Insights from the UK and beyond
Could you live on a pound a day?
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 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?