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 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 Uisce, thank you for your question.
My answer is, the cost of living crisis is very far from over. I was at the supermarket a few days ago, my food trolley came to £124.00. Before Covid this would have cost me less than £80.00.
I was shocked at the cost of my shopping which had only gone up in price for the same items, I wasn't even getting more in quantity. Very depressing situation for many people. Especially difficult for families with young children.
Nothing reassures me that this situation is over and there's certainly no evidence of the cost of living crisis being over and behind us. It's very much right in front of me on a daily basis .
I feel this is going to carry on for a long while and that's not a nice feeling at all.
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.
The way I see it, the cost of living crisis is DEFINITELY NOT OVER, nor looks likely to be over in the coming months or years.
I believe the ongoing cost of living crisis is pushing up prices in every sector of the economy and the country as a whole is still suffering.
Around where we live petrol costs have crept back up again. (Were down to £1.35 p/l now back at £1.52). An average weekly food shop for 1 adult /1 child is coming in around double what we were paying back in early 2022. We've basically quit buying anything other than what meals we might like a few days at a time to avoid throwing away food that perishes easily. So no choice with fresh fruits or veg, dairy produce or fancy extras like dips desserts or pre prepared salad items. Even supermarket pizza is around £6 upwards. That's a pizza meant for 1 person by the way - at home.
We ate takeaway last week. I was shocked it came to £20 two meals. I had chicken cashew nut with fried rice, the sauce was watered down, the meal was full of large watery onion & green peppers with about 5 half cashew nuts in the entire serving?! Seems to me everywhere is feeling the pinch!?
I've had car insurance renewal up over £100 on last year's price which is an outrageous amount to have to pay. Thankfully I've shopped around to find cheaper but not easy to do.
Nothing is any cheaper. Quarterly water rates jumped up by £30 earlier this year!!!? Not just a few extra pound.
Obviously I've also seen an increase in energy bills over the last few months.
There's no increase in my payments to account for the extra costs. In fact it's been both in the news and social media that the government are looking to cut benefits for those with long term health conditions. I am livid with their measures. I jump through enough hoops to take their rigged tests already! If I could work I would. I loved my old job.
I have basically gone without so much of this last year just to afford to cover the day to day bills. I've been wearing old bikini tops as I haven't been able to afford new underwear as it's no longer fitting or falling apart. Does nothing for your self esteem at a medical appointment to not have clean well fitting underwear.
Once upon a time I could take my two youngest shopping and tell them, "no problem! We can afford the luxury products", at the supermarket!!! We didn't have to worry about the bank balance or the account having enough in it to cover meals out when I couldn't face shopping /cooking, or the cinema to cheer up up/end of the week treats, etc.
So in my view, no it hasn't gone away. The cost of living crisis is still very much alive and kicking and here to stay by the looks of things. 😤
In spite of all our difficulties with physical & mental ill health, I am writing with some happy news for a change. My 18 y/o son passed his Level 2 City & Guilds Welding certificate, and I'm going to be a mother-in-law as my eldest son popped the question to his partner. It's vital that we have things to look forward to. We who live in poverty are as deserving of happiness as anyone else.
Council Houses are such a mixed bag. Like as far as housing options go, council is the safest and cheapest generally, there's better tenancy security and free repairs. But the quality of said housing, the damp I have in my new place, the mould that keeps coming back no matter how often I scrub it off. The electric shower is older than I am and many of my neighbours report complaints with theirs, including one who said hers electrocuted her! Which was when council finally replaced it. My toilet leaks, my shower sometimes randomly doesn't work and the damp (all council say about the damp is that I should wash the mould away with mould killer, like duh, and I can paint it myself if I want to, but I'm physically unable to do so, plus it's their responsibility not mine) is only a matter of time 'til it affects my asthma. But it's still better than the private market, so councils can get away with not giving us safe homes cos what else can we do about it but make the best.
I've got a friend who therorises that councils deliberately want low level support to "undesirable persons" so we can die quicker and they don't have to pay our benefits anymore. Some days I can really see what she means.
I'm also having to do my own research and data collection, which is exhausting and will cost me quite a bit when I go to the library next week to print it off, cos the NHS mental health services don't want to acknowledge my diagnosis (they say that they don't like to give people labels but that's bull, what they don't want is liability) but I can't access the right services for my care needs because they keep saying one thing and doing another. So I'm having to fight for the care needs I need. It's so depressing, makes me feel unworthy of basic care support needs.
On a bright note, a friend gifted me a disabled toilet key and it's so helpful, made a huge difference. It's often the little things that make a big difference.
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!
I am unable to cope in this present situation and very hard to think of future plans.
The cost of living is so high and with high energy bills every month don't allow to think for future. And if I think about future it's scares me. Worried for mental health and physical health of my son and mine. What future hold for us? No positive thoughts. Waiting to see the light from end of the tunnel.
So to manage my mental health and provide for my children, I plan, I plan and plan and plan. I plan for summer holidays, I play for Christmas, I plan for back to school, etc. I get bits n bobs for those goals whenever I can. But that's is all I can plan, a month in advance. I plan until Christmas, them the planning for birthdays and Easter and summer and Christmas start all over again.
But I can plan outside of that, that is for the kids and I prep and plan for them. But for myself or for other things like holidays, personal aspirations, etc. Those just don't exist for me. Morbid as it sounds the only things in my future I can guarantee is that I'll never be comfortable money wise and that eventually I'll die and not need to worry anymore about paying bills or if something breaks and I can't replace it. Real life planning doesn't exist for me. Maybe college, maybe work one day, but hard to imagine when I'm so much pain now that can't hardly get out of bed.
I am unable to plan for the future as my daughter with autism is 17 and she doesn't tick the boxes of the education or employment systems. Her support network pulled out after lockdowns and I'm left to care for her 24/7.
I have letters from DWP for reviews on disability benefits. The anxiety I go through when these letters come, is off the scale. How can I prove her and mine care needs? What if the benefits are reduced or withdrawn?
I'm muddling through paying rent and bills.
Citizens advice are overwhelmed and unable to see me for another 2 weeks to support me with review forms, past the date I need to supply the information.
For the last 5 years we have lived in 3 private rent homes. I have experienced the rug pulled from under us by landlords selling up or housing benefit cuts. Anxiety is now the norm. I'm heavily medicated with anti depressants. Constantly checking my bank acct. I've cut down our Sky package, and only pay rent, council tax and energy bills.
The atmosphere in the house is tense as my daughter is immature for her age and demands what I cannot give her. I'm mentally exhausted, worrying
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.