Rural Work at Home Ideas

I need unique ideas on how I can earn extra income from home. I live so far out in the country that I have been unable to get any babysitting, tutoring, sewing, or mending clients. I have 3 young children that I can't leave home alone, so working in town is not an option - childcare would cost more than I would earn.


Since I am out in the country, DSL and wireless don't work here, so any work from home ideas that require a fast connection are out. Plus, this small telephone companies lines are full, so I can not get a 2nd line into the house either.
I have a daughter with health issues and home school as a result. So, working from home is about my only option.

Any ideas?

June 22, 20070 found this helpful

Whew! Honey, it sounds like you already have your hands full as it is. Raising three young children is working from home! That is your priority; raising your children.

I have always found that making more money usually resulted in needing more money. For example, once I found a job, then I needed a car, then insurance, then I was spending more money on clothes and make-up, and then I started to spend more on lunches at work, it just went on and on. I found it was cheaper to stay home! I looked into a lot of "work at home" jobs and found that they were mostly scams that wanted me to send money into them before they would even let me know what the "work" really was. I do have a job now, that I work from home; it was advertised in the local newspaper and I work for a very small company that employs only two women. I don't make very much money, but then again, I don't spend much either. No gas money to go to work, no car payments, or car insurance, and no fancy clothes or make up needed, either. But, I am one of the few lucky ones.

I think that you would be better off trying to find ways to cut back on expenses as much as you possibly can. Grow your own vegetables and can and freeze the extra, hang your clothes to dry, make your own laundry detergent, menu plan and shop with a list, use your local library for entertaining the children by borrowing books to read to them. I am sure that many of the Thriftyfun members could share more ideas with you; and, I hope that they will.

Your children are the most important things in your life and your time spent with them is more than any amount of money in the world.

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June 23, 20070 found this helpful

I already do all you have mentioned. I cook and do all our baking from scratch. We have an acre garden, and I can, freeze & dry our food. I also have grape vines and an orchard. The clothes dryer is only used when it rains, and then I try to only do what laundry I have to.

Our only expenses are:


*rural water (for the house)-animals & gardens use pond & well

*home insurance

*house payment

*telephone with internet ($24 a month total)

*cell phones (a must because everything is long distance, but we have the cheap family plan)

*auto insurance

*farm insurance

*taxes (property and real estate)

*church offering

*daughters copays for meds (some months $120)

*fuel-(for DH to get to work and back, & for farming)

We grow our own meat and eggs also, (we farm) and I manage to feed the entire family for around $250 a month (with using aldi's, rebates from walgreens and the garden).

I don't do the walmart thing but maybe 2 or 3 times a year. Nearest walmart is 40 minutes away. I do hit walgreens about every 2 weeks and use the rebates and coupons to basically get our toothpaste, shampoo and a few other items free. I use the dollar general stores, aldis, and we get most clothing as hand me downs from my older daughters who are on their own now, or the thrift store (clothing there is 25 cents on Wednesdays)

Our biggest expense is probably our insurances-but we have to have those. We don't rent movies, only have the educational channels on the dish (for home school use, for under $10 a month). We don't eat out. The A/C is not on unless it hits over 100 outside and is humid, we burn wood during the winter. Our pool is the stock tank or a pond, our entertainment is fishing in the back pond or a visit to the park, playing volleyball in the yard or camping at the other farm.

We could drop the internet and dish, but we need those for home schooling. We do not have a library here (our county keeps voting it down) and is $20 per person per year to have checkout priviledges at the one the next county over (plus the fuel to get there)

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June 23, 20070 found this helpful

I do have a "work at home" job that is awesome. I work around my family's schedule, and I would love to share the details with you, please contact me at Have a great day!

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June 24, 20070 found this helpful

I know you don't have a fast connection but have you thought about selling stuff online on ebay or selling craft items? Another idea is to raise farm type animals for profit. I am not sure how much money it would require to start out or for feed and upkeep but it is just an idea. I hope you find something!

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June 24, 20070 found this helpful

If you are already growing vegetables you might consider growing extra to sell. If you have a lot of land maybe put an ad in the paper and charge hunters to hunt on your land.

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June 26, 20070 found this helpful

You can always make your own cards. Stamp them or check out for ideas too. Lots of other things on there to make from altering items.

Good luck


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June 26, 20070 found this helpful

My aunts live in a rural area and they clean houses to make extra money. There is the expense of driving to the houses, but the hours are flexible and the pay is good. Part of the driving expense would be deductible on your tax return, so that would recoup a little of your cost. That deduction is only available if you're self employed, so that's one little advantage to being self employed rather than working for someone else.

Also, when the people whose houses they clean want to get rid of stuff, they usually offer it to my aunts for free before they try to have a garage sale or something.

One of my aunts sews. She has made prom, wedding, and bridesmaid dresses.

When I was little, my mom took cake decorating classes. She got so good at it that she wound up with many regular customers and even began teaching classes herself.

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June 26, 20070 found this helpful

Try to see if someone will allow you to proofread articles, or write papers for students. Look into medical transcription, there are some costs, but depending on your state's laws, it could be lucrative. Oh, and check into grants at the library and online, for farming, working at home, to defray medical costs... The library has those how to get free money, Matthew Lesko books, check them out. Pat yourself on the back and keep praying it sounds like you are doing a fantastic job.

