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Terminally ill mum says she is saving for cost of living crisis and funeral

Terminally ill mum says she is saving for cost of living crisis and funeral

Melanie is trying not to use her electric wheelchair to keep her energy bills down

A terminally ill mum has revealed that she is having to contend with the cost of living crisis and saving up money for both her winter bills and her funeral.

Melanie Finlay, 48, is a mum-of-one with terminal bone cancer and she is not sure she will survive the winter because the cold exacerbates her condition.

She is receiving palliative care after an on-and-off cancer battle from 2019 saw her diagnosed with stage four metastatic cancer in March 2021.

Melanie doesn't think she'll survive the winter.

Melanie is now using the time she has left to tie up her finances and is saving for a 'no-frills cremation', which she expects will cost around £3,500.

She previously spent £3,000 marrying her partner, Tom, 43, in April of this year.

The family pay £550 a month for a rented flat in Dundee and eat discounted food, but they are still struggling amid soaring energy prices.

They were previously paying around £300 a month for gas and electricity, but they are now paying almost £100 a week for electricity alone - and that is before the upcoming October price hike.

She got married in a simple ceremony this year.

Melanie had worked for Police Scotland before her condition prevented her from working.

She said: "I've been saving up my money over the summer to pay off the funeral, nothing too elaborate. I've had to start wrapping my finances up so my husband isn't burdened with them when I'm gone.

"We're on a prepay meter with our gas and electricity so we're already penalised but we rent the flat so have no choice in that."

Melanie currently uses an electric wheelchair, but she is trying to use it minimally to keep their electricity costs down.

As well as saving for her funeral, Melanie, who is from England, is hoping to visit her family one last time in the Lake District to say goodbye.

Melanie wants to make memories with her son before passing.

She also wants to make as many memories as possible with her son Joseph, who is seven years old.

"I grew up in north-west England during the Thatcher years and this is worse," she said.

"I don't think the governments believe in it. The people running the governments are millionaires, they don't have to worry about money.

"I don't want to die, I want to spend time with my family and to give my child a good Christmas. I don't want to rely on Universal Credit or PIP but it keeps us going."

Melanie had dreamed of visiting New York, but can't afford it.

Melanie said that she has not travelled abroad since 2011 and while she wanted to see New York before passing away, she's accepted that it's not going to be possible for financial reasons.

She said: "It's just making sure we've got enough money. We don't have Sky and I cancelled subscriptions.

"I am one of thousands of people who are having to make these decisions."

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Real Life