Live Below The Line

I found my next social experiment after last year’s Project Minimum Wage series which can be found here.
I recently read about a fundraising campaign called “Live Below The Line”. It’s a movement to bring more awareness in the fight against extreme poverty. Don’t be alarmed, this blog post isn’t out to ask you for any money. I’m just going to take part in one of their challenges they have.
The challenge set by Live Below The Line is to see if you can live off of $1.50 per day for food for 5 day days. Currently 1.4 billion people in the world live in extreme poverty. I saw some celebrities such as Josh Groban and Ben Affleck are doing it so I figured why can’t I do it?

So why $1.50? The challenge is set at $1.50 a day, because this is the current equivalent of the accepted global figure used to define extreme poverty. This was set by the World bank as US$1.25 per day in 2005. Basically, if you live on less than that every day, you’re recognized internationally as living in extreme poverty

From their website: This is how it works:
        How does it work?
So you want to Live Below the Line, but you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into. Ok so here are the basics:
  • From April 29th to May 3rd, you can spend no more than $1.50 a day on food and drink.
  • This means you have a total of $7.50 with which to buy all ingredients for your meals.
  • The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packages of food such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
  • For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per ounce and budget your shopping proportionally. Separate your items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in your pantry.
  • One of the easiest ways to partake in the challenge is to share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than $1.50 a day or their total $7.50 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
  • You can’t grab a snack from the pantry unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
  • You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
  • No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the $1.50 spending limit. Remember this is a challenge to eat creatively – don’t at any point deprive yourself of three meals a day.
  • You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
  • You are allowed to drink tap water – remember you should try and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.
Looks easy huh?
 It’s not an exact science and I’m sure there are going to be people out there that ask silly questions like “what about the costs of gas to get whatever item?” , “how about the time and effort?” , “food pantries?” or “don’t some of those people hunt their own food?” – Yes, I get there are exceptions to that 1.4 billion figure but let’s not get over the fact there poverty is real and is out there.
I haven’t really thought about the health side effects or how it’ll effect getting through the day being hungry. If it becomes too much, then I’ll end the experiment. For sure though, I’ll give it my best try.
I should note, I have a personal engagement to attend that is out of town starting Thursday night so I’ll only be doing from Monday to Thursday evening. $1.50 per day – total of $6.
So starting today, I have five more days to enjoy the pleasures and luxuries of eating out and drinking whatever I want. After that, it’s a $6 budget on food for four days. I haven’t even begun to think how I’m going to budget this all out for the most balanced meal possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
For more information on Live Below The Line, check out:
Feel free to follow the blog as I try to make it past the upcoming four day span.
Wish me luck.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *