Cost of living is cause of significant extra anxiety: Marian Anghileri
I would like to share my knowledge of how the cost of living crisis is affecting some local people.
Marian Anghileri is a specialist money adviser at Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell.
Most of my clients live in rented accommodation. Many have young children and are dependent on benefits or a combination of benefits and relatively low-paid work. They often have no financial buffer and additional monthly household costs of £10-£20 can place them in difficulty.
They are also (contrary to popular belief!) often skilled money managers – always on the lookout for bargains such as the cheapest nappies or multi-pack crisps. But the cost of living crisis is having a big impact on them in obvious and less obvious ways.
Firstly and obviously, they have less money for essential expenditure. We have all heard about “eat or heat”. That issue is real but it is only part of the picture. I have a client, for example, agonising over whether she can afford to pay for a simple mobile phone contract for a teenage daughter with additional needs. The girl has to take public transport to school and back while Mum is at work. How does she keep her daughter safe?
Buy now pay later – for food!
Another client has used unregulated Buy Now Pay Later debt for groceries because her petrol costs for travel to work have increased significantly. Where does the balance lie in going to work and being able to afford to go to work? The cost of living crisis impacts her whole family and every part of their life.
Less obviously, the cost of living crisis is also causing significant extra anxiety. Clients have described not being able to sleep as they lie awake worrying how they will manage, or feeling tearful all the time. They speak of being overtaken by ‘panic’ and we have noticed clients attending appointments more than usually upset and unable to see ‘the wood for the trees’.
We continue to look for solutions and help every client to the best of our ability with compassion and understanding for their difficulties.
Struggling with living costs Citizens Advice Online