Cost of living squeeze

You can’t help but hear about the “cost of living squeeze” whenever you listen to the radio, watch television or via social media. For most of us it’s not just something we hear about but are experiencing on a daily basis as we shop, open our bills, and see the impact on our bank balances. Worrying about money and debt is a major cause of anxiety and depression, but getting help to deal with these debts can have hugely beneficial effects.

By the time this magazine comes through your letter box, the government may have made decisions which will avert some of the predicted rises in the cost of living. These rises include the April change to National Insurance contributions (1.5%) and the huge expected increase in the fuel cap (estimated at £700 to £1,000). This would still leave many demands on our finances such as the higher cost of food (3.5% in 2021). When a household budget is tight due to low wages or static benefit rates, even small increases in daily costs can tip the balance.

If this is a worry for you or someone you know, please do get in touch and let us help you to find a way forward.

Our free, confidential advice can include:

  • making sure you are getting all the income you should, including benefits or help with childcare costs if you are working, and free school meals
  • helping to recognise where savings could be made and looking at interest rates you are being charged on credit and store cards
  • looking at better deals such as with insurance, broadband and phones
  • contacting your creditors and asking for interest and charges put on hold while we work with you to make a sustainable plan to manage your finances and deal the debts.

Other ideas for savings you may be able to make include:

  • applying for the Warm Homes discount of £140 from your fuel provider
  • if you are a home owner, applying for an insulation grant which would then reduce your energy costs.
  • if you have been working from home, applying for a tax rebate

Please get in touch by ringing 0808 278 7853, or emailing advice@colchestercab.org.uk