28/09/2022 - Permalink

News from our partners: support for household bills

Related topics: Cost of living / Partner organisations

Rising living costsI’m a single parent with two young children. I’m already struggling to stay on top of my household bills, my weekly food shop isn’t stretching as far anymore, and now my energy bill is going up too. I don’t know how I’m going to afford all of these price rises. What can I do to stop my finances spiralling out of control?

I think the first thing to say is: you’re not alone in this and there’s support out there which can help.

The first point of call when worrying that your money isn’t stretching far enough is to make sure that you’ve maximised your income. This might sound like a really obvious thing to say, but what we mean by this is checking that you’re receiving all the financial support that you’re entitled to. There are several resources that can help you to do this:

If you’re struggling to stay on top of bills, it’s really important to understand the money you have coming in and going out each month. Citizens Advice has a budgeting tool on its website that can help with this.

And if you’re already behind on bills, prioritise paying your rent or mortgage, plus energy bills and council tax first. Not paying these bills has the most serious consequences. You should speak to the person or company you owe money to, to see if they can help you repay your bills sustainably.

There’s also emergency support that you may be able to access such as food banks. You can find out more information on what to expect when going to a food bank and where your closest one is on the Shropshire Larder website. There are also other more informal food projects that offer low-cost or free food and can help to stretch your food budget.

On the topic of food bills, there’s a wealth of resources out there to help you plan low-cost meals. Jack Monroe’s website has lots of brilliant, fully costed, budget recipes that are free to access. There are also plenty of guides out there on energy efficient cooking, to help you reduce costs further.

We know that times are incredibly tough but please remember, you don’t have to face this alone.