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.
I definitely don't think that the cost of living crisis is over. In fact, sadly I think it's gonna be with us for a while.
I say this because, if the cost of living crisis was over, how come the prices in my local supermarkets keep going up rather than down, as is the cost of many other things like rent, etc?
Moreover, in many recent documentaries that I've watched, people are really struggling, and having to resort to foodbanks, partly because the jobs are just not there like they used to be, but also because many of the jobs that people are in just ain't paying enough, and hence people resort to foodbanks in order to make ends meet.
I think the media are portraying the narrative that the cost of living crisis is over so that they can make people think that things are not as bad as they actually really are.
The break is too long for the children and should be shared out between seasons more time off at Christmas would be easier.
The pressure to take days out and the more food needed adds to the stress of financial poverty because there is on top the issue of new school uniform. People think that new school uniform has to be bought this is in your face in the shops and supermarkets which again adds to financial struggles. Schools and media should be encouraging parents to only buy if needed if uniform still fits don’t buy new, if you have uniform that’s in good condition that doesn’t fit pass it on.
I personally feel the summer break for some families is way too much, they are struggling with money already and 6 weeks of bored children nagging for sweets, days out, snacks, is not good on mental health when they simply cannot afford the demands the break brings. Then schools are sat empty when could be utilised for fun activities for families and lunches served to those struggling.
It would be interesting to know if foodbank use is higher in school holidays!
Summer holidays are here. I am trying to look forward to spending time with my children. Its an opportunity to get the children involved in helping in community projects and taking part in events.
This allows them to experience a unity at a time of difficulty for all.
We will be visiting our community kitchen, donating more to food banks as well as shopping in food banks and also having days of cutting back on treats after school.
The summer holidays can be costly. There’s additional worry about finances and the added pressure of buying school uniform. We will at least receive food vouchers from the council, which will help to alleviate the increased food costs. This year, I can only take two weeks off work. Being a solo parent with no funds to cover the cost of summer camps means I am very much reliant on the children’s grandparents and the kindness of family friends for childcare. This year we are fortunate enough to be spending a week in Cornwall, in a cottage with friends. We will be catering for ourselves and we will have to find inexpensive things to do, such as walks and exploring the coastline. It’s been some time since we’ve been away, the children really do deserve a proper holiday.
Now a day most of the people are behind on their essential bill payments due to living cost crisis. I am planning to access food bank for basic food which will save some money that can be spend on other basic needs. Most of the times I look for end of the day sale at supermarkets and other to save money.
One of the often overlooked aspect of poverty, relative to the UK I mean as that's my area of experience, is the home. Council houses are great for not being on the street, and safer by far than private renting, but so hard to get into. I've moved home, the floors cos over £600 quid and that is an absolute steal! And I'm lucky. I took out a loan to pay for them and other furniture items cos my council consider a fridge freezer, washer, sofa, bed and either wardrobe or drawers, essential, the rest of the stuff needed is up to me.
I'm also super lucky that I had a housing support worker from a local charity who could advocate for me and make sure I got the washer which wasn't guaranteed as new home is within walking distance, for a person without mobility issues, of a laundrette. She fought for me and I got granted a washer. She also sorted new bills out for me and saved me the stress that is dealing with energy providers while stressed by moving. She got that sorted and set up for me, as well and updating my benefits and council tax. I've had more support from her in one week than I got for two years with the last supposed support service I had access too. It's a joke.
I think an adequate monthly income for me and my family would be around £2,600 - £3,000.
As a single parent I have taken on a second job to boost my income has one wage means we can't eat properly.
I currently earn from both jobs just under £2K and am still struggling. It would be nice not to have to go to food banks or collect surplus food just to be able to feed my kids properly.
It would be nice to book a holiday and have spending money to be able to treat my kids.
I work on average 55 hours a week and also take on extra hours where I can to boost our income for a holiday or when my car needs repairs etc.
Luckily I have ADHD so have a lot of energy without needing much food etc and am able to sustain working long hours without getting tired. I do however still experience burn out from time to time but just carry on.
It's 2023 and right now I'm happy each week if I managed to feed and clothe my children without running out of electricity or fuel. There is no expendable income and survival is what this is, not living.
My older two children are fortunate enough to live in a separated parent family so at their dad's they live a completely different life. My youngest son who is 2 only has me and most days I feel so guilty.
My older two have been away this week, my eldest spent a week abroad with her dad and my middle son is currently in abroad where his dad is to be remarried. I am eternally happy for both my older children that they get these incredible experiences but I also feel guilty. Guilty that my youngest son lives in second hand clothes and shoes. Guilty that we have to rely on the community grocery for food. Guilty that during cold snaps he has to get in bed with me to keep warm as I can't afford the heating.
I know that for now on UC there will be no holidays, no trips away, no clubs to attend and some days it just makes me feel like I'm failing him as a parent.
To remain transparent he got money from family and friends for his birthday recently and I took him to the zoo and beach but that won't be happening again for such a long time.
Deep down I know that I spend every single day taking him to parks and playing in the garden with him and children need time and love not money and things but sometimes I just wish I could give him something special. I wish I could buy the sweets he wanted so badly from the shop, I wish I could take him to the mini movers group all of his friends go to.
But here we are in 2023 surviving.
My ex partner left me in October 2019. I had to go to the job centre to make a claim for Universal Credit has my wage wasn't enough to pay the mortgage, bills and my 2 children. I made the claim in October and did not receive any money until the January 2020. This meant I had to use foodbanks and that Christmas was the hardest ever. Luckily I managed to still get Christmas pressies has I went to charity shops and a friend helped me out. I was made to feel I was begging for money when I was working full time. Since then I actually got a second job and earn my own money so I don't have to claim anything. If it wasn't for food banks we would have gone hungry over those few months. Before I would have just thought, get myself a job or go back to UNI. I was already doing those things so I felt helpless and worthless even tho I was working. I was also recovering from cancer and remember thinking I don't have time to be ill and just carried on. The positive was I gained strength from a place I didn't know I had until then. This will carry me through anything now.
Informing DWP of a change in circumstances brings nothing but bad memories to me. Seven years ago my partner who was working left the family home, leaving me with the responsibility of looking after our daughter. When I phoned to report this, child tax credits were stopped immediately along with my daughters free school meals. I was told that I would have to change over to universal credit or continue to survive on the new style ESA as a single person. On top of this the child benefit was being paid into my partners account, which took almost 2 years before it was paid directly to me as they needed my ex partner to inform them of this, during which time I did not receive any financial or other help from my ex in order to support our daughter. I also did not receive any help or advice from DWP in gaining information about where to go for help. It was only through joining Covid /Changing realities, that I started to find out about other help available such as water help with the cost of water bills, food banks, etc. Until this time I had been left broken, financially, mentally and physically, by the very people who are supposed to help and support those in desperate need, struggling to survive and support their children.
Had to pay vet bill for having my dog put down last week £108.
Don't know how we will manage until next week without using the foodbank.