Hannah Layford, 31, from Gateshead, was forced to abandon her three to four holidays per year - as well as pricey nights out - and was therefore able to put down a deposit on her first home.
With holidays cancelled and restaurants closed, Hannah and her fiancé decided that during lockdown, they'd save their cash for something more meaningful.
The freelance content creator resisted temptations to jet off on holiday last year, and when restaurants started offering the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme over summer, Hannah opted for scenic bike rides and at-home date nights instead.
By November, she had managed to save more than £5,000 to add to her previous five years' savings - which was the 'final push' towards getting on the property ladder.
Hannah said: "I'd always tried to save dribs and drabs but never too much, because I liked being able to go out and enjoy myself.
"I'd go on holiday three or four times per year, with my partner or friends, as well as going out for expensive date nights, drinks out and trips to the cinema - you don't realise how much it adds up to.
"I think lockdown helped me grow up a bit and focus on the important things - and the end result was something really meaningful.
"If someone had told me in March 2020 that a year down the line I'd have bought my first house, I'd never ever have believed them.
"The pandemic started off as a very challenging and uncertain time for me - but being able to get that final push towards my own home made it all worth it."
Hannah explained the couple had started saving around five years ago, but had only managed to put aside a little.
"I am young, and I've always loved to travel, so I'd previously found it quite hard to justify saving money instead of going away - but with the pandemic, I didn't have a choice," she said.
After Hannah's planned trips to Greece and Italy were cancelled, they opted for a single 'staycation' instead - a week on the rural Isle of Skye, Scotland, in September.
As well as being committed to saving money, Hannah explained she has had to shield during the pandemic due to having alopecia and being prescribed immunosuppressing steroids - which made her high-risk for Covid-19.
She explained this meant she avoided temptations to visit restaurants and bars, even while the Eat Out to Help Out scheme ran over the summer.
She said: "Normally I love going out for meals and drinks but it's easy to overlook how much that lifestyle can cost - and it wasn't safe for me to be going out and socialising.
"Literally the only real thing I did over summer, besides work, was spend a week in rural Scotland after I finished my treatment, which is nothing like how I'd normally spend my summer. But in the end it was worth it."
Hannah and her fiancé moved into their first home in November, with Hannah explaining she's so proud of what they have achieved.
"There were definitely a lot of frustrations and struggles since the pandemic began - but ultimately, 2020 gave us the final push towards our home and our future," she added.
"If you'd told me a year ago we'd now be in this house, I'd never have believed you - and I'm proud of what we have achieved.
"Lockdown helped me grow up a bit, focus on the important things and look towards the future. Even when I walk around the house now, after living here for over three months, I'm in shock.
"I definitely missed holidays abroad, going out for date nights and seeing my friends, but it was worth it for this!"
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