open and realize that your lifestyle has to change, and you need to be open-minded about new ways of making a living.
Our intention is not to burst your homesteading dream bubble, but when the dream becomes a reality, you need to know how to prevent your dream from becoming a nightmare.
Planning is the backbone of any homesteading operation, whether you undertake this adventure with or without a job. We have addressed some key aspects of homesteading that you must consider in your planning to be successful in homesteading without a job!
Homestead Where You Are
One of the biggest expenses in homesteading is purchasing the land for the operation, but there are ways to avoid incurring this expense.
If you already have a homesteading property, you have an advantage over others that don’t. If you do not have a homesteading property, you need to get a little creative about where you will create your homesteading operation.
Banks are unlikely to offer you a mortgage to purchase a property without a job, so you need to develop a new plan. Fortunately, you do not need a vast amount of space to homestead successfully.
Homesteading where you are is an option that allows you to use your existing location without incurring new property expenses. You will need to generate enough money to pay the rent or the mortgage on your existing place, but we have some ideas for you on how to save money and make money for your adventure.
Another option is to rent a piece of ground as a homestead. One way to use this method is to rent a small piece of undeveloped ground where you do not live on the property, but it is close enough to travel to it daily, large enough to grow what you need, and grow more to sell.
Another option is to rent a homesteading property, where you will live and establish your homestead. This option can work if you have a good relationship with your landlord, but be aware that any improvements you make to the rental property will belong to the landlord should you not pay your rent or if you move off the property.
Cut Your Homestead Running Costs
Cash is going to be an important commodity when homesteading without a job. The importance of cash in the bank means you must cut running costs on your homestead and whittle your expenses down to the bare minimum.
Depending on your working budget, this task may require a ruthless mindset, and you may not be the most popular person in your household when you say “no” to certain luxuries.
Some methods and expense items to cut on the homestead can include the following.
- Grow your own food. Grow and supply as much of your own food as possible to prevent spending money at the store to feed your family.
- Preserve food. Preserve excess from the harvest to have food for months to come.
- Recycle, re-use, re-purpose everything. Learn to think about new ways to use old items or items you would normally discard. You will be surprised how many new uses you can find for many things you previously considered trash!
- Use alternative power sources. Alternative power may have an initial cost outlay, but it can save money in the long term, and the long term has to be part of your plan for homesteading without a job.
Upskill Yourself To Reduce Outsourcing
You will hear the self-sufficiency buzzword used frequently in homesteading topics, and self-sufficiency helps to cut expenses.
The more jobs you can do on the homestead yourself, the less you spend money outsourcing tasks to others.
Here are some of the best skills you can learn to become more self-sufficient on the homestead and save on outsourcing costs.
- Woodworking. Learn to make wood items rather than buy new products or hire someone else to build something for you. Sheds, chicken coops, and raised growing beds can all be made yourself with minimal carpentry skills.
- Welding. This skill is an essential skill that will help you to build a wide range of tools and structures for your homestead. Welding equipment is also not prohibitively expensive.
- Composting. Make your own compost from scraps and other organic material from your own homestead. Don’t pay for compost made by someone else.
- Fencing. Learn how to erect strong, sturdy fencing for your homesteading needs rather than hiring professional fencers.
- Basic home electrical work. Understand basic electrical principles so you can minimize calling out a professional electrician to perform basic tasks.
- Canning and fermenting. This skill can help you preserve the excess from a harvest for later use or become an income stream if you sell your excess products.
Our modern world, with access to resources such as the internet, makes learning new skills easier than ever before for homesteaders. Educate yourself with the knowledge that will help you get tasks done on your homestead as cost-effectively as possible.
Trade For Goods And Services For Your Homestead
Money in the bank is needed for paying bills and creditors, so you should aim to keep as much money saved in your bank account as possible to meet these commitments.
This strategy will require changing your mindset when buying goods and services for your homestead.
Trading for goods and services is a good way to keep money in the bank for those month-end bills. For example, instead of buying eggs, trade something you have with a neighbor with eggs available.
If you need a tool on the homestead, but you only need it for a short period of the year, consider borrowing or renting it rather than sinking a lot of your cash-on-hand into buying a tool that is unused for most of the year.
You could rent tools or equipment by exchanging some of your time to help a neighbor with a project they need help with on their homestead.
Change your mindset from cash to barter and trade for time, services, and products. Many like-minded people in the community will be receptive to this type of trade, since it will also benefit their cash flow.
Generate an Income From Your Homestead
Since you are homesteading without a job, you need to generate a profit from your homesteading endeavors to help earn money for those expenses and creditors that don’t accept trade for services.
Growing produce, raising livestock, or producing an item from resources on your homestead that you can sell will help to generate much-needed income.
The items that will sell will depend on your unique situation, which requires you to research what will generate the best income for your homestead on a regular basis.
Here are some ideas to stimulate your own research.
- Fruit and vegetables. Fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables can bring in a decent income if you have the right market. Hotels, holiday camps, and restaurants would be prepared to buy good-quality fresh produce. Micro-greens are often a sought-after product in these industries.
- Honey. Beekeeping is another skill you can develop as a homesteader that can generate income. Beekeeping is also not a labor-intensive activity that will take up all your valuable time on the homestead. Raw, natural honey fetches a good price, making it a profitable enterprise on the homestead since the bees do most of the work.
- Leatherwork. If you have access to leather from your homestead, learn to transform it into leather goods that will sell well.
- Arts and crafts. Rustic items made from scraps from your homestead, such as timber off-cuts too small for homestead projects, can be made into shelves, spice racks, desk lamps, and other small craft items that can be sold online or in local markets.
Homesteading without a job is a challenging prospect, but if you are motivated enough and determined, it can be done.
Understand that there may be some sacrifices to make in the luxuries you have come to expect, but the sacrifice is well worth it if you get to fulfill your homesteading dream!