The horror story of rising living costs

Picture of a bonfire for a post on rising living costs

Living standards going up in flames

You know that feeling of impending doom during a horror film, as the creepy music starts, lights flicker and floorboards creak? 

That’s how I’ve been feeling over the last few months, faced with the flood of frightening news about rising living costs.

Inflation has already hit a 30 year high, at 5.4% compared to the 2% target. Yikes. 

House prices had already gone crazy. Higher fuel costs mean it costs extra tenners to fill up your tank. Food prices have been juddering upwards, with value ranges disappearing from supermarket shelves. Energy bills have already become scorching, pushed up by wholesale gas prices.

Then yesterday, further horror was unleashed.

Scary price rises

The new energy price cap from April, announced yesterday, will go up by a staggering 54%.

That’s huge, on bills that have already become frighteningly high after previous price rises. Someone paying typical bills by direct debit of £1,277 a year will suddenly be scrabbling to find nearly £700 extra, as their bills hit £1,971. 

The price cap limits how much energy companies can gouge per unit for people on default tariffs – ie if they haven’t switched or fixed. So price increases, especially for those in draughty houses, coming off cheap tariffs or on prepayment meters, will actually be way higher.

The Bank of England also doubled base rate yesterday, up from 0.25% to 0.5%, the second increase in as many months. This may not be a massive increase, but it is likely to push up the cost of borrowing money. For many homeowners it won’t make any immediate difference – around 75% of mortgages are on fixed rates. But those on variable rates are likely to face higher monthly payments, if their lenders pass on the interest rate rise. Higher rates will also affect new buyers and anyone looking to remortgage.

Savers may hope to benefit from extra interest on their accounts – but in practice there’s no guarantee banks and building societies will pass on the increase in full, or at all.

Many of us would normally expect to pay higher Council Tax from April too.

Disappearing income

At the same time as costs are rising, many are seeing their income shrink.

In October, the Chancellor cancelled the extra £20 a week added to Universal Credit during the pandemic.

National Insurance rates are due to go up by 1.25 percentage points from April. This affects all workers who earn over £9,880 a year. For someone earning £30,000 a year for example, just north of national average earnings, that means shelling out an extra £214 a year. 

Plus over time, many taxpayers will start feeling the pinch because tax thresholds have been frozen. Normally, the amount you can earn before starting to pay any income tax, and before starting to pay higher rate tax, ticks up each year. Instead, the Personal Allowance has been frozen at £12,570, and the Higher Rate Threshold frozen at £50,270, until 2026. Over time, as earnings increase, ever more people will have to pay ever more tax.

Help that won’t even touch the sides

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, made futile attempts to plug the yawning gap yesterday, but I fear it will be too little, and will come too late. 

He promised all domestic electricity customers a £200 “discount” on their bills in October. But people will then need to repay this supposed discount in equal instalments of £40 a year over the next five years. 

What kind of weird Klarna Kool-Aid has be been drinking, offering people the chance to buy now, pay later on their energy bills? That’s not a discount, it’s a loan that has to repaid. Plus, it’s only meant to kick in from October, when millions of families are struggling right now.

So before that, in April, he’s bunging £150 each off Council Tax to people in Bands A to D. Local authorities will also get £150 million to hand out to other lower income households, and people who are exempt from Council Tax.

Plus, more people will be eligible for the £140 a year Warm Home Discount.

I fear the odd few hundred pounds here and there won’t even touch the sides, when the combined impact of price rises climbs into the thousands.

Struggling to cope with rising living costs

Many of us will need to dig deep to cover so many price hikes all at once. For those already teetering on a financial knife edge it will be disastrous. The Bank of England is forecasting inflation over 7% and the worst fall in living standards since records began 30 years ago.

If you haven’t already exhausted these options, I suggest:

  • Strip out any excess costs right now, before big bills become more horrific. Check out my previous post on how to slash your budget to the bone
  • Start saving. If the pandemic demonstrated anything, it reinforced the need for an emergency fund. 
  • If you pay Council Tax in 10 instalments, with no bills this month and next, consider how you can use the money best.
  • Think twice before blowing extra cash, in case it’s needed later.
  • Double check if there’s anything you can claim – bung your details into the benefits calculator at Turn2Us and use their grants search. If you have a low retirement income, definitely check whether you qualify for Pension Credit (Age UK also has a useful benefits calculator for senior citizens). Claiming for example Universal Credit ir Pension Credit doesn’t only provide extra income, but can unlock shedloads of other advantages.

Now – over to you. How do you feel about the rising costs of living? What are you doing to cope?

For more discussion about energy bills, interest rates, inflation and banking at the Post Office, check out episode 249 of the Andy Webb’s Cash Chats podcast, where I was a guest yesterday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Chris
    5th February 2022 / 1:26 pm

    I think like many people we don’t want the government loan we have managed without debt for years now and we do not want to start again now. What we cannot afford we will do without. I made a list of how we lived in the 50s all are doable now except the outside loo. So chancellor don’t put me in debt now.
    Sorry about the rant

    • 19th July 2023 / 10:52 am

      Investment is one of the best ways to achieve financial freedom. For a beginner there are so many challenges you face. It’s hard to know how to get started. Trading the Crypto market has really been a life changer for me. I almost gave up on crypto currency at some point not until I got a proficient trader Bernie Doran, he gave me all the information required to succeed in trading. I made more profit than I could ever imagine. I’m not here to converse much but to share my testimony, I invested $5000.00 and got back $50,500.00 within 5 days of investment. His strategies and signals are the best and I have gained more knowledge.
      If you are new to cryptocurrency. You can reach to him through Gmail : BERNIEDORANSIGNALS@GMAIL.COM or Telegram : @bernie_fx or his WhatsApp : +1424(285)-0682

        7th August 2023 / 1:32 am


        Good day Audience, I want to use this great medium to announce this information to the public about Mr MORRIS GRAY. few months back, I was seeking an online BTC investment plan when I got scammed for about $172,000. I was so down and didn’t know what to do until I came across a timeline about Mr MORRIS GRAY. so I reached out to him and to my greatest surprise, they were able to recover all the funds which I had previously lost to the Devils. I am so glad to share this wonderful news with you all because it cost me nothing to announce a good and reliable Hacker as Mr MORRIS GRAY, His direct email is Morris Gray 830 at gmail dot com, WhatsApp: +1 (607) 698-0239…..!!

  2. 14th February 2022 / 7:26 am

    Even inflation is rising rapidly companies are still trying to provide with the best product at some good rates

  3. 16th March 2022 / 5:59 am

    Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post

  4. 30th September 2022 / 12:05 pm

    I’ve seen some excellent points here. Amazing stuff, I believe you brought up some excellent points. Continue your wonderful work.

  5. 4th November 2022 / 11:26 am

    Nice Explanation Interesting read very helpful for me keep posting like these thanks!!

  6. Thara
    17th November 2022 / 10:28 pm

    This is my own story. Last year I adopted Milo on my birthday in order to have a furry friend. I found that’s when things were altered. Instead of heading out to eat I found myself learning how to cook meals to survive on the cheap as well. I prefer to make my own packed lunch at home. Rather than use a tumble dryer and washing machine I hang my clothes out in the garden to dry.
    Or I use my boiler, iron or hairdryer to dry out the clothes. I tend to visit the town library a lot to look at some free books and collect various different free leaflets in addition. I’ve even been known to get a printed copy of a free newspaper.

  7. 18th January 2023 / 7:42 am

    Irish moss and sea moss are two names for the same red algae species (or Chandra’s crisps, if you want to get formal about it). It is collected for its carrageenan, a substance added to milk products like ice cream to thicken them, but it is also sold raw and as a dietary supplement in the form of pills, powders, gels, and candies called sea moss suppliers.

  8. 23rd January 2023 / 12:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing.I found a lot of interesting information here. A really very thankful and hopeful that you will write many more posts like this one

  9. 25th January 2023 / 8:22 am

    I lost my Job few months ago,my wife left me ,could not get income for my family, things was so tough and I couldn’t get anything for my children, not until a met a recommendation on a page writing how Mr Bernie Wilfred helped a lady in getting a huge amount of profit every 6 working days on trading with his management on the cryptocurrency Market, to be honest I never believe it but I took the risk to take a loan of $2000. and I contacted him unbelievable and I was so happy I earn $22,500 in 6 working days, the most joy is that I can now take care of my family I don’t know how to appreciate your good work Mr. Bernie Doran God will continue to bless you for being a life saver I have no way to appreciate you than to tell people about your good trade management system. For a perfect investment and good strategies contact Mr Bernie Doran via WhatsApp :+1(424)285-0682 or Telegram : @Bernie_fx or Gmail :

    7th August 2023 / 1:31 am


    Good day Audience, I want to use this great medium to announce this information to the public about Mr MORRIS GRAY. few months back, I was seeking an online BTC investment plan when I got scammed for about $172,000. I was so down and didn’t know what to do until I came across a timeline about Mr MORRIS GRAY. so I reached out to him and to my greatest surprise, they were able to recover all the funds which I had previously lost to the Devils. I am so glad to share this wonderful news with you all because it cost me nothing to announce a good and reliable Hacker as Mr MORRIS GRAY, His direct email is Morris Gray 830 at gmail dot com, WhatsApp: +1 (607) 698-0239…..!!

