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.

Survey Findings

Earlier this year we ran a survey called ‘How is the current cost of living affecting you?’ and 1,000 young people across Scotland responded. The survey found that:

  • 70% of young people are concerned about the financial pressures on their parents, guardians or carers and the associated stress and impact on their mental and physical health
  • 80% of young people said they had noticed a change in how their homes are heated, with 83% now more aware of how much electricity they use
  • 50% of young people said they were experiencing a negative impact on their mental health and 33% said they did not currently feel good about their physical health and wellbeing
  • Young people have been speaking to the people they live with (77.5%) and their friends (62.9%) about the cost of living crisis.

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

“As with the heating, I simply cannot afford to use more electricity than is necessary. Money is being stretched so thin at present that any non-essential electricity is kept to the bare minimum. I would rather sit in the dark than have the light on and spend money I don’t have”.  

Young person, 25, Midlothian

All my flatmates are terrified… I’m only grateful that they feel the same way and aren’t being careless with electricity and gas. We have started using apps like ‘Too Good to Go’ to save money on food.”

Young person, 20, Edinburgh

“My friends are saying how their parents are going through rules they have in their homes now. My friends are also stressed because we are going to university in 2 years, and they’re scared about how they’re going to be able to afford it”  

Young person, 15, Falkirk

“I’m going to start paying dig money to ensure I’m not costing my family excess amounts”  

Young person, 17, North Lanarkshire

“I suffer with anxiety… I’m more worried about my family being able to cope and keep a roof over their heads. It is affecting university as I’m wanting to put in as many hours as possible working to help as much as I can”  

Young person, 21, Aberdeen

“I feel now I am constantly trying to save money and feel guilty on doing anything fun or I would usually treat myself to” 

Young person, 16, Fife

For more information read the full report.

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.

Take a look at our Cost Crisis Helplines page for a list of organisations that can help you during this time.

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. 

Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.

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