Rough costs of house and petsitting as a long-term lifestyle

Hello fellow sitters! Who among you has made house sitting your permanent lifestyle? I used to live in SE Asia for years and I’m pretty adaptable. I am now considering taking a few years (or more) to travel the world and it occurred to me that I could probably piece together quite a few nice sits as part of that experience. I’m always keen on mapping out my finances to keep my expectations realistic. So if anyone who has done this before has estimated figures on what you have spent, on average, over a year or so, please let me know!

8 Likes

Hi Cheryl
There are a lot of us who have made housesitting a lifestyle. I for one rented out my home in January 2019 and after 6 months’ housesitting in the UK, to get experience and reviews, I flew to Auckland NZ, housesitting & travelling around the North Island for 6 months. I then went to Oz and was about to take up my first sit there when the pandemic hit so, reluctantly,flew back to the UK arriving one week before our first lockdown. I got back into my home 2 months later. In January this year I re-rented my home and have been housesitting again around the UK and fly to Christchurch NZ on 31/10 to housesit in the South Island for 6 months, then to some Pacific islands (no opportunities to housesit there) and to Oz.
As for how much I spent and will spend, well with my rental income, a good police pension (and state pension due in January 2023), no living expenses when I’m housesitting I actually saved more money than I spent!
Of course it depends on your situation. If you’ve got your own home I’d encourage you to rent it out if you can, don’t sell it as it can be difficult to get back on the property ladder.
Good luck!

8 Likes

A LOT of people, more than there are in this forum.
There are several discussions here about how we as a collective and as individuals manage our lifestyles. You can be as creative as you like, the possibilities are endless.
What is permanent?
You can be a full time pet sitter for as long as you wish or you can be part time alternating between personal holiday time (volunteering, Airbnb or even a luxury cruise) and pet sitting for long periods.
The common thread I have found is a love for travel and animals.
Your budget is what you will need to learn to manage.
I have done full time pet sitting back to back for very long periods, over a year and now take lots of time “off” to explore other places of interest apart from home and pet sitting.
I have learned and continue to learn how to manage and tweak my funds.
There are months where there will be more travel expenses, perhaps more food costs but then there will be times and there have been, where I have had very minimal expenditures.

So yes it is very possible, many of us are
Doing it very well.
Your budget will be personal and will have a learning curve. Try to stay within your means.
Start local but don’t be afraid to go where your situation will be greatly improved, such as a place with greater need for sitters and where your expenses will be less in keeping to your budget. Personally I avoid “month to month” living. I think long term and prepare for the what do I need, want and have to have. Then I make it happen.
Learn to be very, very flexible.
Again, Be Flexible. You must be willing to adapt and to give up certain things you may be used to or expect.
I have learned and will repeat till I have no breath left, continue to learn, adapt, tweak and my life is extraordinary and yes it is getting better and better ever day.
No apologies for my long winded response.
Be free @cherylfah and do as your heart desires.
Ps I own nothing. I carry very little and I have everything I need and I live a life others envy.

16 Likes

PSS :rofl: read Vagabonding: An uncommon guide to world travel
Walden
The works of John Muir
For starters :relaxed:

7 Likes

Hi @cherylfah , we became full time sitters in May 21. There are two of us. We sit mainly in the UK, also were sitting in Spain over Dec 21
We use public transport and spend approx £50 per week on a restaurant meal.

Between sits, if we have gaps we book an Airbnb but this is becoming less frequent.

Obviously how much you spend is determined by yourself and how frugal you are or want to be. As a rough guide this is what we have spent since we became full time sitters. It includes everything, food, trains, flights, accommodation, entertainment etc. I have no idea how we compare against other full time sitters, I would say we are very careful with our spending but do not deprive ourselves of anything that we particularly want to do, see or eat!
Good Luck!

