I have to give up food for hygiene products: British readers on the cost of living crisis | UK cost of living crisis
As the cost of living crisis rages and UK inflation remains at its highest level in 40 years, many are finding that even the most meticulous budgeting can no longer make up for astronomical inflation in many areas of life.
Here, four people from across the country share why they’ve had to take more drastic cost-cutting steps to keep their finances in line.
I moved the whole family into my mom’s little attic.
Marc, 37, an office worker in the food industry in Salford, was faced with an impossible choice last July when his landlord said he would have to nearly double his rent.
He said he would raise it generously from 800 to 1,400 starting in October. At that point, utility bills alone cost me around £500 a month. Totals don’t add up.
After confirming that rents in the area are comparable to comparable properties, Marc decides to give up the four-bedded family home he rents, moving his wife and three children, ages 5, 11, and 12, into the attic space of their mother’s home. moved closely.
I had to borrow 15k to make the attic livable. I installed windows, showers, plumbing and electrical.
Living with my mother is not something I want to do at almost 40, but otherwise I would have had to stop eating to pay for housing. Marc says it would have been $2,200 per month had we stayed.
It would have taken 15 to 20 years to raise the 25% deposit, Marc estimates.
I haven’t measured how much space I currently have, but it’s not much. The master bedroom is approximately the size of two king beds combined. Other sleeping areas are much smaller. We share the kitchen with my mom downstairs.
While the family is relieved that some of the financial pressures have been relieved, the move has put a lot of strain on everyone.
It hasn’t been easy sailing, and this move is based on trade-offs. I’ve given up a fair bit of privacy, and I can’t do what I want. My 22 year old sister also lives here.
One of my kids, my son, moved hard. He is complaining about lack of space, lack of freedom.
It’s unclear how long the family will stay in the attic, says Marc. He wants to pay off the loan, which can take anywhere from two to five years. Then you can take a closer look.
My daughter is sleeping in her winter coat this year. Vicky Page, 51, is working in near-zero temperatures to keep up with her family’s bills. Photo: Vicky Page/Guardian Community
Vicky Page, who lives in Warwickshire and works for an environmental charity, said the family had to turn off the heat almost entirely this winter, despite working from home and having young children.
I work in a north-facing conservatory, the only room with space for a full-size desk, and this year I had to turn off the heating completely. I’m wearing three jumpers and two pairs of pants. I also have a heated mat for my feet on the floor and a heated mouse mat is a little furry cave you can put your hands in to stay warm. When I started working today, it was 2C. I sit in this room shaking for six hours a day.
While a family can use a mini wood stove to heat the living room to about 15C, the children’s bedroom upstairs is much colder, she says.
My 11-year-old daughter sleeps in a winter coat and three blankets. She’s not poor, but her electricity bill has tripled and she has to be very careful.
I gave up on my adoption plans
Natasha, a full-time civil servant from Leeds, earns $30,800 a year, and many small cost-cutting initiatives over the past year haven’t generated enough savings, forcing her to make bigger, life-changing decisions to make room for financial wiggle room.
In November my energy bill went up to 175 per month. My apartment has a very old heater that is really expensive to run. I work from home and have asked to come in more, but due to limited office space, I can only go in once a week, the 34-year-old says.
When canceling the subscription, cutting meat out of her diet, buying the box of 600 tea bags that were offered, and sleeping in a hat didn’t reduce the cost enough, Natasha decided something more drastic was needed.
I moved into a two-bedroom apartment in March because I was looking for adoption, she says. However, due to financial uncertainty, it had to be put on hold indefinitely.
I read about one room living and made one room for living, working and sleeping. Hopefully heating just one room will save you enough money.
I have a Cpap machine for sleep apnea and have started using it every night. I don’t know what to do to reduce the skyrocketing costs. I used to spend 25 a week on groceries. Last week, my usual store turned 60, so I had to put things back in. It’s shocking how middle class people have to give up food so they can buy sanitary products.
I have to give up my career in London and return home.
Before the pandemic, Eileen, in her 50s, was living a relatively comfortable life in London, taking home around 40,000 people a year as a theater make-up technician.
I’ve lived here for 35 years, but I can’t afford to live anymore. It no longer works for me and is putting me in debt, she says.
Eileen is single, lives alone, and pays $1,100 a month on a mortgage on a one-bedroom apartment that she plans to reload.
My bills are 1,800 per month and I have about 600 left over for food and everything else. I watch every coin flip, buy mostly canned food now, never go out, but can’t keep up with inflation and run out of money. You must use your credit card two weeks out of the month. I can’t afford to go to the dentist anymore. I owe about 7,000 since the pandemic.
Eileen has come to the bitter conclusion that continuing a 30-year career is no longer financially sustainable.
He has a lot of experience and has excellent skills, but the hardest time was when he was a student in the late 1980s. I would be better off working for Marks & Spencer and fully owning a house in my hometown in Nottinghamshire. Many of my colleagues feel the same way. Everyone gets really unmotivated.
I plan to sell and return home. London is no longer a place of great opportunity and has become a difficult place to live for many of us.
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