Vicky Whitwell opens the fridge to offer a snack to her children. “We don’t keep a lot of them in our fridge,” she says, pointing to the half-empty shelves. “It’s wasteful. We can’t afford to throw food in the trash.”

Vicky lives in Coventry with her husband and two children, Chloe, 11, and Charlie, 9. She owns her own business and works in a retirement home to supplement her income. Her husband works for John Lewis.

“We have good income, but it’s just a matter of budgeting for what might happen, what might happen, what happens,” she says.

“When you go from £70 to £130 to refuel a car, that’s double – nobody could predict that.”

Cooking pasta at home with the children, Vicky reflects on how different summer vacation will be for them this year.

“If I’m being honest, I just wish I could go out like I used to for days without having to watch the bank balance, watch what comes in, what goes out, what might happen in the winter.

“Because the income that comes into the house is spent on bills and everything else, because everything is getting more and more expensive.”

They used to have annual family vacations – but not this year.

“We haven’t planned a vacation. In 2018 we went to Portugal and Croatia, in 2019 we went on vacation to the UK. We haven’t taken a vacation since COVID just because the money is not there.

“We’ve gone away for the weekend to a farm…that’s all we have planned at the moment, just because we have to make sure we have the money to live on until October, November.”


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This notice was published: 2022-08-06 00:50:00