Cost of living: 'I had to sell my home and move in with my daughter'

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Jo, Frank, three, Fiona and Felicity, 18 monthsImage source, Supplied
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Jo Stanley (left) said she had to sell her home due to the cost-of-living crisis

A grandmother said she made a "heart-breaking" decision to sell her home and move in with her daughter due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Jo Stanley is supporting her grandchildren and daughter Fiona, who was quoted £2,000 a month for childcare when aiming to return to work.

Ms Stanley, 58, said she had been struggling to pay her bills and decided to help her daughter.

She said: "It was either that or see your family go under."

"That's what you do as a mother - you step up and help your family," she added.

Image source, Supplied
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Ms Stanley now lives with her daughter and grandchildren and takes on childcare responsibilities

After having her second child last summer, logistics manager Fiona, 33, from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, started to look at going back to work.

She said she had tried many avenues but the finances did not add up.

She said she had faced a seemingly impossible choice - either quit her job as a logistics manager and go on to Universal Credit, or spend all of her monthly wages on childcare.

After going to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, Fiona was told she would receive £810 a month in Universal Credit - less than half of her monthly wage if she quit her job. The fact she owns her own home was a big factor in the amount she would have been entitled to, she said.

Her eldest son, now three, was not eligible for childcare support last summer when Fiona was looking at going back to work.

"When this was going on, I was in a really dark place trying to figure out what on earth I was going to do," she said.

"It took me years to buy my own home, so it feels like I was being penalised because I do work and live independently from the state.

"What I was being offered didn't cover all of my bills and outgoings. It was a killer."

Image source, Supplied
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Without her mum Jo moving in, Fiona said she had faced an impossible choice on the cost of childcare

Fiona turned to her mum

The 58-year-old lived on her own just a few yards away on the same street in the same house she had grown up in.

Ms Stanley said that she had decided to sell her home, both as a result of her financial struggles but also to support her daughter.

As a result, Fiona has been able to return to work full-time, while Ms Stanley works part-time and helps with the care of her grandchildren.

"It was a desperate choice, but one I just had to do. It was heart-breaking," she said.

"It's sad in this day and age to do something so drastic to help your family out.

"I'm not going to lie, it's pretty hectic - I feel like I'm back to living in my 20s, looking after my own kids.

"I pay my way, I still have my own personal bills to pay for. I want to work, it's a matter of pride for me."

On the prospect of looking towards retirement, Ms Stanley said she had written it off and said she would continue to work until she "can't physically do it".

Image source, Supplied
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Fiona said she would always be grateful for the sacrifices her mum had made

Fiona said she would be forever grateful for the sacrifices her mum had made.

"I'm in complete awe of my mum," Fiona said.

"I'll make sure she'll always have a roof over her head.

"I can't describe in words what it means for me.

"She's completely amazing, she's a hero to me. She's helped us survive."

Speaking before the Chancellor's new announcement on childcare support, Fiona said more needed to be done on the issue, especially with grandparents.

"Many other parents face [these issues] with young children, do the government want us to go to work or not?" she said.

"People are making a lot of sacrifices.

"There's so many grandparents who are supposed to be having the time of their lives looking forward to retirement - they can't because they're supporting family with childcare."

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