Great 'what do you pay more for if you're poor?' Hunt

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  • I am my mothers carer and a single mother to a young child (just about to turn 2), I can understand completely where you are coming from with these posts. I am struggling to keep up with my gas consumption, it is bitterly cold in my house and staying there with no heating on some nights with a young child is just not an option. The prepayment meters were in there when I moved in and the company I was with was not willing to change them unless I payed £100+ etc etc. I actually stayed at my mothers house last night so I knew my son would be warm. I shouldn't have to do that, but I can't use money I know I need for food and nappies on the heating. I get paid tomorrow so we should be fine, it just gets to me that it has to be that way. Whats worse is I used to work for an electricity company, so I know, if I managed to find the money to pay for electric heaters, they would cost me a fortune in electric too!

    I'm living in a private rented house and via my landlords help applied for the cavity wall insulation grant? They came out and did an inspection and told me the loft needs insulating also and it would be arranged. That was over 6 months ago. Not much use until it's in. I use hot water bottles and extra layers but still had to sleep with my gloves on the other night. I have been lurking on the forums for a while trying to find ways of saving money and I thank you all for the help that you give every day. I know I have learned a lot from reading the forums and the website and it has helped me in many ways.
  • CLAPTON
    CLAPTON Posts: 41,865 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I am my mothers carer and a single mother to a young child (just about to turn 2), I can understand completely where you are coming from with these posts. I am struggling to keep up with my gas consumption, it is bitterly cold in my house and staying there with no heating on some nights with a young child is just not an option. .

    clearly times change
    in my youth most/many people did not have heating in bedrooms; indeed only one room was heated
    people simply couldn't afford it
    many of us survived
  • Jacks_xxx
    Jacks_xxx Posts: 3,874 Forumite
    CLAPTON wrote: »
    clearly times change
    in my youth most/many people did not have heating in bedrooms; indeed only one room was heated
    people simply couldn't afford it
    many of us survived





    But many elderly people, babies, and people with respiratory illnesses didn't...
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Einstein
  • CLAPTON wrote: »
    clearly times change
    in my youth most/many people did not have heating in bedrooms; indeed only one room was heated
    people simply couldn't afford it
    many of us survived

    My son is asthmatic, he's already struggling to cope with the weather, I too am asthmatic and have recently suffered from a severe chest infection. If I am ill that means I can't care for my mother who needs that support. I shouldn't need to explain that though, not everyone has exactly the same circumstances surely?
  • Malory
    Malory Posts: 176 Forumite
    My son is asthmatic, he's already struggling to cope with the weather, I too am asthmatic and have recently suffered from a severe chest infection. If I am ill that means I can't care for my mother who needs that support. I shouldn't need to explain that though, not everyone has exactly the same circumstances surely?

    Yes.

    Also, if you are poor and can't afford (in terms of money and time)_to eat a healthy diet or to exercise regularly your asthma (or any other medical condition that you have) will worsen and you will be more susceptible to illness. Poor people are less healthy than people who aren't poor. Healthy people fare better in the cold than people who aren't healthy to begin with.

    I have asthma which is very well-controlled - because I can afford to spend money on healthy food and I work out a lot - but cold air in my lungs still affects me. Not something that can be fixed by putting on a jumper.
  • Jake'sGran
    Jake'sGran Posts: 3,269 Forumite
    CLAPTON wrote: »
    clearly times change
    in my youth most/many people did not have heating in bedrooms; indeed only one room was heated
    people simply couldn't afford it
    many of us survived

    You are right, we did not have heating in bedrooms. I had pneumonia 4-5 times but was told ten years ago that I also must have had rheumatic fever too as my heart has been damaged. After being a dedicated Money Saver for years I have invested and accumulated money which I can't use now so my family will get it.

    My son was heavily in debt five years ago and nearly died from loss of blood when he continued working with a stomach ulcer. I have helped him in small ways since then and it was great the other day to hear him say that the debts are almost paid off and he feels almost "high" about it. He buys nice clothes from the local charity shop and eats very nourishing but cheap food; porridge,rice, lentils, any veg and twice a week a meat and three veg from our house. It's heartwarming to see things improve for him.

    Just one footnote, I feel really sad when I think about older people (like me!) who don't know what they can get to make their lives easier. The lady who died in her garden the other day was thought to be going to the outside loo when she fell and the old gent was thought to be going for coal. It is truly awful.
  • Anyone stuck with a pre-payment meter for gas and/or electricity should take a look at Ebico: https://www.ebico.org.uk/ - they charge the same rates whether you're on pre-payment or any other tariff :beer:

    Disclosure: I get my gas from Ebico, though I'm not on pre-pay. Been very happy with them so far.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone - Thoreau
  • Malory
    Malory Posts: 176 Forumite
    Jake'sGran wrote: »
    You are right, we did not have heating in bedrooms. I had pneumonia 4-5 times but was told ten years ago that I also must have had rheumatic fever too as my heart has been damaged.

    People who talk about how better things were "in the old days" should think about what average life expectancies were in the old days.

    Yes, it's a shame about those people who died because they were not aware of services that were available to them.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 2,175 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker Name Dropper
    edited 6 December 2010 at 2:44PM
    Maybe a controversial viewpoint, but I believe that if people are:

    • smoking
    • drinking
    • subscribing to Sky
    • taking expensive mobile contracts
    then they should not be afforded any "help" until they "help" themselves by jacking in these luxuries.

    They can easily be sorted by quitting smoking, stopping drinking, switching to Freeview, and using a cheap phone with a Sim Only deal in it.

    I know someone who's on the social, and whining about how little money they get, while getting the wine in all the time, having Sky, and just signed up to a £35 a month mobile. No sympathy from me on that one. Nor to those who are complaining about how things are tight, but buying their clothes from Topshop, D2, New Look and the like, because they're too proud to buy things from charity shops.

    Over all, it's all about give and take.
  • My son is asthmatic, he's already struggling to cope with the weather, I too am asthmatic and have recently suffered from a severe chest infection. If I am ill that means I can't care for my mother who needs that support. I shouldn't need to explain that though, not everyone has exactly the same circumstances surely?


    I have severe asthma too. My chest is terrible in this weather.

    The flat I am renting has not got much loft insulation, basically when the heating goes off, the temperature plummets. This morning there was ice on the inside of the window :eek:. In the last month I have put £70 in the gas prepayment meter. Gas is for central heating and hot water, and cooking. Heating on for a couple of hours in the morning whilst getting up and ready to go out, then for the evening, from when I get in from work, until I go to bed. (usually 5pm-10pm) Not on at all overnight (till it comes on again at 6am - 8am).

    I don't consider my use to be excessive, in the house I just moved out of (with cavity wall and good loft insulation) I paid a max of £100 per month for gas and electric, and that included paying off a large initial bill over the next 12 months. I don't use the central heating any more here than I did in the last place.
    Getting fit for 2013 - Starting weight 10.1.13 88.1kg
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