Gainful unemployment is slightly different from radical homemaking, although the two strategies used together make for a dynamic synergy. In radical homemaking, someone from the household may have a normal job while someone else in the household works to keep living expenses low by helping the household to produce more than it consumes. Gainful unemployment is a strategy that Bob and I had to figure into the mix in order to survive, as it became clear early on that neither one of us wanted to go out to a job, and we still needed to pay some bills.
With gainful unemployment, a livelihood comes from myriad sources. If one income stream fails, it is never more than just a part of the income portfolio, which means it is significantly easier to replace than a full-blown salary. Another attribute of gainful unemployment is that all the different income sources draw upon myriad skills. Some sources of income come from physical work, some from intellectual work, some from skilled craftsmanship or artistic work. Bob and I have found that this reduces boredom, but also provides greater security if an injury or emotional trauma prevents us from doing one particular form of work. – A broken leg may make house painting an inappropriate income stream for a while, but a person could still do web design. A traumatic event in the family may make it difficult to focus on desk work for a spell, but the physical work of tending plants or livestock would be a welcome reprieve.
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I thought this couple had an interesting method that they describe as "gainful unemployment."
From Shannon Hayes' Gainful Employment post:
~ I also thought this family had an interesting lifestyle. And it would be nice if we could all live like that! However, not all of us own a 160 acre farm with sheep, chickens, cows, horses......
This lady is very fortunate that her parents own this Garden of Eden. And she also describes in her article all her residual income streams. She is a writer and sells e-books. But the farm itself sells candles and salves made from beef tallow as well as 100% sheep's wool blankets among other things. It sounds like a wonderful life!!