31 Simple Ways To Make Extra Money on The Homestead

make extra moneyI’ve not talked a lot about making extra money here on MDCreekmore.com yet but it really should be addressed more often and I intend to start doing just that starting with this article.

One of the first things you’ll notice after moving to the country is that most rural towns and counties suffer from a lack of jobs and the jobs that are available locally are usually low-paying dead-end endeavors and even those can be difficult to get because most are held by folks with family ties and a deep history in the area.

And who wants to move to out to the country to their own homestead and then have to get up and go to work at a job six days a week? Trust me it’s nearly impossible to operate a productive homestead and work a full-time job at the same time.

It can be done, but usually, this is accomplished by a husband and wife team where one works away from the homestead at a job while the other stays at and manages the homestead.

It’s far better to combine earning money and homesteading into one endeavor if possible. And the way to do that is to be self-employed via your own home business.

As you read below you’ll notice that not all of the businesses listed can be done exclusively from home, however, they can be run from a home office and you can make your own hours which will allow you to work on the homestead when needed and to go out and work for cash when needed. Being self-employed is flexible that way.

And one more thing to keep in mind before we get started is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one of the ideas below you can choose and do several all at the same time, for example, you could do woodworking, sell crafts online, sell your extra produce and eggs, as well as freelance writing or blogging.

Don’t limit yourself or your earning choose and diversify your earnings for the best results.

I’m hoping that the ideas given in this article will help you make enough extra money so that you can stay on your homestead, pay off your bills, save to buy your homestead property or even take a vacation or whatever that you feel is the most important to you.

Okay, so here we go… in no particular order… also, please note that some of the businesses mentioned below might require special permits, licenses, and or permits. Always check federal as well as your local and state laws to be sure what you need to avoid legal trouble.

1. Start a blog – Publishing a blog is how I currently make a living, however, the downside to starting, running, and ultimately making money from blogging is that there is a huge learning curve. For the first three or four years, I didn’t make anything at all but I kept at it because it wasn’t about the money.

My focus was and still is on helping people but I now make a few thousand dollars each month doing it. I won’t go into all of the details here but I wrote an article about how to start a blog that you can check out if you’re interested in giving blogging a try.
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2. Woodworking – This is a side job that I started doing way back when I was in my late teens and still do it some but not as often as I did a few years ago. Mostly I’d make porch swings, birdhouses, picnic tables, dog houses etc. To sell my works I’d place ads in the local newspaper, set up and display my stuff beside the road, and once a week I’d load up and haul the stuff I built to the local flea market where I’d set up and sale.

If you’re interested in doing this there are countless books and woodworking plans that will help you get started.

3. Answer surveys – Yeah, it sounds like a scam, you know the “too good to be true” type thing, but the truth is that you can get paid to answer surveys and to test products – you just have to know where to look. While I’ve not personally done this my girlfriend does and the following are the companies that she suggested that I include here – GoldOpinions.com and Paid surveys at home.

4. Groom and or Train Dogs – If you love dogs then this might be the perfect choice for you. If you don’t know anything about training a dog then you can learn – there are plenty of books and online courses that will help you learn how to do this. There is even a Dog Grooming For Dummies book available.

5. Babysit Children – This one can be a money-maker and might be perfect for you if you like taking care of children. However, you’ll most likely need some good references from previous babysitting jobs if potential employers don’t already know and trust you. In most locations, $8 to $10 per hours is a reasonable hourly rate. Click here for “The Babysitter’s Survival Guide: Fun Games, Cool Crafts, Safety Tips, and More!“.

6. Be A Handyman – I used to work as a handyman and did all sorts of “odd jobs” for people. All you need is a pickup truck and some basic tools and skills to use them. The truck is mostly needed to haul off junk and stuff when that’s part of the job description. I’ve pained, racked leaves, worked in gardens, dug ditches, cleaned out dog lots, cleaned out barns, and chicken houses, cleared fence lines etc. I found this book on Amazon about running a handyman business but I’ve not read it so I can’t say how useful that it would be.

7. Clean Homes – This is another good opportunity for earning extra cash that doesn’t require a huge cash outlay to get started. All you need is a way to get to the job site, some cleaning supplies and a willingness to work. The best advertising is word of mouth, do a good job and word will spread quickly and you’ll soon have more work than you can handle. If you’re interested in this then I suggest that you start by reading this book “How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company“.

8. Moving Service – If you have a strong back and a truck (you can rent one if you don’t have one of your own) then you can make extra cash by moving people’s belongings from one location to another. This side job works best if you live in a semi-urban area, however, there are usually customers to be found in rural areas as well.

9. Take Photos – If you have the skills and equipment needed then you can make extra cash by taking and selling photos. You can get jobs taking photos at weddings, family reunion, birthdays and other such events. You can also sell photos to print magazines and even to some online photo outlets such as Shutterstock and Bigstock.

Even though I haven’t done this myself (yet) I do like taking photos and need a better camera so I did some research and now have this one on my Amazon Wishlist Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera… what do you think?

10. Wash and Detail Cars – I know two brothers who do this. They simply set up at a local car wash with a sign offering to wash and detail cars and trucks and they stay covered up with customers during the summer months. No real skill is needed and the only upfront costs are some auto detailing supplies. My guess is that they make several hundred dollars a day doing this.

12. Teach a Skill – If you’re good at something then there is probably someone who out there who would pay you to teach them so that they can be good at that something too. Are you good at sewing, cooking, automaniacs, taxidermy, martial arts, gardening, etc.?

If you have a skill then you can probably make extra money or even a full-time income by teaching others that skill.

