There are different strategies when it comes to making money and sustaining yourself on a homestead or completely off-grid. If you want to make money off-grid, the best way is to combine these strategies into a combination that works best for you.
Strategy 1: Conservation (Use less = Need less)
If you are thinking about moving off-grid and trying to calculate how much it will cost, step one is to create a budget. How much money are you using currently? What are you using it on? If you want to answer: “How much does it cost to live off-grid?” you first need to know “How much do I spend right now?”
Make a budget:
Great! Now you know how much you spend per month.
Trimming the Fat: (Cut the excess spending)
Note: This is important to start before you move off-grid so you get experience without everything you had as well as helping you save some extra money before the big move.
Now you know how much money you need each month to live.
Practice living that budget.
Keep track of your progress and note any days you miss the mark.
Eventually this will become automatic for you.
Throw away list one.
Strategy 2: Automation (Anything worth having is worth having on autopilot)
For the highlighted items, start building a plan for how to produce that item. (TreeHuggerCentral.com is a great resource for that)
Anything that you can produce for yourself means you don’t have to buy it in a store. The more things you put into this category, the less it costs you to live off grid.
Now you should know how much money you need each month as well as what things you need to start planning to produce for yourself. Keep in mind, itll take time to get the systems in place to become self-sustaining. You won’t have all the food you need from your garden the first year (necessarily).
Strategy 3: Production (I’m making it anyway. I might as well get paid for it)
If you need something and you can make it yourself, that means other people need that thing too and may be willing to buy it from you.
This means if you want pork so you decide to raise pigs, raise extras to sell. If you are providing compost for your garden, try to make enough to sell/trade to other people as well.
Production can be applied to anything you are doing on your homestead to include services. If you are fixing your own car, you can fix other people’s cars as well.
Pick the things you’ll be doing anyway and start working a plan to make money doing it.
For the things you can’t or won’t do, find someone who can/will and offer to trade products or services.
These three strategies work best when combined together. You have a lower overhead so the cost of living off-grid is lower. You automate as many things as you can on site. And then all the things you produce, you produce extra to sell/trade.
Those are the basic principles. For the advanced strategies I’ll be going into specific occupations, jobs, and methods for making money off-grid in Part II
Written by: Page Ollice
Founder of Good Old Fashioned, Page has spent over 7 years researching off grid and sustainable living techniques to design one master project: A self reliant homestead in New Mexico that takes into account shelter, water, fuel, food, waste management, heat/cooling, and electricity. He is putting all his notes online open source for public use so that anyone can follow his plans to building their own autonomous, self-reliant homestead.
About the "Good Old Fashioned" Project
I wanted to design a house that copies nature.
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