How To Be A Snowbird On A Budget (2023)

Snowbirding is a popular choice among retirees looking to escape the cold winters of Canada and the United States.

They do it for many reasons, including spending less money on heating bills and enjoying warm temperatures during the colder months.

If you want to learn how to be a snowbird on a budget this article is for you.

How To Be A Snowbird On A Budget
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The term “snowbird” refers to someone who moves their home to another part of the world where they spend most of their time outside.

This person might ‘migrate’ to a city like Phoenix, Arizona, or Orlando, Florida, or somewhere else in the southern states.

There are many different ways to become a snowbird, but one of the easiest is moving to a place where the temperature is milder than your area of origin.

If finances are tight it’s important to budget for these changes. How do you do this?

Create A Spreadsheet

If you want to live anywhere outside of your current location before you take the plunge it’s important to understand where your money goes to accommodate the change.

A good way to do this is to set up a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your spending.

You’ll need to know what you’re spending every month, including recurring bills like rent, utilities, and insurance. Then, you’ll need to add in some extra categories, such as groceries, gas, entertainment, clothing, dining out, etc.

Once you’ve got everything totaled up, you’ll be able to see exactly how much money you’re bringing home each month.

This information will give you a better idea about how much cash you have left over at the end of the month.

With this data, you can adjust your budget accordingly and save for your snowbirding activities in the winter months.

Establish Goals/Planning

If you want to spend your winters somewhere warm without having to live there, it’s time to start thinking about what you really want out of your snowbird experience.

There are plenty of reasons why someone might choose to snowbird, including saving money, avoiding the cold weather, spending more time with family, or simply getting away from it all.

If you are planning to spend money on a second home, you should take into account all aspects of your personal finances, not just how much it might cost.

You should consider your existing mortgage, any outstanding debt or loans, current and upcoming income, and the costs associated with moving. In addition, you should look at possible tax implications.

You should make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions of your loan agreement.

If you plan to use a second mortgage, you should know whether you will pay interest on both mortgages, how you will repay the second mortgage, and whether there will be penalties for prepaying either one.

Part Time Work

If you’re looking for ways to supplement your retirement income, you could try applying for some part time work.

Although working during retirement doesn’t always appeal to everyone, snow birds can consider seasonal or part time work.

Tour guides at parks or museums offer opportunities to interact with visitors and earn money doing something you enjoy.

Other good options include substitute teaching, dog sitting, or local retail jobs like grocery shopping or pharmacy runs. You can try out different types of work to see what fits best for you.

How To Be A Snowbird On A Budget
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Use Your Properties

There are many ways to make money off of a second residence, including selling it outright or renting it out. For those looking to do just that, here are five ways you can earn passive income from a second house.

1. Renting Out Your Home

If you live in a large city where housing prices are high, chances are good that you could rent out your second home without having to pay much attention to it.

Many people turn to sites like Airbnb to rent out their extra space during the winter months. If you don’t want to deal with guests every day, consider hiring someone else to manage the place for you.

2. Selling Your House

If you’re ready to sell your house you could free up some equity that will fund your relocation.

3. Holiday Let Income

You can also try letting out your house to holidaymakers. Sites like VRBO and AirBNB allow homeowners to list their spaces for short-term stays.

They typically charge around $100 per night, plus cleaning fees. In exchange, you’ll receive part of the renter’s payment each month.

Depending on how long you plan to keep the property rented, you may decide whether it makes financial sense to invest in repairs or improvements.

Choose Low Tax Areas

Snowbirding is one of the best ways to make money during winter months. However, it is important to understand what type of tax breaks you can take advantage of while living in different states.

For example, if you are planning to move to Florida, you might want to consider purchasing a home there.

There are several benefits associated with owning real estate in Florida. One benefit is that you can deduct both the purchase price and closing costs from your taxable income.

Another benefit is that you can use the profits from selling your house to offset your income taxes. Lastly, you can deduct depreciation on your home each year.

Go For A Shorter Time

If going away for 3, 4 or 6 months is beyond your budget, you could find somewhere cheaper to go for a few months.

The main thing to remember is that most landlords want long leases – usually 12 or 24 months – so finding accommodation for a short period can be more difficult, especially during the summer holiday season.

However, there are some landlords that offer six month leases so it’s cost effective to do some research before deciding.


Many snowbirds are realizing that downsizing their main homes provides them a lot of financial flexibility that they might not have had otherwise – especially if they intend to spend four to six months a year abroad.

Downsizing to a smaller home, condo, cottage or a rental building offers many benefits including saving money, increasing your capital, providing you with additional spending power.


Snowbirding is a great way to enjoy beautiful weather all year round and with careful planning and budgeting it need not break the bank.

We hope this articled answered your questions on how to be a Snowbird on a budget.

Andre Flowers
Andre Flowers

Hello, my name is Andre Flowers and I have been a Licensed Real Estate Professional for over 24 years. I also carry several certifications, including: Certified Distressed Property Expert, Certified Global Business Professional, Certified Credit Repair Specialist.

As a current Mortgage Underwriter with 15 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of money-related issues. Whether that be high levels of debt, not enough credit, or simply a lack of funds - I’ve had clients who fit into these categories.

Here I will share tips, tricks, and experiences on how you can get yourself back in control of your finances.

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