COVIDiaries: How a 22 year old grad student is coping with income loss and educational changes

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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

Eryn, 22, from Athens, Georgia

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 work at my university’s library, which has been closed (along with the university) to most employees for about a week now and will be for the foreseeable future. I also work at a gymnastics gym, which is closed for a while. I can’t work from home so won’t receive any pay as long as my work locations are closed.

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

I’m definitely spending less right now because I’m not leaving the house to go to places where I could spend money. I’m pretty much only buying groceries and home/hygiene necessities, a week at a time.

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?

I’m lucky to have a little bit of savings, so I’m not incurring any debt right now.

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?

It will definitely suck if this goes on long enough that I have to really deplete my savings. In terms of my net worth, I’m guessing it will go down quite a bit, but it really depends how long I’m out of work. I’m not thinking about getting into the stock market though at this time.

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

My family has a trip to Tokyo to visit my sister in May, so we’re not sure yet if we’ll have to cancel that. Other than that, we haven’t canceled anything big at this time. I was on a spring break trip to Utah with my parents during the week before everything got really bad, so luckily we got our vacation in before the need for social distancing became super imperative.

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?

Currently, I am secure, but going forward this crisis reinforces the need to build up as much personal savings as possible in order to be able to weather an unexpected loss of income.

Anything else you’d like to add?

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

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