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June 27, 20070 found this helpful

There are many sites on the Internet that publish articles you write. Even if you have no desire to write, give this a chance. A friend suggested it to me, and I gave it a whirl. It's up to you how much you write and how much you make. Honestly, as long as you write well (and it appears that you do :o), and choose interesting topics, you'll be published. Once you start thinking, it's a breeze to come up with topics. I joined 4 months ago and have made several hundred dollars. This is the site I submit articles to:

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June 27, 20070 found this helpful

April, wow, you are already doing such a great job! Raising kids, especially home-schooling takes a lot of time and effort.

Maybe think about the things you do the best and see if there's any way you could make some extra money doing those things. If you grow extra produce, maybe you can set up a farm stand or have a booth at a local farmer's market. Do you have extra eggs? I have a friend who sold some of their eggs to neighbors and did pretty good at it.

I did very well selling on ebay. I need to get back into it but other things have gotten in the way.

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June 28, 20070 found this helpful

Most Home School parents have a strong faith in Jesus. If you do as I HAD to do, I gave up ALL except auto insurance and trusted Him FAITHFULLY to protect and provide, which He has done. What He has done for me, He can do for you. This is one of the hardest but greatest things I have ever done to relieve my stress of never having enough money.

What is faith if you don't give Him a chance to prove

that He is who He says that He is, right? He does keep His promises, if you have Him in your heart.

He also will provide a source of income for you, once you take this step of faith to be totally dependent

upon Him, not foolishly, but reasonably. The Internet is a connection that's necessary, like a phone. Reduce your non-income producing animals and extra pets. Time is money in many cases. You

can and shall be helped by Him. Pray in His name

and allow Him to prove Himself. You will gradually

be given supplies, ideas, help, motivation, opportunity, and at the same time be willing to always give Him the credit for all good things.

I have been homeschooling for 6 1/2 yrs. and am an elder doing 24/7 caregiving to my grandson, age 9. I am extremely low income, but extremely high

in spiritual wealth and faith. He ALWAYS comes through.

Do you quilt? How far are you from neighborhoods where you could frequent curbside throwaways?

I have heard that there is a demand for cheap elder care among farming communities, as well as in the city. If you have an extra room or a screened porch, you might consider taking in a elder retired/slightly

disabled person who can pay a decent percentage

of their SS/disability income in exchange for your

watchfulness, daily meals, loving care. Look for one who misses their grandchildren and would love yours.

Find one who is able to walk but is slow and enjoys

watching kids play in or out. Search for one with less disability but who is slightly hard of hearing so kids don't bother therm, and who might have lost their mate and is alone/lonely. Write up an agreement, get all personal information, emergency contacts, and ask if they want you to become heir "authorized representative" if they are entitiled to food stamps or other Human Services for the Aged.

Search diligently for churches, charities, and any Food Banks that can help you. Do not be too proud to take their help. This is what they are for. Whatever they can supply/give/help with, is what you do NOT spend money on. Spend your money on the other needs instead. It may take relearning, but you will catch on because you MUST.

Call every possible source, every single church, whether you are a member or not. Make a file of your income tax return, any proof of your only income, your utility bills, each regular expense, and any medical bills for them to scrutinize.. Be prepared to learn what they feel you should do to reduce your expenses to the bare bone, as I suggest.

Be a good listener, take great notes, keep good records/files on every contact/what they offer/their

hours/directions/who to speak with/what they can and cannot, will or will not do for you. Be prepared

to explain how far from town you live, what all you have done to try to gain added income, what all you still do like what you listed here. Have all personal

information, photo ID, bank statement, account numbers and phone numbers for them to verify.

Set appointments for when they say you can see them.

Talk to the children about being quite and

still while you try to get help from others. If anyone can accompany you while you are talking to charities, churches, this is the best thing for all, especially if they can sit with them in your car outside.

Most places have a couple of forms, and require interviews that can be stressful, but not impossible. Make yourself personal notes about your dilemma, so that you don't forget anything.After a few appointments of repeating your situation, you will not need to refer to your notes.

Don't apologize for your situation, but be humble and quite, answering whatever they ask and using common sense with additional information. Pray before you go and after you return with anything at all, in gratitude.

If you are given/have anything you don't need or want, save to pass to some other person who can use it, or save for an emergency need. Make it a routine to return to those places who say you can return for more help, and make appt. according to their schedules for setting them.

Most places give food, clothing, some household/toiletries, but very little else. Occasionally you might encounter a service that offers a once a year utility payment you cannot make, or repairs to some necessary appliance, or a used item that's unrepairable, or minor repairs like a leaky faucet. Some churches offer labor volunteers for painting, yard work, and fence repairs, but you usually have to supply paint, and wood/supplies. Should you ever get sick, call one of them immediately to see about someone who could sit/help with the kids/housework at your home.