12. Grow and Sell Fresh Produce – If you have extra garden space on your homestead then you can make extra money by growing a surplus of vegetables in that space and selling the extra produce. Granted you’re not going to get rich by selling your extra garden produce, however, it’s a good way to make a few hundred dollars after harvest.

You can sell from your homestead, a roadside stand, or set up at a local flea market. Sweet corn, tomatoes, and green beans are usually top sellers.

13. Sell Eggs – If you have chickens then you probably have extra eggs and you can turn those extra eggs into extra cash. Several folks in my area have homemade signs up in front of their homes that read “Fresh Eggs $2.50 A Dozen” or similar.

Sure, they aren’t getting rich selling their extra chicken eggs but it is a good way to make a few extra dollars without any extra work.

14. Pick and Sell Blackberries – I picked and sold blackberries when I was a teenager. In season blackberries grow everywhere around here, beside the road, in the fields, at old abandoned homesites, etc.  All you need is a basket or bucket and time to pick.

It’s best to have an order with a buyer before you start picking. Most of your buyers will be older folks who want the berries to make home canned jelly and jam.

15. Dig or Grow Ginseng and Other Roots – Digging ginseng is something else that I did as a teenager and young adult to earn extra money and often made several thousand dollars a year doing it. Prices vary from year to year, and during a good year when prices are up, you can make several thousand dollars in a couple of months digging ginseng and other roots and even more can be earned by growing it.

A good book to find out more about this is “Ginseng: How to Find, Grow, and Use North America’s Forest Gold” as well as “Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and other Woodland Medicinals“.

16. Pest Control – If you’re good at trapping and removing pests around your home then you might be able to make extra money doing that for others as well. Squirrels in the attic snakes in the basement, hornets building a nest in the barn, snapping turtles in the farm pond etc.

These things need to be taken care of quickly and safely and if you’re good at it then people will pay you to do it for them. Think “Call of The Wildman“.

17. Cut and Sell Firewood – This one is something else that I’ve done to make extra money. It’s a lot of work, and it’s dangerous, and you need a good truck, chainsaw, and safety gear, however, if you can get past those hurdles then you can make some good money in the fall and winter months cutting and selling firewood.

I found that the best place to find trees to cut into firewood is on logging sites. Most of the time they will simply give you the wood since they aren’t going to use it for anything. You can usually cut all of the firewood that you can sell by going behind the loggers and cutting up the treetops and discarded limbs. As a bonus, by doing this you don’t have to cut down any living trees yourself.

Fortunately, like for just about everything else, there is a book on how to do it – Firewood: An Insider’s Guide for the Homeowner and Entrepreneur, from the Tree to the Stove, however, I don’t think you can learn how to cut firewood by just reading a book. Using a chainsaw and splitting wood is a skill that’s learned by doing.

18. Hiking Guide – If you’re in good physical condition, and live near a national park with hiking trails and love the outdoors then this might be the perfect way for you to earn money. Put an ad in the local newspaper, and or in hiking magazines, set up a website etc. to get customers.

19. Fishing and hunting Guide – This one could be combined with number 17 above, however, you can’t be stupid about this and think that you can just start a business as a hunting guide when the only hunting you’ve done has been in a video game. You’ll need real hunting and fishing knowledge and the skills to keep your customers safe and ensure that most are successful on their hunting or fishing trip.

20. Trapping and Sell Pelts – If you live up north where the furs grow thick and beautiful and you have trapping skills or want to learn those skills then this might be an excellent opportunity for you to earn money. You’ll need the traps, bait, a trap basket, and skills but if you love the outdoors and like spending hours and or days alone out in the backwoods then this might be perfect for you.

21. Panning for Gold – This is something that I’ve never done myself (but it sure looks like fun) however, a lot of folks do it and make extra income from it. A quick search on Amazon.com brought up a number of books on the subject, and another search brought up this video and this one too. Those informational resources should be enough to get you started.

22. Writing – If you have some writing talent then you can make extra money or even a full-time living. You could write freelance magazine articles, or write books that you can self-publish on Amazon.com for example. You could also advertise your writing services on sites such as Fivver and Upwork.

Or you could even write for me and have your work featured here on MDCreekmore.com. I pay $25 per article upon publication and an additional $5 per photo used.

23. Raise and Sell Stock – If you raise more chickens, rabbits, goats, cows, or whatever than you need on your own homestead then you can make extra money by selling off your surplus. You could even go big and do this full-time if you have the land i.e. cattle farming etc.

24. Mobile Repair Service – If you’re good at auto, farm equipment and or small engine repair then you can make a good living in most rural areas by offering a mobile repair service. All you need is a good truck to haul your tools and the skills needed to do repairs. Trust me once word gets around that you can fix stuff you’ll have more work than you can keep up with.

25. Lawn care and Landscaping – This is another job that I’ve done to earn extra money. Yes, it’s hard hot work but it can pay really well and is an excellent way to make extra money during the spring, summer, and fall. I once had a contract to mow a large cemetery, it took five to six days to mow it all and then off a week and then mow it again. If was the only job that I had that year and I did well. Unfortunately, the next year I was underbid on the contract and didn’t get to keep the job for another season.

26. Sell Honey – If you’re a beekeeper, then you know how valuable fresh honey is and you also know how easy it is to sell to friends, family and at flea markets etc. If you have enough hives you can make this into a full-time income. A good book that will give you a wealth of information on doing this is The Complete Guide to Beekeeping for Fun & Profit.

Jars with some nice custom printed labels will go a long way towards increasing your sales and profit.

27 – Make and Sell Crafts – If you have a few basic tools and some skill then you can make crafts like birdhouses, feeders, wooden toys, blankets, leather gun holsters etc. and sell those at flea markets, craft fairs, and online. This can become a full-time income if you put in the work and marketing.

