Living Below the Line….£5 for 5 days


This week (Monday 28th April – 2nd May) thousands of people around the world are taking the Live Below the Line challenge.  This year I decided to be one of them.  I will be taking this challenge to help raise awareness and funds for people living in extreme poverty and to experience  just temporarily what it might feel like to have no choice but to live on such a tight budget.

If you haven’t heard of this challenge before you’re probably thinking – what does it involve? The challenge is to live on £5 for 5 days – this £1 a day is to cover just food and water.  But the grim reality is that for millions of people world wide such a small amount of money would also have to cover transportation, medical, rent etc….it doesn’t even bear thinking about.

Please read more about the challenge at:

I’ve taken a picture of my food (above). This is the food and drink I have brought to last me 5 days. (I will also be drinking lots of tap water each day). The total of this food came to £4. (It would have been £5 as I also brought a pack of frozen vegetables from Iceland for £1 but I left the veggies in Peckham by mistake and I’m now back in Birmingham). So I have an extra £1 to spend this week on food if I need to top up.

The plan is to eat porridge for breakfast and lunch (made with mostly water and a bit of milk to thicken) and jacket potatoes with beans (and possibly vegetables if I replace the veg I forgot) for dinner.  I’ve still got my caffeine fix with a good old cuppa tea. I know that Sainsbury’s basic range is awesome and my cousin managed to get all her food for the challenge from there. I also used Iceland to buy my baked beans and long life milk and I brought my potatoes from a fruit and veg stall in Peckham.

Please read about my cousins challenge here:


Thankfully I’m making a choice to live on this budget for five days and I can still come home each night and have a hot shower, heating and somewhere safe and comfortable to call home. 1.2 billion people in this world live in extreme poverty every day and don’t have the luxury of making that choice like I do.

It would be amazing if you could head on over to my sponsor page (link below) and sponsor me if you can to help me raise critical funds for children living and working on the street – thank you!


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Last weekend I was catching up with friends and family in London and it suddenly dawned on me how difficult it will be to live on £1 a day. My cousin and I caught up over coffee and I brought one latte and one muffin from the Farmers Market in Forest Hill (s.e London) and it came to £5…….I thought that’s my weeks food and drink budget for Monday – Friday blown right there.


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I saw this (picture above) in Mary’s Living & Giving charity shop last Saturday and it made me think how lucky I am and how only £1 can keep a child alive who is malnourished…..I can blow £1 on a bar of chocolate without thinking….most of us can.

I’m looking forward to the challenge in a strange way…It’s going test my will power and I think come Friday I will feel very different about my life and a lot stronger, happier and more grateful for all the things I have. I will keep you posted.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I do love a farmer’s market but the prices are a bit crazy sometimes. I get sucked in buying cheeses and olive oil and that’s a tenner gone. Good luck with your £5 challenge, its a tough one

  2. saramary86 says:

    Thanks Victoria, the challenge went better than expected…I’m just grateful I don’t have to live on such a tiny budget everyday…it definitely puts things into perspective. I can’t wait to blog about it, I’m waiting to the end of the month as I will be getting a lap top so I can blog away on that. Farmers markets are really expensive…a nice treat once once in a while! x

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