Struggle every day for south London mum-of-four amid cost-of-living

A mother-of-four has said “every day is a struggle” and questioned how much more families like hers will be able to deal with amid the soaring cost of living.

More UK households are being pushed towards breaking point as rising food and fuel prices sent inflation to double figures for the first time in 40 years.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation reached 10.1 per cent last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

Phoenix, who chose not to disclose her surname, from Crystal Palace, south-east London, has struggled to provide for her four children who are aged between four and 15 years old.

The 33-year-old told the PA news agency: “Every day is a struggle and my anxiety about money is through the roof.

“I just think it is atrocious for anyone to have to live like this, how much more does (the Government) want to put on us?

“I get the vouchers from the schools and things like that but ultimately it doesn’t help because everything is going up.

“When I say every day is a struggle, I mean every day. It’s mental torture.”

Phoenix relies on benefits and said the rising cost of living has affected everything, including her children’s education.

She said her children have been late to school or even missed whole days as a direct result of the rise in petrol costs.

Phoenix described the hike in costs as a “smack in the face” and said she is concerned for the winter months but will just have to “wing it”.

“The cost of gas now is absolutely ridiculous, and I’m hardly using my heating,” she said.

“Petrol prices were a smack in the face, when I filled my car up and it only lasted a couple of days.

“I’ve had days where I have to walk my kids to school which has made them late, or they’ve had to just miss whole days.

“I think my whole life is just winging it.”

Phoenix spoke to the PA news agency on her nine-year-old daughter’s birthday, which she had saved up for to be able to celebrate.

“I put a little bit aside for her because I don’t think any child should suffer on their birthday,” she said.

“If it means me having to go without so she can have a special day, then that’s what it will be.”

Phoenix was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year and said that without the support of a friend she would struggle to make it to her hospital appointments.

“Luckily for me I have a best friend who can help look after my children when I need to go to the hospital,” she said.

“I’m not able to afford childcare, so if I didn’t have my friend I would be forced to miss my appointments to look after my children.

“On top of that, I’m trying to manage my own diabetic needs which means sometimes I need to buy more expensive food that I just can’t afford.

“For example I need to buy a certain type of bread which costs around £2 when normally I would pay 95p for a whole loaf.”

Your Money Matters is a campaign launched by us and our sister titles across Newsquest to help you overcome the surge in the cost of living.

This year has seen a whole host of household price increases — from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices — costing your family hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year.

We’re making it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost-of-living crisis is having on our readers.

The worldwide energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine invasion, the financial impact of the Covid pandemic, record inflation figures and a surge in the cost of goods, fuel and travel means we will all feel the pinch.

Through our newspaper, we want to do what we can to help make your cash go further because we know your money matters.

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