Feel like I have a mountain to climb to rebuild my life from the bottom up. Literally starting again. One step at a time though. Feeling grateful for my lovely daughter and dog and my gorgeous new secure (and cheap!!) home.
Day 2 of this rain. I went as far as the wheely bin in the garden but never bothered to get dressed. Not much point putting on clean clothes to sit in the house.
Lots of flooding shown on social media. Feeling the loneliness today.
Nobody has made contact with me. I could try first contact with someone else, but I feel stuck for what to say without depressing them. Radiator downstairs is not heating up. It's constant repairs in this house. Can hear drips of rain come down the chimney. I am grateful for the reward for the extra I provided for this project. I only went and messed up wanting to spend it online.
I missed alerter out on my email. I filled in online form for help from love to shop and hope to hear soon.
I googled how to raise extra money. There are apps to do surveys and watch adverts for pennies. It's frustrating as I have no motivation. Feel spaced out and drowsy on these meds. Sitting waiting for HMRC to send a letter for tax credits to stop, to make a claim for U.C is anxiety provoking. Do they give you notice of a date?
I feel grateful throughout all of this time, because no matter what, no matter how bad things get, we survive. That's a hugely important message I want my son to take away from his childhood. You can get through anything and at some point, things will level out and we will be ok.
The roof needs repairing, and the roofer has said that I can pay him in instalments! How amazing is that?!
I am slowly changing my mindset because I realise the impact that poverty has had on me is to make the previously happy and hopeful person I was, into a very depressed person, the cup has definitely been half empty. But I want to change that for myself and for my son.
I am a survivor of adversity, of trauma, and that is an amazing thing I think. I am one of the lucky ones.
It isn't easy to change your mindset when things are difficult and when maybe you didn't have the best start in life either, but I am trying because I want a better life for myself and for my son and despite the challenges we face, there is so much to be thankful for.
I am currently in intensive therapy and slowly, the lady I am working with is helping me to develop a toolkit of coping strategies. I'd like to share these with my son in a positive way and help him to see that his own reality can be better. No matter how tough things get, we are here and we are survivors.
I appreciate the Covid Realities and subsequent Changing Realities projects and the teams and partners, very much. The experience of being involved in these has been so uplifting and there are so many reasons to never give up. I have become an activist, I have become a person who sees the truth behind so many things, that's priceless. The projects have expanded me as a person and made me better in many ways. How lucky I am to have experienced this.
I do feel sad that the projects will be coming to an end, but I will be forever grateful to have taken part.
Hi, I just wanted to share a lovely story about how it feels to be supported, and, what happens when you are given a break and the money to enjoy that break.
We have just returned from a week away at a friend's caravan in Wales.
The weather was mostly fantastic, that made such a difference! That, and the money my friend also gave us to go away with. It changed everything so noticeably that I had to share it here.
We set off after some really difficult days of unexpected expense, pet illness and an issue with my car that cost me more than it should have done. I really do struggle to work out why people overcharge for services. It seems where you don’t understand the workings of something there is always room for tradespeople to overcharge you after scaring you half to death about what will happen if you don’t pay them to fix it! Anyway, that’s another story!
Our break began with a very easy drive to the caravan and a day of torrential rain which almost led to us returning home. My son has additional needs which impact any transition if it is difficult or happy, so handling that first, we then managed to smooth things out and begin one of the best holidays we have ever had!
Not having to worry about money meant that we could do more or less what we wanted! That meant I wasn’t uptight and worried for the whole time, it was an astonishing difference! So much that my son even noticed it.
We walked on the beach daily, we went to the market, we bought the food we wanted, we laughed we hugged and we snuggled down watching tv and spending unfettered time together.
He played out with friends and was an unworried child for the week.
We are so so lucky to have the friends we do, without whom we really would be totally isolated. Not having supportive family has been exhausting and led to some very low times.
I can’t say that everything is fixed because of the break, but I can say that my son and my relationship was given space and it was so fulfilling. I feel rested, positive and as though I can face life with less stress for a bit.
I’m grateful, on every level, and especially uplifted because my boy and I got to experience what life is like when you don’t have to worry about money all of the time. It was beautiful and it made me realise just how impactful it is living hand to mouth with a child.
