Erik J on 13 February 2021
Q. How has the pandemic impacted your monthly budget?

Hi, I am a single father with a 14 year old daughter, I am in receipt of ESA due to health problems and receive no financial help from my previous partner. I have struggled financially for some time but since the start of the pandemic things have certainly been more difficult due to the cost of home schooling etc. Fortunately we do receive help now from a local food bank which we are extremely grateful for as I do not feel we could manage without this help. Before lockdown I relied on my local library for internet access, so had to get home broadband installed which is a monthly cost I could really do without but this has been important to us both for home schooling and even paying bills and online shopping as there is no other way. There is also the cost of electricity and cooking for my daughter while she is away from school. We have had to buy books etc. for my daughter's school work that we would normally borrow from the school or local library. Heating and keeping our selves warm has also been a major issue for us, we have to really think carefully before switching the heating on at home and we have very little in the way of warm clothes, which is affecting the health of myself and my daughter. After paying essential bills etc. there is nothing left in order to put anything aside for emergencies. Personally I can't see that the restrictions are going to end as soon as people are suggesting which is causing a great deal of worry about the future and the effect this is all having on my daughter. No child should have to live like this wondering if they are going to have enough to eat or having to sit at home wrapped in blankets in order to keep warm. More information and help needs to be available to help those struggling to live on a low income to be able to feel they can help themselves and their families feel more secure about the future.

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