Going off the grid income lessons – Get you income sorted

Lesson 1

You will need more money than you think … a lot more, this applies to both how much it will cost to setup and also how much will you need to buy things you don’t have.  Don’t worry this is not a road block, its more like judder bars that slow things down. In our example we planned to have our new home built in the first 3 years … it has been 6 years now and we are still in a portacom (with a new extension) and it looks like it could be another 5 before we even get started.  We hope you enjoy our income lessons in Going off the grid.

If I could go back and do it again, what would I do differently?

Plan, plan plan your income … I cannot stress this enough.  We put a lot of effort into planning our transition to living off the grid in a small rural community.  Some things we did well, and some …. well let’s start there shall we.

What went well for us

  • We found the ideal property in the perfect location
  • I had transitioned into a well paid job that allowed me to work from home 80% of the time
  • We had some money in the bank to start setting up the property for family living off the grid.
  • I had lots of time and very little obligations which allowed me to put in the time needed to setup.
  • We had lots of family and community support as Alma (my wife) was from the area.

Sounds perfect right … well there are a few things that are very important which many do not consider, let me explain

Firstly, the Job … I completely underestimated the human element of working remotely.  The role I was in required a lot of coordination and communication.  After about 1 year I realized (or I should say accepted) that the job was not a good fit.  Essentially I was not doing a very good job and this was creating a lot of stress for me which in turn spread into my relationship with family and friends.

Lesson 2

If you’re going to work from home or remotely make sure you have a job that does not require a high level of communication, coordination and facetime.

So I quit the well paid job and brought a failing garden center which I thought I could turn around … wrong, it was failing for a reason – a reason I now understand very well.  Rural communities are in decline, they typically are experiencing population decline and incomes are static. This combined with inflation leads to less people with less money … not the best scenario for trying to turn around a business which had already closed down (hand slap to head) … what was I thinking!!!

Lesson 3

Don’t try to establish a traditional brick and mortar business in declining rural communities unless you have another primary source of income.

Recommendations – Transition into a role that

  • pays well – enough to live off, buy what you need to setup and a bit left over for those unexpected emergencies.
  • requires 30 hours or less a week – you will need the other 40 hours to setup, chop wood, fix driveways, manage livestock etc …..
  • you can self manage – something that allows a lot of freedom to manage your own time.
  • requires little in the way of communication and facetime … as it turns out this is way more important than you’d think.

A few examples

  • Coding/programming – this is a great fit, being an ex programmer I was kicking myself that I didn’t take a pay cut to transition back into this line of work.
  • Online business – Another great fit, but make sure its something you have a passion for and ensure you get it running and providing income before you make the move.
  • Farmers market – Many people successfully grow fruit and veg and travel to the city once a week to sell at farmers markets, but be warned this is a lot of work and some ridiculously early morning starts.

Well those are our going off the grid income lessons, I hope you learn from our mistakes.  If not don’t worry … failures are lessons in disguise.



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