May-21 £906.18
Jun-21 £861.21
Jul-21 £1,425.08 ( includes Airbnb @ £450)
Aug-21 £833.50
Sept-2 £1,226.83
Oct-21 £2,175.99 ( includes Airbnb @ £380)
Oct-21 € 1,127.42
Nov-21 £2,243.11 (includes Airbnb @ £1200 - holiday treat)
Nov -21 €323.65
Dec-21 £1,240.00 ( includes Airbnb @ £200)
Dec-21 €896.17

Jan-22 £1,304.95 ( includes Airbnb @ £600 - holiday treat)
Jan-22 €822.88
Feb-22 £503.89
Feb-22 €316.73
Mar-22 £1,351.50 (includes Airbnb @ £55)
Apr-22 £1,370.67( includes Airbnb@ £90)
May-22 £1,293.50
Jun-22 £970.77

16 Likes

How long is a piece of string?
As others have said it’s all about adapting to a new lifestyle and what you personally want out of it.
Eat like the natives then your food bills are approximately what they are at the moment. Eat out twice a week and they go up.
Travel in Uber, far more expensive than public transport but less if renting a car.
Visiting museums, galleries, historic sites, can be very expensive but others are free.
We fly back to the UK twice a year. That can be pennies or over £800, depending where we are.

It’s all about personal choice and ultimately how much income you have to spend. We are on a road trip at the moment interlaced with pet sitting and airbnbs so our fuel costs are huge but we budgeted for that for the next two years then we wil go back to pet sitting full time and probably save money.
You have asked a very difficult question to answer and the only way to find out how much it will cost YOU is to try it and see.
Welcome to the nutty world of pet sitting travel. Good luck and keep telling us about your journey.

9 Likes

:sparkling_heart:[quote=“ElsieDownie, post:6, topic:18924, full:true”]
How long is a piece of string?
As others have said it’s all about adapting to a new lifestyle and what you personally want out of it.
Eat like the natives then your food bills are approximately what they are at the moment. Eat out twice a week and they go up.
Travel in Uber, far more expensive than public transport but less if renting a car.
Visiting museums, galleries, historic sites, can be very expensive but others are free.
We fly back to the UK twice a year. That can be pennies or over £800, depending where we are.

It’s all about personal choice and ultimately how much income you have to spend. We are on a road trip at the moment interlaced with pet sitting and airbnbs so our fuel costs are huge but we budgeted for that for the next two years then we wil go back to pet sitting full time and probably save money.
You have asked a very difficult question to answer and the only way to find out how much it will cost YOU is to try it and see.
Welcome to the nutty world of pet sitting travel. Good luck and keep telling us about your journey.
[/quote]

3 Likes

This isn’t science, but here goes. We are a couple. We work on an average of AUD$100 per day for both of us together. Most days we don’t spend this at all, especially when we are on longer housesits. Other times, we book a nice Airbnb or hotel break between sits and don’t feel guilty for it, as it’s been budgeted already. We like eating out 2-3 times per week, but don’t have high overheads otherwise. I have done some sums: since the start of our recent tour in UK and Europe, we had 108 free nights (housesitting) out of 130 total nights away. Incurred costs currently come in at $50 per night but this is only for ferries/Euroshuttle and hotels/Airbnbs, and does not include food or petrol.

I assume most people can get away cheaper. But as @Colin has been so gracious at sharing his costs, I thought I would share ours too.

We rent out our permanent home. We both work. We are in a good spot, but things can change quickly. Save money for rainy days (think Covid emergency accommodation!) and budget comfortably so that you don’t become stressed when things change (and they do).

8 Likes

So many good points on here. We take longer house sits as proportionate costs go down with the travel that way and have been full time house sitting for almost a year in Europe, Turkey and Morocco to date. We’ve probably had 6 weeks total gap and have stayed with friends, family or rented an Airbnb during those. We rent our house out in the UK and have a van to use at home in Turkey. We both work part time on laptops too & I’d say £1k a month for both of us for everything is super comfortable including flights. We live very well, explore on local transport or hitch, walk everywhere and eat & drink great food and take picnics with the occasional splurge out.

