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rising food, fuel, housing, gas and electric prices, are they sustainable, what will happen

(69 Posts)
superv1xen Fri 19-Aug-11 10:13:22

if they keep spiralling upwards like they are doing?

wages are not rising in line with the cost of living, in some cases they are not just being frozen but being cut, extra financial help such as tax credits are being cut, everything costs a fortune so everyone on a low to moderate income is being squeezed to within an inch of our lives (stating the obvious here i know)

but my question is what is going to happen? is it going to get to a stage where people literally can't afford food or to run a car or afford to get to work or put their heating on in winter? it probably already is like that for people even less fortunate than us.

or will the prices of everything eventually stabilise and/or go down and/or will wages etc pick up as the economy recovers (if it ever does). or will vast profit making companies be forced to lower their prices (can't see that happening) ....sorry if i sound thick but i just don't understand how things work, all i know is every month things seem to get tighter and tighter for us as i am sure it does for many other families.

i'm finding myself dreaming about a lottery win a whole lot more than i ever did 5 years ago....

CustardCake Fri 19-Aug-11 11:16:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

emsies Fri 19-Aug-11 11:57:25

No car here for me anymore as couldn't afford to replace it. Definitely watch food budget. Oxbridge graduate but SAHM at the moment and struggling!

knittedbreast Fri 19-Aug-11 12:03:57

prices will keep rising, adults unable to pay will be put in prison and criminalised while company x makes another 30 million profit or whatever. eventually theyl be wars over resources.

Catsdontcare Fri 19-Aug-11 12:04:23

I have no idea how it can continue. We are constantly cutting back just to tread water. Any extra cash I make on ebay and car boots is used for food and petrol.

I'm dreading winter and the thought of having to consider weather or no we put the heating on. I'm a SAHM with a little one at home all the time so the prospect of sitting around in a cold house makes me weep.

If it's like this for us though I wonder how the hell people on lower incomes are managing.

GypsyMoth Fri 19-Aug-11 12:13:08

I inherited pre payment meters, expensive, but quite glad I can ration gas and elec and get no big bills.

StealthPolarBear Fri 19-Aug-11 12:16:13

I'm dreaming of a damp and drizzly Christmas
Not only the fuel prices but in the last couple of years, we, like most people have had to get housing repairs because of frost damage!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Aug-11 12:30:12

What is going to happen? In the first instance, we'll redefine the word 'necessity', be far more resourceful, less wasteful and be more demanding about what we get for our money. In the second, we'll put more pressure on government and employers to raise wages, smash monopolies or clamp down on profiteering. Long-term, I can see this being a catalyst for a rise in popularity for cost-efficient changes such as home-working (rather than commuting), more use of renewable energy in homes and businesses, companies relocating to regions outside the SE and shifts of population with them...

Brainhurtsandconfused Fri 19-Aug-11 12:41:53

I'm a single parent on a very low wage.

Having been out of the job market for 8 years I've found it impossible to get back into my profession even though I have been short listed several times.

After 3 months of signing on for job seekers and the massive loss of self worth, not to mention trying to financially survive, I advertised my services as a cleaner and have been lucky enough to find 16 hours.

I just about cover the rent and bills, we live on a very tight food budget. There is no money for the unexpected. I have had to stop my youngest from attending brownies as the costs were too much and this was the extra curriculm activity that she did. I shop in charity shops for our clothes and there is no money left over for even small luxurys. I actually wake up through the night in a cold sweat worrying about the future and what I'll do if fuel, food keeps rising as it does.

wfrances Fri 19-Aug-11 13:04:10

just had my gas bill and im £70.00 in credit so im hoping that will make up the shortfall for winter .
we have a gas fire and gch so is it cheaper to light the gas fire in the lounge and all sit in there or heat the radiators?

superv1xen Fri 19-Aug-11 18:24:02

its quite telling that hardly any people have replied to this. i don't think anyone really knows and thats the scariest thing of all sad

i sometimes wonder what horrible world i have brought dc into. and i want another one. i must be mad.

