How to make money
Now that you've settled down with your new wife in your new house, you'll need to get a job. Sure, you could go adventuring, but there are other ways to fill your purse without straining your sword arm or getting lost in a dingy trap-filled cave.
Locate a woodcutters axe (buy it from a store, or find one lying around) then look for a woodcutting block. There's one in Riverwood by the mill if you're struggling. Activate the block and your character will start chopping.
Each 'chop' earns you 2 pieces of firewood, which you can then sell for 5 gold each. This is a decent way of making money, as 18 blocks of wood - that's three chopping sessions - will get you 90 gold in total. It's dull, but hey, that's work for you.
All that food you find lying around isn't just for eating. If you find a cooking pot and activate it, you'll see a large list of pre-made recipes. By combining ingredients you can cook meat and create entire meals, then sell them on to general goods merchants (or keep for eating yourself).
If you get the Investor perk from the speechcraft skill tree, you'll be able to invest in certain stores and take a cut of their profits whenever you visit them.
If you're after something a little more lucrative, try mining. There are nine types of ore in Skyrim - gold, iron, ebony, silver, corundum, malachite, moonstone, orichalcum and quicksilver. Of these, ebony is the most expensive.
First, get a pickaxe. If you've been to the Throat of the World, travel there and climb to the peak and you can get a special tool called the 'Notched Pickaxe' that raises your smithing stats. Then it's simply a matter of finding an ore vein and activating it. As you mine, you'll get a mixture of ore and precious gems.
To mine faster, dual-wield pickaxes like weapons and 'attack' the ore veins rather than activating them. When a vein depletes, move on to the next one. It won't regenerate for several weeks.
When you have a pile of ore, look for a smelter. There's usually one outside mines, or you can find one directly to the right of the main fast travel point in Whiterun. The smelter lets you turn ore into ingots, which sell for more, and can be used to craft and upgrade armour and weapons. Blacksmiths will buy ore from you, and sometimes the foreman of the mine.
Here are some locations that are perfect for mining...
- Ebony - Gloombound Mine (16 veins), Throat of the World (2 veins), Redbelly Mine (3 veins)
- Corundum - Darkwater Crossing (5 veins), Blackreach (3 veins), Snowpoint Beacon (2 veins)
- Iron - Embershard Mine (8 veins), Halted Stream Camp (16 veins), Stonehills (4 veins)
- Quicksilver - The Tower Stone (2 veins)
- Moonstone - Mzulft (7 veins), Soljund's Sinkhole (5 veins)
- Orichalcum - Bilegulch Mine (9 veins), Dushnikh Mine (9 veins), Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon (3 veins)
- Gold - Kolskeggr Mine (24 veins)
- Malachite - Steamscorch Mine (7 veins)
If you'd rather use all those ingots you've mined rather than sell them, get involved in smithing. By crafting weapons and armour you can not only create some awesome kit for yourself, but a load to sell on to other blacksmiths. See our detailed step-by-step guide to becming an expert in smithing.