Side hustles of a country girl – Bringing home the petty cash

Finding a successful side hustle while living in rural Southland can be challenging. With flexibility, willingness to try anything and good internet, there is plenty available.

I’ve been called some names in my lifetime, but over the last few years, they have been names of a different sort, thanks to my more recent side hustles. Over the past few years, I have tried my hand at many side hustles. Some have been successful, while others have failed.


What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is something you do on the side from your everyday job, whether you are a stay-at-home mum or in paid employment.  A side hustle can bring in a little extra pocket money for yourself or the family.

I have done a few side hustles over the years. Not your everyday earn-money online kind of side hustle, but some of my side hustles have earned me various names such as the Candle Lady, the Egg Lady and more recently the Chicken Lady!


Side hustles with a difference! When living in the remote countryside there are many side hustles a country girl can do to help bring in a little extra petty cash. How many of these would you be keen to try?

Side hustles of a country girl

Over the last few years, we’ve had to come up with ways of earning a little extra to help pay the bills and that darn debt. I have compiled a list of side hustles that I have done over the years, and have added a few that some of my friends recommend too.  Some are online work from home type of side hustles, and others are a little more physical. Most of these side hustles are my side hustles and I speak (or write) from experience.


On the farm side hustles

Calf rearing (Paid employment)

Not for the faint hearted! 7 days a week and long hours depending on the size of farm – but it’s only for 2-3 months of the year. You can be earning anything from $2K to $5K depending on the number of hours you work.

Rearing our own calves

Now that we have our own little lifestyle block, we can rear our own calves. Last year we netted $6,000.

Farm work

Summer is prime for those darn weeds. Some farmers struggle to keep on top of their weeds, especially Ragwort and Thistle. There is a good couple of weeks work per farm if you can get a few lined up. They are usually happy for you to just work school hours which is perfect for me!

Winter grazing

Some farmers need assistance at their run-off blocks in winter with moving cattle and setting up break fences. The best part of this is it’s usually part-time and during school hours. Usually about a month in the middle of winter – so you need to like being outside in the middle of winter getting stuck in the mud. Fun!

Relief milking

If you don’t mind being shat on every now and again – Farmers are always on the lookout for reliable relief milkers. While this doesn’t work for me in the morning milkings, or on a daily basis I could easily do a few afternoon milkings here and there should someone need a hand. Spread the word so the locals know that you are available.


Online side hustles working from home

Web maintenance

Oh my first introduction to WordPress, many a moon ago! I maintain a website for a not-for-profit organisation. Great wage but not many hours.

Book keeping

I always did like crunching the numbers, guess that is why I’m big on budgets! I do some bookkeeping for the same not-for-profit organisation as above, but again only a couple of hours a month. Great hourly rate and all done from the comfort of my own home.

Transcription Services

I looked into transcribing as an option but was put off by the low payouts. If anyone has any success stories on transcribing I would love to hear from you!

Start a blog!

Now, this side hustle rocks them all! You can earn money writing about something you are passionate about! Doesn’t even feel like work! More like a hobby. Setting up your blog is easy peasy and then there is a little learning curve as you develop your site and gain traffic (that’s you!) There is a ton of e-books and courses that take you through step by step and I recommend a few of them here. If you are not tech savvy like me I would thoroughly recommend investing in one of these courses as it takes ALL the guess work out of the whole make money blogging thing!

Setting up your blog is easy peasy and then there is a little learning curve as you develop your site and gain traffic (that’s you!) There is a ton of e-books and courses that take you through step by step and I recommend a few of them on my Blogging Resource Guide for Newbie Bloggers.

If you are not tech savvy like me I would thoroughly recommend investing in one of these courses as it takes ALL the guess work out of the whole make money blogging thing!

Become a Pinterest VA (or any Social Media VA)

Like Pinterest? How would you like to get paid to Pin all day?  In today’s world, there are so many bloggers who are probably too busy travelling the world and would prefer to pay someone to manage their Social Media accounts. Check out this course for example that will teach you How to become a Pinterest VA. You could be earning a little pocket money and be building your own business within weeks!