Selling your crafts online is probably your best option and the most profitable. If you want to market your crafts online then I suggest that you get a copy of “How to Sell Your Crafts Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond“.

28. Mobile Welding Service – A mobile welding service could be a stand-alone business or combined with number twenty-three above. Stuff breaks and if it’s metal you can weld it back together and earn some cash doing it. While you’re probably not going to get rich doing this you can make some extra cash and extra cash in the pocket is always good.

29. Gunsmith – If you’re knowledgeable about firearms and their repair then you can make extra money doing this. Gunsmith work is yet another side hustle that I’ve done in the past. One trick to earning more is to work with local pawn shops doing repairs on forfeited pawned firearms.

20. Computer Repair – If you’re good with electronics then you can set up a computer repair and or sales shop on your homestead and you’re good to go. A roadside sign, an ad in the local newspaper paper and or phone book yellow pages, and you’ll be busy all year round.

You can earn a living and never have to leave your homestead if you don’t want to do this. If you already have the skills (you can take classes to learn those skills) then your startup costs will be low all you need is a room in your house, garage or outbuilding, and some tools for the job and you’re good to go.

31. Selling on eBay – And yet something else that I’ve done to make extra money. Before I started blogging I sold used books on eBay and did pretty well at it. It’s really not difficult with the hardest part is finding the right products to sale and staying organized.

A great book that will give you a huge push in the right direction is “eBay Business All-in-One For Dummies“.

If you have any other ideas then please share those in the comments below so others can benefit from your knowledge…

M.D. Creekmore

I've been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find here. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

52 Responses

  1. Carl says:

    Just wanted to say i really enjoy your new blog and find it a great learning tool with a lot of useful information.Thank You for providing this to the prepper and homesteading community.

    • Carl,

      You’re very welcome and thank you.

      • Nanook says:

        I too enjoy your site immensely. For years as an aspiring prepper, I spent way too much time floating from one site to another. Now, with few exceptions, I only visit this one on a regular basis. I don’t always agree with everything I read here, but that’s OK. I don’t agree with everything the BOSS says either, LOL. Even if she’s always right. As an older retiree from the military, I have tried numerous ways over the years to keep busy and to make extra income. The best on site way was operating a cow/calf operation. If we had not had that to fall back on at times, we would have had a very hard time indeed. The biggest loss/failure for me was trying to raise hogs with no “boots on the ground” experience to go by If I were to do it again, I would buy shoats & raise them up to butchering size & sell them. I did find the most important ingredient to the mix is you have to be a self starter, and if you’re depending on assistance from anyone to get the job done, follow Ike’s guidance “trust, but verify”. Also, I raised & trained a few horses, but I found it is much less expensive to buy a good horse already trained the way you want it than it is to do it yourself. But I enjoyed it, too. There’s a lot of profit to be made in leather working, from the basics up to saddles & tack, and it’s good therapy for one suffering PTSD. I went on an extended vacation with the BOSS about 8 years ago, and we drove across 26 states in the process. Up in New England in September, there were a lot of local craft fairs & the BOSS drug me thru several, actually I enjoyed them, too. What comes to mind is two instances of things we had done in the past that people were doing; throwing mud (cups, mugs, etc.) and wood tools such as a maple wood bread slicer my SIL bought me as a gift. So, let your imagination be your guide. I’ve been thinking about doing the yard sale gig & selling on e-bay.

        • Nanook,

          Thank you! Glad to have you.

        • Howard says:

          Hi M.D.,
          Not sure how to make contact with you but here goes and not sure if I am in the right place.

          I really like your blog. Honestly I was very disappointed to see the other blog cease and I am more of a pepper and not really a homesteader.

          However, I do remember as a small child when my dad used horses to plow our little farm up in Missouri. We lived in a “granary” building for a couple years as he dug our basement with 2 horses and a “slip”, then built a nice house without any power tools.

          As you can see, I am older than dirt! smile. I am a big proponent of making do, using what other throw away to repurpose. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

          I am taking your suggestion on trying to make a little extra $.

          I would be willing to write a “do-it-yourself” article for your blog on planting and caring for a semi raised bed garden and using a low pressure/low cost pvc rainwater watering system that I just completed (using my two 240 gallon rain catchment containers), I am using non-tilling methods with cardboard to keep the weeds down.

          I do lots of research on the internet and everything I do I have learned in the last few years from someone else and I have adapted it to my individual application.

          I can provide several (6-8) or more how-to-do-it photos. Are you interested in that type article for your blog? If so, how do I go about sending it to you?

          I am vet, 76 years old, been married 54 years and moved from Orlando to Cherokee Village AR about 6 years ago to be closer to our grandchildren (and get away from a big city).

          I just did my 3rd “Essentials 4 Emergencies” preparedness seminar for about 50 interested local people here in the small village (4000 people) of Cherokee Village AR. CV was started back in the 60s as a retirement community with about 5 manmade lakes. Still pretty rural in flavor with many low cost lots and homes available (That’s why we could afford to move here).

          Back in the 70s we spent 4 years in Papua New Guinea as the supplyman for missionaries. Upon return I served in the communication department of 2 different mission agencies until I retired a couple years ago.

          We have a small publishing business and I do layout and desktop publishing for Short-term mission devotionals and Bible curriculum that my wife andI have written over the years. I also publish a handful of titles for friends that have written books and piano books.

          Never done this before-thanks for your consideration of the article.

