The cost-of-living crisis

We asked our friends at Christians Against Poverty how we can support each other through this storm and what actions we can take. Here is their advice. 

It’s a scary time for families on a low income and many are falling into debt. CAP is seeing a big increase in demand for our free debt help, plus thousands of people are attending our free budgeting courses and job clubs.

The cost of living crisis is impacting us all, but it’s impacting some more than others. You may be wondering what action you can take to help those struggling. You may be tightening your belt and looking to budget more effectively. Sadly, you may be wondering how you will afford the next meal for your children or avoid falling into further debt.

Heart to help

If you want to play your part in helping people in need right now, have a chat with your church leader and find out how you can support local activities. Consider supporting a food bank.

You could financially support the work of a charity tackling poverty. CAP’s work to help people across the UK out of debt is only made possible because of our amazing supporters who give what they can each month. They help thousands of people to break free from poverty every year. Even during the current crisis we are seeing hope restored, lives being transformed, and many experiencing the love of Jesus.

Pray for your friends, neighbours and anyone struggling. Why not arrange to meet with your friends and pray together?

Whatever action you feel able to take, just remember, what you do matters. God sees your heart and all your good works.

Tightening your belt

Maybe you need to tighten your belt to avoid falling into financial difficulty. Check out our CAP money tips opposite to get started.

From debt to hope

You may have fallen into serious debt and feel hopeless. You don’t need to feel ashamed about it. Millions of people are struggling right now, so you are certainly not alone.

Whether you lost your job, have a disability, you’re a carer, you had a relationship break up, you have been diagnosed with a serious illness or you just don’t have enough income to cover your essentials, there is always hope.

No matter how you got into debt, if you make the call to CAP you won’t be judged in any way. Our debt experts will help you find the best solution.

If you find yourself really struggling in debt, contact a free debt help charity, such as CAP. Call the helpline on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org.


 

Create a budget

Check your bank statements for the last three months and make a list of income and expenses for each month. This gives an overview of your finances and helps you see where you could save money and keep your budget balanced. If you share finances with a partner, do this together so you can both benefit.

Sort out subscriptions

A few pounds a month really add up. Ask yourself, “Do I need it?” and “Do I use it?” If you don’t need it and you don’t use it, cancel it. If you need it and use it, keep it. If you don’t need it but you do use it, ask ‘Can I afford it?’ Look at your budget. Do you need to cancel or switch to a cheaper provider?

Set a weekly spending limit

Start by creating a second bank account. You can do this on most banking apps. Allocate yourself a certain amount to live off each week based on your budget, keeping it in that separate account so it’s easier to see what you have left over. Try your best to stick to spending less than that amount.

Keep positive

It can be a challenge keeping to your weekly spending limit, but it feels so rewarding when you get to the end of the week and see you achieved your aim and maybe even have a little left over. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t hit your target every week. Some weeks will be more expensive than others.

Look ahead

There will always be times when you run into one of those annoying bigger costs. Sometimes it’s predictable – like car insurance or Christmas – other times it can be out of the blue, such as your fridge breaking. Put aside some savings each month for expected and unexpected costs so you’re prepared when the bills come.

Use free resources

Find out if a CAP Money Course is currently running in your area by visiting capuk.org. These courses are run through local churches by a CAP Money Coach.

We also recommend the Money Saving Expert website – the free tips email gives you the latest updates on how to save money.


 

This article is taken from the autumn 2022 edition of Pathways.

Page last updated: Wednesday 21st December 2022 10:28 AM

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