I'm 73 and the stress of trying to pay my bills is ruining my life – I can barely afford to survive

DEAR DEIDRE: THE stress of trying to pay my bills is ruining my life – I can barely afford to survive.

I’m a 73-year-old man. I’ve lived by myself since my wife died nine years ago.


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Over the past few months, my rent has gone up and my electricity bill has just sky- rocketed.

Now I dread the postman coming with the latest bill.

I’ve lost a stone in the past few months since I’ve started avoiding cooking.

That way I don’t pay as much for the cost of fuel.

But it’s no fun eating cold baked beans from the can.

I don’t shower much either, to save money on the water meter. It’s no life.

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Besides, if I’m barely making ends meet in summer, how will I cope when the weather cools down in the winter? I can’t help thinking I won’t make it to Christmas.

While I realise how distressing this must be, please be assured there is help available.

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DEIDRE SAYS:  Explain your situation to your landlord and utility companies.

Ask them to consider ways of making payments more affordable.

Could you negotiate a lower rent? For more guidance on this contact citizensadvice.org.uk.

They can also advise on benefits you can claim.

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You get the £300 winter fuel payment top-up included in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recent mini-budget, which also included £400 off energy bills for everyone in October, plus a £650 grant for the most needy.

Contact the StepChange Debt Charity (stepchange.org, 0800 138 1111) for more support and information.

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