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Living on a debt solution

Struggling to feed your family?

Posted 08 December 2014 by Sarah Symons

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If money is tight and you are struggling to feed your family, then our handy guide could help you put food on the table. You don’t need to struggle on your own.

If you are struggling to feed your family, then you are not alone. Thousands of people across the UK are in the difficult position of having to choose between paying for food, heating and making their rent/mortgage payments because they don’t have enough money to cover all three.

Many parents are skipping meals in order to make sure their children are fed, but this can have serious health implications for them.

If you are struggling to feed your family then:


1. Admitting that you need help could be a great first step.

You should never feel ashamed if you are struggling to feed your family. You may feel too proud to ask for help and believe that skipping meals and not having the heating on will help you get through. The problem is that it can take a long time for situations to change, and your money problems could quickly spiral. If you start out missing one meal a day, then pretty soon you could end up missing two meals, and before you know it you might not have eaten for days.

If you want some top tips on feeding your family on a budget of £20 a week, check out our handy guide here.


2. Get the right sort of help

If you have a supportive family or network of friends, you may feel able to confide in them and ask if they can spare some food. Alternatively, foodbanks have been set up to provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support per family. In order to visit a foodbank and receive a food pack you will need a foodbank voucher. They are issued by doctors, health visitors, social workers, the Citizens Advise Bureau and police to people in crisis. You will need to speak to them and explain your current situation. Once you visit a foodbank, you will be offered help and advice to help you on a long term basis.

Did you know?

In 2013-14 foodbanks fed 913,138 people nationwide, including 330,205 children.


3. Prioritise what’s important

What money you have should go on your rent (or mortgage), food, essential travel (such as to work) and staying warm. Lenders such as loan, store card and credit card providers may contact you frequently to chase a payment, but it is more important that you put your money towards priority costs than unsecured debts.


4. Avoid getting further into debt

If you are struggling to feed your family, then getting a payday loan or extra credit card could be a really bad idea. You may find yourself in a worse position than before if you struggle to make payments.

Instead, you may wish to consider getting expert debt advice. We could offer you advice on the different debt solutions available to you, some of which charge a fee, so that you can make an informed decision about what to do next.

by Sarah Symons

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.