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Test: Live on $7.50 this week

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, April 29, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Could you live on $1.50 a day? Some very rich celebrities, including actor and producer Ben Affleck, are going to give it a try this week as part of the Live Below the Line campaign. He's joined in the challenge by actors Josh Groban, Debi Mazar, Sophia Bush and Tom Hiddleston, according to ABC News.

Actor Ben Affleck is going to live on $1.50 a day this week. Photo courtesy PR Photos.

Actor Ben Affleck is going to live on $1.50 a day this week. Photo courtesy PR Photos.

Affleck wants to call attention to the charity he founded, the Eastern Congo Initiative, which provides economic opportunities for the population of Eastern Congo. In a tweet, he noted that 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.50 a day.

The website for the campaign says its goal is to change the way people in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia think about poverty by challenging them to live in extreme poverty for five days. So far, according to the website, 20,000 people have signed up to take the challenge.

In addition to elevating awareness about global poverty, the campaign is raising funds for the charities it partners with, such as World Food Program USA, Isis Foundation and Unicef. Affleck's charity is also a partner. The campaign is part of the Global Poverty Project, an organization that seeks to educate and activate businesses, individuals and governments in an effort to end poverty.

There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of living in first-world countries like the U.S. and $1.50 a day wouldn't be sustainable, given the price of goods and services. But a week attempting the challenge might provide a good lesson in living below your means in general and bring a little perspective on what really has value.

Would you take the challenge, or have you found ways to drastically reduce how much you spend every day so you can give more to those in need?

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Carole Taylor
April 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm

While the idea is admirable...how can it be for real if you have a beautiful home, clothes, transportation and a beautiful, loving family??

Joel Poston
April 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm

For the very poor living on the streets, some days they may have $1.50, some days more, some days nothing. For those taking the challange, they will return home in a few days. For the truely extreme poor, there is no hope and no future to look forward to. They are at high risk for crimes against them and learn how to survive in the mist of danger as well as poverty. The psychological damage is as extreme as the poverty. they are not part of society and have no power or voice in government policy. As a result they are further victimized by police, citizens, etc.

April 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I would definitely like to see them try living here in the United States, just on minimum wage even. Our economy is increasingly getting worse, with the price of fuel, food, your general necessities that keep increasing. Everything except wages.

April 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I don't really think Ben Affleck is trying to bring attention to the poverty levels in America, I believe its the Easter Congo of Africa. And like one person said, I don't believe they have mortgages over there at least the area he is referring about.

April 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm

The only thing more pathetic than celebs pulling these attention getting off the wall publicity stunts is us for reading and responding to them.

April 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Mary do you really think they have mortgage payments??

April 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Thank you, Ben Affleck, for bringing attention to poverty in the USA and elsewhere.

The lack of attention to the poor in America has been shameful for many decades, not just now.

As much as I would like to support the Arts, I have already switched some donations. The increasing poverty combined with natural disasters make it extremely difficult for those who are hungry and struggling.

By the way, please send me a copy of Ben Affleck's weekly menu with a $10.50 budget. No cheating! Your personal chef will have to take a week off!

April 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm

What's wrong with these celebrities? Don't they have better things to do? This challenge is stupid. Besides, charity begins at home.

April 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm

7 days times $1.50 per day equals $10.50. Not only is this story devoid of information, the arithmetic is wrong as well.

Mary Kleinsmith
April 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm

What I'd like to know is if this includes these celebrities *not* living in their fancy houses for that week. Yes, you may not make a mortgage payment that week, but it should still count.