With the cost of living impacting everyone’s pockets, one of our homesitters Susan Ferguson, a 70 year old retired lady from Hornsea in West Yorkshire, says her new part time work in homesitting is enabling her to keep active, cut her energy bills and give her mini holidays through the year!
Susan has been a home and pet sitter for five years and has completed 10 assignments since she joined Homesitters in 2018. She has enjoyed all of them and now has several regular clients, including looking after three cocker spaniels that hold a special place in her heart.
Susan has always been an animal lover, and whilst she still worked full time as a manager in the mental health service she owned a small farm holding where she kept pigs, dairy cows, and sheep, plus bred rare breed hens, ducks and geese.
After retiring in 2016 she was keen to find something that would keep her as busy and active as she had always been. Susan says, “I like to keep busy and while I do a lot of volunteer work, I also quite liked the idea of being around animals again and earning a little bit of extra money.”
She read an article about homesitting in a national paper, and knew the role would be a perfect fit for her. She keeps active as she enjoys long walks, getting lots of fresh air and being around an array of animals which she really missed. As she has a degree in Agriculture, she particularly enjoys the more rural stays.
When she is on assignment, she also finds time to catch up on hobbies and does lots of knitting, reading and catching up on emails including organising fundraising events she’s involved in.
Homesitters receive a small remuneration, and the money that Susan earns is helping to boost her state pension and private pension income.
She is also saving around £40 a month on energy bills when she’s doing a homesit. She gets a daily food allowance too which enables her to further reduce her costs.
She says, “Whilst it’s not the main reason why I homesit, it’s a lovely benefit to the job.”
Prior to any homesit, Homesitters always arrange for a preliminary visit to the property so the homesitter can meet the owners and the animals and get a detailed idea of what is involved in the assignment before agreeing as to whether they would like to do it.
Before a homesit assignment, Susan also likes to arrive the night before to get a feel for the area and all the places she’d like to visit.
Susan comments: “I do a bit of online research too so I have a good idea of things I’d like to do when I’m there.”
Her next homesit also meant doing some research on the pets she was going to be looking after which included a Cavapoochon dog, Persian cat, Tropical fish, an Axolotl – a type of salamander – and a Crested Gecko.
She says: “I had to google what an axolotl was as I’d never heard of one. Fortunately, it seems like quite an easy pet to look after!”
Susan loves the homesitting lifestyle and would recommend it to anyone else who is retired, loves animals and likes to explore the UK. She adds, “You get to go into new areas with really lovely houses. It’s like being on holiday.”
Homesitters is currently recruiting and keen to hear from other retirees who like Susan are keen to take on a side hustle that enables them to make savings as well as enjoy mini breaks away. Click here to find out more.