Always ask each one if they know of anyone else who can ALSO help you, not help you INSTEAD of them. Ask each one the same sorts of questions, writing down exactly what they say, asking them to repeat if you need them to. Inquire about any free "well clinics" or "sick clinics" for your children/family, and'or Health Dept. clinc sites.

Inquire about any home school Co Operative classes you might work in, or think about starting your own

home school EXCHANGE with another mother with children, for breaks for you both. Keeping it simple, plan to visit one another's home once a week with the visiting mom being the teacher for that day in anything simple, like music/arts and crafts/cooking

with children classes. Develop a network of four families and get relief more often in exchange for your helping others. Consider starting a cottage

business as the children grow. Brain storm for new ideas like those on ThriftFun.

Many folks just don't realize there is help available sometimes. It took me years of spinning

my wheels until I finally realized that I needed to ask

others for charity. God is good....all the time. God bless and help you. : )

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June 28, 20070 found this helpful

Those ideas sound good Lynda, but we have plenty of food and clothing. All our animals are productive farm animals. Only pet is a dog, but he is a cattle dog and works for his living.

I can and we grow the majority of our food. We have 2 older daughters in college, and so my girls have plenty of hand me down clothes from them. We already belong to a home school coop/exchange.

We can't drop the insurance. The mortage requires it, John Deere requires it on the tractor, and with my daughters medical issues, we can not drop medical insurance. Besides, we only pay 140 a month for it-DH employeer pays the rest.

Nearest neighbor is over 2 miles away.

DH makes too much for us to get assitance, but with 2 in college, 3 at home, one with special needs, there is nothing left over for extras-such as vacation, camp fees, yearbooks, trips to the nearby attractions-zoo, muesums....

We would not dare drop the insurance on the cars that are paid for. Known too many people who did it, then had an accident and ended up with nothing.

If you read my additional note on 6-23, you will see more of our situation.

And, to top it all off, I just found out today that one of my daughters meds is now over the counter, which means the insurance no longer covers it...

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June 29, 20070 found this helpful

how large is your community? type of businesses? how many churches? what type of hobbies do you have? can you sew? (non fancy sewing) if so, lady i have a WONDERFUL home based business for you and what a blessing it would be to you and others!! do you have Windows XP and Word 2002-2003? April, I have asked admin if we could email back and forth so waiting on hearing from them.. Hugs Pam

Editor's Note: Anyone who is a registered user can use our internal messaging system. To contact Pam, click on the "eyelovecats" above or the Contact link.

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June 29, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with loftworks. You write well, and there are websites and magazines that would be interested. What you've already written here is worth working into a good article on rural living. April, you've got enough knowledge and experience to write your own magazine!

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June 30, 20070 found this helpful

Dear April,

Hats off to you! You sound like you are doing an awesome job! I know at times it can be discouraging but I'm sure an idea will come and present itself. Be encouraged-God will see you through.

As a mother of 4, who has also homeschooled my children for a time and been in the same situation, I understand what it feels like to be doing all you can do with what sometimes seems like little results.

But like some of the other posters have said-your children are important to you and you are doing all you can. You are a supportive mother and wife and are being a wonderful role model for your children. The values that you are instilling in them are priceless.

A few things that may interest you that you could make money and are fun to do are knitting and making jewelry. A lot of times when I had very little money I would buy inexpensive but beautiful yarn and make scarves (in the winter). And I even sold some! My mother told me I should sell them on ebay or get a website and sell them.

Another inexpensive thing I did that people really loved-was making jewelry. It's not that much to get started (maybe $10.00 in supplies). I looked up free articles on line and went to walmart and purchased beads for under $5.00. Once again people started commenting on how pretty my necklaces and earrings were and wanted me to make some for them.

If you purchased supplies for about $10.00 for ear rings and sold just 2 pair at $5.00 to your home school exchange/co op - you would make your money back. If you sold 3 or 4 pair you could turn a profit. Once people know you do that-they will search you out and say "I like what you made-can you make me something too?" And you could make matching bracelets and sell the set for $15.00

You could print up/make coupons for your first customers or give them discounts for telling other people who purchase from you. I also discovered a site called where you could list for $1.00 for 30 days.

Well, I hope that helps. I feel like God wanted me to really tell you about the jewelry idea. Plus it's fun and you could teach others how to do it too.

Be encouraged!!!!!

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August 6, 20070 found this helpful

Could you do something like medical transcription? I think there would be call for that in even a rural area. - As for attractions - since you have kids in school - try to take advantage of student discounts as much as possible - also 2 for 1 specials at amusement parks, etc. It's harder in a rural area, but if you read all the local newspapers, there are usually free/cheap events to go to - especially in the summer when there seem to be lots of festivals/fairs...There are lots of ways to SAVE $ using a computer - like samples/bargains, etc. There are even on line dollar stores! Do you have anything you can sell on Ebay? Rural areas sometimes have great old-timey stuff that is of interest to collectors! You could become an "antique" picker" and go around to yard sales, etc., looking for collectibles to sell & either sell to a store in town or sell yourself. Do some research to see what sort of things collectors like - there is a market for old kitchen ware, and press-back chair and other solid wood furniture, and those sets of shelves that stand alone for a kitchen. (Hoosier cabinets?) and old decorative farm equipment....

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