<off out to get pissed>

alexpolismum Fri 19-Aug-11 18:35:55

It could go the way it has for ordinary people in Greece.

Prices have rocketed, salaries/wages have all gone down.

We have cut down on non-essentials. We walk wherever possible and my dh takes the bus to work. We buy either meat or fish for one meal a week only and in winter we heat just one room in the house (the living room) by means of a real fire, which means we can burn all kinds of things, including pinecones collected for free in the park or wooden things other people have thrown away.

maighdlin Fri 19-Aug-11 18:52:20

we're all fucked. aunt can crochet like a demon so is selling blankets i have three down.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Aug-11 19:57:32

Keep a sense of perspective superv1xen... Economies are cyclical and I think part of the problem today is that it's been about 15 years since we had a serious downturn. Anyone under 30 who has only experienced the boom times in their life might well be shocked by events. But if you're an old gimmer like me and lived through the rampant inflation of the mid seventies, mass redundancies of the early eighties and the sky-high interest rates of the mid nineties, what's happening now is not so scary.

So the world you're bringing your DC into is pretty normal, if difficult at the moment. But things will get better in time. If you learn from the experience and pass that on to your DCs, they'll benefit.

Lilyloo Fri 19-Aug-11 20:04:19

I agree it is a cycle but doesn't really help those of us struggling now. For us loosing tax credits has made things very tough. We had already cut everything back to the bone and things we are cutting now are extra curricular activities , and the odd bottle of wine that was our only treat. Things are very hard and i am sure will be harder this winter. Am actually dreading xmas as there is no spare cash at all.

superv1xen Sat 20-Aug-11 11:47:19

i hope it doesn't end up that bad alex i honestly do not know how you cope living how you describe sad

cogito you may well be right, i am only 31 so i was only a child when the last recession happened. and i can't remember it affecting us to be honest, i was fortunate enough to grow up in a reasonably well off family. my parents owned our nice house and we had lots of holidays, treats, gadgets, nice cars etc. i was very spoilt how very different my kids life will be to what i had growing up sad

my DH is in senior management and earns what would have been good money 5 - 10 years ago. but it goes nowhere "these days" and if he ever loses his job we will be FUCKED.

itisnearlysummer Sat 20-Aug-11 12:04:44

Housing costs aren't spiralling at the moment though. The gov are letting other costs rise to bring them in line with over inflated housing costs to mask the fact that housing costs are actually coming down.

Surely a 1.6% rise in house prices compared to 4% inflation actually means that in real terms houses are worth less.

People have equated house prices with personal wealth for so long now that the gov can't afford to let them fall, esp with all the money tied up in mortgages (esp IO where the loan isn't even being repaid) because it would damage the country's morale more than rising food and fuel costs.

If my DH loses his job, we too will be fucked.

welshbyrd Sat 20-Aug-11 12:05:51

I also have to agree food prices are really hitting our family, I have a massive freezer, so always, buy reduced meat/fish when on offer.

Bought 6 chickens the other day at 90p each, I have put them in the freezer, I did not half have some funny looks in the store

Received a letter from my gas/electric supplier recently, saying electric is going up 11% and gas 18%, I honestly do not know how we will cope if this winter is going to be the same as the last 2. Last year, when we had all the snow,we were spending £35 a week on gas, 18% on top of that makes me feel sad

Weather predictions for UK this winter are -" This would result in the fourth bad winter in succession for the UK, and should prove to be the worst of them all."
I have started topping the gas meter up already, and looking online for extra thick socks/PJs etc

