Could you live on a pound a day?

September 11, 2008

pounds-in-hand.jpgWhen Kath Kelly complained to friends in the pub she was so broke she couldn’t afford a wedding present for her brother, she decided to take drastic action.

She made a bet that she could defy the credit crunch and live on just one pound a day for a year.

After paying her landlord 3,000 pounds in advance for rent and bills, the teacher from Bristol radically changed her way of life.

Out went her mobile phone and clothes shopping, replaced by trips to jumble sales and foraging for berries in hedgerows.

She visited book launches and lectures that had free buffets and scoured supermarkets for discounted food close to its sell-by date.

Shampoo at 27p a litre and bars of soap for 6p each took the place of designer toiletries. 

She rode a bike instead of getting the bus and had a holiday in France by hitchhiking across the Channel.

By walking more and keeping her eyes on the ground, she even picked up 117 pounds in loose change.

Kelly knew that, despite her tight budget, she still had far more than millions of people around the world. But her experiment still changed her view of money and possessions.

She reflected on how she used to waste 25 pounds a week on coffee and once yearned for new shoes and bags which seldom brought her the happiness she expected.

“The experience has changed my philosophy on life,” she told the Scotsman. 

At the end of the year, she had saved enough money to buy her brother a 1,300 pounds wedding present — life membership of the National Trust.

Have you cut back on spending to help meet soaring household bills? Do you think you could emulate Kelly and live on just one pound a day?


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Not a flipping chance – well done to kelly, that is amazing

However rent and bills are a fact of life and the 3 000 there means she was living at closer to 10 pounds a day I am pretty sure the homeless live on a far less budget

also working a 10 or more hour day, makes free buffets out of the question….

Living 30 miles from work makes cycling tough but not impossible

Anyways the fact ehr perspective changed is good enough for me to think there is merit in this lifestyle change

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Utter tripe.

Has no money, then out of thin air pays £3000 in advance for rent etc.

Nothing is ever what it appears to be. Full of spin and bull just like the idiot who is running the country, but will soon finish it off. A typical Scot who is hell bent on destroying England because we the English cut off their Queen’s head.

Posted by Mr Percy Mistic | Report as abusive

This is absolute nonsense. Apart from the fact that this brainless individual ignored the £3,000 as the other contributers have pointed out, the cost of living in the developed world is also much, much lower making £1 a day a different proposition.

Not to mention the fact that if we all spent only £1 per day demand in the economy would completely collapse!

Are teachers like this the reason why schools are producing such dunces?

And what a crap present!

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

I earn enough money so I don’t have to worry about if I can or can’t live on 1 pound a day. yes I do spend a lot of money on unnecessary things but that keeps the economy going.

Posted by Henry | Report as abusive

That makes £4665 including present and not the cash on the floor. I think this story maybe just a little bit economical with the truth.

Now if it included something like I now have £20k in my savings account even that would make it more acceptable.

Posted by Piers | Report as abusive

I know there is more to it, but it is a challenge, I am enkoying marti lewis, the money savng expert, very inspirational.

Frugality is a thing we need to learn today.


Posted by paul sparks | Report as abusive

The discipline and commitment shown is quite remarkable. Some of the comments made previously miss the point of this whole exercise. I completely understand the need for controlling food bills as I am a first time home owner with ever increasing costs. If you have the money to spend freely without any cause for concern, fair play and well done for your success, but not everyone is in your situation.

Posted by Jon | Report as abusive

Crikey, what a load of moaning minnies you lot are.

She wasn’t trying to win a bet that she could live on a pound a day or stand for President of the World on the back of her economic control.

She wanted to give her brother a wedding present, which I don’t doubt was of value to him, and made economies so she could save up the money.

And as for those that think their spending habits are fuelling the economy? Go back to school people and spend a few hundred pounds on a GCSE economics course.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

[…] When Kath Kelly complained to friends in the pub she was so broke she couldn t afford a wedding present for her brother, she decided to take drastic action. She made a bet that she could defy the credit crunch and live on just one pound a day for more […]

Posted by Gites – SFGate: Daily Dish – San Francisco Gate | Report as abusive