          Howard

  2. swabbie Robbie says:

    My wife and I moved to the country in 1975. We were artist/craftsmen. We were very aware that it would be hard to find work locally, but we did art fairs – at least 20 per year with each of us having a booth. I was making jewelry my wife was weaving clothing.
    Times are different now and art fairs are not what they were, but there are so many online store opportunities that did not exist then.
    In winter months when there were no fairs, I did graphic arts (this was before computers or more basic computers with dot matrix printers, and before the internet) I illustrated, did exploded parts drawings, wrote copy, created logos and slogans and package designs. This kept us going through winters.
    In 1980 I started learning ornamental iron/black smithing and added that to my fairs and to rendezvous. My wife added wool felting to her weaving and made a wool felted pincushion that she still makes today.
    I just sold my forge and tools to a budding blacksmith so a new generation will continue with ornamental iron work. At 67, I just retired from 23 years as a full time massage therapist. I plan to rebuild my jewelry work for the coming years.
    Rural life is not as lucrative as life in the cities, but the lifestyle and environment far out-weighed the money we could have made in the rat race.

    • Swabbie Robbie,

      Thank you for sharing.

    • swabbie Robbie,

      I just sold my forge and tools to a budding blacksmith so a new generation will continue with ornamental iron work. At 67, I just retired from 23 years as a full time massage therapist. I plan to rebuild my jewelry work for the coming years.

      I have a friend who did blacksmithing and is a computer geek like myself; but, he was able to combine the two and now turns out different kinds of ornamental iron work using an NC (Computer base Numerically Controlled) X-Y table and plasma cutter

      Rural life is not as lucrative as life in the cities, but the lifestyle and environment far out-weighed the money we could have made in the rat race.

      I was able to combine the lucrative city job with rural life by driving 20 miles one way for 11 years, 39 miles one way for 16 years, and 25 miles one way for another 8 years. I used ham radio in the car and listened to audio books which back then were on cassette tape to make the commute more productive.
      Having evenings and weekends in a place where you could shoot a gun or watch the stars in your back yard, keep livestock, and build a campfire made up for all of the commuting, and now in retirement with everything long paid off and more than adequate income from numerous sources, makes most days a joyous occasion.
      One other thing is when I hear about people complaining about their water or sewage bills, or about lead contaminated water in some large cities, I can simply smile, since our well costs only a little electricity and a bit of salt for the softener with no chance of someone raising our rates on a bureaucratic whim.

  3. Matt P says:

    Similar to #14, and related to #13 & #11 would be growing and selling seedlings. You don’t have to wait for harvest time to grow vegetable plants, fruit or shade tree seedlings, berry plants, flower plants, etc. for Spring planting! Since many, if not most, customers would likely NOT do any seed-saving, you’ll have return customers each year for vegetable gardens and annual flower beds.

    • GA Red says:

      I have considered this myself, especially since I soaked 250 okra seeds this year, but I learned that a license is required. Of course, that doesn’t mean that someone I “gift” plants to can’t “gift” me some cash.

      • kytriya says:

        It would be called a “donation”. Or maybe they could play “hide the cash”? rofl A person in some city within 45 minutes of me, got into trouble for selling his products without a license, out of his yard. He had the “yard sale” up more than 2 time periods. I think a legal garage sale is defined as no more than 3 days long, twice a year max.

    • Matt P ,

      growing and selling seedlings. You don’t have to wait for harvest time to grow vegetable plants, fruit or shade tree seedlings, berry plants, flower plants, etc. for Spring planting! Since many, if not most, customers would likely NOT do any seed-saving, you’ll have return customers each year for vegetable gardens and annual flower beds.

      This is an excellent idea. We already start seeds to get some of our plants started; but, I had never thought of selling them like the local greenhouses, Home Depot, Lowes, and Rural King.

  4. GA Red says:

    I have a website and at one time allowed advertising. Unfortunately, a well-meaning individual thought it was a good idea to click on all of the ads one day and the company dropped my site. I haven’t sought out a new advertiser but am considering it as my site is currently a sorta pricey hobby/family page that I haven’t touched in a few years. I really need to look at revamping it completely and finding some new advertising. Your article on blogging is next on my reading list as I haven’t made it to it yet.

    Now for a few observations from my experience and location:

    Surveys – excellent way to make a few bucks here and there. I’ve done it in the past. Also, there are sites that give you points for shopping, surveys and such that can be turned into cash or gift cards. I recently made enough in Amazon gift cards off a site like this and a healthy living program at work to get two end tables for my den for free. (I tried to use your Amazon link to do this too, so spreading the wealth.) MyPoints.com and Swagbucks.com are actually related but separate points accruing sites that work similarly but have some minor differences. I used MySurvey exclusively for years and got to eat out for free a lot. I’ve also used Upromise.com to get money for my kids to go to college. Sometimes it takes a little figuring to decide where you’ll get the most bang for your shopping buck, but cash rewards are awesome.

    Firewood – we bought firewood from a high school student a few years ago. He never had to drop a tree himself but had connections with tree removal companies in the area that would give him the wood so they didn’t have to pay landfill fees. There are plenty of people in my area that want trees removed – healthy or not – so lots of opportunity to work with a tree service to save them money while you make some money. All you need at that point is a log-splitter and a trailer.

    Gold – how well you do depends on the price of gold at the time and where you’re mining. My brother did this for quite a few years. He said the price had to be above $400 an ounce to make anything, which was several years ago, so it’s probably more than that now. He moved to Alaska too. Even though there is technically gold in GA, it’s not easy to get the right land to mine it profitably. Sure, panning for gold could bring extra cash, but actually making serious money at it is more complex.

    Produce/Eggs – definitely need to know your state and local laws. In my area, you can’t sell the produce from your back yard if you’re using county water to water your garden. (This was a few years ago, so that may have changed as have several other backyard farming ordinances.) Selling your home-canned products is also out without getting licensed, which can get pricey because you have to have a proper kitchen that you may end up leasing space for.

