Losing £4.50 means I will be going down to the food bank again today to see if I am eligible for a food parcel. I will have to find a way to reduce my spending on food next week – otherwise I won’t be able to afford the electricity and heating or use up some of the money I’ve set aside for the water rates and TV license. I can see just how easy it would be to end up using all that money up and then not having enough money left to pay the bills.
The other problem I’m becoming aware of is what a challenge it is if you live in a house that is damp and badly insulated. I don’t – I live in a stone built house with well insulated thick stone floors, well fitted wooden windows and loads of insulation so it retains the heat for a long time once the heating is put off. A lot of people on benefits – including care leavers – live in properties that are damp and not well insulated or have ill fitting windows. Their homes need a lot more heating to make them bearable and quickly get really cold when the heating is off. This doesn’t do much for their health prospects – this winter has seen some really nasty bugs going around which affect lungs and sinuses for ages. I’ve had it but live in a nice warm house.