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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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April 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

when i was a kid
we would by a piece of cheese for a quarter and that would be lunch and supper for me and my mom
so i know why people need help
but there are a lot of them all over the world
thanks for helping anyone you feel you can !!!

April 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Don't get me wrong; I am grateful for every $$$ I get, on average have almost nothing left by the end of the month.
The person I mentioned who got their pension cut actually had their check stopped because the issuing program failed to mail the required yearly form that was required to be filled out & returned. Can't fill out & return something that was never received.

How's that for the governments failure to look after one of it's citizens?

April 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who applauds Ben for doing something to help the impoverished of the world, but, like them I wonder why they don't start with their fellow Americans???

I'll never understand the motivation behind the large no. of celebs who contribute to other countries. Why?
Why not here in America?
What ever happened to 'charity begins at home'??

Yes, they obviously need it, but geez - what about your own neighbors? I guess if you're not completely destitute, you're jsut not 'poor' enough to get a helping hand....

April 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Try this: pay rent buy food pay utilities for three people on what two people on disability pensions get. One of those two person had their pension cut because they claimed that person was receiving too much per month.
Living below the poverty line....What do you think?

April 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm

While I commend those "celebrities" who are participating in calling attention to the needs of the severely impoverished in "Third World" countries, as their very celebrity for some reason has greater impact on my people than the average concerned citizen.

I do however agree, that a greater involvement and awareness should also be addressed as to the severely impoverished here in America. Many American children are hungry every day.. where are the voices calling out for them? The comment that living in the U.S. is "unsustainable given the price of goods and services" shows just how out of touch with reality some of the people who write about and are involved with the project in fact are, in terms of how some of their fellow citizens are forced to live. In fact, there are families that do have to try to survive at levels very close to what is seen as only applicable to "Third World" countries.

Now our supposed "representatives" in Congress debate a further reduction of services to the poor in America. Their deliberate ignoring, ignorance, and indifference to the needs of some Americans is obscene. Elizabeth

April 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Arlene Becea,

Let's make sure that it is really for AMERICANS and not those who are in the country illegally claiming to be Americans. Even those who "took the pledge" should not be collecting SS, but are. the biggest reason we are in this mess is because this countries BIG WIGS want to do everything for everyone EXCEPT AMERICANS !!!! And that is the whole true, and nothing but the truth, so help me GOD !!!

April 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm

This is the financial section right...can't anyone do the math?

$1.50 x 7 = $10.50

even if it 5 days...

$1.50 x 5 = $7.50

Arlene Becea
April 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Here in AMerica we now have a large portion of "
working poor" and also "retired poor" living just off of social security benefits that they worked for and saved in the past. What with the rising costs of everything from food, gas, and medicines, and hospitals bills it is hard to keep above water.
There are children in AMerica and elderly going to bed hungry. This needs to be addressed by the wealthy. children cannot work and elderly would like to work but cannot in many cases. We have celebrities giving benefits, concerts for other nations why not give back to America. Think about it.
Arlene Becea, retired

April 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

So it's only for 5 days (which they consider to be a week). What a bunch of lamers. If there was really any concern for what it is truly like, lets make it a month. No homes to go to, no tents. Must find shelter on own. NO MEDIA HELPING. Bet they can't do it. We did something like this 2 years ago out on the base in California and I had a hard time making it for the full 2 weeks. It's got to be a lot tougher now as things have gotten worse.

April 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm


I agree with you work for the "American Poor"
Not other countries, Let them deal with their problems...
Those celebrities make millions and its from Americans not from Congo of Africa. Give back to the USA people...