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Learning the Value of Money (Dylan N.)

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 D.N.

“It’s only just the flu. It’s no big deal” This was the first thought of many back in 2019 but unfortunately this turned into our biggest wish nearly two years later. COVID-19 brought many world economies to a screeching halt and many are just beginning to recover in 2021. Who could have predicted a global disaster of such magnitude? Certainly not me. Although the pandemic has, at least in the short term, been a net negative to the financial situations of many, including myself as my dad was one of the unfortunate ones to lose his job as a result of cutbacks caused by the pandemic; the complications and changes forced onto the hand of society has bestowed upon me a more positive outlook on my financial future than initially expected.

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As a barely sixteen-year-old, grade ten student in 2019, pre-pandemic, I worked at my cashier position hoping to buy a car before graduating. Hours were very slim as most of my schedule was consumed with balancing attending school and studying. My outlook into the future was to save as much a possible during high school, although I knew this would prove challenging with my part time schedule. This is where the pandemic changed my financial outcomes for the better.

The world was going into shock and business were shutting down everywhere and of course schools were closed. Little did I know that I would be swept into the world of being deemed an essential worker and the demand for my time was huge.  I quickly began working almost full-time hours at a local Walmart. My bank account began to grow as a result and my dreams of financial security came a lot quicker than I could have ever hoped as that young 16-year-old boy. Nowadays, I have collectively made exponentially more than I had initially expected and my outlook has completely changed. I own my own car and have plenty in the bank to save and invest for my future.

My father however didn’t have such a linear progression in his financial outlook pre to post pandemic. Due to budget cuts within his employer of many years, he was let go. Obviously, a shock for all of us and the family finances looked much worse than a day before. However, with hard work and determination on his part, backboned by our support, he was able to turn the darkness to light and in present day he has his own contracting business continuing to do the work he loves.

Contemplating all that has happened to me and my family financially throughout the pandemic has thought me plenty of lessons regarding the value of money. My own income boost and the subsequent growth of the sum of money available to me encouraged me to learn about proper money management and these smart choices, I trust will serve me well as I plan to move out of my home on my own. The pandemic has thought me that not everything is one hundred percent safe and guaranteed in the world of finances and this has resulted in me setting aside an emergency fund in my portfolio in case of anything unexpected. My goal is now to ensure my money is used intelligently and purposefully.

COVID-19 has left its mark on this world in so many ways and its direct impacts on my family will never be forgotten, but at this point I choose to focus on the opportunity for financial growth it provided me directly and for the important life lessons that came as a result. 

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