One woman saved more than $ 6,000 after the lockdown forced her to put off vacations and ditch expensive nights out, meaning she could finally afford to buy her first home.
Freelance content creator Hannah Layford, 31, was able to save more than $ 6,952 during the pandemic, meaning she finally had enough to put down a house deposit with her NHS doctor fiancé in November.
Layford, who lives in Gateshead, England, typically went on vacation three or four times a year, spending expensive meals and nights out every week. But she and her partner agreed that during the lockdown, they would save their cash for something meaningful.
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Layford said he resisted temptations as people flew in on vacations and restaurants ran the “Eat Out to Help Out” program in the summer, opting instead for scenic bike rides with friends and date nights at home. with your partner. By November, they had managed to save nearly $ 7,000 to add to their savings from five years prior, which was the “final push” toward the house, as it meant they finally had enough to put down a deposit.
Layford said: “I always tried to save dribbles and monotonous, but never too much, because I liked being able to go out and have fun. I went on vacation three or four times a year, with my partner or friends, besides going out for expensive nights, having drinks and trips to the movies, you don’t realize how much it adds up. “
“I think the confinement helped me to grow a little and focus on the important things, and the end result was something really significant. If someone had told me in March 2020 that a year later I would have bought my first house, I would never have believed them. “.
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“The pandemic started out as a very challenging and uncertain time for me, but being able to give that final push to my own home made it worthwhile.”
The 31-year-old couple began saving individually for a home together shortly after they met five years ago, but Layford said he would only manage to save “dribbles and monotonous” because he liked to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
She described how she set aside up to four holidays each year, from city breaks to sunbathing trips, and also went out in the evenings at downtown restaurants and cocktail bars at least once a week. But the pandemic meant that all of their 2020 plans were put on hold, prompting the working couple to commit to saving money to buy their first home together.
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Layford said: “I am young and have always loved to travel, so previously it was quite difficult for me to justify saving money instead of leaving, but with the pandemic I had no other choice.”
After Layford’s planned trips to Greece and Italy with her fiance were canceled, they opted for a single “stay” instead: a week on the rural island of Skye, Scotland, in September. She also swapped out day trips for long scenic bike rides and enjoyed date nights from home with her fiancé while bars and restaurants were closed.
In addition to being committed to saving money, Layford explained how she was protecting herself due to alopecia, and she was prescribed immunosuppressive steroids from June to September, making her at high risk for COVID-19. He explained that this meant that he avoided the temptations to visit restaurants and bars, even while the Eat Out to Help Out plan was running during the summer.
She said, “I usually love to go out to eat and drink, but it’s easy to overlook how much that lifestyle can cost, and it wasn’t safe for me to go out and socialize.”
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“Literally the only real thing I did during the summer, besides work, was spend a week in rural Scotland after finishing my treatment, which is nothing like what the summer would normally go through. But in the end it was worth it. “.
He managed to set aside thousands of dollars to contribute to his savings in November, which was the “final push” the couple needed to reach their goal, and together they finally deposited a deposit on a three-bedroom house in Gateshead.
Upon moving into the house in late November, Layford said their new home in Gateshead is “just what they were looking for.”
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“There were definitely a lot of frustrations and struggles since the pandemic started, but finally, 2020 gave us the final push towards our home and our future,” Layford said. “If you had told me a year ago that we would be in this house now, I would never have believed you, and I am proud of what we have accomplished. Lockdown helped me grow a little bit, focus on the important things and look to the future.”
“Even when I walk around the house now, after living here for more than three months, I’m in shock. I definitely missed the vacation abroad, went out at night and saw my friends, but it was worth it!
This story was originally published by the South West News Service.