Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to go to work anymore? No matter how much you love your job, the idea of staying on your homestead is very appealing. I would love to be in a situation where I no longer have to work outside of my homestead. But homesteading doesn’t save you money, at least initially. So if you are like most of us, you are interested in homesteading with a job and you’ve come to the right place.
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Social Media Would Have You Believe
If you are browsing YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, or other blogs, you will see a ton of stories about how they only work their homestead. Their home is insta-worthy and never once will they show last nights dishes in the sink.
Jealous? Maybe a little.
But a lot of people have been shown through various social media platforms that the only way to homestead is by not having a job. For a long time, I thought that too. But I figured with our schedule, we could make something work. And we have.
So how do I homestead with a job?
First and foremost, we have divided the chores between the four of us. Jaxson takes care of the chickens. Chase has the goats. I handle most of the garden, canning and project research. Jared handles butchering, building and many other tasks.
When it comes to the house split those chores as well. That sounds very homestead-y, right? But what about working? How is it with a job?
Well, between Jared and I, we work a ton. I work about 48 hours a week at one job, another 8-12 hours at another, and then spend another 20 hours a week on the blog. Not to mention that we homeschool the boys. Jared will usually pick up one or two extra shifts a week and he also works on the homestead. We are always busy with something and come 8PM, we are exhausted. With our schedule though, that actually only looks like 3-5 days of work off the homestead. Both of us average about 65 hours of non homestead related jobs.
We are lucky enough that we have jobs that allow us to fit homesteading and homeschooling around our work life. But sometimes it just doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day. Especially for Jared since he is the master of projects around the property.
But Leigh, I work 9-5 Monday through Friday
Start small. If you start off thinking that you need to do everything all at once, you are not going to succeed. But if you start small and slowly build up, you will find that it’s not too bad. I did a blog post about saving your sanity with chores, and this is really no different.
The best thing you can do is start with a couple chickens, then add more. Or start with a small garden, then add to it. You do not have to start everything the day you move in.
I have a new homesteader checklist that may help make it easier to keep up as well.
When we started homesteading, we started small-ish. We started with chickens but then jumped to goats and all bets were off. The last six months “catching up” with the goats. We were also still trying to fix up the house, property, and all the other things starting a from scratch homestead entails.
Our schedule isn’t five days a week, but it is extremely long hours. But if you are working five days a week, it may be difficult to start at all. You probably only have the weekends off or two random days a week. So how can you do it?
Figure out what you CAN do then Level Up
Figure out what you can do during the week. Can you work the garden in the evenings when it’s cool? Do you have an instapot or crockpot for dinners? What about milking the goats in the morning before you go to work? Can you do anything early, the night before, or when you get back from work?
On the days that I am working at the college, I throw one of my favorite slow cooker recipes in before I leave for work. PS This one is great for winter! If I get home a little early, I will throw one of these awesome recipes in my Instapot. I could, and sometimes will grab a pizza on the way home but I really prefer to not spend extra cash that I don’t have on things I can make at home.
My friend over at the 104 Homestead has some great recipes for slow cookers and Instapots. Seriously, if you don’t have an instapot by now, you really should get one!
My other friend at The Farmer’s Lamp has some really awesome Instapot recipes to look at here.
Some of the other things that can work out great for you is don’t touch the garden until it’s in the shade. For us, that is usually around 5pm. That allows us to get other chores done in the mean time. We also have our hoses set on a timer so if we aren’t there, the garden still gets water.
Our goats and chickens can be let out in less than 5 minutes. We will also plan ahead and “pre-bucket” their feed, if we know that we have an early morning. Our does get a scoop of grain (about a quart per bucket) and two scoops of alfalfa pellets (four quarts) per bucket. That way come morning we grab buckets and let them out. This really helps cut down on wasted time in the mornings.
If you can work around your work schedule, then you can absolutely homestead with a job. It just takes some time, patience, creativity, and a ton of hard work. But you can absolutely do it.
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Keeping it simple is definitely important to keep the overwhelm down. I know i’ve definitely bitten off more than I can chew before and had to scale it back. Start small and slowly build from there! 🙂