It’s possible to take your home off-grid and keep going out to work your 9 to 5. However, for many people going off-grid requires them to devote most of the working week to tasks around their property. As a result, you may find your self in need of some extra income.
To develop your income, start by looking at your current role and consider if you could adapt it to work from home? If not, could you teach an online course, become an e-learning tutor, or sell home produce or second-hand items online. Offering unused space in your home for accommodation, storage, or parking can also bring in some extra income.
If you’re also aiming for self-sufficiency or are engaged in a large building or alteration project to create the perfect home, then money could be a significant concern. To make it a success, when choosing a way to add to your income, it must fit your needs. Before you begin, do an audit of what you want from the job or income stream. Try answering these questions:
- How much money do you currently have to help get you off-grid?
- How much regular income will you continue to have once off-grid?
- Roughly, how much will going off-grid cost you?
- What will be your monthly costs once you’re settled?
- How much time can you devote to earning money?
It’s the last question that will make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful transition to off-grid living. If you’re unsuccessfully trying to balance the needs of your homestead/off-grid home and earning money, then it won’t work. Feeling stressed and trying to do several things at once is not a great way to get started off-grid.
Jobs that suit your situation
Look for ways to earn money that are suited to your situation and are likely to bring consistent income. Things like selling vegetables are a great idea, but it is likely that to be competitive with other suppliers, you will need to spend hours producing enough to be profitable. Looking for areas that you can make a significant difference for little time spent is key. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Teach an online course
As you get your home off-grid, you’re bound to learn many new skills. Have a look round online and see what classes sell well. You can make a video course fairly simply and sell it on a platform like Udemy or Coursera without even having to have your own website.
The beauty of it is that you only have to teach it once. Then you can completely leave it alone to make money. Any time you do spend on it is likely to be marketing it.
This is another excellent way to make some extra money, if you have any experience as a tutor or working with children you can use sites like VIPKid to teach English.
Document your journey
Starting a blog, podcast or YouTube channel is very time consuming, but it’s the kind of thing that can be done as and when you have the time. While it takes a long time to earn money, if you’re going off-grid any way, just take a few videos of what you’re doing and post them. You never know how far you may be able to get. To get an idea of what is possible, have a look on YouTube and see what’s already out there.
This could become time-consuming, but if you link it into work you’re already doing, it can be a useful way to generate a little extra cash. Every time you plant something for yourself, pot up a few extra. Look online to see if you can sell them locally or sell them via a Facebook page or group.
If you have bees, sell your excess honey. It’s now easier than ever to make money from products like this by sharing it on social media or selling sites.
Sell things online
As you build your new home or renovate your old one, you’re bound to come across things you no longer need. Don’t throw them out or forget about them, sell them and make some money.
Start a small-scale mushroom grow house
This is an incredible opportunity that people all over the world are beginning to get to grips with. Creating a small mushroom grow room can be incredibly productive in a small space.
Once it’s set up, very little maintenance is required, and you can produce gourmet mushrooms that can be sold to a local business or via selling sites. GroCycle has lots of information to get you started.
Do your existing job from home
This is the most practical option as you get settled. Ideally, you don’t want to be scrapping around for new entrepreneurial ideas; the best option is to adjust what you already have until it fits your new situation.
Take a close look at any past jobs or your current job. How can you adapt it to do it from home, could you freelance, work for yourself, or persuade your employer that you will be more productive.
In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris has lots of great tips to reduce your workload for maximum income (check its current price at Barnes and Noble) He has lots of great suggestions to persuade your employers to let you work from home. They include, getting them to give you a short trial and show them how much you can get done from home. This works well because you will be doing something you already feel comfortable with, but it can be adapted to suit your new lifestyle.
For example, if you need to stop what you’re doing to assist the solar engineer in installing solar panels, you can drop everything and pick it up again later. While you’re doing something like this, you can also be looking out for other opportunities like those already mentioned and slowly build them up until they take over your current job.
Developing your income may seem like an overwhelming, almost impossible task, but with persistence, you will succeed. Keep an open mind to ideas you may not have considered before. You may start down one path only to find you end up earning money in a way you didn’t expect.
Use these ideas to investigate which might suit you, and don’t forget to let me know how you get on.
Check out my recommendations for equipment that will help you take your home off-grid.