    Flea markets/Farmers markets/Craft fairs – be prepared to INVEST some funds into a booth/tent and make sure you get on the list plenty ahead of time for the farmers markets and craft fairs. Several farmers markets in my area require that you apply for a “spot” in advance with some requiring that you rent it for the entire season, which could be 7-8 months or more around here. One local market is $20 a week or $576 for the whole season – April through December. If you’re doing 5 markets a week and only renting by the week, you’re going to spend $100 a week up front with no guarantee of recouping your costs, not to mention the time you spend at the market. Most markets encourage people to accept credit cards too – so those fees need to be considered as well when pricing items. My problem may be spending any profit I have at other vendor booths. LOL

    Your article also got me to do some much needed research regarding what is and is not legal to sell without a license – Foods requiring a Food Sales Establishment License:
    :
    • Breads, pies, cakes, and cookies
    • Jams and jellies
    • Honey
    • Eggs: Governed by the Georgia Egg Law
    • Dairy: Governed by the Georgia Dairy Law
    • Organic products: Growers with organic certification
    • Low acid/acidified foods (canned vegetables, pickles, salsa, etc.): State license from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and completion of Better Process Control School
    •Meats: Governed by Georgia Meat Compliance Law
    •Live plants

    We’ve been contemplating ways to make some extra cash from our garden, so your article really prompted me to start thinking about what laws do apply to us. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Always Forward says:

      Wow, the above post sounds like total control over the food supply!

      • GA Red says:

        There is a new cottage industry law on the books that allows for some home canned products to be sold but you still have to get licensed. On the other hand, I can sell fresh veggies and fruit without one, but need to research county regs a little more closely.

        • kytriya says:

          I know that in Bemidji, MN, they require a licence to sell out on the side of the road. Many communities may have this same law. Bemidji had issues with con artists and transients. I don’t live there anymore, but that law has been on the books for many years.

          My point: I would check with your local city, as every city might have their own laws.

      • Always Forward,

        Wow, the above post sounds like total control over the food supply!

        I agree. Here we routinely see:
        • Bread, pies, cakes, cookies, and candies.
        • Jams and jellies
        • Honey
        • Maple products
        • Dairy: as in homemade cheeses
        Some of this may be due in part to a large Amish population

  5. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    Morning All ! ! !

    I started selling on EBAY back in 1998 . In the first 4 years I sold only a couple of things if it suited me . From 2002 to 2017 I have made 10 dollars in a year , 50 dollars a year , 500 dollars a year and the high was 5,000 in a year about 3 years ago . In these 19 years I did it if I felt like it as my real jobs , well , at 60 bucks an hour that was sufficient for a pleasant standard of living .

    I am taking a break from EBAY right now . The TWO MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT EBAY . According to the IRS rule , THE IRS RULE , Ebay and Pay Pal CANNOT report income TO THE IRS up to 20,000. a year . And the second thing ….. do as little or as much as you want or as time allows . It is the most flexible thing out there , ESPECIALLY COMBINED WITH CRAIGSLIST … … gotta love there FREE category .

    I spent 30 years of working where I did not get off Xmas , the 4th of July or any other holiday . Age 65 now and I quit work 9 weeks ago , 31 Jan 2018 . I now get social security and there is the wife’s income . I want more to achieve more , be more , do more . This has and always will be the driving Machiavellian business view that guides me .

    This year , 2018 , my goal is 8,000 dollars . It is spare time not full time or even to much part time . Simply spare time . Back to Ebay for 10 minutes then off to put together my new lawn mower . These past 9 weeks have been more about chores and catching up on chores than anything else . I do not punch a time card for my Ebay business . Also if I make less than the 8,000 or more than the 8,000 ….. I really do not care . Also ……. gotta love no stress .

    • Terra says:

      Crazy Joe:

      Welcome to the world of retirement. I retired 2 years ago and it is quite an adjustment not having to go to work. My time now is my time and I love it. Congrats, it just takes a little while to get used to.

      • Terra ,

        Welcome to the world of retirement. I retired 2 years ago and it is quite an adjustment not having to go to work. My time now is my time and I love it. Congrats, it just takes a little while to get used to.

        I officially retired almost 1 year ago @ age 66 and will turn 67 tomorrow (Friday the 13th) and will admit that it takes some getting used to. I did work from home telecommuting from 2008 until last year so I did learn a bit of structure in what can be an otherwise unstructured schedule. Right now I am involved in several activities outside the home along with occasional doctor and dentist appointments, so the day generally starts off reviewing my schedule to check for obligations. Today my only obligation is a ham radio net @ 20:00 and tomorrow cardiac rehab @ 10:00.
        We live comfortably on our combined SS and the DW’s small pension and will start taking monthly income from my IRA’s about mid year; but, that does not preclude activities to make a bit more spending )”mad”) money.

  6. G.Go says:

    When I lived in California many years ago there was a guy that had a mobile blind cleaning business. He would come to my house and clean the windows inside and out and take down and clean the mini blinds. I wish there was someone where I live now that offered this service.

    Our DIL took a class on decorating cakes so now she makes and sells cakes for birthdays, weddings etc.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I know a woman who decorates cakes and cookies. She started out just wanting to make a little extra money doing a hobby she loves. She now has to turn people away because she has so many orders. A good cake decorator can stay as busy as they wish.

    • G.Go ,

      When I lived in California many years ago there was a guy that had a mobile blind cleaning business. He would come to my house and clean the windows inside and out and take down and clean the mini blinds. I wish there was someone where I live now that offered this service.

