The ‘cost of living’ is what we spend on things we need to have like:

- Electricity

- Food

- Heating

- Fuel like petrol and diesel

Right now, the cost of all these things that we need to live is going up.

This means we have to spend more money on things we need to have so we can live. 

But the money we have coming in is either staying the same or going up a little.

This means people will have less and less money.

For a number of people, this might mean they have less money to spend on fun things like going out.

For a few people, this might mean they have no extra money,

And for a handful of people, this might mean they have to make hard choices like: do I buy food or do I heat my house?

A lot of people are affected by this and are worried.

This is why we call it a 'Cost of Living Crisis.'

Support - extra cost of living payments

There are things that the government is doing to help those affected most by the crisis.

They are giving an extra payment to help with the cost of living to people who get certain benefits or tax credits.

Tax credits are extra money the government gives to people who need it. They might give money to help people care for their children.

It will help people who:

- Do not earn much money like those on low-income benefit or tax credits,

- Those with a disability benefit,

- Those who are older people.

You do not need to apply to get these payments. You will be paid them automatically.

If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam. 

To find out more information about these Cost of Living payments, call the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03003 035340.

What other support is out there?

Inclusion London has made an easy read guide about the Cost of Living crisis.

This guide is for everyone, not just people in London.

Speakup Self Advocacy Limited has created some information about what help is out there to help you and to plan what you can do to save energy and be safe in your home.

You can find this here.

We’d also like to share with you our top five tips to help with the Cost of Living.

1. Make sure you, or someone you trust, writes a list of ways you can save electricity, heating, and fuel.

2. Shop for food somewhere that saves you lots of money.

If you live in Oxfordshire, you can use the Oxfordshire food access map to look for food banks.

3. Check that you are not paying more than you should for bills.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can help with this and can check what help you can get from your local council.

4. Check that you are getting all the benefits you should be. 

You can use Turn2Us, a free benefits calculator to find out what you could get.

5. Make sure you first use your money on the things that you need to have to live. If there's money left over, you can use what's left on fun things.

What if I am worried about the Cost of Living crisis?

We know the crisis will make some people worried.

It's important to speak to someone you trust about your worries. This could be a family member, friend, or supporter.

If you prefer to speak to someone else, you can speak to:

- Mind

If you need more help, you can always call us at My Life My Choice.

We cannot give money advice but we can point you to someone who can.

My Life My Choice is open from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.

You can call us on 01865 204214.

My Life My Choice is registered in England under charity number 1187726 at Unit 3, Watlington House, Watlington Road, Oxford. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website. To learn more, read our privacy policy.
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