Accommodation can be one of the most penny-pinching parts of any trip away. Enter, the affordable and authentic alternative that is house sitting. With Aussie House Sitters, you can get accommodation for free and focus your finances on more important things, like getting out and experiencing the city or better yet, on staying safely in your savings. Here’s a few ways you can do that:
Did someone say, free? It goes without saying really, but free is our favourite price and Melbourne has heaps on offer that costs exactly that. The city’s public parks are lush, so find a bench and people watch, dog watch, bird watch… there are interesting things to be observed in parks. There are also interesting things to find in Melbourne’s quirky streetscapes with their shoppable windows and charmingly mismatched architecture. Notable examples are Brunswick Street and Sydney Road, but even less central streets are worth your time, such as Puckle Street in Moonee Ponds.
The streets themselves offer a canvas for street art and murals, transforming bland walls into stunning galleries like Hosier Lane in the city. You can’t leave the house without finding some! If formal art is more your style, the National Gallery of Victoria has free entry to both its international and Australian collections. Spend the day amongst the likes of Picasso, Monet, Nolan, and Namatjira. To top it all off, the city’s free tram zone is a great way to ferry you between all these activities.
It’s the little things. It seems obvious, but things do add up. Even small savings can snowball. A reusable coffee cup can carry with it a tasty little discount at many cafes. Bringing a tote on your shopping trips instead of paying for a plastic bag lets you keep as much as 15c each. Embracing generic brands lets you shop smart by paying less for essentially the same product. You don’t really need a coffee the size of your head, downsize to a medium or a small and rest easy knowing you change is basically collecting itself. No one is, in the immortal words of Macklemore, “getting tricked by business” on my watch.
Shop ‘preloved’ over ‘vintage’. Yes, vintage is very in right now. Yes, it always is in Melbourne. This doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg for something out of a tantalising, curated collection. The humble Op Shop serves the same purpose, with gems just waiting to be picked out at a fraction of the cost. You can even get creative with your own wardrobe to fit in with Melbourne’s eccentric style: don’t be afraid of your kitchen’s scissors for some cropping action or dip into Melbourne’s reservoir of pins and patches to adorn… well, anything really.
Do it yourself! Don’t drink away your savings at Melbourne’s infamous cafes like I used to. I invested in a thermos travel-mug for $10 and a container of chai latte powder for around $6. Add some warmed milk of choice to the equation and in just four drinks, you’re saving money. There’s nothing better than the sweet taste of chai and savings. Why not apply this tip to the rest of your spending? Invest in a lunch container and the ingredients for a salad or sandwich of choice instead of giving away your life savings for another smashed avo lunch (guilty).
As a house sitter you have access to a fully equipped kitchen so you can make your own meals and save hundreds of dollars on take away food. Then you can feel extra special when you do decide to treat yourself to a meal out, or a takeaway pizza at your home away from home.
With a new home base, you can enjoy the financial security a home brings – you have a fridge, a washing machine, hopefully a coffee machine, a table for crafting, and a door to the opportunities of the street. So get out there and house sit around Melbourne. You can enjoy all the cultural sights, bird watch in the park, or check out the many architectural delights, and you can leave your wallet at home!