I use my Systems Engineering skills (which I have now retired from) to pay for the use of my woodworking skills. I worked in the information technology field about 25 years. My career transition was from being self employed as a general contractor where I did a lot of custom woodworking, cabinet making and furniture building, along with typical carpentry and building activities. Basically my hobby became my job and my job became my hobby.
At 54 years old I finally built myself a decent shop and began working more with hand tools and less with power equipment. Now that I’m 66, I’ve move from my large shop and downsized to a 24x24 garage, but I’m making it work. I’m by no means a hand tool purest and still love my router, but sometime the quietness of a hand plane is soothing enough to not want to turn the planer on. I like the Quiet and Solitude that comes with working with the handtools.
That said I've also always like to restore things. Almost anything from old Victorian homes to screwdrivers. My shop is full of tools I have restored. My grizzly cabinet saw was $200 and a few days of sweat Equity. I recently restored a Walker Turner 16" bandsaw I bought for $100. (All now replaced due to the downsizing) I have restored well over 300 handplanes of all types. (Again an old number and I would not quests a new one)
The list goes on and on, but I couldn't have afforded the quality and quantity of tools buying new. I understand restoration isn't for everyone, but it sure is a fun way to get what you want if you enjoy it like I do.
I'll still never part with my table saw or bandsaw and i also have a sawmill, so I use rough sawn almost exclusively. I like the mix and every hour in my shop is a decision, hand or power.