A woman saved for her first home by working two jobs with just three hours sleep a night – and says it was worth it.
Carrie Herrington worked full time from 9-6pm in experiential marketing whilst also working on ITV’s Jackpot 247 up to three times a week for six years.
By leading what she described as a “double life,” Carrie managed to save £40,000 which was roughly matched by her now husband Carl to put a deposit down for their £500,000 home.
The keen DIY couple knew when they bought their property it would need renovation – and they set to work from the first day they moved in.
The couple have given the home an incredible transformation despite Carrie being heavily pregnant when they moved in and the pair working on the house right up until she gave birth .
Carrie, 37, is proud of their efforts and says she would do it all again.
Carrie said: “I saved a 40k deposit for our first home by working two jobs for six years. Whilst one was a normal 9-6 office job, the other was presenting live on ITV’s Jackpot 247 very late at night.
“It became the norm to go into my day job on three hours sleep although I’d try to grab 40 winks on the Tube on the way back into London.
“I’d work in the day, go home, have dinner, sometimes still have work to do on my laptop and then I’d drive back to the other side of London to get dolled up for TV.
“Once done, I’d drive back home getting in at 4am and I’d be up again at 7. People couldn’t believe that’s what I had done.”
Carrie added: “When we finally bought our home we then started a home renovation immediately.
“I was six and a half months pregnant and we both worked on the house right up until I gave birth.
“I would do it all over again, but now I have a baby so I can’t.”
Describing a typical day when she was saving, Carrie said she would get the Tube from her home in Essex into London, work until 6pm, get the Tube back home, have her dinner, drive back into London to the studios where she’d film Jackpot, finish around 3am before getting home an hour later.
“I would get into bed at 4am and have my alarm set for 7.30am,” she said.
“I’d shower, get dressed and do my make up on the Tube.”
She added: “I used to think of it as, there are other people who have gone into work with a hangover, but I’ve gone out and worked.
“And I’d still be hitting big budgets and meeting clients.”
Carrie said she never made a fuss about working at Jackpot in front of colleagues, though she said it was like “leading a double life”.
“That was my life, it was what I did, and I was earning good money and realising my bank balance was building.”
In 2019 Carrie and Carl got married and by November that year she was pregnant.
They were renting a property in Epping at the time, but found their family home in Ongar, Essex.
The house was within their budget – but Carrie says they knew “it was going to be a home renovation job”.
“It was woodchip over the walls, the kitchen tiles were dark blue and the kitchen was painted dark pink, all the doors were old, the bedroom had a sink in it, the living room had old radiators and pipes coming out of the walls.”
They moved into their new home in April 2020, after lockdown hit.
“On the day we moved in my husband started knocking down the brick archway and we went from there,” Carrie said.
“We tried to tackle it room by room – sanding, priming, painting.
“We would do it in the evenings and weekends, and later on even during my lunch breaks when I was working at home I would crack on with it.
“It all looks much more modern – and brighter.
“I look at it now and think we have done a really good job. We are really proud of it. We have worked our backsides off.”
She said she and Carl, an electrical engineer, worked on the home renovation at a fast pace, despite the fact she was pregnant
Since having baby Carter Rocco on July 15, the work in the house has slowed down – but it hasn’t stopped.
“When I gave birth I still had paint in my hair,” Carrie joked.
And Carrie has enjoyed their project, saying: “I’ve got the arty gene.
“The DIY comes from lots of YouTube tutorials, I just think ‘I’ve got to give it a go and surely if others can do it I can’.”