Money Wellness
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calendar icon19 Mar 2024

Debt Awareness Week: Victoria's story

To mark Debt Awareness Week, we've been speaking to our customers about how they're dealing with their money worries.

I was pretty stressed to be honest

Victoria survives on universal credit after ill health forced her to give up work. She was managing to get by until the cost-of-living crisis struck and her energy supplier got in touch to say the amount she was paying each month was no longer covering her usage. Victoria explained, "They had to put it up quite considerably meaning I get less from universal credit because that’s, you know, how my bills come out… and I was pretty stressed to be honest.”

It's just been so embarrassing… I felt nearly in tears

After her energy payments went up, managing her money became much more of a struggle for Victoria. She said, “When I go to the supermarket, it’s, like, surely this can’t add up to that amount… I know, like, I’ve got to the checkout before and I’ve tried to pay with cash and I’ve had to pay with card because I didn’t withdraw maybe enough cash out and my card’s got declined before and it’s just been so embarrassing, you know, and I felt nearly in tears knowing I haven’t got any more money, what am I going to do?”

They do all the hard work for you

When Victoria started struggling to pay her water bill, her supplier Wessex Water referred her to us for budgeting help. And she was impressed with the service she received. She said, “I liked speaking to the adviser because the guy I spoke to was really friendly, really patient and just really good at his job.”

She added, “If somebody’s struggling to budget I would recommend them ‘cause, like I say, they go through your finances and they can maybe say ‘oh you can maybe afford to put away £20 a month’ and, especially if you’re not very good with maths, they do all the hard work for you.”

It’s just an awful struggle

Victoria admits she hasn’t always been the best at budgeting but before the cost-of-living crisis stuck, she’d always got by. She said, “Just like with everyone, it’s just an awful struggle.” Victoria’s story isn’t unusual.

If you’re struggling to get by, you don’t have to manage alone. Through no fault of their own, people who have always been self-sufficient are finding rocketing costs mean they can no longer cover all their essential bills. And because they’ve always been self-sufficient, they may be unaware of the help that’s available.

How we can help

Here at Money Wellness, we can:

  • offer budgeting advice
  • check you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to
  • provide information on grants and other financial support you may be able to apply for
  • advise you on suitable debt solutions – which could lower your monthly payments and even write of some of your debt

All of our advice and budgeting help is free. Some debt solutions are free and for others there’s a fee. Our advice is available online or over the phone.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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