Side hustles that I do around the house

Selling Eggs – “The Egg Lady”

Being rural we are able to keep some chickens. We have about 25 Brown Shaver chickens which are more than enough for our family of five. So we sell the surplus eggs to workers on the farm and a few locals. This covers the cost of the chicken feed and gives us plenty of farm fresh free range eggs daily.

Rearing day old chicks

A lot of people around where we live have backyard chickens. And they all need replacing every few years right? So I tried my hand at rearing day old chicks. We reared 150 and they all sold at 7 and 12 weeks old.  We made about $5 per chicken but that excludes my time. If we had the perfect set up and could automate food and water and have the right huts and paddocks (need a little investment) then this would be a great side hustle as there is a good market for them in this area.


The year that I tried my hand at growing Saffrons we had one of the worst Summers on record.  Fair to say this one failed.

Making Soy Candles – “The Candle Lady”

I dabbled in candle making for years, on and off. I really enjoyed what I made and produced but the market for soy candles isn’t really happening here in Southland. I couldn’t really do markets unless I was prepared to drag three children along with me (we don’t have any family support where we live and hubby works every second weekend) which seemed like a lot of work for little return.

If you live in a highly populated area or city then you will have a much better chance. If it’s an upmarket kind of area, then you’ll do even better.

House cleaning and Moving Day Cleaning Service (Gypsy Day)

The 1st June is the new day of the dairy season and it is when all the farmers are moving to their new jobs. If you advertise early enough, you can get quite a few jobs lined up to go in and clean the houses (if you dare) and can earn $120 a day easily.

Also, I could easily advertise for more house cleaning as a lot of farmers work 60 plus hours a week, sometimes both partners work. But house cleaning is not exactly my strong point nor do I find the pleasure in doing it.

Grazing/leasing land for horses

We are lucky enough to own a small lifestyle block and are able to lease some land out for grazing – this pocket money goes towards paying the rates and insurances thou!

Au pair/Nanny

Many farmers around here use an Au pair/Nanny service, especially over calving time. Wouldn’t work for me but I could certainly do with an Au pair/Nanny at that time of year. You often see job adverts like this leading up to the calving season.


Being in the country means that there is no day-care facility nearby. If you love other people’s children you could become an in-home child care provider through companies like Porse or Barnadoes. A friend of mine is considering this as an option for herself. It would certainly be great for the likes of me who might be looking for some local child care during calving!


A friend of mine used to be a hairdresser in her hey day (handy for me!) and she has several local clients that she visits their homes to cut their hair. She might get paid a little cash from them but I like to barter in candles and eggs.

You don’t need to be a pro to cut kids hair either. I’ve cut my kids hair all their life so far and I’m pretty good at it if I do say so myself. I have cut some of my friends’ kids hair in the past too.

Make and sell a craft

Make and sell your homemade goodies at markets and local craft shops. Start your own Etsy store. There are still a number of people out there who prefer homemade gifts over anything else.

Loads of Mums at home make all sorts of crafts and sell them. Some of the farming mums in NZ are making these:

  • Jewellery
  • Candles/Soaps
  • Iron Art
  • T-Shirt Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Virtual Assistants

Learn a new craft

There are loads of books and guides available on the internet these days. If there is anything that you are interested in and would love to learn more about there is no time like the present to grab an ebook, or watch a How To video, up skill and educate yourself in your new found hobby.

When I first got into candle making I purchased an e-book that helped open my eyes on how to run a craft business.


Are side hustles for you?

I figure, no matter where you live, there is an opportunity for side hustles. Just because we live in rural Southland, there is still plenty of opportunity for side hustles that are flexible and I can work around my family commitments.


What are some of your side hustles?

Share with our readers what side hustles you have done recently, whether you live in town or country. We are all up for some new ideas!



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