Harry and Olivia are living the dream… for just £350 a month (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
When lockdowns came into play and classes at the University of Edinburgh moved online, student couple Harry Bean, 20, and Olivia Ahern, 21, had a realisation.
It suddenly clicked that there was no need for them to stay in Edinburgh, where they were spending more than £1,000 a month to rent damp shared flats.
Economics student Harry was spending £530 a month on a flat with a leaking roof, which he shared with two other people, while sociology student Olivia paid £550 to live with another student.
Once the commute to classes wasn’t a concern, the couple questioned why they were spending so much.
So they decided to move to the beautiful Isle of Cumbrae, in the Firth of Clyde, where they share a one-bedroom flat for just £350 a month.
It was a big decision, especially because Harry and Olivia have been together for less than a year, having their first date just before lockdown one.
In Edinburgh, Harry paid £530 a month for a shared flat with a leaky ceiling (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
The place wasn’t in great shape… (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
Before moving in January, the third-year students both took a Covid-19 test to ensure they were not putting islanders at risk.
Harry said: ‘Where we’re living now is cheaper. Before we were paying a fortune.
‘My rent was £530 per month, I was living with two other students, the roof had a hole in it and water would come in.
‘It was a typical student flat and for what I was paying, it wasn’t the best quality.
‘With classes being online, there was no need to be in Edinburgh where it is so expensive.
So, no longer needing to be in the city, the couple moved to Millport, on the Isle of Cumbrae (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
‘The benefits of being in a city is that you pay the extra rent for the likes of bars, restaurants and parties but of course we can’t go or do any of that right now.
‘We’re now paying £350 for rent so we’re both saving money.
‘I believe where we’re staying now was a holiday let before, the quality is much nicer.’
The pair were both supposed to be studying abroad this year, but of course this was put on hold by the pandemic.
The good news was that they were able to stick around together and make the big move in.
Now, they pay just £350 a month in rent (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
Cheaper and much nicer, right? (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
Choosing to ditch the city in favour of the beach was quite the departure, but Harry and Olivia haven’t looked back.
‘Things we’d enjoyed about living in the city we obviously couldn’t do during lockdown,’ said Olivia.
‘This is our first time living together, before we lived with other students so it’s nice being able to have this experience.
‘There’s not any big supermarkets, it’s made us more resourceful.
And the location is pretty lovely, too (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
The couple have loved heading out on walks here (Picture: Harry Bean / SWNS.COM)
‘We both really enjoy cycling, the beach is right on our doorstep too.
“If we’ve had a stressful day of studying, there’s something really calming about being able to walk onto the beach.’
With the money they are saving, the couple plan to travel to make up for their lost year abroad.
But for now, they’re grateful to be able to live in such an idyllic spot.
Harry said: ‘I always wanted to live on an island and on a beach, it feels like something we’d maybe never have had the opportunity to do.’
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