Howie P on 17 February 2021
Q. How has the pandemic impacted your monthly budget?

My budget is basically just irrelevant! I have lost so much work. I am self employed (and a student) and am unable to run outdoor groups as I usually would. When we get to March I will have spent the best part of the last year with no work. I have had 3 months of work from Sept-Dec and now lockdown again. The original tremors are now becoming the tsunami. The cumulative effect of no work for this long is becoming impossible to patch up financially but also socially and for the future of my self employed work, whenever lockdown opens up. The not knowing what is happening financially is also starting to really impact the family mood too. I think although we are working hard to stay afloat my children are also anxious about the future. We really are just doing a day at a time. I have also spent the last week spilling my financial guts to my university who are being very business minded about everything and the support is pretty cold and there is little empathy, the hardship fund route is also invasive and shaming. I will need to lay out my budget to them and hope I am able to continue study. I have been living on a financial edge for a long time, if not most of my life, but these days I just dream of getting back to a time when I am at least in control of my work again.

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