      Along those same lines, and well before my vision problem that stopped me from driving, a friend and I used to do screen replacements. It only takes a few tools:
      1. A pair of pliers
      2. A utility knife
      3. A spline roller.
      You purchase the screen material and new rubber spline, both by the roll.
      Show up to someone, especially in a resort area in the spring after winter when it’s starting to get warm and people need tattered and torn screens replaced or repaired. It’s not hard to do; but, many people will pay good money to have someone else do what they seem to think is a hard task.
      You charge by the size of the window.

  7. JP in MT says:

    I have not been able to work for 8 years now. That does not mean I have no income, just no steady job.

    I am a disabled retired vet. So is my DW, so this makes for a good base income.

    I tinker in the gun show market, do odd jobs, do some delivery trips; generally only a small amount each month but it adds up.

    I looked at getting a part time job, and found one that I thought would be perfect. But, in the 45 minutes I stood talking to the manager, my back was hurting so bad I was glad I didn’t get the job.

    I never found my niche after I retired from the service, but my DW did. Her company takes care of her pretty well, my job is to take care of her.

  8. Prepared Grammy says:

    I do some of these on a very small scale. I look at it as enough money to buy garden seeds, trees, and some animal feed. Every little bit helps. After I retire next year, I plan on making more money from home.

  9. bill norton says:

    Besides making money as a writer and a few home defense consulting gigs, I need new ideas.
    Actually i have too many military/intelligence skills to sell, but not to us government.

    I am reeal interested in fake IDs but have no such skillsw.

    M.D. what do you suggest for me?

  10. Lurker Judith says:

    Wow, I was shocked to see you moved. Hope everything is ok.
    Our life here in the Mojave is falling apart. DH has cancer and is showing signs of Altzheimers also. Like I always said no matter how hard you prep something always comes at you out of left field.
    Anyway I will keep plugging away as long as I am able. Gardening will have to be cut way back but hired a college kid yesterday and have him cleaning and redoing the raised beds.
    I have 6 containers going with various greens and neighbor gave me some mj seeds that I am debating whether to plant now that it is legal out here. DH may need it at some point.
    Ordered some new garden trowells, a bunch of toilet paper and some tubes of quick clotting stuff. Not much but I try to put one foot in front of the other and keep going till I can’t anymore.

  11. Richard Cummings says:

    The Rebel cameras are a good deal, just buy a book that explains how to use it, the manual that comes with the camera isn’t very good. Think about getting a decent drone, many people want aerial pictures of property or events. The bad part of photography is that everybody with a cell phone thinks they are a photographer. My DW has been doing the online survey stuff for a few years and the money isn’t great but it is something.

    • Richard Cummings,

      Thank you!

    • Richard Cummings,

      Think about getting a decent drone, many people want aerial pictures of property or events.

      I know several people doing this and making some money; but, you need to know that there are FAA rules for operating and where you can operate the drones.

      The bad part of photography is that everybody with a cell phone thinks they are a photographer.

      I think it goes back long before that. In high school, college, and for some years afterword I made some decent extra money shooting weddings with my Nikon camera and 35mm film. I had my own darkroom and could process both B&W and color film and prints. Back then the film was a limited resource, typically in 36 exposure rolls and since you had to process the film to see how the photos came out, every picture you took involved a thoughtful process. Now with digital cameras, even those not in cell phones, you can take hundreds of photos and discard the ones you don’t want.
      Tools like Photoshop and GIMP also make the manipulation and cleanup of the images tons easier than when we used the darkroom.

  12. kytriya says:

    I’ve done surveys and some companies are not worth joining. I was scammed by one company and didn’t earn anything. Alegedly, a used game store was using them – I doubt they were. Another company (that a music streaming site was using to allow you to earn free month – but that was also a lie) dropped me, claiming my answers weren’t honest. My answers were honest. I just have brain damage and read different questions differently.

    Why you should NOT PAY to join a survey site. Any survey site making money off of surveys, makes that money off of the business who wants you to do those surveys. To say that you have to pay to get surveys, or that they take a commission off of the surveys you do, means that they are using their business practice to try make it look like you earn more money then you really do. What if the business isn’t paying them to get people to do surveys? Then, perhaps that company is making surveys and getting you complete them, under the hopes that the business that would benefit will buy the results of those surveys. This, would explain why they need payment for you to join. I can also see (if they were Honest here) that they require a membership fee so that they get good people on board to do surveys. .Sure, some people make good money doing surveys, but they are also very good at being a liar on a form so that they qualify for more surveys. I’m not.

    Blogs – Blogs work well if you have good content and don’t make too many obvious errors. It helps to not have my brain damage. However, I’ll be doing this again soon and fixing my own website.

  13. kytriya says:

    I forgot to say that using Google services for ads is NOT recommended! I’ve known more sites get burned using them. They are extremely picky and want you to have only perfect clients. I call them a scamAd site. whereby businesses get to advertise on your website for free, courtesy of Google’s screw the website “hosting” the ad business practices. It is the smaller company that doesn’t fair well with Google. Also, their customer service is crap! They won’t work with you to fix what you did wrong. They expect perfectly following rules and you to be able to police your clients such that no one will click on ANY ad, unless they are actually going to buy! They don’t like to pay for any ads in which the clicker did not buy even if the clicker did peruse the site more carefully and spent some real time on the site. However, I have heard of people who used google’s competitors and even though they make less money, they are still making money off of ads. Google ads can pay more, but only if google likes your clients.

    Forums – In order to make money off of a forum, you need 100,000 people every day and even then, you aren’t making much. Forums do not make money through ads. However, if you were really good at programming, you could teach how to program on a blog and have affiliate links. That would work better. You would do well in selling “how to program games” books using RPG Game Maker MV, JavaScript and other common programming languages used for making games.

