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.
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.
The school new year gives me stress and anxiety, as my son will move to a new school due to bullying in previous school. New uniform, new people, and as a single parent working full time, it is sometimes very hard to manage it all. Especially with cost of living crisis, it is hard to manage finances and prioritise and rationing.
However, will get there as I am a proud and blessed single mom. My son is a blessing and keeps me strong and happy in many ways.
I feel sheer panic when I think too much about the future. At the moment, my son is 2 so I have no work commitments. Once he's 3 I'll be considered gainfully self employed and hopefully will get a start up year, but by the time he's 4 I'll have to bring in a consistent monthly profit or the Minimum Income Floor will be applied and we won't be able to afford to live.
The pressure of making a business profitable, and not just profitable over a year but profitable every single month regardless of expenses being lumpy, is terrifying. But I can't go back to being employed - between my health and my son's health, it's not possible. The work I do is important and I love it, but all the DWP care about is profit. It's such an unrealistic and cruel standard to place on a small business when plenty of large corporations get lots of government support and aren't anything like as profitable, % wise, as sole traders are required to be.
I've had to think in terms of 3 months at a time maximum, because if I let myself see the bigger picture I get overwhelmed by the clashing priorities of building a sustainable, meaningful and successful business (and life!) versus meeting the DWP's capricious and unyielding requirements so that we can afford to eat.
Midweek feels like I'm sinking.
Have to take note of every transaction and ask myself, 'can I live without this or what is the cheaper alternative?'
Having to suspend subscriptions, direct debits for child's swimming, gymnastics and after school club. There seems to be a price increase for these too. For now these sorts of activities have to be put in hold.
Priority is bills and food.
This weekend we are making the 250+ mile drive back to our old town because I have a commitment to a teenager who I used to volunteer with. It's not a cheap or easy trip - it will use more than a full tank of petrol and the day out is expensive - but I remember how important it was for teenage me to have 'spare adults' in my life, and I want to honour my promise to the young woman who has me as one of her spare adults. It's a cost (time and financial) that my family don't really understand but it's a priority. And my friends are excited about looking after the toddler for the day! He gets to stay in contact with some of his important adults too.
Found out today that the government has pledged £2.3 billion to Ukraine and I feel so disappointed in myself that I’m angry about this. I’ve always been one for charity but, at this very moment, I’m trying to work out how I’m supposed to afford both a warm home for myself and my family and to put healthy, nutritious food on the table; in fact, I feel like I may need to opt for one or the other. I know I’m not the only one so it shocks me that, as a country we have this kind of money to pledge to other countries and yet we can’t afford to lower the prices of electricity and fuel or prevent food prices from rising as they are. Maybe I’m selfish? I feel selfish. I’ve seen the distraction of Ukraine in photos on the news and they do need our support BUT then again, what state will many of us be in if we are hit with a bad winter? Scotland is already cold and I’m already using long pjs and bed socks just to keep everyone warm overnight. My first post here is definitely a slight rant as my worry about the times ahead grows but this is truly what it’s like right now; I just don’t know how I’m going to manage through this winter if things don’t financially get better.