How to make huge savings on bills by going green
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Claire Goodall, 31, and Michael Ashfield, 36, quit their traditional jobs five years ago and left their home in Surrey in favour of a more suitable lifestyle. Now working as professional house and petsitters, the couple claim to save £1,000 every month while living a life they enjoy.
Holidaying, whether international, local or just to a friends house for the weekend, is always an enjoyable experience.
However, it can also be nerve wracking knowing that one’s home is going to be completely empty, from burglaries to boiler leaks, any number of problems can occur with no one there to fix it for weeks.
And having to leave pets with people they don’t know in places they’ve never been can definitely tug on the heartstrings when saying goodbye.
However, the new-age solution to this is the ‘sitting’ industries.
Over the internet people can get a range of different sitters to look after everything from plants to the elderly.
This niche market is where Ms Goodall and Mr Ashfield found their ideal career path.
Before setting up their house-sitting business, Ms Goodall worked in a hospital and Mr Ashfield was employed in a timber yard.
While they both had steady income to make ends meet, they wanted more from both their money and their lives.
So, five years ago, the duo packed up shop and left their flat in Surrey to go globetrotting.
After jet-setting across the world for two years, the pair returned to the UK still itching to go travelling.
The couple wanted something with enough flexibility to enable them to pack up and head for the countryside at a moment’s notice.
House and petsitting offers this flexibility but also combines it with satisfying their need to travel and see new places.
The pair now house-sit full-time, looking after their clients homes and valuables for weeks to months at a time, although they noted they usually only stay for about a week.
Not only does this opportunity allow them to go to unique and remote locations they wouldn’t have thought to visit, they can also stay rent free while getting paid.
Only having to pay for food and luxury expenses, the couple claim to save £1,000 every month.
However, like any freelancing work there are moments of quiet with no customers, and Ms Goodall commented that during those gaps where they have nowhere to stay they simply check into an Airbnb.
Ms Goodall also has the flexibility to work part-time as a speech and language therapist, which she can do remotely from wherever they are at any given time.
She also noted that staying in someone else’s house isn’t always easy, saying that finding the right kitchen utensils or how to work the television can take time.
Alongside house-sitting, Claire now works part-time as a speech and language therapist – which she does remotely from whenever they are based at the time.
Describing how much flexibility it gives them, she added: “We love animals, we travel light and we are people that just adapt so it’s perfect for us.
“The only real outgoings we have are the food we eat and our social lives.
“We have stayed in some wonderful places, spent time with some beautiful animals and have saved an absolute fortune.”
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