All I seem to be able to think about at the minute is money and how much worse it’s going to get in winter. My doctor has prescribed medication for my anxiety again because I’m constantly on edge and worrying about it.
It is hard enough living below the poverty line, surviving on benefits, if they don't rise with inflation it is effectively an income cut to the poorest people in UK society. We would have to make more difficult decisions about how to spread the same amount of money even further. We are stretched thin enough already and have been for years. It affects our family's health but I believe that is Government's intention and desire.
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.
As a family who already have used food banks to get by in the last 6 months, to then not have benefits increased in line with inflation would be a devastating blow to our already struggling finances. Everything is costing more and more, I can't remember the last time we went out to the cinema or had a meal out - increasing days are spent at home, wondering how we can utilise what we already have and thinking about different revenue streams. To then have to worry further about our household income demonstrates how profoundly the cost of living crisis is still affecting families like mine. The stigma attached to people claiming benefits continues, as the general feeling surrounding increasing benefits is often frowned upon. I've heard people saying "They get enough already. Why don't they get up and work for a living" We still have a long way to come as a society, and increasing benefits will at least give those struggling a sense of dignity.
I really would not be surprised if benefits are not increased in line with inflation. There is no understanding in this government about how much it costs for families to live a normal, healthy lifestyle without the constant worry about how people will be able to feed themselves and their children, and cover the cost of rising bills. A lot of bills like broadband and phones rise in line with inflation plus a percentage more each year, leaving families in more financial difficulty. This, I find, is extremely tough as I am one of those who is still on Legacy benefits, who have not seen any sort of increase for several years even during the cost of living crisis, which is continuing despite what they want us to think.
If, next April, all benefits are not increased in line with inflation, I genuinely believe that we will end up malnourished and needing hospital treatment or simply freezing to death in our home, unable to put the heating and lights on even for a short period of time. I am now unable to remember the last time I ate a cooked meal or used the heating, I am now not even boiling the kettle in order to make a hot drink. There are just no more areas to cut back on so if there is no increase in benefit rates in April it will have a devasting affect on myself and my daughter, who is already struggling to work her way through school studying for her A levels. A rise in all benefits is the minimum that the government needs to announce in order for those living on a low income to even think about surviving through another long cold winter.
So my son's new school has given him 3 lessons of food and art & design, and because I work an extra 4 hours they won't help me towards it, so I have to buy 3 lots of ingredients a week and 2 lots of art equipment a week – makes me feel so crap that if I dropped my hours to get some/any support I'd be entitled, and same with the uniforms, but with universal credit when your child gets to a certain age you HAVE to work no less than 20 hours a week, how unfair is this?
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.
Back to school, my eldest starting year 9 at a local high school, middle child starting a different high school 23 miles away and my youngest son starting nursery soon. The worry and stress of getting the kids to where they need to be is next level.
Roll on October when all these new starts have settled.
So sad to see petrol going up and up every day, not looking like gas and electricity are coming down, or food prices – really worried about the future.
Super worried because with the cost of living it is super difficult to cover all the necessities. With the new school year is more cost for uniforms – shoes are super difficult.
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.
You. Hi. Just answering the question of the week. Thank you. I'm definitely worried about the cost implications of getting my son to his two separate three separate provisions and the necessary equipment that he needs. Especially as in the new year, my financial situation will really significantly change. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage it. And really, the worst part about it for me is continually trying to hide the concern from my son, and it doesn't work all the time. So they end up, whether we like it or not, I think that they end up with some of the concerns that we have and some of the anxiety that we have surrounding the extra expense. Not sure how you change that, because we're human beings at the end of the day, so we're not superheroes. Despite the fact that we try really hard, our children are affected, and that's just a continual issue. It's never ending. It.