COVIDiaries: 28-year-old bride to be recognizes privilege and invests on during pandemic

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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

Jill, 28, from Calgary, Alberta

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 in O&G, layoffs likely coming. My fiancé also is in O&G, hours reduced as clients have cancelled projects

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

After initial stock up on groceries, alcohol, spending has now been greatly reduced. Trying to find ways to support local businesses while staying safe (book delivery from neighbourhood independent bookstore, etc)

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?

Thanking our lucky stars we have no debt.

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?

For the time being, trying not to change our investment strategy and still put money in every paycheque. But we are conscious of needing as much cash on hand as possible with the precariousness of our work, and so trying to figure out that balance.

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

Our wedding in a few months on the other side of the country in my hometown. Haven’t needed to cancel yet, but we’re preparing for that…

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?

Handling stock market volatility very well. But also will definitely keep a higher cash cushion on hand. I haven’t updated my emergency fund from the level it was when I was single and realized it would only last us 4 months if we were entirely without income. We happened to have more cash at this time for our wedding and starting to save for a house, but I’m going to make sure I keep more earmarked as emergency savings going forward.

Anything else you’d like to add?

We are in such a lucky position and we’re still feeling all kinds of stress about this! It makes me more empathetic to those who are living paycheque to paycheque or have kids to support through this. Trying to ensure we keep our own oxygen mask on, and then do as much as possible to help our community through this. I’ve looked at my budget and am donating everything I’d normally spend on lunches at work, drinks out with friends, sports, etc and writing to my MPs and MLAs to encourage them to support programs to give money directly to those who are unable to work at this time.

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

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