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.
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. 😤
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.
I'm excited to get my routine back, but nervous as my son is going to high-school, so everything will be new and it'll cost even more money as school dinners have gone up in price – also expecting the bus fares to follow.
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.
That’s a very hard question to answer.
I make a lot of ideas up of things that I want to do or that need doing.
Some thing happens that ends up putting a stop to it.
I’ve dreamt of learning to drive over the past few years but then I just can’t afford to do the lessons and buy a car.
I have put a new plan in place in regards to controlling money better so it’s not spent wrong and hopefully that will allow me to save.
Partner started a new job back in May, which if he does really well there is a good chance of being on a higher wage and sorting our lives out
It's really hard to plan for the future financially at the minute because there's no excess funds. I was on at the media recently and they asked this question how do you feel about the government telling people that they need to save now for the winter? Well, I just couldn't believe it because at the end of the day, people are already struggling. I'm affected by the 20 pound uplift already that was taken away a long time ago, also by the hunger payments for free school meals. And literally there are no extra funding and no extra money. So how are people supposed to think about the future when they're just being forced and plunged into thinking about the now and the then and here and the now? It's literally crazy that even the government have these expectations of people to start saving now for even the winter. I mean, you can't. And with the lack of hunger payments for the free the people entitled to free school meals, I'm really struggling this summer and it's only going to get worse.
I'm worried already that I move my child schools because of his additional needs, but he's not that high up in the spectrum in order to get transportation help. So now I'm going to have this extra money every month that I don't even know where I'm getting it from, but I keep him in a school that doesn't cater for his needs because I can't afford to send them on a bus, or do I go on a bus with them and just suffer the consequences of the amount of money that it's going to cost? I'm not even laughing and saying this, but people are going to have to sell kidneys. You can't think of the future because there's just not enough money to go around and.
The future petrifies me.
I used to plan for things such as if my rent went up, school holidays, birthdays, children changing schools, if my car broke, mots and much more but right now I freeze. Its heart breaking not being able to plan and having to live hand to mouth day to day.
Just recently I got a nail in my tyre on the school run, I have no expendable income and I had to beg and plead with family members to help me. After food and bills I have nothing spare to save for such incidents and that is the difference between independence and being stuck with no transport and 3 children in 3 different educational settings
It's really difficult to deal with additional school costs because already the uniform is so expensive. And anybody that says that just because your child is entitled free school meals, their school is free, it's not. So not only do you have stationery costs, et cetera, but the trips, the school trips in June were horrendous because over in Northern Ireland there were budget cuts. It meant that something that would have cost £3 cost £15. We're talking about a free trip to the museum, which is free. The museum is free to get into the Ulster Museum in Belfast. But the cost of the transportation was £10 which I thought was horrific because it's a bus and therefore I did not know what to do. But I have to do it because then my child would feel like he wasn't valuable or that he felt different or he didn't feel worthy enough to go on this trip. I just can't believe the astronomical cost. The schools used to be able to fund part fund. Then my daughter had an attendance trip, which is amazing. She's in secondary school, my son's in primary school, and again it was, oh, your child has won an award because they have an attendance trip. And yet it was so expensive. The bus was the same price as what my son's bus was, but they were like 3 hours away. My daughter and my son was only in the center of Belfast, about 15 minutes away, so I paid for that. And then they needed like, costs for getting on all the rides off the Fun Park. So these extra costs, of course, they're not compulsory, as in don't send your child in the trip, but then your child is the only one that's not going on trip. So then what do you do? So I'm not really coping well, to be honest, with the extra costs. And there's hidden costs everywhere. Like, my son can't eat certain foods and on those days I have to give him pack lunches.
So fed up today got paid on the 25th June, nothing left and somehow have to pay 157.50 for rest of term childcare, then this switches to £140 per week in 6 week’s holiday, I have to pay my car insurance, I have my MOT running out in a week and have school dinners, petrol, food, etc I need to buy… How do we go about selling legs or kidneys because I’ve maxed out credit cards. I’ve no options left, can see me having to give up my car but then I’ll loose my job.
It as a single parent that works full time. My child's care comes to 400 pound in term time. However, in school holidays it triples. So for the six week holiday, I'm about 1200. So it's hard to say a monthly income when you've got kids, because you have times of the years that fluctuate. On average, I would say rent being 600, childcare being 600. On average, you got your council tax, gas and electric. Gas and electric is 210 pounds a month at the moment. It's ridiculous. I don't think anyone could survive on less than 2500, especially when you have to drive to work, put petrol in and buy food. This world is just not built for people to survive anymore. I cannot afford to get my car MOT and repaired because I have got nothing extra and I work full time. It's beyond a joke.
So the good news is, it's nearly my birthday. The bad news is I still haven't bought anything for my son's which was 2 weeks previous.
What with the apparent continuous bailing out of his brother, he felt he would do without for the time being. Hoping for driving lessons as many his age wish for. With the worry of male suicides in the back of my mind it's difficult not to help my son out where I can... He owes money out in fines & refuses to get professional help or even take accountability for it. It reached a point last weekend where by I had helped him out yet again, only to have him tell me he's no food to feed his son with & then needed a make a further payment to get his driving licence returned. Give an inch, take a mile!
I've since had to make it clear to him I'm not able to help with cash hand outs any more, to avoid any upset either side, because I was simultaneously asked if I could help my cash strapped eldest son out too. Which I did do, however, meant to be getting this chunk of money repaid.
Once upon a time, it was also the arrangement with my middle son that he repaid all the money he "borrowed" but I'm disappointed to think it won't see its way back to me if at all. Least not any time soon.
Meanwhile, the car seems to be having major problems again. It was only 2 months ago it had repairs on it too. Not sure how safe it is to continue using it. Won't know till it's looked at.
I feel immensely overwhelmed...
Ironic really, because only yesterday I attended a workshop to foster wellbeing & positivity. Positively up a certain creek without a paddle more like... Now "THAT" I can be certain of.
I can see me paying the water rates off with any birthday money I get at this rate. I shall light birthday candles on the bath taps... To mark the occasion.