Woman takes early retirement and starts side hustle making £200 a week | Personal Finance | Finance

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Sharon Payne took an early retirement and has since found a side hustle that allows her to travel around the country, spend time with pets and earn a living.

After taking early retirement from a busy career working for a food packaging company, the 57-year-old wanted to find an ideal role that would allow her to earn some extra cash to top up any income she had.

She said: “I appreciate the money I get through the company, and I’ve noticed the job is actually saving me money too.

“It’s not so much about what I earn but what I don’t spend.

“I’ve noticed that since I started home sitting my gas, electric and water bills are significantly lower – my water company keeps reducing my monthly payment!

“I also get a food allowance, so I eat for free while I’m on assignment.” 

Before taking an early retirement, Ms Payne spoke to a financial advisor who suggested she find an extra income for a while.

After attending an interview at Homesitters’ offices, she was offered the role.  

Homesitters who carry out a week’s homesit with no pets can get £87 per week. However, the pay rises with each pet.

The average working time per day does not exceed 1.75 hours per day.

Ms Payne explained that she would also get a food allowance of £68.88 for the week, along with a travel allowance based on the mileage to and from the assignment, which is paid directly by the client.

The amount she earns varies by job and how long each assignment is – the longer the assignment the more she will get.

She said: “You make cost savings because you are not at home.  You reduce your bills, you are not shopping for food or going out.”

She estimated that with the money people can earn and save by homesitting it is around about £200 per week.

One of the things Ms Payne enjoys about the role is the interesting people she meets.

Talking about one of her most memorable assignments she said: “I stayed in a beautiful old house in a small village where I looked after two dogs – and 35 tortoises!

“The owner had had a few pet tortoises and someone wanting to rehome a tortoise heard she liked them and took it to her, and it snowballed from there!” 

Homesitters also provides employer’s liability insurance which covers individuals (and their partner, if applicable) whilst they are working. It also carries public liability and professional indemnity cover.

Whilst someone is at the property, sitters are checked in on by phone by a member of the team just to make sure everything is running smoothly.

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