As if things aren’t hard enough as it is living pay to pay, bank account empty, waiting on UC payment in 8 days, however receive a message about my childcare costs, they’ve rejected my childcare costs because they’ve paid for someone else’s kids, I have one child not named any of the names they’ve mentioned, so because of an error on their part I won’t now be paid the childcare I’ve paid already, so I will struggle further, can’t phone them as now the job centre deal with childcare costs, but I call the job centre and because I don’t have a claim number as I work they won’t speak to me, I can’t go down because I work and there’s a day left to the cut off to get the money in my next UC payment, universal credit say it’s not a matter for them, they take weeks to respond to messages put in the journal, I get this is a mistake on their part however these issues take too long to sort out, it took 4 months for their last error to be solved. I can’t deal with this right now.
I'm finally getting a pay rise at work – not till November though so makes me a little less stressed to pay my gas and electricity but on the other hand universal credit will be taking a lot of it off me so is there any point ?
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?
Feeling very unsupported within the welfare system as a neurodivergent family. No one will recognise that my autism and my husband's ADHD affect our ability to work. Self- employment is work we can do, but not the hours we’re expected so we can’t meet our minimum income floor, and are trying to survive on a monthly UC payment that is less than our rent! But because we fail the extremely narrow (mostly physical) limited capacity to work assessments if we weren’t self-employed we’d be expected to take any job - despite us both knowing that there are aspects of most jobs that we literally can’t do, or that would make us ill. The system is broken.
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.
I definitely don't think that the cost of living crisis is over. In fact, sadly I think it's gonna be with us for a while.
I say this because, if the cost of living crisis was over, how come the prices in my local supermarkets keep going up rather than down, as is the cost of many other things like rent, etc?
Moreover, in many recent documentaries that I've watched, people are really struggling, and having to resort to foodbanks, partly because the jobs are just not there like they used to be, but also because many of the jobs that people are in just ain't paying enough, and hence people resort to foodbanks in order to make ends meet.
I think the media are portraying the narrative that the cost of living crisis is over so that they can make people think that things are not as bad as they actually really are.
For people like us, the cost of living crisis is far from over. Just because inflation rates may have slowed slightly, this does not all of a sudden mean people who rely on in-work or out of work benefits can afford the basic costs of living. Again it is the media who are perpetuating this, and there are perhaps political reasons to do so. Surely if the crisis was over, then families like ours would not be paying a larger proportionate percentage of income for food, housing and energy.
This September has hit the hardest. I have had to make cuts to what I buy in terms of school uniform, eeking out last year’s tattered uniform and making do with items outgrown. The cost of childcare has increased too and that has put an enormous strain on my budget.
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. 😤
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.
There’s a sadness to the end of the summer holidays approaching - which is odd really because I haven’t loved them. In fact, the sadness comes from my guilt at not having facilitated non-stop fun and activities throughout. We’ve managed a couple of days away (to a soggy coast) but generally we’ve been at home, whilst I’ve worked and the kids have entertained themselves. The pretty rubbish weather hasn’t forced me to spend on expensive activities inside so we have endured “pandemic, stay at home vibes” and done what we do best. Now in reflection I’m questioning if I should have done more…but I’m one person and I’m so tired!!! Maybe next summer will be different?
Thinking about opportunities, especially work related, which require photographic ID. I didn't have any, for years. Passport and provisional driving licence went out of date, at times when I couldn't afford new ones... and the list of "acceptedly" employed referees for a passport... I'm poor!!! All my friends are poor. I don't know anyone with posh jobs like those!! Imagine if schools could make sure that every pupil aged 16 got a passport - surely that would help with employment in the future?!
I am looking forward to going back to work and for Christmas. I am looking to try and pay off my debts and face my fears.