    • kytriya says:

      FYI ad companies just don’t pay much if its a forum because forums tend not to attract new customers very well, and the captive ones don’t always click through and buy. Some people, have made it work. However, the other issue with forums is that crackers love to crack and spam them. You spend more time keeping a forum clean then you do keeping it active. You do need good questions that your users can answer in order to register, but the cracker won’t bother with. Ten questions that require research to answer, has done one forum very well.

      If you do have a forum though, you will want a rotation of 100 questions , in which 5 – 10 need to be answered in order to be allowed to register. You will also want to have the first ten posts have to be validated before that validation goes away. This actually works better then the captions because its accessible to most people.

      Or, if the forum was meant for only “a select group of people that you hand register yourself” then you could do what I do – have a Joke registration process.

      I did come up with some rather clever questions that crackers needed to answer in order to register, but this was for a forum that doesn’t take registrations for real. We hand select people for that forum. I’ve never had a cracker at that forum. They can’t get in. However, no one else is going to get in either. ROFL

      Joke Questions similar to ones I’ve used in the past. Sometimes I would give nonsense answers, other times I’d give a real answer.
      Question 1: What is Sigma plus infinity?
      Answer: matematiikka times deväť po desiatom mesiaci Jowisza prvej rotácie okolo galaksin ympärillä.

      Question 2: Type “Wo can ich odnaleźć a buch on Jowisza” in English, with all nouns in Polish..
      Answer: Where can I find a książka on Jowisza.

    • kytriya,

      However, if you were really good at programming, you could teach how to program on a blog and have affiliate links. That would work better. You would do well in selling “how to program games” books using RPG Game Maker MV, JavaScript and other common programming languages used for making games.

      That’s an interesting idea. While I’ve been programming for more than 50 years in a dozen or more languages on a dozen or more architectures and have taught many people to do so, it has mostly been one on one or in business related seminars to bring the less experienced engineers on board.
      For nearly any language you can find tutorials, sample code, and a few YouTube videos that do a good job. With inexpensive computers like the Raspberry Pi that offer a lot of horsepower with a stable operating system and numerous language compilers, editors, debuggers, and utility programs, anyone who wants to try this can get started very inexpensively; but, programming is not just coding. Programming involves an understanding of logic and structures that goes beyond just knowing the words and syntax of the language.

      • kytriya says:

        I am aware of the logic involved. I just see so many “wannabee game makers” wanting to learn how to program games. It doesn’t matter if they have the ability to learn. Just having the tutorials and making those tutorials better than what other people make will bring the customers in. Those of us who want to learn, just go through those websites and dabble and do not care if we are successful or not. But, I’ve found most sites, do not really clearly explain game programming. And, I’ve found more people wanting help in programming, then there are people who are willing to help. Now, how many of these people would pay for help, I do not know. But, ad money should bring in some income.

        I’d do this, but I literally suck at programming. lol Sure, I can do really simple HTML 5 and CSS3. I have to relook at the code to remember how to write a particular thing. But, I have brain damage, so expected me to struggle a bit.

        • kytriya,

          I’d do this, but I literally suck at programming. lol Sure, I can do really simple HTML 5 and CSS3. I have to relook at the code to remember how to write a particular thing. But,

          I’m from the old school who doesn’t even consider HTML or CSS, as complex as they can be and as useful as they are as real programming. I started in 1967 with FORTRAN II and added numerous machine languages in college, followed by assembler on another 8 architectures in my first job, and adding numerous high level languages, scripting languages, and additional assemblers throughout my career.
          Since the architectures and tools for game programming are all rather fully developed, the programming portion is not all that hard; however, the real task in game programming deals with defining the game, meaning its characters, their actions, and their interactions, and the graphics to support those characters and landscapes.
          With current tools an application like Gas Buddy is not all that hard to put together; but, coming up with the idea for that function and putting together the infrastructure to support it is the real trick. In fact there are application warehouses out there that will develop your app for you, once you come up with the idea and are able to define it well enough, which is always the hard part.

          • kytriya says:

            My dad used to program using the old Key punch card and ticker tape. He too, was old school.

            I have no issues planning out the game and its details. I struggle with how to get the programming architecture working. For someone who programmed for a living or as a hobby, this might not be so difficult, but not all hobby programmers find it as easy.

  14. Chickasaw dan says:

    Excellent article gets you to thinking.

  15. mom of three says:

    I did ebay, for a couple of years and did pretty well but quit after postage was eating most of my profits. Cleaning and gardening, is a lot of back breaking work, as you get older is harder to do. I know people, who sell eggs, and honey, they do really well but watch those farmers markets they can be really expensive there was a farmer selling a dozen of eggs for $6.00 a dozen a bit rich for my blood.

    • mom of three ,

      I know people, who sell eggs, and honey, they do really well but watch those farmers markets they can be really expensive there was a farmer selling a dozen of eggs for $6.00 a dozen a bit rich for my blood.

      We’ve never had to sell honey or eggs and the only thing we buy at our local farm market is maple syrup and maple sugar candy. Setup at the market costs IIRC something like $8.00 and most people who sell there seem to do quite well.
      We are generally overrun with eggs and give or trade them; but, I’ve been told that in the cities our large Brown Organic Free Range eggs go for $5.00-6.00 per dozen which is also a bit rich for me; but, I would gladly take the money if someone thinks they are worth that much. Our next endeavor along with getting back into beekeeping is to tap our sugar maples.

      • GA Red says:

        They are expensive where I live, so unless you know someone that has their own chickens, you either pay exorbitant prices, or go for “cage free” at half the cost or get regular ole grocery store white eggs.

        • GA Red ,

          They are expensive where I live, so unless you know someone that has their own chickens, you either pay exorbitant prices, or go for “cage free” at half the cost or get regular ole grocery store white eggs.

