What Young People Are Saying About the Cost Crisis

Young people have been telling us that the cost crisis is impacting their day-to-day lives. We have therefore been working with Young Scot volunteers to create a page packed full of information to help you understand how you can use your Young Scot National Entitlement Card to save money, tips on money management and information to help you understand and navigate what's happening in Scotland and beyond. 

What is the cost crisis? The cost of living crisis or cost crisis is about the price of essential items rising faster than the amount of income a house has. For example, people’s wages or benefits may have stayed the same but the cost of food, rent and energy bills have all increased. This can leave households with less money or not able to afford items or pay bills.

Earlier this year in partnership with the Money and Pensions Service, we asked you in a survey if you have been impacted by cost of living increases. Over 400 of you completed the survey and 91% of you said you had been impacted. 

This is what some of you told us in the survey:

"The living costs crisis has had a huge impact on my life, as a single unemployed parent to a one year old toddler I find this time extremely difficult."
"Increased the price of food for my family by 20%"
"The energy crisis has meant that my family have had to budget and plan better than before."

We also asked Young Scot volunteers and members for their experiences and thoughts on the cost crisis, see what they had to say below:

“I’m from a family that lives on benefits and going forward not knowing what bills will come through is obviously quite daunting. Especially moving forward if this isn’t solved in a year’s time, I’m looking at living off student loans, and again I have no idea what the cost of different things is going to be. There is nothing to say whether this is a temporary situation or if it’s just another new normal.” - YS Hive volunteer
"It has made it significantly harder to make ends meet for families. I currently work up to 72 hours a week in social care, and so much of my earnings have to go towards essentials and supporting my family now." - Young Scot member
"I'm just about to start my final year of university, and I'm quite concerned about how I'm going to be able to afford my weekly shop! Student loans (maintenance) haven't been adjusted for inflation. It would be fantastic if these were set in real rather than nominal terms in the relevant legislation / regulations, but then this bakes inflation expectations into the system and causes potential wage / price spirals." - Young Scot Member 
"We've had to cut back on electricity, having to save money for the things we need e.g food, bills and electricity." - Young Scot Member
"The cost of living crisis has very much impacted me as I live in an already struggling household where money is a major worry. My sister has had to help pay any bills with the money she gets from uni." - Young Scot Member

If you would like to share your experiences and thoughts on the cost crisis, head over to our Membership platform and add your voice.

Help and Support

The cost crisis is impacting us all day-to-day, from the cost of food to energy bills to putting a roof over our heads. It's natural to feel worried, anxious or stressed about what's happening in the world around you, know that if you're feeling this way, you're not alone. It’s important to talk to someone about how you are feeling though and not keep your worries and concerns to yourself. This could be a family member or friend, your GP or by calling a helpline.

There are a range of support services that can help if you feel this way, we've listed some organisations below that you can speak to over the phone, on webchat, email or WhatsApp.

Advice Direct Scotland

Advice Direct Scotland is Scotland’s largest digital advice agency, providing free and independent advice to the people who live in  Scotland. They have information and advice on energy, heating your home and more.

Open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.

Call: 0808 196 8660

Website

Childline

Support for anyone under 19 years old.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Call: 0800 1111

Visit the Childline website for a digital chat.

Citizens Advice Scotland 

Get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice and information. 

Call: 0800 028 1456

Visit the Citizens Advice Scotland website for useful guides and information

You can also get in touch with their Money Talk Team if you’re struggling to make your money last or are worried about how you’ll pay your bills.

Open Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm.

Call: 0800 085 7145

Money Talk Team website.

Money Advice Scotland

Money Advice Scotland can help if you have money worries; whether it’s struggling with debt payments or bills, needing help to budget, or finding ways to increase your income and reduce outgoings.

Open Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 8pm and Friday 8:30am to 5pm.

Webchat

Email

WhatsApp.

National Debt Line

The National Debt Line give free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. 

Open Monday to Friday, 9am - 8pm and Saturday 9.30 - 1pm.

Call: 0808 808 4000

Webchat.

Samaritans

Emotional support to anyone in emotional distress or at risk of suicide.

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Call: 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Stepchange

Stepchange is a debt advice service, helping with debt problems take back control of their finances and their lives.

Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday, 8am to 4pm.

Call: 0800 138 1111

Online debt advice service (open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year). 

Additional organisations that can support your mental health and emotional well-being can be found on our #AyeFeel page.

Find information and support on the cost crisis on our dedicated page.