How am I feeling about the new school year?
Our daughter is starting 6th form at her school in September. I am excited for her and she is very much looking forward to it. There are additional costs involved of course but our local council has extended the free school meals entitlement and when we get confirmation that will be one less financial worry. Most of the new uniform required has been covered by a uniform grant from the school which helps massively as 1 badged skirt and 1 school blazer = £89.50! We have also applied for a free bus pass for her which she can use at any time not just journeys to school. This is the most financial assistance we have ever received and it has made the summer holidays noticeably less stressful for me, for which I am very grateful. With a winter coat and shoes that still fit her, I feel I have 'got off lightly' this year.
For me, I'm in quite, I guess, a lucky position really. Two of my children at university so they're sort of out of the way and my youngest is now going into year eleven at school because she goes to a special needs school. Thankfully, I don't have to cover all the expense of all the exam books. It that's general supplies that go with that. So financially, I'm not really worried or put out at all, thankfully, this time. Although it's going to be a bit of an emotional year because we're starting to look at sort of placements in colleges for her and being she's got special needs, it's a bit more trickier than normal. So that's the only fear I've got problems I've got this year, thankfully. So yeah, I'm in a luckily enough, a very lucky position.
Honestly, I’m down because I can’t afford to do a lot. My son explained the other day that he feels terribly resentful that other kids get to have holidays and days out and lots of things that I just can’t afford.
It will be really lovely to spend some time relaxing though and not having to rush in the morning!
Grateful to be a mum, but so so sad that I cannot provide a more dynamic life for my son, and I feel I have not given him the best childhood because we have been really poorly off financially for a lot of his life.. most of it really.
I am worried for the Summer holidays because of having to go out to work when I will be struggling for childcare. Luckily I am now off sick as I felt too much stress with trying to balance it all with no support and no extra money to pay for childcare. When I write this it just sounds so ridiculous that going to work makes you so much worse off. Luckily I can now enjoy time with my daughter and my eldest daughters new family :)
I am feeling really happy about this break, because I often enjoy having to do the school run (lol).
But, on a more serious note, both me and my son are looking forward to just having a bit of a rest from the daily routine of school, and having to be fairly regimented (e. g, having to be at school on time, everyday for fear of being fined by the local authority for none attendance) - that pressure is off- at least for the next 6 weeks.
In other words, we feel free, and very much welcome it, although I know that this freedom is not without it's negative side - that being the cost of keeping my son entertained over the next few weeks.
I tend to get around this by looking for free and cheap things to do with my son over the summer period.
So today I received a top up from the local council of money per child to help over the summer holidays. I was panicking that I wouldn't be able to feed them so sometimes being on universal credit does allow you access to other support that is a life saver x today I'm feeling grateful
I am a lone parent with 2 kids on UC, and I am in full-time work. I know I am luckier than some. What I have to do to plan is daily budgeting.
The biggest change for me was when someone suggested using cash for my food shopping. I always thought paying by card kept everything accounted for and so was the easiest way to budget.
But I've been using a cash budget for my food since the beginning of this year and I don't go over. I really don't know how this happens, but at the end of the week I find I have £1-£2 left. Not much, but I haven't gone over.
However, that doesn't help with the long term planning, which I cannot do. I set myself a plan 3yrs ago to get out of debt. This was when petrol was low, and the energy and food interest-rates hadn't hit so high. I learnt to cook really good, cheap meals. Or I'd have cereal as a main meal. It was doable and I could pay-off more debt than the interest.
Or so I thought. Uniform, school trips, living up to supporting my daughters as much as their mother (who is on a much higher wage than me) have left me, 3yrs later, with the same amount of debt. I'm not swimming anywhere I am just treading water. It's not the worst, but it is getting harder and I feel more and more deflated each week.
Yeah, I struggle as well. Planning for the future, I'm lucky enough I'm in social housing, so I'm not affected by the mortgage rates going up or down, which is kind of a good thing, I guess, for me, although I would rather be a homeowner. But planning for the future I find very difficult. I'm disabled on benefits and just being able to save and stuff with all the bills I'm accumulating and the cost of living is a bit of a struggle right now.