Get a job. I would provide more, but with all due respect, it will remain hidden.
A college degree is not a license to print money. With or without a degree you are going to have to work hard if you want to be successful. Since you don't have a degree some doors will be closed to you unless you get a degree or a lot of experience. My father never graduated high school and he owned his own business. A degree definitely makes things easier when looking for a job since you don't have one just work harder than those that do.
Never underestimate your network of friends and acquaintances. All but one of my jobs, I got because I knew someone who knew of an opening and my resume was put into the pile of others. If it had not been for my connections I would have never known about the opening. A good word from someone you know goes a long way when a company is looking to hire someone.
A degree isn't a license to print money, that's for sure. But it's still true that people with degrees make more than those without, on average, and are unemployed less.
"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not only is there a $400 per week difference in earnings between those with a high school diploma and those with a bachelor’s degree, there is also a substantial difference in unemployment. As of the end of 2011, high-school only workers were unemployed at a rate of 9.4% while those with a bachelor’s degree had an unemployment rate of 4.9% (4.1% as of July 2012)."
Having said that, what would I do if I didn't have an education? (1) Live modestly (not a bad idea in any case), (2) Work more than one job, if needed, (3) Make sure both my wife and myself had full-time jobs with benefits, if possible, so we wouldn't have all our eggs in one basket in case one of us got laid off. (See above about unemployment stats for non-college grads...)
So don't be average. The average 9-5 guy with a degree makes more than the average 9-5 guy without a degree and that will probably never change. Work hard to not put yourself into either of those groups. Work toward owning your own business or slowly buy up real estate and then rent it out. There are lots of options available. Those options may require some risk but usually give a better return on what you put into them.
I guess I've got to ask. All things being equal, i.e. the guy is smart enough to make it through college, etc, why not get the degree and improve the odds? If he's got enough on the ball to do all the things you suggested, maybe he's got enough on the ball to finish school...
Learn a trade.
Yep, I'm not married yet, but I joined the carpenters union a while ago having never hammered a nail in my life, and they pay for you to take a few classes and then you learn on the job. And you make great money doing it.
Work hard and be content. No degree will ever replace work ethic. Before going into Law Enforcement I commercially fished, cut timber, worked as a mechanic, and in sales. I was far happier when I provided 9 bucks an hour lovingly than when I provided 40 resentfully. You need to remember that providing means much more than bringing home money. All of my education and training got me 200 extra cable channels that I don't watch, a truck I am afraid to scratch and a divorce. I would go back to blissful poverty tomorrow if I could.
Think about moving to a country that supports a living wage for its workers.
*Looks to see where David F. lives
Hell, son. You don't need to move to a different country. You just need to move to an area of this one that isn't depressed.
Where in the USA, can you raise a household with just a high school education?
As to myself, Starkville is not a depressed area. That and I am college educated, and happy where I am. It is a good place to live if you have the resources.
Sorry about that. I read the comment I replied to as "Thinking about moving..."
Perhaps Starkville isn't as depressed as the rest of MS is. Good for you. Are you a Bulldog fan? As opposed to UGA Dawgs, of course...
(I fucking hate autocorrect)