Nothing changes, even if some of us have managed to improve our situation financially. The rise in everyday costs have just removed what should be a positive improvement.
We will be refraining from using our heating and wearing layers.
We are used to the cold but ASD child can have issues with this.
I sold my tumble dryer as it was too expensive to run and changed this for a dishwasher I was given. Funny enough it's next to Nothing to run it and saves me important time as my life is super busy.
So not heating means wet clothes, which means do I need to buy more clothes to cover this? Yes, I have had to already.
There's no clear answer to cut down costs, to what you can afford and there's no magic ball to see into the future.
There's no security and living in the moment is our "now" is also our future.
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.
If benefits do not increase in line with inflation, it would mean we will become homeless. I am already in receipt of full housing benefit and I still need to pay extra to the private landlord. I struggle to cover this and energy bills, food and necessities.
It causes me anxiety on a daily basis of losing our home. We have lost 2 homes already in the last 6 years.
The council refused support with discretionary housing payments.
They are not adhering to rules of benefits where disability benefits are not to be taken into consideration when processing applications. Citizens Advice are overwhelmed and have a backlog for support.
I feel I am trying to keep my head above water and it's exhausting.
I get very down at knowing what the Conservatives think of our worth and how we are punished for not bringing in a high wage, and prejudiced for relying on benefits
Not looking forward to autumn and winter, can't afford heating on a low income.
I am surprised to hear that some media channels say the cost of living crisis is over.
I have never seen any information online or on TV. I have not heard anyone speak of this.
If so I would be writing about it in my diary. I would have hope again.
Food costs are still rising and private rental homes are still increasing, here in Stonehaven.
I noticed my broadband bill has jumped from £25 to £31.99 and I've not had heating on throughout the summer.
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.
Certainly not, while the price of some things has gone back down a bit in price such as gas, electricity and fuel, there are still millions of families like mine that are going to have no choice but to leave the heating turned off this winter and stay cold in our own homes due to the cost. I am unable to afford to cook food on a daily basis, often having to eat cold meals instead that do not require the use of gas or electricity. In the shops the price of some foods has also come down slightly such as fruit and vegetables but again the cost of fresh fruit is still far too high to enable us to afford the recommended amount, also I am sure most people have noticed that apart from price increases in a lot of supermarket prices there has also been a reduction in the amount / size of package simply meaning another increase.
I also feel this has a larger effect on those receiving Legacy benefits that did not get any increase along with other benefits earlier in the year and also missed out on most cost of living payments. My situation on Legacy benefits means myself and my daughter are living on the same amount as we we were five years ago apart from the small increase in child benefit, with no help from my previous partner this is all we have to survive on. So simply, NO the cost of living crisis is not over and is yet a long way off. I am starting to lose hope that anything will change for low income families no matter what government is in place within my lifetime. Whenever there is a price increase in utility bills, internet connection, food or anything else it means I have to make more and more cutbacks in other areas to stay afloat.
It is not a case of if and when things will change, it is NOW that changes must be made in order for a fairer society where we can all have a reasonable standard of living, bring up our families to have the best possible start in life that is achievable and be in a situation to lift themselves out of a life of poverty.
We tend to live in the here and now. All earned money is swallowed up by existing. Normally I would save something, but this has been increasingly difficult in these times. Our buffer is gone. It disappeared a long time ago. Although I feel that nothing changes, it does. We were once capped, and now I am working. Now I am working, the goal posts continue to move. I expect in September we will again be subjected to conditionality, where I will be called in for frequent meetings with the DWP. Not to say there is no hope. Everything should improve… Eventually.
How do I cope planning for the future?
I try not to think about the future too much. Financially it doesn't hold any hope for me at all right now. As a family we live from week to week and I financially plan each month as best I can. Any extra or unexpected costs have to be met from our already stretched budget.
If we stick to our routine, we can survive another month. Anything different that life throws at us is a real challenge and I worry.
This weeks Big question was a wake up call for me as I had completely forgotten the school holidays where fast approaching. This has always been a very difficult time since I became a single parent. Normally when my daughter is at school I turn everything off except the fridge and internet in order to keep the bills down, I eat very little, very basic food that does not require cooking and have not had a hot drink for months. (EXCEPT ON THE LOBBY DAY)
There are obviously additional costs for food etc. when my now 17 year old daughter is home from school but unfortunately during her secondry school years I have been unable to send her on school trips or activities due to the cost, she has sometimes got round this by offering to help out at after school netball club, etc so there is no charge for her to go. I did let her go to the end of year prom last year what was extremely stressful and caused a lot of anxiety as I had not realised what costs would be involved. Thanks to another participant when I mentioned this in one of the Zoom meetings I was told that some local theatre companys often hire out costume dresses at a reasonable cost. I will have to wait until the end of summer to let you know how this year goes as with the rising cost of living I simply do not have any additional money to make even the smallest of changes this summer except skip a few more meals for myself and cut down in other areas as much as possible. I fear there maybe worse yet to come.
There is a misconception in the general public population.... That those in the "middle income brackets" are missing out on support...
Let me just enlighten you good folk... (Who are a tad deluded.)
Any support for those on a lower income is peanuts!!! A drop in the ocean of poverty..... People were already treading water.... Sink or swim, there's no hope for anyone in this country except the wealthy anymore.
It’s been a tough few months here, financially, I’ve been so lucky, I am blessed with a great friend who supported me to be able to move house.
I have a tiny budget to do a lot of work and am trying to find support with some things, which isn’t easy. People think if you have a mortgage, it’s your own home and so why should you get support.
So you struggle, and it isn’t easy at all.
I do feel more empowered when I’m able to sort out my finance, but, with living on social security payments largely, I worry constantly and I check my journal when it’s close to the time of payment, just in case they’re taking something out or putting something in. It feels a bit sad really!
I feel like some people think they have the right to judge what I buy and how I spend the support money. I feel wasteful and think; ‘you don’t need that’, or ‘that’s a waste of money’. Could be anything from moisturiser to nice bread.
In particular at the moment, my internal dialogue when I’m shopping is really unkind and miserly. It’s so expensive!! So even the things I might previously have been able to justify are no longer an option.
It’s isn’t the worst off I have been, but I’m so afraid of the financial carnage of no support with energy costs and the cost just to live. When that is gone, what then? So I have to be extra careful… and I was already quite careful with what we had…
Not many new clothes, shoes needed but need to afford them, no trips out to anywhere paying, no holidays… there’s only so much imagination you have when you’re exhausted from just surviving…
Sometimes, people say that you can have adventures even with no money… I used to agree, but when that no money time extends so far into the future, there is just not enough imagination to make poverty into a Wes Anderson film anymore…