Nothing changes, even if some of us have managed to improve our situation financially. The rise in everyday costs have just removed what should be a positive improvement.
We will be refraining from using our heating and wearing layers.
We are used to the cold but ASD child can have issues with this.
I sold my tumble dryer as it was too expensive to run and changed this for a dishwasher I was given. Funny enough it's next to Nothing to run it and saves me important time as my life is super busy.
So not heating means wet clothes, which means do I need to buy more clothes to cover this? Yes, I have had to already.
There's no clear answer to cut down costs, to what you can afford and there's no magic ball to see into the future.
There's no security and living in the moment is our "now" is also our future.
I have been keeping a close eye on when the cost of living payment will be paid and when housing support will be paid as this will help with Christmas and the cost of gas/electricity.
I’ve planned as much as I can plan. Noted down what each month's bill amount should be, what children want for Christmas and cost of it all.
I feel like it has helped me as I know what I need and when I need it by. Rather than having panic.
I'm already fearing for winter and the extra bills. Basic food is still going up in price. If benefits don't also rise how can I feed the kids? I literally spend hours thinking how to cost cut but my belt cannot be tightened anymore!
It is hard enough living below the poverty line, surviving on benefits, if they don't rise with inflation it is effectively an income cut to the poorest people in UK society. We would have to make more difficult decisions about how to spread the same amount of money even further. We are stretched thin enough already and have been for years. It affects our family's health but I believe that is Government's intention and desire.
This means that there would be a high risk of getting into debt, reviewing your grocery shopping list to ensure that we don't buy what we can survive without, more second hand clothes/shoes shopping. No money to do fun things (ice cream, cinema, etc).
It will bring serious and multiple issues if benefit rates don't increase next April. We have already been rationing since early 2022. We are still no better off for doing so.
Every household bill has increased beyond a reasonable rate, not just energy bills.
I was forced to replace my vehicle this summer. Paying for it, insuring and taxing it has taken a bigger dent out of my bank balance than anyone on a low income would like.
The money in my bank account is literally the only source of money I have to my name, no pension to think about, no savings to speak of.
This wasn't the way I ever imagined I would be living my life at my age, trying to raise a family single handedly all these years has been incredibly difficult on every level.
It's a depressing prospect. I'm not sure how much more of this cost of living crisis we can take. It's embarrassing to ask for charity, we aren't in debt yet, but that could change overnight at this rate.
I already have an empty fridge freezer. I can't face buying a trolly full of food that will end up going off and in the bin because I forgot to freeze it or our appetites change over the course of the week, or I'm unwell and can't manage to cook or eat anything.
I live with the dread of the landlord selling up or increasing our rent. It's a constant worry.
Nobody can be certain whether there will be funding to help with winter fuel costs, I'm already disgusted by the mould growth on our belongings since we moved here 18 months ago, because the house is difficult to heat aside from rationing the heating bills. I can see us still trying to claw our way out of the shortage in our budget after Christmas.
As it currently is, I've never felt so skint as this, in years.
For people like us, the cost of living crisis is far from over. Just because inflation rates may have slowed slightly, this does not all of a sudden mean people who rely on in-work or out of work benefits can afford the basic costs of living. Again it is the media who are perpetuating this, and there are perhaps political reasons to do so. Surely if the crisis was over, then families like ours would not be paying a larger proportionate percentage of income for food, housing and energy.
This September has hit the hardest. I have had to make cuts to what I buy in terms of school uniform, eeking out last year’s tattered uniform and making do with items outgrown. The cost of childcare has increased too and that has put an enormous strain on my budget.
I must remember to budget for this time of year next year - £70 on school shoes has meant compromises on the food shop for a few weeks. My son has very narrow feet (and one bigger than the other currently). I did purchase some from Lidl for £10 but they were a very poor fit and heavy so returned them. As he is in his school shoes from 7:30 till 5pm 5 days a week I made this a priority spend and got him fitted and kitted out at our local specialist children's shoe shop. As a compromise he is having to wear his old trousers, shorts and well worn sweatshirts. I've bought new polo shirts as his old ones were stained and faded. He will have to make do with his old school bag with a hole in. I'm trying to teach him to respect his belongings and not drag things across the floor but at age 6 it is easier said than done! I'm currently stalking the charity shops and facebook market place for a warm winter coat for him.
The beginning of the new school year means the end of the summer and the start of the cooler weather. How long can I hold off putting the heating on - a definite challenge living in the North East. I'm working less hours in order to focus on my final year of studies so this not only means less income but also the fact that I'm going to be home for an additional 2 days a week which means heating the house more often. I'm trying to stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel and that once I'm qualified in Dec 2024 then, fingers crossed, my finances will improve. I'm in for a very tough ride until then. I'm well aware of the privilege I am in, many others who are struggling financially are trapped and lack hope of a better future.
The school new year gives me stress and anxiety, as my son will move to a new school due to bullying in previous school. New uniform, new people, and as a single parent working full time, it is sometimes very hard to manage it all. Especially with cost of living crisis, it is hard to manage finances and prioritise and rationing.
However, will get there as I am a proud and blessed single mom. My son is a blessing and keeps me strong and happy in many ways.
Today is a better day and I am trying to look for all the positives and budget my money better.
I have no new beginnings to look forward to. There's nothing more I can do. I'm a single parent, I already work full time, I'm not on minimum wage, and yet I still cannot afford to pay my bills or do the shopping. And I'm sat here now, almost crying because I've just come back from Aldi with a calculator in one hand, trying to not go over the ten pound that I've got left until the 25th. And, I mean, we're on the 9 August, I've almost got no petrol in the car. I can't think of any new beginnings, so I can't look forward to any because there's just nothing. There's no hope. There is no hope whatsoever. And.
I've saved and saved to treat the kids this school holidays but with everything going up there was no chance I could afford the extortionate prices most places are charging and the fuel to get there.
I discovered vinted recently and although it's a lot of effort and hard work I've uploaded loads of the kids old clothes and shoes and my current clothes and shoes and made enough to take them on a treat day.
Honestly hope my kids never have to sell their own belongings when they are adults to treat their kids. But for now that's where I'm at