The year of living cheaply
One evening in June 2006, the 47-year-old from Bristol was out with some friends and, as the wine flowed expensively, the conversation turned to how skint they all were. As a part-time English language teacher earning little more than £10,000 a year, Kelly was probably the poorest of her peers and spent much of the drunken evening moaning about how difficult it was going to be to afford a nice wedding present for her soon-to-be-married brother.
It was while slightly maudlin and slightly drunk that she had a notion which would change her life. She decided that, rather than scrimp and save a little bit and buy the couple some nice towels or a Le Creuset casserole dish as most sane people would have done, she would live on just a £1 (€1.26) a day – excluding rent and utilities – for a whole year and use the money she saved to buy them something really special.
So she did, and she’s just published a book documenting her experiences. How I Lived A Year on Just a Pound a Day has touched a chord in the UK where it has been flying off the shelves since the beginning of the month as the global economy stumbles and people look for tips on getting by on less.