Full-time mum can’t afford to switch heating on due to soaring household bills



A mum who works a full-time job states that she barely uses the heating in her home as she is worried about how much it will cost her.

Mum-of-one Nicky Singh, 43, said that rising bills have left her struggling to get by, even though she and her husband both have full-time jobs.

Mrs Singh, from Sutton Coldfield, said that her difficulties have made her worry about how pensioners, people in low-income roles and on benefits would survive the cost of living crisis, Birmingham Live reports.

Families are beginning to feel the agony of rocketing bills. Energy bills are rising by an average of £700 a year from this month, while council tax and National Insurance has also been hiked for millions as food and petrol prices also remain high with inflation at a 30-year high.

Mrs Singh, who works as a contract manager in the aerospace industry, said: “Honest to god, since January I’m paying around £245 a month on gas and electric.

“It is getting difficult to survive because if we have to pay a chunk of money towards gas and electric that’s not just the only factor.

“I’ve got a child at home and I’ve almost completely switched off the heating since March. I know I can’t afford it.

“You’re looking at your digital reading, the bill’s shooting up £10 when you’ve used the heater for like three hours of the day.

“It is really, really concerning. Apart from gas and electric, the phone bill has gone up, average shopping for three people is like £55 a week, now it costs around £70-75 a week. Petrol is also going up. “

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It means, as much as possible, the heating is left off as Mrs Singh, who has been married to hotel manager husband Chi for 17 years and has a 13-year-old son, is worried her rocketing energy bills could leave her struggling to affordable food.

She said: “We have jumpers on at home. All the windows are closed, it’s not really a healthy living situation. We do switch on the heating sometimes in the evening, when my husband is home.

“When I’m working at home alone, even if it’s freezing, I’m wearing two jumpers but the heating is off. He has started calling me crazy. I never used to worry about switching off the lights.

“If I have to pay £245 on gas and electric, what will we live on? We need food. Without heating we can still manage but we need food and with a child, his schooling, his books, that’s more important.

“We’ve had to cut down, cancel our subscriptions as a family, reduce our phone bills. I know money is going to be tight. The bills are going up, we have to cut down.”

Using the heating as little as possible, putting on extra layers, switching lights off – these extreme actions will be being replicated in thousands of homes up and down the country and it shows just how anxious families are about the impact of soaring bills.

Mrs Singh added: “I’m not kidding, we’re earning a good amount for three people, it’s really difficult to survive at the end of the month with bills going up.

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“I’m thinking of finding another job so we can go on holiday. I haven’t had a holiday since 2020, I can’t afford them because all I am doing is paying bills.”

The mum is eager to point out she understands she’s fortunate to be in a two-job household and she says it makes her wonder how people get worse off are supposed to manage.

“It is worrying. I’m working full-time. People who are not working, people who are old, people living on pensions, think about those.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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