          We have 11 girls left who generally keep us overflowing in eggs; but, many of the locals also have chickens and those who don’t have other commodities, abilities or equipment we don’t have, so giving / trading the eggs makes the most sense for us, especially since the DW & I are both retired.
          I know a few folks who have their own eggs and one of the couple still works for a living and can often get good money for a dozen of those mystical brown free range organic eggs, LOL.
          Brown seems to sell since most people don’t realize that the shell color belongs to the chicken breed and the only thing our eggs have going for them over store purchased is that they are fresher, tastier, and a bit more nutritious, primarily because of the way they are raised and fed.

  16. Red C says:

    Wow! THe number & wide variety of money-making ways are impressive in this article. Seems like almost everyone could do a few or some of these.

  17. Red C says:

    My wife has a teacher friend who lives in a sm city. She started making cassaroles to sell to people at school. She charges $25 per cassarole. She was amazed at how many ppl who did not cook & would be willing to pay for a cassarole. Early in the week, she sends an email w/ the receipe or kind of cassarole that she’ll bring to school the next Mon. She makes the cassaroles on Sun. (but you could also make them on a week night.) She precooks the ingrediants but not the whole cassarole. She sees it as easy money, & her client email list grows every few weeks. If you’re retired, maybe one could tell your customers to meet you someplace, or if u prefer, come pick them up at your home. But people getting them at their workplace is convenient.

    • Red C,

      My wife has a teacher friend who lives in a sm city. She started making cassaroles to sell to people at school. She charges $25 per cassarole. She was amazed at how many ppl who did not cook & would be willing to pay for a cassarole.

      Unfortunately this does not surprise me at all, since there is a publically traded company called Blue Apron (symbol: APRN) with a current market cap of $350.24M. They describe themselves as “an ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service.”, so people in this case don’t even shop for meat and vegetables; but, I suspect are trying to eat healthier (and significantly more expensive) than just prepared take out or fast food.

  18. One of the first things you’ll notice after moving to the country is that most rural towns and counties suffer from a lack of jobs and the jobs that are available locally are usually low-paying dead-end endeavors and even those can be difficult to get because most are held by folks with family ties and a deep history in the area.

    It depends on where you live. Some here live a rural lifestyle and have great jobs with perhaps a 10-15 mile commute at the numerous Honda plants, the local Nestlé’s R&D facility or Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and other local businesses. This is primarily a rural agricultural area; but, the hard working people in the area have helped to bring and hold other businesses into the area.

    And who wants to move to out to the country to their own homestead and then have to get up and go to work at a job six days a week? Trust me it’s nearly impossible to operate a productive homestead and work a full-time job at the same time.
    It can be done, but usually, this is accomplished by a husband and wife team where one works away from the homestead at a job while the other stays at and manages the homestead.

    I agree and the DW and I have been at it for nearly 36 years. It worked out that I married a farm girl who can clean a stall and handle chicken manure without a thought. Her brother and nephew are also local to the area and along with most neighbors is also a great resource, so choose wisely weed hopper, LOL.

    6. Be A Handyman – I used to work as a handyman and did all sorts of “odd jobs”

    There are a few of those around here and the problem is getting them to come and look at your project, since they are usually way too busy.

    9. Take Photos – If you have the skills and equipment needed then you can make extra cash by taking and selling photos. You can get jobs taking photos at weddings, family reunion, birthdays and other such events. You can also sell photos to print magazines and even to some online photo outlets such as Shutterstock and Bigstock.

    I did weddings years ago using my Nikon and 35mm film; but, that area has gotten much too busy with all of the folks having inexpensive digital cameras and often even just their cell phones. Too many people don’t understand quality.

    10. Teach a Skill – If you’re good at something then there is probably someone who out there who would pay you to teach them so that they can be good at that something too. Are you good at sewing, cooking, automaniacs, taxidermy, martial arts, gardening, etc.?
    I’ve been doing firearms instruction for 25+ years and will be teaming up with a few more guys this summer. I’ll train them as instructors and then we’ll teach our CHL course as well as some other cources on gardening and other preparedness topics. BlackBQI who posts here, will become one of the new instructors; but, is already a master gardener and farmer who can I think grow anything.

    29. Computer Repair – If you’re good with electronics then you can set up a computer repair and or sales shop on your homestead and you’re good to go. A roadside sign, an ad in the local newspaper paper and or phone book yellow pages, and you’ll be busy all year round.

    This is unfortunately not as lucrative as it once was. Back in the 1980’s I would built systems for people and a decent system still cost $750.00- to $1000.00. We just purchased a really nice Core I5 machine from a local retailer for $400.00 and that included $60.00 for an extended warranty.
    There are many jobs to do; but, the main thing is you need skills. As a 40+ year engineer I had many skills; but, if someone is handy with their hands and a little bit intelligent, skilled trades like plumbing, electrical, and small engine repair do not require extensive training and can be quite lucrative.

    • kytriya says:

      The number one reason why this isn’t as lucrative anymore is that Windows does virus removal for free, and the shops I did go to that weren’t Windows owned, couldn’t really do anything without the system disk, which I didn’t get with my laptop. They didn’t have wi-fi at those shops. All they could do is simply wipe the computer and then reintall everything. I can do that myself for free. The other issue was that some computer parts that were specialized to a specific computer were hard to come by due to manufacturer’s trying to keep these parts out of the hands of unofficial shops. My state tried to pass a law that spoke to this, but I forget if that law passed, and whether it included all electronics, or was just for the phone. Yep, I’m a wealth of information, as usual. rofl

  19. Avery says:

    You have 2 #9s!!