The lockdown has many consequences for our lifes, also financially. On the one hand we spend less money, because most events are cancelled and bars are closed. But many students also lost their side jobs and consequently, their income. So what does this crisis do to student budgets?
Before Corona, students in the Netherlands spent an average of 111 euros per month on doing fun things like going out for dinner or going to bars, according to Nibud (National Institute for Budgetary Information). These expenses are considerably less now, since almost all social activities have been cancelled. However, the effects are small. ‘Everybody is affected by this situation, and those savings are not having a big impact on your budget,’ says Arjan Vliegenthart, CEO of Nibud. Although students save money by not going out, they still have big expenses like tuition fees, grocery shopping and rent.
Hanze-student Aila Kubat still spends quite some money on non-essentials. ‘I try not to spend too much money, but I have the tendency to shop online when I am bored.’ Now that students have more time on our hands, they search online for creative things to do. ‘I bought a puzzle of a thousand pieces online recently,’ Aila says.
The only thing I pay for is gas to go to work
Statistics of IDEAL show that Dutch people have spent 62 million euros online in March 2020. Dionne van Rijn, student at HAN Arnhem: ‘Guilty! I enjoy searching for clothes online. I always end up buying things I actually do not even need.’
But not all students spend more money online. Maureen Klaassen, student at CIBAP Zwolle, barely spends anything. ‘The only thing I pay for is gas to go to work. I work fulltime at a Jumbo supermarket now. I am saving up money for my trip to the United States, even though it might get cancelled.’
While Maureen is careful with her money and saves up her euros, Noah van Doorn is less careful: ‘I have nothing to do, so I spend my money on new video games.’
Insight is the key
Unfortunately. not all students can choose to spend or save their money. Koen Ruesink, student at IVA Driebergen, recently lost his job. ‘I have no income now, while I still have to pay my monthly costs.’ DUO ensures that students can borrow extra money from the government, but in the end, this will lead to more debt and consequently, more stress. ‘That is why it is important to have insight in your financial situation,’ says Karin Radstaak from Nibud. Her advice is to take a close look at your finances. ‘What is my income? What are my expenses? What do I expect in the future? How do I anticipate on unfortunate events?’