  11. 15th August 2023 / 10:22 pm

    Empower yourself with knowledge about fibromyalgia. Our comprehensive fibromyalgia book provides insights, tips, and support for managing the condition and improving your quality of life.
    Check It Now: Fibromyalgia Book

  12. 16th August 2023 / 3:45 pm

    Excellent, really helpful article
    Experience top-rated glass replacement services for both commercial and residential properties. Our skilled professionals provide efficient and reliable solutions, ensuring your spaces are filled with natural light while maintaining security and aesthetics. Upgrade with confidence, knowing you’re choosing excellence in glass replacement.
    Check It Now: Top-rated glass replacement Kansas City

  13. 16th August 2023 / 4:53 pm

    Unlock your small business’s full potential with expert guidance from seasoned consultants. Navigate challenges, optimize operations, and achieve growth with personalized strategies. Our dedicated consultants empower your venture to thrive in a competitive landscape.
    Check It Now: Small Business Consultants

  14. david billy
    29th August 2023 / 4:20 pm


    I was actually fooled and scammed over ( $345,000 ) by someone I trusted with my funds through a transaction we did and I feel so disappointed and hurt knowing that someone can steal from you without remorse after trusting them, so I started searching for help legally to recover my stolen funds and came across a lot of Testimonials about ETHICREFINANCE Recovery Expert who helps in recovery lost funds, which I can tell has helped so many people who had contacted them regarding such issues and without a questionable doubt their funds was returned back to their wallet in a very short space of time, it took the expert 24hours to help me recover my funds and the best part of it all was that the scammers was actually located and arrested by local authorities in his region which was very relieving. Hope this helps as many people who have lost their hard earn money to scammers, you can reach him through the link below for help to recover your scammed funds and thank me later.
    Email Address:
    Website: www. ethicsrefinance .com

  15. Thara
    14th September 2023 / 11:01 pm


    This is my own true story. It has been told many times before in order to raise awareness of poverty. I currently reside in a small but cheap flat in the centre of town close to all of the local shops. When I first started experiencing money issues I decided to do my research in addition to identify what sort of life style choices I could make that were informed. Best wishes. I also wanted to find out more about my saving options as well. So I began reading up on more effective ways to save money online. I rarely used my portable storage heater or hairdryer. Instead I used warm food as my primary source of heat and warmth when it was cold. In the summer time when it was hot I sat outside for twenty minutes or so.

    I used to put a hot towel on my body in the colder months of the year. I even used a mini hairdryer to provide additional heat and warmth. I had candles. Hot food worked the best. Along with prayers. I wore a thick winter coat in the car with the heating turned on yet quite low.

    One such blog in addition was quite useful in terms of financial advice and tips too. Seriously, truly and literally. I doubt that I could have survived without it at all. I armed myself with the latest information as far as possible. Some of those options were instantly dismissed as being out of the question yet others were more practical however after all. I made a lot of brief summary notes. I sent out emails and placed calls to finance advisors to discuss things. I set up meetings and appointments. Each week I kept tabs on my weekly finances.

  16. 21st September 2023 / 11:25 am

    Infor Inn is a dedicated platform for global readers where you can find updated and new articles on business and technology. We encourage versatile and well-versed writers to share their Guest Post and infographics with us to get it published on our site. Read and enjoy latest blogs here on every topic you are looking for.InforInn

  17. 12th October 2023 / 8:39 pm

    Outsourcing sales is a strategic move for businesses — allowing them to leverage the expertise and resources of professional sales teams minus the cost and complexity of having their own in-house sales team. Including Vortex you get a complete set of Outsource Sales And Marketing services meant to move your Business.

    21st November 2023 / 12:23 pm


    I’m one of those few people who invested in the cryptocurrency market and was hoping to make enough profits after my retirement. Unfortunately, I had invested in a platform that was out to steal from me, I lost around $275,000 to this platform excluding the promised profits. I had lost every penny I invested into it including the money I had to borrow from friends. I thought it was all over until I came across a Cryptocurrency recovery expert, ETHICSREFINANCE SERVICE, who helped me recover my money from these fake investors. It took ETHICSREFINANCE 48 hours to recover my money and I was able to track down these people. I?m truly grateful for their service and I highly recommend them to anyone with the same problem.

    Email Address:
    WHATSAPP :+1 (719) 642-8467

  19. 26th November 2023 / 8:48 pm

    Introducing the IBM (00AD021 ), a high-capacity and reliable storage solution designed for demanding data environments. This 3TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive provides a robust storage option for your critical data needs. Operating at 7200 revolutions per minute, it delivers a balance of speed and capacity, making it suitable for various applications, from data storage to content delivery.

  20. Manuel Franco
    1st December 2023 / 6:56 am

    I just want to say Thank You to everyone who supported me through the years. My name is Manuel Franco, New Berlin, Wisconsin. My story of how I won the Powerball lottery of $768.4M is a bit of a tale. I have been playing Powerball tickets for 6 years now since I turned 18. I bought my first ticket on my 18 birthday. I was feeling very lucky that day because I had contacted Dr. Odunga Michael to help me with the winning Powerball numbers. I really had that great great feeling that I looked at the camera wanting to wink at it. I only did a tiny part of it and trusted him. He gave me the numbers after I played a couple other tickets along with it for $10. I checked my ticket after the winnings came online and saw the numbers were correct including the Power play. I screamed for about 10 minutes because it felt like a dream. I had won $768.4M. You can check my winning testimony with the lottery officials just with my name search. Thank you Dr Odunga. Well, his email is and you can also call or Whats-app him at +2348167159012 so you guys can contact him

The contents of this blog are for information and ideas, and should not be viewed as financial advice. Use of the material is conditional on there being no liability for how you choose to use it. If you are unsure about any investments or financial issues, please contact a financial adviser.