As the weather is slowly getting colder there’s a big worry on my mind. I’m new to living alone and this will be my first winter paying bills. Many people are struggling with the cost of living in different ways, single parents, those on a low income, job seekers and those with disabilities.
The charity Scope in recent 2023 finding found that “On average, disabled households (with at least one disabled adult or child) need an additional £975 a month to have the same standard of living as non-disabled households.” - Scope, Disability Price Tag 2023
Disabled people incur many extra costs, varying from person to person but many disabled people find that come the colder months they incur extra costs to stay warm because of their health.
For me the cold makes my symptoms worse. My joints are more painful, my muscles go into spasm more and just generally my pain levels increase and I feel a sense of malaise. It’s also important to have a warm home because I have autonomic issues so my body struggles to regulate its own temperature, in the summer I can’t cool down so well and in winter I can’t warm myself up so well. Obviously I dress warm in the colder months, I get my carers/PAs to make me hot water bottles and I microwave my warmies as well as snuggling under my heated blanket and taking other measures to stay warm that cost less. I’m so grateful for the cost of living payments as they will help a lot hopefully if/when I get them to put them on my gas and electric meter especially on my gas meter to heat my home. It also helps that this is a new build bungalow so it’s built to be warmer and more energy efficient.
It’s still a worry though over affording the heating bills over the next few months on top of all my other expenses and additional disability expenses. I know I’m not alone in my worries over the cost of living and also the additional disability price tag burden. It doesn’t leave much room to put money aside to save up.
My main worry is falling into debt over heating my home when I know that medically I need to have a warm home to stay well. I also worry about what will happen when the Cost of Living payment runs out and having to budget to put money on my meters.
At the moment I’m managing but it’s only going to get colder from now on, I just hope I’ll be okay.