How to cope with the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis as a family

It’s safe to say we’re living in challenging times, with the cost of living stretching many households, leaving families with tough decisions to make around spending, with some even considering the prospect of eating or heating.

With the rate of inflation reaching a thirty-year high of 5.4% in December 2022 – which was driven by increases in food costs – up by 16.2% in October, fuel and utility costs. This compared to wages rising by 3.5%, which meant wages fell by 1.6% in real terms, leaving many of us with tough decisions to make.

The impact of these challenging times causes stress and worry for many families, including anxiety among our children.

In our blog, you’ll not only find some helpful suggestions for easing the pressures with some practical life hacks but also tips on how to lower the impact of stress upon you and your children.

Practical solutions to help you through the crisis

  • Government Cost of living assistance signposts help, including the cost of living payment for those who claim certain benefits of tax credits and energy-saving tips, suggesting simple quick actions which could reduce bills in the long term.
  • The British Red Cross is at the forefront of the cost-of-living crisis, highlighting emergency support, finding a warm space, food banks, local area support and networks, charitable grants, debt advice and many other helpful solutions, including mental health downloadable resources.
  • Feeding your family cheaply – there are some great free recipes out there focusing on feeding your family healthily for less, helping you reduce the cost of your weekly shop – Miguel Barclay features recipes for just £1 per portion on his Instagram feed, Jamie Oliver also offers £1 per portion solutions on his website as well his Instagram feed, and Jack Monroe has various budget cookbooks including ‘cooking on a shoe string’ (you’ll be able to pick a copy up on eBay second hand for a few pounds).
  • Make money from your clutter – whether that’s selling unwanted clothes, toys or household items, here are some solutionsfor you to make some extra cash and declutter. You’ll be doing your bit towards sustainable living and recycling too, and your kids can get involved in sorting through their toys to make some pocket money!

Ways of coping as a family

Stress over money worries can feel overwhelming, it’s important you and your family prioritise good mental health and wellbeing. Here are our practical suggestions of how to help you cope and navigate these tough times:

  • Shield your children from adult concerns and conversations – remember you’re their emotional anchor, they look to you to feel secure and safe. Even if you think children aren’t listening, they most likely are. Save adult concerns and conversations until they’re at school or in bed to minimise an impact on their anxiety levels.
  • Honest conversations – if your children ask questions about these difficult times, have an open and honest conversation – you can mention while things are tough now, there are ways of finding solutions – you can discuss how as a family you’ll do things a little differently to get through hard times.
  • Journal – Help yourself through the concerns by keeping a journal or diary, listing each concern. Breaking things down can help things seem less overwhelming (the practical guidance above may help with solutions).
  • Seek support – do you have a partner, friends or family you can talk to? If you need to speak to someone urgently you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.

Other resources:

Happy Confident Kids deliver group workshops empowering children with confidence and positivity,  at a range of schools and community groups across the UK. If you feel your school or community group could benefit email us or call 0333 358 0390