The pandemic has affected most of us in ways we did not think it would. No one thought a virus could crumple the whole world down in 2020 and lock people down, preventing them from going to work, school and carrying their day-to-day activities outside.
I am a university student stuck in a foreign country and away from my immediate family. This has taken a toll on me emotionally and financially as the pandemic affects my normal life. As a dependent on my parents’ income and having all expenses covered by my parents, life had been quite endurably. However, looking at the current world situation and how people have been losing their jobs, my father has been one of the unfortunate ones to have lost his job and now our future remains uncertain as he surely does not know if he may be able to secure his old job back or at least find something that may support him and his family when the world opens up for business.
Drawing down to my personal finance, I learnt how to save my upkeep money that I received on a monthly basis and with the aid of adequate planning I was able to save a good amount in my savings account. This was several months before the outbreak occurred but once the outbreak forced us to shut down, my monthly income also stopped flowing as everyone was now facing difficult times but with the savings, I managed to do for myself, the money has become very useful during this period. I also did side gigs that helped me make money on the side, but as soon as people were forced to vacate learning institutions, my side gig vacated as well – leaving me stranded and without any form of income. My search for gigs I can do online has not stopped and any chance I see, I make sure to capture it and hope my luck comes through.
This period has also given me a chance to continue working on my blog. Hoping one day, it will grow and reach a large scale and maybe I could be able to generate my income from my blog by then. I also have several social media accounts that I hope would grow, so that I can also use them as a source of income; offering advertisements.
I have had to change my spending habits to a minimal and focusing on essential items. However, some of my expenses may have remained untapped, because of the amount of free time we have, entertainment is crucial to one, so as to remain sane. Henceforth, my Netflix subscription is still active and I spent about ksh250 per month for a joint account with my friends and family which has a total of roughly ksh1250 but having a joint account helps us share the cost every month, which I also find very effective.
Looking at an over view of how my personal finances have changed, I can say that I spend less and I am now spending my savings which I feel is right given the circumstances because these savings were meant to be used if I ever needed money for survival means. My only worry now is “what will I do if I run out of money before finding my next solution?” As I also have to ensure I do not become a burden onto my family. I have to be able to look after myself, especially during these unprecedented times.