Life on Furlough

12 weeks and counting, coronavirus is a global pandemic and that has affected hundreds and thousands of families across the UK and the world.


Like the rest of the country, I have had to get used to being in lockdown, working from home and also the reality of being furloughed. Understandably, this has brought about a lot of worry, stress and uncertainty of what is going to happen when this is all over. 


I started the lockdown still being able to work, have a routine and to see all employees via video call. But on the 20th April I was told I’d be furloughed until the end of May...


Initially, I didn’t know what to think. Financially would we be ok? What will I do with my days? How do I stick to having a routine? With all these questions and niggles, I knew I needed to make a plan and have something to work towards.


Step 1 - Finances


The biggest question of all, should I take out a mortgage holiday? 


Answer - Yes, to feel more financially stable, my partner and I decided to take advantage of being able to have 3 months off paying our mortgage, especially because both our monthly salaries went down by 20%. This was something we needed to do to carry on and feel comfortable.

Step 2 - Things to do...


Home improvements - Yes!

As my partner and I had time to do what we wanted to our first home, we thought revamping the garden was where to start (especially with all the nice weather we’ve had) so we decided to remove all gravel and make a patio. 

Baking - Call me Mary Berry!

I’ve always wanted to get into baking, but I just never had the time. I thought I’d start with the basics a Vicky sponge...

Then it was endless bread baking as I kept getting requests off my family...


Development in my career - courtesy of the IDM

For a while I’ve wanted to take the next step in my career and for a twentie-something it takes courage to ‘go back to learning again’. I found out that the IDM released the DM Home Trust Fund (you can read more about this here) a way for furloughed employees and those who have been made redundant to keep learning, for free. 


I decided I wanted to take on the next challenge, a course that should cost £2.5K - The Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing this course will allow me to learn strategy, CRM, finances, brand building, customer insights and integrated communications. A way to understand marketing from a different perspective, here’s to the next 12 months of intense learning! 

Step 3 - Mental stimulation

Exercising


I have always wanted to be physically fit, but joining gyms or having a personal trainer always seemed expensive (especially when you’ve just purchased a house). Since lockdown I have found myself slowly feel more anxious and low, so keeping fit was my only stress relief. 

Before coronavirus hit I started group bootcamps sessions to train with people, and throughout the last 10 weeks I have managed to carry on via Zoom (virtually). Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I will do 50 minutes of high intensity fitness and honestly I love it. 

Alongside this trying to get out of the house more by walking the dogs (Billy the Frenchie and Wesley the Pug) and finding new areas where I live that I never knew before. 


Unfortunately, on 18th May I was told I would be furloughed for another 2 months. It has been hard to comprehend, but I understand as with current economic crisis a lot of industries are struggling and need more time to recover for the best outcome in the long run. 

It’ll just have to be 8 more weeks of baking, exercising and studying.


Blog post author: Caitlin Rose Harvey

Caitlin is a twenty-something Event Marketing Executive from Cheltenham.

She's living proof of that you definitely don't need to go to uni and get a degree in order to succeed, as she's already a homeowner at the age of 23.


Cait is proud to be a Talk Twenties Ambassador - "Your 20s can be a rollercoaster depending on what route you decide to go on. Everyone has a different story to share, and I’m going to be working with some amazing individuals to let you know how to get through the hard times".


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