Im scared I really am, DCs are on packed lunches for school, wondering if paying for a warm meal is better in bad weather, but I do not think we could afford it.
I do not get how we are to stretch our budget on gas/electric/food/petrol, anymore, our money is all ready stretched to the max [not sure that is the correct grammar/word, my English is crap]
Eg. Tesco value mild cheese slices were - 59p now £1.21, this rise was in one week
Pasta sauce packets were 48p - week later 78p
Toilet roll went up 53p in a week
Fruit - has risen beyond a joke, and Veg, I must suggest Aldi's 6 of the week,is a bargain
Im rambling now, could type for at least another hour, of ridiculously price increases
DHs wages have gone up 5p per hour, our rent has gone up, council tax has gone up
Something has got to give, where does it end?

welshbyrd Sat 20-Aug-11 12:08:46

Forgot to add, our holiday this year was 2 £9,50 Sun holidays back to back, we have never been abroad, thankfully my DCs have very lovely Grandparents who have taken them abroad, we have never gone as a family
I can not see us even thinking about buying a home until DCs leave home. its impossible sad

Tee2072 Sat 20-Aug-11 12:12:00

What's going to happen? Revolution.

I know it sounds a bit flippant but it's where we are heading and, really, IMHO, what the riots were about.

Not about a shooting. But about telling our kids that there are no jobs, but no benefits either, while stanidng in front of a shop with items no one can afford to buy.

I am waiting for Cameron to say 'Let them eat cake'.

Who has the guillotine?

honeymom Sat 20-Aug-11 12:33:49

It's been worse. Ppl will have to become more self sufficient. They will regret having the wood Burners taken out. Etc etc. We expect to much these days.

amicissima Sat 20-Aug-11 13:47:17

The problem is that in the last 10-15 years we thought we were better off than we really were.

Tax credits are a good example; the government was borrowing money to give to people who were earning less than they could manage on, so they felt better off than they really were. Likewise money was borrowed to pay people who weren't working while hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans (and others) filled low-skilled jobs and hid the fact that local people weren't filling the jobs. Money was borrowed to pay retired people for several decades. Money was borrowed to pay for 900,000 more state sector jobs. Money was borrowed to improve school buildings. I could go on: everything that is paid for by the government uses a lot of borrowed money. Now we are not earning enough to pay even the interest on what we borrowed.

Please do not take any of the previous paragraph to suggest any kind of judgement on whether we should or should not have spent the money in these ways - that is a whole different debate.

Despite the idea often portrayed in the media, this 'hard-cutting' government is still increasing borrowing massively, just at a slightly reduced rate. It doesn't look, however, as if we'll be earning enough to cover our interest payments for some time yet.

One solution to this is to cut spending drastically (look at Greece), another is to put up taxes (unfortunately the most lucrative sources of tax have an irritating habit of leaving the country if pushed too hard, and they tend to be the people who create wealth - a double whammy) or, as wages are one of the country's greatest expenses, to cut people's incomes. The last can be done by freezing incomes and allowing inflation to do the job. This is what is being described by the OP.

We are really going back to our 'true' wealth (if wealth is the word!) of 10-15 years ago, which means we can't afford many things we took for granted 3-4 years ago. I suppose the 'good' thing is that we did get to enjoy it while we had it; the alternative would be not to have lived so well (even if you don't think it was so good!) in which case we wouldn't feel the pain when we lost it.

(Another who is fervently hoping DH doesn't lose his job!)

alphabettyspagghetti Sat 20-Aug-11 14:09:28

Weather predictions for UK this winter are -" This would result in the fourth bad winter in succession for the UK, and should prove to be the worst of them all."

Welsh? Where did you quote that from? I'd love to read it if you dont mind. I had a feeling at the begining of the year this winter was going to be a really harsh one...

Corvax Sat 20-Aug-11 14:16:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alphabettyspagghetti Sat 20-Aug-11 14:31:28

A holi - what? Never heard of it. I have vauge memories of a beach and some water, but that was about 4 years ago, on a day trip, to a place just over an hour's drive from me, but as I dont drive it's a £70 train fare.

At the moment I would KILL for 1 night in a sodding b&b in town at the moment.

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