5 Likes

@cherylfah We’ve been full-time housesitting around Western Europe for 2 years. As an average I’d say we spend roughly £500/pp a month. That includes everything: transport, food, meals or drinks out, visits,…

We eat out maybe once every 2 weeks, often go for a drink/coffee & don’t deny ourselves anything we really want to do.

It depends on the country too. We’re in Switzerland at the moment, which is a lot more painful for our wallets than Spain for example :grinning:.

Long term sits helps an awful lot too, almost no transport costs.

Hope that helps.

Enjoy the housesitting lifestyle. It is truly a wonderful way of life!

5 Likes

Very nice, thank you. I appreciate your advice and the mention of the specific figure and how it varies.

2 Likes

Extremely useful, thank you, I really appreciate all the detail. This is how I am, as well–track every detail with a tight spreadsheet, and expect some months over and some under my target average. As long as it works out over the year (or more), I’ll be fine.

3 Likes

Where in SE asia have you been living? I stayed in Bali for a few months which is so cheap! I’ve been housesitting on and off for 4-5 years but rented somewhere over Covid lockdowns. I’m in Australia and have had family to stay with in between sits. I’m off to Europe in November and plan to stay over there for about a year - see how things go. It will be interesting not having family or friends to stay with in between sits but I’ve checked AirBNB and there seems to be rooms to rent at a reasonable price so Im excited about it. As I’ve had my own car in Aus the cost has been minimal - just fuel and food really, whereas in Europe it may go up a bit due to public transport, flights and trains but I won’t have the added cost of the car so I’m sure it will not be a lot more than I am currently spending. I would say about $800 - $1000 Aussie a month which includes all my bills and expenses, food, fuel, rego, insurance etc.

1 Like

Thanks for sharing this information and your overall budget–that seems quite affordable! I lived in Thailand for five years as a student and a professional.

3 Likes

What a wonderful response @amparo

2 Likes

Ooh hi soul Sis!
It’s a great life and you will do well. You will figure things out as you go. It is in our nature as humans.
I was in Bali a few months in an ocean front efficiency with breakfast for less $300 a month. The people and country are one of a kind.
In the Uk I hopped on and off to Europe and was able to home and pet sit with very little Airbnb for about 18 months.
It opened my mind and heart, love, kindness, animals, plants. Well I could go on and on.
You will make your way. We do as we go.
:sparkling_heart:

8 Likes

How fabulous! Was it in Chang Mai? I spent some time in Thailand and Cambodia but only a few weeks. The people are so beautiful!

4 Likes

Heyyy! They sure are! I was in Seminyak on the outskirts near Canggu. I really feel like Bali is one of the cheapest places in the world to stay. Cambodia was pretty cheap too. Did you train around Europe mostly while you were there?

2 Likes

That it is and it is rich in natural splendor, vegetation, beach, surf, veg and some of the most peaceful happy people. I stayed in a compound with various bungalows and huts along the Balian Sea, in West Selemadeg. It was an incredible experience.
Met and made friends with a wonderful woman there, kind of like something out of Eat, Pray, Love, a single woman (which is still a weird thing there) who supports her own natural children, one she took in and her elderly mother. She runs a very successful touring business, Female Bali Driver she started years ago with help from a family in Oz. It’s just beautiful and she is wonderful.
There are many places in Europe I have yet to visit but I travelled mostly by coach and train with a few short air hops.
Asia will be my next continent after South America and then I will gradually make my way back to Bali, Australia, and New Zealand 2024-25ish :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Some amazing historical accounting and budgeting information offered by folks here. I’m not sure I can add any words of wisdom, except to take each day as it comes, and don’t miss out on anything. The beauty of this lifestyle, is that you can pop in and out of it, at your leisure. We have embraced full time traveling, with petsitting thrown in for good measure. You can live a very simple life, or fulfill your dreams to travel to exotic locations. Both fully retired, which allows us to be just about anywhere, without concerns of connectivity for online work. I’m sure whichever decisions you make regarding your plans going forward, will be perfect for your life. It’s ever evolving with SO many opportunities! Enjoy the adventures!

3 Likes