My last day of the challenge
Here I am on Day 30 of my $2 challenge. I have eaten breakfast and lunch and the food for dinner will keep me going until midnight tonight. I have literally used every single piece of food I bought now. I do not have a single grain of rice left. The full $60 was used.
I won’t lie to you, this has been a tough month. Halfway through I wondered why I decided to do this for 30 days. I had a few weird days at the start and then the end just looked miles away. I guess that was the point of this challenge though. Some people have to live this way for their entire lives, but I am so used to a good life so managing this for 30 days was to show me just how hard it can be.
It was good for me
30 days without booze was good. I didn’t have much choice there, beer is a lot more expensive than food so I cut it out. I feel very good and got a lot of energy back, alcohol is a bit shit. Also I enjoyed having a weekends with no big plans. The weather was great and I could just walk or cycle and sit on the beach and read books from the library.
I also kept a good social life. I went out to bars every weekend and even went out on dates…dates where I just drank water and allowed the girl to pick up the hefty bill at the end! That was nice and cheap :p
I did miss my little treats though. I missed having a few beers, I missed having a nice pizza slice and I missed being able to pop into the shop and buy an ice cream. All those things I just took for granted before this.
Those living in poverty
I had to just survive on $2 a day for food/drink/transport but people living in the slums India use that for everything. This is why they live in shacks thrown together with corrugated iron, and the clothes they wear are ones they found thrown away. They need money for food so they stay alive, and even getting that money can be hard. They may need to go to a dump and pick up rubbish to sell on. They find plastic bottles they can sell for recycling, but to do that for $2 a day they probably need about 2000 of them each day...so have to work 7 days a week in a horrible job.
This month put a lot into perspective. It's made me realise how privileged I am to live this part of the world. In one day I may complain that a bus is 5 mins late, or that the burger I ordered for $20 in a bar doesn't taste that good, but I now realise that my problems don't mean anything. They aren't really problems and I need to stop thinking about them, and try a different think about how I can give time back to other people who genuinely need that help.
Seeing how many people have donated here made this all worth while. I hope I've done enough to spread the poverty message to all you guys too, but just the money you have put forward with will already make a big difference. The charity I'm working with here Oaktree will use this money to help people in third world countries get more education. It will pay for them to go to school, it will pay for them to get books to read and pay for the school buildings. $2000 can pay for multiple teachers to work in Cambodia, and that means a whole load of kids there will get education as a result, and that can change their lives.
So thanks to everyone who put cash in here, you are all legends and you are all amazing people.
What will I do next
That’s a good question. First I will have a beer. After that I will start looking at charities that help these people and see what I can do to support them. I’ll look into how I can help people in poverty, maybe something like serving food at a homeless shelter, or any other volunteer work. Any suggestions or help you guys can give there that will be awesome.
Ok, I’m gonna go enjoy that last cheap meal now and sit down and relax. Cheers for being the support I needed to get through this one. You heroes.
I have fucking lost 5kG!
I have never been on a diet before, in my life. I’ve always been a skinny person and I’ve always been happy with that. That's just cos I’m very sexy :p
I have been doing this $2 challenge for over 3 weeks though. I thought everything was just the same for me until I walked into the pub on Weds night. I just went to drink tap water but as soon as I walked in all my mates, ones I hadn’t seen for a few weeks, told me how super skinny I looked! I thought they were just winding me up, so the next day I went to a pharmacy to weigh myself (I don’t own scales!) and I had literally lost 5 kilos!
Was this good or bad?
I was a bit freaked out and I tried to think if this was a good thing or a bad thing. That was quite simple really. It was bad.
From a good point of view, well I guess I always consume a lot of calories, I drink a lot of beer and I eat a lot of shit…like pizza and egg McMuffins, but this month I have stayed away from all of that, so that is definitely a good thing. All that shit is bad for you, but I just like it. I like being drunk, and when hungover I love Maccas!
This month I have eaten very simple food. I couldn’t afford anything fancy. I couldn’t afford extra sauces to add to meals and I have had to stay away from all little treats. One office I work at has a nice box of biscuits, and I’ve stayed away from those. I don’t have any little late night treats, this month if I’ve felt hungry I haven’t eaten anything extra.
But I haven’t really felt hungry at any point. I’m not eating loads but I’m eating enough. What I could afford with this $2 rule is just shit food. I can afford white rice and cheap spaghetti, that is full of carbs so fills me up. Is it good for me though? No. I’ve cut back on fruit and veg this month too, cost that was all really expensive in the supermarket. I’ve not eaten well.
What has this shown me?
This has been an excellent challenge. One thing I have learned is how hard life must be for people living in this sort of poverty. I am struggling to get good food for $2 a day and they must go through this every single day. They don’t have nice food, they don’t have tasty food, they are just buying shit, and surviving on that. That’s right, just eating bullshit so they don’t die. This is all pretty fucked up really.
I went into the slums in Mumbai, with a charity group tour, and these people are just stuck there. They are stuck in a horrible world, one where they can’t afford clothing, where they can’t afford a house and they can’t even afford decent food. They can’t be fit and they don’t have any energy and they must get ill a lot easier…and they don’t have the good health service we all have.
The world is pretty fucked up place, how can 75% of us live in this luxury, while 25% live in poverty?
So what can fix all of this? Well that’s a very very big question. One that is getting harder to solve every day. We have gone from 1 billion people in the world to 7 billion in 100 years. We are getting bigger and therefore problems are getting bigger.
So what can you do right now? Well I don’t know. All I know is that the challenge I am doing right now is run by a very good charity. This is Oaktree and for every penny that goes in they use this money to give something back. A lot of the money goes into education in third world countries, and that is where it is most needed.
If you’ve read this far just do what you can. Right now I’m doing a $2 challenge, and you may be struggling with money a bit yourself, but if you can throw in just $2, right now, you will feed a person for a day. If 100 of you do that that will feed them for 200 days. Just do what you can :)
I'm Living Below the Line...Because I believe in a world where education is a human right, but also the best way of empowering people so they can raise themselves out of poverty. I believe in the capacity of young people to be able to make a difference in the world. Live Below the Line will give me a small glimpse into what life can be like with limited choices and through fundraising I hope to play my part in helping end poverty. Please either join me in doing Live Below the Line or Dine Below the Line or donate to me today!
Thank you to my Sponsors
Liz & Gord
You’re mental. But amazing.
I did the challenge for 30 days several years ago. It's a toughie! Congrats on making it through.
Suzie & Kyle
Thank you for bringing so much passion and light to a world stuck in grey. You’re a wonderful person.
Martin Thomas James Jon Wolfgang Miller Mallia
Mate sorry it'a a bit late but WELL FUCKING DONE. That took some stamina. Now eat all the pizza!
You're doing such a great thing!
So like me to wait until the last day to donate! Been reading your stories and totally dig what you’ve been doing since day 1. 🙌🙌
Well done mate, very proud of all your efforts with this!
Well done mate!
Amazing challenge, well done!!
Hope you don't run out of food! Well done and good luck.
Awesome work Jon, hopefully I'll be able to enjoy a pint with you next time rather than a roobios in the pub! x
Good luck Mivs you sexy thing! You need to get a whole load of meat in and around your mouth as soon as November is over...that will sort you out. x
Well done mate. Nearly there!
Jack From Oaktree
Amazing work, congratulations on doing the full month!