With the pandemic this year came stress from canceled trips, turning homes into offices and the hit to people’s wallets, leaving them wondering if they could make their payments or stay afloat.
Paola Hernandez Barón, the well-being consultant for the Indiana University Office of Financial Wellness and Education, and colleague, Janessa Siegel, who is the office’s campus coordinator, are here to help people struggling with their finances.
Hernandez Barón and Siegel are also a part of MoneySmarts, a program run out of their office with the goal of improving the financial wellness of IU’s communities through financial education, one-on-one appointments and other resources and tools.
“There’s a natural feeling of being concerned when people struggle to financially support ourselves plus their families,” Hernandez Barón said. “The desire to meet these responsibilities with an inability to do so can take their toll on us.”
Each person’s emotional well-being is going to look different while navigating this process, but one thing is certain: The uncertainty of the future can be stressful and scary.
“Jobs provide income, but for many also offer stability and support,” Hernandez Barón said. “For those who have recently lost jobs, the impact is more than just financial.”
Siegel said that one of the most common financial concerns for college students was losing summer jobs that normally would have provided a steady summer income to cover their expenses during the semester.
“I have found helping students feel in control of something has been somewhat helpful,” Siegel said.
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