‘I combine two jobs: I work twenty hours a week at a modeling agency in Amsterdam, and because I can do all this from home, it can easily be combined with the 25 hours a week I spend on my dog walking service. At the modeling agency I am the point of contact for the models, I handle invoices, book the jobs and maintain the website.
“I had known for a long time that I wanted to start my own business, but I never really knew what with what. When I was hiking in 2017, I came across an exhaust service and that inspired me. I thought: I have a great love for dogs and with such a job you are on the move a lot, so why not? Initially I started a general exhaust service, but then I specialized. I went to Turkey for two years, where my father lived at the time, and was able to continue working for the modeling agency there. When I came back to the Netherlands, I started to focus on dachshunds. I grew up with that, it’s my favorite breed. They are such stubborn and funny creatures. Moreover, they are easy to transport because of their size.
“At the moment I only walk dogs in the municipality of Ede and the surrounding area, but it would be nice if I could eventually open a second branch at a different location. Then I also want to be completely my own boss and stop my work as an employee.”
‘My boyfriend and I live together in the rented house where I initially lived alone. I also pay the rent; he has kept his own home thus far, although he is with me more often. It’s a small house, but the rent is manageable and as long as we don’t start expanding the family, it’s fine. I try to save every month to be able to buy a house one day. Now, with the current housing market, I would only be selling myself short if I bought a house, but I hope that the prices will fall again in the next five years. I’m in no rush, I’m waiting for the right moment.
“I lease a car that I also use to transport the dogs. When I started I had a big bus, but I got rid of it when I went to Turkey. And three or four dachshunds fit in the back of this car just fine.
“What I spend about 100 euros a month on is perfume. I think I get a new scent every month, in the sale I sometimes let myself be tempted to more. Then suddenly there are three bottles in my shopping cart. I have certain favorites, but I also love – when possible – to spray on fragrances in the store and let it soak in for a day. If it still makes me happy the next day, I buy it.”
Net income: average 3,100 euros (desk 1,600 euros net, 1,500 euros)
Joint messages: 400-500 euro
Private expenses: living 650 euros; lease car 350 euros; insurance 265 euros; subscriptions 87 euros; clothing, make-up and care 450 euros
Save: 500 euro
Last big purchase: new sofa 2,100 euros
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A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of January 24, 2022