COVIDiaries: 23-year-old delays student loan repayment and worries about her money’s unknown future

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In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many people find their personal finances in complete upheaval. We want to share real stories of how people are coping with the crisis. 

Our new series, the “COVIDiaries” will share individual experiences with how the pandemic is impacting income, savings, debts, and more. You can read more here. We hope you find these stories relatable and reassuring, even if they do nothing more than show you that you are not alone. 

We are all in this together.

If you would like to share your experience of how the Coronavirus is impacting your finances, please fill out the form here

Delaney, 23, from Kelowna, B.C

What do you do for work? Has the COVID-19 Pandemic impacted your income in reduced hours, layoffs, work from home or in another way?

I’m an Insurance Agent. Thankfully, we have not been shut down but we have changed the way we process transaction. Clients now need to call in and we need to do consent over email instead of with ID face-to-face. So I am still making the same amount of money.

How has the COVID-19 Pandemic affected your spending? Are you spending more or less right now? What are you buying and why?

I find that I am spending about the same, but I’ve reduced the spending from eating out or coffee, to stocking up on items that we are out of or that I have put off on buying for awhile. Now that I am not wasting that money on food, I can actually buy the things I need.

What about your debts? Are you incurring debt to cope with reduced pay or increased costs? Or are you finding relief in lower interest rates?

No. Both my Fiance and I are lucky to be considered essential services and continue to work. We’ve actually been taking advantage of the longer time lines for both students loans (me) and the government taxes (him) and are able to pay them before they accrue interest.

Are you concerned about what will happen to your savings and investments at this time? Is this detrimental to your long-term wealth or a once in a lifetime opportunity to get into the stock market? Will you recover from this crisis or be richer or poorer because of it?

I worry more about the future and if either of us end up contracting covid because we are putting ourselves out there. My fiance is a contract worker so he would need to get EI and I thankfully have extended sick leave I could use. But I still worry if it would only be enough to pay the bills and not enough to cover our debt too. Most likely we will come out richer, as we are both investing still and paying off debt. But the future is so unknown!

Did the pandemic force you to cancel any trips or special events? How did that impact your bank account (and your mental health!)

We thankfully went travelling in February before social isolation became relevant. We haven’t had to cancel anything yet, but being stuck in the house is starting to wear. And my mental health has mostly taken a dip due to the stressful circumstances at work and the increased work load.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic made you realize anything unexpected about your personal finances? Did you find vulnerabilities or are you more secure than you thought? Will it change how you see and manage money going forward?

Stocking up on an Emergency Fund is on my list after we finish paying down our debt. We have about 1/2 month bills saved currently. So I wish right now this was more bulked up. But nothing unexpected that came because of this.

Share how your personal finances are being impacted by the Coronavirus here

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