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How CERB Taught Me Budgeting (Michelle A.)

Our Essay Question

  • How has the pandemic informed your outlook on your financial future, and what money lessons have you learned from such a high-impact event?

Essay Response from M.A.

When the spread of Covid nineteen became the topic of our Nation, and then the shutting down of businesses began in March of 2020 it really made me aware of how vulnerable I was financially without employment. I had no savings for a rainy day to fall back on for my job paid just over minimum wage. I had wanted to get RRSPs and insurance but never seemed to get past the threshold of broke and barely meeting my basic needs every month. I was laid off and the CERB was initiated. I was grateful for the financial support and even though it was still not enough to meet my needs It truly made me want to get into a career that would offer me a living wage and benefits that could offer me work satisfaction as well as have some of the creature comforts I desire like properly insulated windows for my mobile home and a new fridge for mine was going to stop working soon. By not being at work and self isolating I began a search into a new career choice and began looking at several colleges and universities in my area. I entertained a few options such as Education Assistant, Actor, Business and Marketing degree and I then found a career that would be the one that I would make a difference in and that is Community Support Worker leading to a Bachelors in Social Work.

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The CERB allowed me to really look at my finances and see where I could budget better and make small changes to my spending/living habits. They were not huge changes by any means for I still have to live within my means. Small things like changing the brand of dog food to cutting out alcohol, to see the rise in food costs and the cost of living really scared me and I when I saw where my money went. Credit Cards became a huge issue as well for the lack of disposable income and growing debts to overdue bills climbed higher and higher I now found myself with an extra pile of debt to stress over as well.

Now Covid nineteen has been present for almost two years and our communities have had to move on to Plan H to help get our members the health outreach, mental health programs, financial supports ect back on line and operating throughout the community. My decision to be on the front lines working with groups to assist and serve is the most satisfying to me knowing that I can make a difference with the education I can receive. I also deserve to have a gratifying career and a living wage and benefits as well. This is why I am applying for grants to help pave the way for my educational goals. I am grateful for this opportunity to find funding through generous companies such as Canadian Consolidated Credit. I also hope my entry is considered and that it meets your criteria.
Sincerely,
Michelle Amos

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