‘I save money if I share childcare with my neighbours’

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‘Doggie daycare is £32 a day’

For Karen Reid and her neighbors in South East London, caring for their dog was a challenge.

She and her husband James got Lupin – a sprocker spaniel – during the lockdown, when they often worked from home. They met other dog owners in the area when they started walking him in the local park.

“Doggie daycare costs about £32 a day,” she said. “It didn’t start out to save money, but now that we’re out of lockdown and we’re all in the office a little more, we’re saving a lot of money because we can rely on friends instead of having to pay.”

Ms Reid, 36, and her husband, both self-employed lawyers, look after someone else’s dog at least one day a week and receive the same support in return. They use a WhatsApp group to coordinate their plans. The six couples in the group became close friends.

The number of families was growing abandon the dogs they had in prison because they can no longer afford to care for them, but Ms Reid said such arrangements could help keep costs down.

“I saved a lot of money on fuel”

Cairo Ferguson, 34, saved money on gas by carpooling with her neighbors.

When someone is going out and has room in the car, they send a message to their WhatsApp group where they are leaving, where they are going, what time they will leave and how many seats are available. First responders get seats. There are about 15 people in the group.

“My partner and I drive,” she said. “The fuel prices they are absolutely killing us. My partner and I both work on a laptop, so if the kids want to pop into town and someone has three seats available, one of us will accept the offer and take them.”

Mrs Ferguson, a travel blogger from Worcestershire, said that instead of exchanging money, they take it in turns to drive each other.

“There are a few elderly people living on our street who we added to the group without expecting them to offer lifts,” she said. “It made sense to give something back.”

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