finance

I’m a mum and I’ve had to scrap our family’s summer holiday as all our money is going on bills


A HEARTBROKEN mum has had to tell her kids their first family holiday is cancelled as their money is being spent on bills.

Danielle Appleton, 35, from Hull, had planned to take the kids to Rhodes this year but was forced to give up the plans.

Danielle has revealed the pain of missing out on a family holiday due to bills

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Danielle has revealed the pain of missing out on a family holiday due to billsCredit: LDRS

With soaring cost of living prices, Danielle felt like she had no choice but to throw in the trip when a holiday company cancelled flights and then tried to charge an extra £800 to reschedule.

She told Hull Live they just couldn’t afford to pay it as energy, food and rent prices reach new heights.

Danielle explained: “Our gas and electric bills are £419 a month now and I’m paying £800 a month for a mortgage.

“It was going to be a special first family holiday away for all of us together.

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“I’m on a variable rate, so my mortgage has started going up since the interest rate hikes. And the weekly shop’s costing about £150 a week now, just for the essentials.”

Rhodes was the perfect location for the family, travelling as a mixed aged group, with a water park and horse riding near their accommodation.

She said: “We want to try and get to the coast for a couple of days here and there this summer, but it’ll be hard with the cost of fuel as it is.

“I work full time and I’ve only got this week of.”

As Danielle looks for ways to keep spending down, she’s hunting out free activities and places they can eat for cheap.

She said: “The cost of living situation’s ridiculous, so even getting to and from the free stuff is difficult financially.

“Before we’d be going on days out all the time in the summer holidays, we’d go to the York Maze and places like that.

“We go to East Park and the museums but the trouble is we’ve done them all already so there’s not much new things left for us to do.”

One mum-of-three told The Sun how she desperately wants to turn on the heating – but like many others, can’t.

Michelle Rutter Hughes says due to the cost of living crisis means she simply doesn’t have the money. 

And even though she knows a cup of tea would warm her, she won’t boil one because soaring electricity bills means her kettle is too expensive to use.

‘NO SAVINGS TO FALL BACK ON’

Michelle, who works between 20 and 40 hours a week, uses it just twice a day, storing excess water in a flask.  

Since Friday Michelle’s electricity bill has gone up from £120 a month to £300. Her gas bill is now £145 a month whereas before it was £50 a month. 

It’s not a case of choosing between heating and electricity – the family can barely afford food either. 

More than 1.3 million households are facing the cost-of-living crisis with no savings to fall back on, analysis shows.

And 400,000 say they need relatives and friends to help them meet an unexpected bill.

Energy, food, fuel and transport costs are all soaring as the rate of inflation rockets, and millions face falling behind on their bills.

Households face paying £830 on average more for their energy bills, while shoppers could have to fork out an extra £1,000 on food each year.

Half of families have savings equivalent to less than a month’s income.

And there is a sharp divide between rich and poor — with the least well-off four times as likely to have no savings.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED HELP

Families who are hard up can access Welfare Assistance schemes which could mean free cash, food vouchers, and help for bills like rent and energy.

Another scheme you could tap into via your local council is the Household Support Fund.

The total amount of money invested into this pot of cash is £1.5billion since the scheme launched in October last year.

You can find free-to-use online benefits calculators to work out what you’re entitled to.

Entitledto’s free calculator works out whether you qualify for various benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit.

Make sure you have key financial information to hand, such as bank and savings statements, and information on pensions and existing benefits.

Energy suppliers offer cash grants to those hardest hit by bills rises.

For instance British Gas is giving out up to £750 through its hardship fund – and you don’t even have to be a customer.

You may be eligible for Council Tax Support (sometimes called a Council Tax Reduction) if you’re on a low income or on certain benefits.

The amount you could see your bill reduced by depends on your personal circumstances – but you could end up seeing council tax slashed by 100 percent.

There are a number of schemes you can apply to in order to slash your water bills.

Lower income families can apply to the WaterSure scheme to save hundreds of pounds on their bill each year.





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