Struggling to cope with the rising cost of living?
As a result of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, gas and electricity prices have been steadily increasing. This is caused inflation, meaning that the prices of everything are shooting up. You have likely found that your weekly shop has become far more expensive than it used to be, and money might be a source of stress like never before.
You are not alone if you are feeling anxious about money. Here are some tips for coping during this difficult time.
Check which benefits you are entitled to
The government have announced a package including:
Replacing a former £200 energy loan with a one-off grant of £400 to be paid to everyone in October.
Giving two one-off payments amounting to £650 to those in receipt of benefits
One off payments of £300 to pensioners receiving the Winter Fuel Payment
One off payments of £150 for disabled people in receipt of disability benefits
Adding another £500k to the Household Support Fund
If you are eligible, these payments should be made automatically. Check the government's website for advice on what to do if you feel like you have missed a payment.
Re-examine your budget
It's important to examine what is worth spending money on. Prioritise essentials like bills, food, and heating. This might mean cancelling your Netflix subscription, switching to a different energy provider, or only buying food that's on offer. Having a planned budget provides more security, and should relieve some stress.
The debt charity StepChange has a budget guide available on their website here.
The Big Issue have a detailed guide to budgeting and staying out of debt, available here.
Check if you are entitled to grants
There is a great website here that has detailed information regarding various grants that you could have access to, provided by charities, community groups, and various other sources.
Seek financial advice
There are a variety of services that allow you to talk to real people if you feel as though you cannot handle your finances alone.
Turn2us has a helpline available on their website. Other charities such as Citizens Advice, Trussell Trust, or Shelter might be able to help if you need support.
MoneyHelper is a government-backed service that offers free advice online or via phone (0800 138 7777). Their website also has a Money Navigator tool that helps you to work through your finances.
Go to a food bank
The Bradford district is fortunate enough to have food provision in different areas. Information about all of the services they offer is available here.
This is an emotionally distressing time, and many people are struggling. If you require our service at this time, please go to our Referrals page. If you have the means, giving to us will help us prepare for the greater influx of people needing our help as prices go up: please consider visiting our Donate page.