How to Make Money on a Small or Large Homestead

Homesteading is hard enough without having to work a full time job or worry about paying bills. Homesteading as a full time job is a dream come true for a lot of us out here. I'm here to tell you that you can make a FULL TIME living from your homestead.

The first step to homesteading as a full time job is to reduce your bills. You can do this in a number of ways, without giving up your favorite streaming service or your cell phone. Take a look at your bank statement. From this, you can compile a list of all of your payments and add them up. You now know how much your bills are and what can look at what can be reduced. Your list may look something like this:

Now that you have your list, you can determine if you have any unused subscriptions you're still paying for or if you're paying for a service you don't really need. The first step is to cancel these. Streaming service that you haven't watched in a month? Cancel! Subscription for a magazine that you haven't received in six months? Nope!

Once you have unused things out of the way, it's time to dig into other bills. You may have bills that can be reduced by just simply making a phone call. For example, if you have a cellphone contract, make a phone call to them and simply ask, "How can I reduce my bill?" Cell phone companies typically want to help you out, rather than have you skipping payments. I was able to reduce my cellphone bill almost $100, given that I had (2) unused lines I'd forgotten about. If your cell phone bill is still too darn high, consider switching to a prepaid service once you've paid your contract off.

You can also make some minor lifestyle adjustments and drastically reduce your bills. For example, instead of paying $140/month for cable to watch two shows, I switched to Netflix only and saved $120. Some streaming services even provide channels, for a much cheaper price, such as Hulu Live and YouTube TV.

Also, take a look at your car insurance. A common trick that big-name car insurance companies like to do is gradually increase your rates ever so often. $5 here and $5 there might not seem like a big deal, but over a year or two's time, your insurance has went up significantly and you have not realized it. Shop around and make some phone calls! As I suggested above, you can also call your insurance company and just simply ask, "What can I do to reduce my rate?"

Once you have reduced your bills, next is using your homestead to drastically reduce your grocery bills. Again, this depends on the size of your homestead, but do not underestimate how much you can grow and how self-sufficient you can be even on less than an acre.

If you live in the suburbs, consider planting raised garden beds alongside the edges of your backyard. The first step to growing your family's food is determining what how much to plant for your family. I have a post about that, here.

Once you have figured out what plants and how much, you can customize your garden based on this figure. Raised beds, vertical gardening, edible lawns and container gardening are all fantastic ways to garden, even if you're on acres and acres. They are ideal for small spaces.

In the meantime, you can buy your groceries in bulk and can, freeze or store them. I save about 2 month's worth of grocery money by buying in bulk. Costco and Sams are excellent for this, but since I don't have one nearby, I use Amazon. They are the cheapest I've found and they'll bring it right to your door.

Pigs, chickens, goats, bees and rabbits are an excellent source of food, eggs, milk and meat and take up relatively little space. That is, if you can keep livestock in your city.

Now that you've reduced your bills, redo your list. Write down your current bills and add them up. Some things take time to reduce (like a gnarly cellphone contract,) so if you'd like, add together your bills, but only the one you'll still be paying in a few month's time. Or even write down a goal number.

You can add your yearly bills together and look at it as one whole number, or break it up into a monthly goal you need to meet. Whichever works for you, but it's important to remember that when working with livestock, you may receive a large sum of money, but only 1 time a year. So, you will also need to practice your money-management skills.

I think it's also important to make a list of your goals. Your goal may be to reduce the hours your work, work solely from home or have your spouse quit their job. Recognizing your goals are an important part of your homesteading goal.

Once you have a goal in mind, now is the time to get started on your business plan. It's important to remember that you will still be working full time, only from your homestead. You will need to combine several different types of income to produce enough to pay a year's worth of bills. This will vary depending on the size of your homestead and how much space you have to work with, so I'm going to break it down into chunks below:

Less Than 1 Acre

It will be difficult, but making a full-time living from less than 1 acre is not impossible. You'll have to be very creative and conservative with your space!

Once you've reduced your bills to the absolute minimum, here's a few things you can do to quit your day job and homestead full time:

1. Bees YouTube is chocked full of information on beekeeping. Selling honey can bring in a great income for your homestead, but it can be pricey to get started, unless you have wood-working skills. Find a local beekeeper or beekeeping association near you to learn how to get started!

2. Farmer's Market

The farmer's market is an excellent place to sell your produce, honey, soaps, crafts or even eggs. Plant a little extra and take it to the farmer's market!

3. Rabbits

Rabbits take up a relatively small space compared to other animals. Do a little market research(Craigslist is great) to see if rabbits are profitable in your area. This is key to determining if this will work for you.

4.Selling Crafts or Photography

If you have a hobby, the farmer's market is a great way to utilize it. Have your photos made into prints, bring your crafts or paintings to display at the farmer's market.

5. Boarding

Starting up a dog(or cat!) kennel/pet daycare can bring you in a great income, especially if you're willing to get certified in dog/cat grooming. Another income could be selling working dog puppies. Such as Great Pyrenees puppies, which are vital on the homestead.

1-5 Acres

Five acres is a fairly common size for the average homestead. Besides what is listed above, you can do so much, even as far as having your own milk cows:

1. Cows

You'll need to do your research to see how many cows per acre you can have in your area. Cows serve many purposes on your homestead, including: providing milk for the family, profit from the sale of offspring and even meat, depending on what kind of cow you have.

Many homesteaders love a breed of cow called a Dexter. They are a small cow, so you can have more per acre than average sized cows. They're versatile in the fact that they are both a milk cow and a meat cow.

Breeding registered cattle can also bring you more of an income on small acreage than just regular cattle. Registered bulls, stud bulls and replacement heifers can bring in a steady income.

2. Goats

Many homesteaders raise dairy goats, but there is also a need for meat goats. It is important to do your research on the different breeds of goats before making your decision.

Again, as I said above, registered breeds can bring you more money per head, if you're limited on space. They will cost more money up front, but you will profit more in the long run.

3. Selling Wool

Many people in the knitting community will purchase wool, especially dyed, for projects. Alpacas and sheep can be a great source of income for this! Not only can they provide wool, but raising them can produce a separate source of income, as well.

4. Real Estate

With an extra spot on your land, a rental property cannot be overlooked. AirBnB Tentr or VRBO are for short term rentals. A trailer-home or tiny house can provide a long-term rental solution.

Even if you don't have a residence, you can host campspots, homestead and off-grid experiences on AirBnB.

5. Pigs/Piglets

A boar and sow can produce upwards of 16 piglets per year. If you have the space, you can make money off of your piglets or from selling pigs for pork. Again, market research is key here.

5+ Acres

Diversity is key in making a living from homesteading. With 5-10 acres, this opens up an opportunity of a variety of income. Instead of only having one type of livestock, you could realistically run two kinds. Cows and goats, meat cattle and a few milk cows, milk goats with a few meat goats. The possibilities are endless.

Also, with over five acres, it opens up the opportunity to run things on a larger scale. You can run more cattle, more goats or run a larger pig operation. The decision is up to you!

Be sure to find us on Pinterest! @RoseFallFarm

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