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 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.
Many low income families rely on government benefits. It will be very difficult if their benefits do not increase in line with inflation in April. Already we have cut lots of essential items in our household to survive. So, we urge the government to increase benefits in line with inflation in April.
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.
Absolutely not. I’m finding now more than ever I’m really losing sleep over worrying about money. The price of everything is beyond a joke and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. I’ve just got my daughter a place in playgroup because it’s cheaper than ‘childcare’ to try and free up some hours for me to be able to get back to work, and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to manage. It’s £210 a month for only 12 hours a week. Jobs don’t even pay an hourly rate that’s enough to cover it. I don’t know how anyone is expected to live at the minute.
The start of the new school year is terrifying particularly as I now have 2 kids in high school, the uniform is extortionate, then there's the meals and on his first day back my son informed me they have a school trip I need to pay for in 2 weeks. Honestly have no clue how I'm going to do that with no expendable income or savings. I hope others are in a better position than I am.
Hiya all it was my son's first day of high-school yesterday I had to pay £10 for this week's bus fare, then have to pay £37 for a monthly pass, then it's £48.50 for school meals for the month, not including the £206 on uniform, branded shoes and branded coat, and If I didn't buy him branded there is a chance he could be bullied as this is a starting point – what a nightmare! The things we have to do to try and ensure your child doesn't get bullied, as this is my worst nightmare. He did enjoy it but only year 7 & 11 were allowed back yesterday, so waiting to see what today brings as all the years are back today, my anxiety is through the roof.
Money has always been hard. My husband has a gambling issue which started a few years ago and I didn’t know he didn’t pay the bills and blew 2 wages! It nearly destroyed us. And to this day still repaying back. It’s a struggle. Everything costs so much as it is and when I’m trying to pay something back they want a large amount that I just can’t do. I completely understand why people choose to ignore debts at times, as it feels you have no choice.
He still goes off the rails at times but luckily not as bad as it used to be. They say there is all this help out there but, for me, I’m not a confident person on the phone and I can’t understand what’s said to me. But pretty much everything you have to do over the phone. There needs to be other ways of doing these things for people that have anxiety issues.
4 years of not knowing how. Going through ups and downs of a breakdown of a marriage, shared parenting and downhill projection of what I would be financially capable of, and finally it was here - my first abroad holiday post divorce. Although I would have loved it with my kids, having that ‘Pray, Eat, Love’ movie moment was also necessary. I might not have had the endless pocket money to spend on things, putting presents to bring back for my kids the main priority, the experience of feeling refreshed was souvenir enough.
Finally what I wasn’t expecting, was that in Britain we might be complaining of the cost of living, but in the Mediterranean it is something they have come to terms with and just knuckle down and work as hard as they possibly can. Their restlessness inspires me that however my year will end, I will not give up on dreaming of getting to my end goal too and that is to be on the road back to work as well. Sometimes fresh inspiration is all you need to spark the innovative ways, in order to create your own opportunities in life. Cost of living will not continue to define the goals I haven’t achieved, anymore.
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.
It's been a while since I've added another entry to my diary.
I'm too scared to check my bank balance these days. It takes real courage to face up to your finances when there's not enough to cover costs. It's easier to be ignorant in the hope it will all sort itself out on its own.
I've been unable to sleep ... I gave up trying to & have made a cuppa. The early morning stillness is just as restfully so I can think more clearly which has allowed me to reflect on the past few months. I've been so preoccupied during that time.
In July I eventually received the dreaded dwp envelope with instructions to complete another assessment form.
It's a much shorter form this time. Still I'm not attempting to fill it in myself no matter how knowledgeable I've become regarding these processes. Following a recommendation from my MP, I called the professionals in to help me with it. The appointment date to see someone was well after the return date for the form so I immediately needed to call up the dwp to request a return extension.
To begin with it was ridiculous that the form had a date which showed it took 2 weeks in the post to receive it which left me 2 weeks to return the darn thing ordinarily.
At least on this occasion I was ready to go to all out war with them if I wasn't given what I'm perfectly entitled to. Once the call handler told me I could have the usual 2 week extension I immediately informed her I couldn't even get an appointment to have help completing it until well after that date. She then told me she needed to speak to a manager & as quick as that she came back with a date to return the form some 6 weeks later.. Technically I've had about 2 months grace to complete & return it, which is incredibly long. Although I guess it's due to the fact that in some parts of the country the dwp have backlogs of work to process. In some regions people are waiting 12 to 18 months for their applications to even go through before further assessment.
This form, has meant I have had to dig long & deep into my mountains of medical records, past applications, new medical information about my health conditions, etc., in order to evidence proof & facts. Not simply a case of "innocent until proven guilty" more "guilty of fraud until proven otherwise".
Alongside all the effort to get my medical notes in order ready for scrutiny by the dwp - who are by no means medical experts, for if they had all the answers about my condition they'd be earning millions in medical research sharing their findings, not working as civil servants, (medical assessors earn £46,000 p/a alone, possibly before bonuses), we also had to hide from the bailiffs who turned up at my door for my middle son. So that wasn't very pleasant.
He uses the house as a care of address but hasn't made that clear to his creditors. So my youngest & I have been virtually like prisoners in our home until he eventually called up a debt helpline. (Only after nagging him to do so for months on end.)
After seeking advice on the issue myself, I only need to show any bailiffs a council tax bill - to prove he has never lived here - through a window rather than opening a door to them. I've found out bailiffs are supposed to exercise more understanding to vulnerable people. Nevertheless I still remain weary of unexpected visitors ready to point out the facts as they are.
Also I was in a dilemma with my car last month. It needed major repairs. It had to go. I had to look for another used car. Amazing that I found something suitable & managed to sell the old car too. This took a big chunk of my money to fund the change over. Still trying to recoup the costs. It will take a while for that to happen, obviously.
About the same time I also received a parking charge notice. Forgot to display my blue badge in a disabled parking bay. I was horrified. I immediately panicked & sent in my appeal to the agents ... which got knocked back. Next tried to call the landowners but no joy there either.
It was only in a casual chat with the MP's caseworker that they offered to chase it up for me & managed to get the charge dropped! I was over the moon. Could well do without paying £60 - £100 in fines! Told the case worker that's easily 2 weeks shopping!!
With all these things going on weighing heavy on my mind as well as family issues to help out with, it feels like there's hardly been any time to enjoy the school summer holidays.
We did manage a week away in a caravan. However I was wrapped up fighting the dvla to reclaim car tax exemption for the new used vehicle I recently purchased. Along with family demands we were expected to sort out even though we were on holiday, my son & I were left feeling harrassed & upset with everything that went on during the week.
So much so my son has recently suffered nightmares about another ongoing issue we face. We've been trying to find suitable alternative accommodation with social housing. Decent homes are few & far between.
This summer has felt like our worst year by far. As much as there is to be grateful for, there's equally as much I'd rather forget or not have to deal with.
I hope we can try to enjoy what time is still left before the return to school in a few weeks but given the friction between my immediate family, it's not likely to be easy going over a bank holiday weekend unless we hide or switch off the phone.
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.