Living on £1 a Day – Our Experience
Fancy living on £1 a day? Neither did we BUT Optimaites Stuart and Liam did just that. From 7th-11th May Liam and Stuart took part in the Live Below the Line challenge, tasting five days of extreme poverty and raising over £330 for their chosen charities, Unicef and Christian Aid.
£1 a day is the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line. So, by feeding themselves on just £1 a day for 5 days, Liam and Stuart experienced a degree of extreme poverty that 1.4 billion people currently live in.
Unfortunately, however, for people who live in extreme poverty that £1 has to cover far more than food and drink. Sadly it also has to stretch to health, housing, transport, food, education and much more.
How we found the Live Below the Line challenge
Optima Designer, Liam, said: “I'm surprised at how far £5 can go when it comes to food shopping. It's made me aware of the value of food and how much more wisely you can spend your money BUT £5 can only buy you so much. The thing I found most difficult was the lack of variety in what I was able to eat with the ingredients I bought and I soon found myself craving fresh food, a nice juicy apple for brunch and a yummy sweet cake mid-afternoon.
“I also found fatigue an issue. I usually have no trouble waking up but I struggled to get out of bed and found it difficult to focus and concentrate most of the week and by Friday I was struggling to function."
Optima Account Handler, Stuart, added: “It all started badly for me. I had budgeted to have porridge for breakfast every day but instantly realised at 8:00am on the first day that making it with water left my taste buds assaulted.
"Prior to the challenge, I thought I would be OK because I would still eat three meals a day. What I didn't take into account was the meals would contain fewer calories leading to tiredness and a lack of concentration and patience (3 minutes in the microwave seemed like an hour). Combined with only drinking water, I felt pretty low and lost 4lbs in weight! Despite this, the experience has definitely made me think differently and realise how far £5 can go when browsing the shelves of my local supermarket."
If you would like to see how Liam and Stuart managed the challenge, you can check out their photo meal diary and see what they actually ate on our Optima Facebook page
Live Below the Line
Live Below the Line is a Global Poverty Project initiative, an education and campaigning organisation whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action against extreme poverty across the world.
For more information on the Live Below the Line challenge or to make a last minute donation and show your support please visit https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/stuart and https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/liamchurchard
Until next year, we’re all enjoying raiding the fridge.