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).
As a family who already have used food banks to get by in the last 6 months, to then not have benefits increased in line with inflation would be a devastating blow to our already struggling finances. Everything is costing more and more, I can't remember the last time we went out to the cinema or had a meal out - increasing days are spent at home, wondering how we can utilise what we already have and thinking about different revenue streams. To then have to worry further about our household income demonstrates how profoundly the cost of living crisis is still affecting families like mine. The stigma attached to people claiming benefits continues, as the general feeling surrounding increasing benefits is often frowned upon. I've heard people saying "They get enough already. Why don't they get up and work for a living" We still have a long way to come as a society, and increasing benefits will at least give those struggling a sense of dignity.
If benefits didn't increase in line with inflation it would bring a very significant negative impact on me and my family.
We are already trying to make ends meet, scrimp and save. It would squeeze us further, there would be no money for social activities, health and exercise based activities, leisure /holidays just wouldn't be affordable.
The ripple effect of this would be a strain on our mental health and also, in the long run, our physical health and wellbeing will feel the detriment of this unfair economic situation.
I'd have to stop his swimming lessons, and carry on buying reduced foods and freezing them. I'd probably end up falling in debt as I might end up having to choose paying a bill over food, I know it's coming.
I want to start by saying that I’m managing, that I’m not broken, but, that I know I can’t keep things going as the situation stands, without significant impacts.
That’s what I want to speak about, the impact of poverty on my physical and mental health. How, if I track my life from 2019 to now, I can see just how messed up things have become.
It wouldn’t matter how much money I had right now in a way, the damage is done.
Poverty, slowly but steadily, removes your true voice. It takes away the strength to fight, to believe that we are worthy.
Over time, our friends have stopped asking us to attend events, stopped inviting us to places because we cannot afford to join them. Our circle has reduced so much and as a single parent to a child with additional needs, that has slowly destroyed my sense of self worth and my ability to get out and try to enjoy life.
My body ‘feels’ broken. I am experiencing a very difficult menopause and despite multiple attempts to garner healthcare support, I am unable to due to a family history of cancer. I’ve given up asking. So I just suffer and I don’t use that word lightly.
I can’t properly care for myself any longer, and that is so very sad to me. I gave up smoking and drinking alcohol, I tried to eat healthily but it’s so expensive now.
I recently had a minor accident and really hurt my foot. I absorbed the pain and carried on because there is only me to take care of things. I found out from my doctor when I could finally get in, that I have a suspected hairline fracture on my foot. I’ve just carried on, because although rationally I know I need to rest, realistically, I can’t. I can’t afford to get help to do jobs in my home and I have no one to help with my son.
I absorb the pain and I think well this is all you can do, but it makes me so so sad that I even matter so little to myself now.
I am not the person I was in September 2019. When I finally had help with my son, I had a part time job, I had possibilities and a bit of hope. I was building back up after difficult times and honestly thought we can do this, things will get better, they haven’t.
Recently, my stepfather died and the devastating effects of that have hit me hard. I come from a fractured family and have no support at all from them. They hid his death and I found out by accident. I cannot tell you how that felt and as I add that to the mountain of suffocating beliefs that I don’t deserve better, I know that getting out of this dark place has become something I just cannot see.
Whilst I keep telling myself you aren’t broken, the reality is a very different story…
I’m trying hard to keep the faith and I support others through voluntary work and a listening ear, so it isn’t over, yet.
I wanted so much more for my son, how sad that so much greed and apathy to the lives of people on low incomes has rendered any dreams that I had, void.
I do think that we have survived a lot, and maybe we can get through. But the crisis in the actual ‘cost’ of living this way is far from over for so many of us.
Hi. I am very worried as my eldest is starting college. No longer in uniform. I don't want her bullied but also can't afford latest trends. I have bought her some charity shop finds but that's the most I can do. Biggest worry is school trips. Poorer kids definitely miss out on the fun extras!
Very wet and miserable summer the last few weeks. So sad the kids were cooped up in the house unable to go out to play. I don’t have play stations etc so there was little to do inside the house as well. Now schools are returning and uniform costs are on the rise and it’s just hard to pay for everything.
This is really hard at the moment. Our mortgage is up for renewal in October, so that's a worry. Our weekly shop is incredibly expensive. Just for basics, we barely eat meat, and no exciting treats. No going out. We both work full-time and are looking at ways at increasing our income. Life shouldn't be this hard.
Freaking out now as it’s only week 1 out of 8 weeks of a summer and my children are bored. There’s nothing to do. Budget cuts cut out summer schemes my children would normally have attended. It’s scary. Free school meals hunger payments ceased this summer. It’s horrendous. Poorer getting poorer. Children suffering.
Coping with additional school cost can sometimes be very anxiety provoking financial wise.
I try to save some money in a separate account for extra items my daughter may need from the child support money I receive from her father. However if she asks to go on an expensive school trip, I often have to decline or work extra hours to provide this for her.
There is some help for parents on benefits but for working single parents like myself, there is no financial help.
Sometimes I have to say no or ask her to ask her father which will bring up issues as he is very controlling and will use this as a reflection that I can not parent properly. It can make me feel like I am failing has parent.
I have spoken to the school on several occasions about the cost of some school trips etc and affordability. They do not seem to listen.
The end of the school year can be tough for our children. We simply cannot afford to participate in any extra activities. This week there is a summer fair held at the school. We will not be able to attend or donate even. Our children are left out. Previously I have coped by being honest about circumstances. The children are very much aware of our situation, they understand. At times I have felt bad for the things they will have missed out on. As children, these are important, they are missing out on life experiences.
You don't cope with the extra costs of school. I end up having to either put school costs on a credit card or pretend it is sick that day just because if a trip's 25 pound and I haven't got it, he's going to have to be sick that day. So I don't cope with the extra school costs at all.