A while ago I read a book about a new subject to me personally: living off of very little money. It’s been a theme I’ve thought about a lot but never read a book or written a blogpost about. Today that has changed! I think the theme can align with a sustainable lifestyle in many ways, but it can clash too. Anyhow, a friend recommended this first book to me and I read How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day by Kath Kelly.
How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day
On a party in a bit of an impulsive mood Kelly decides to throw her life around. She wants to go to the wedding of her brother but in order to do that she needs to save money. And so she decides to live on a pound a day for an entire year. In the book you’ll follow her personal journey. And that’s what made this book so attractive to me, the personal story. It’s beautiful and it makes the story realistic. What amazed me most is that she lived on a pound a day, which is little. But none of the people in her surroundings noticed this! She visits family by hitchhiking and camping on a free area on her way to name one beautiful example. The people who do know about her journey think she’s crazy at first, but after a while they really start to see the benefits of living frugal too.
Saving Money and Sustainability
Sustainability and a cheap lifestyle go very well together often. Kelly mentions some great example of this in her book. She swaps clothes with friends instead of buying new, doesn’t turn on the heat in her home but puts on some warm clothes and walks almost everywhere. During this journey Kelly realizes this too. She really likes to be free of the constant urge to buy new stuff. I can agree with this. It’s about being free. The less money you need, the more free you are. In the end she lists amazing sources for a cheap lifestyle. Websites and initiatives which are great. An example is Freecyle, a site where you can get free stuff.
‘I was once again overwhelmed by the thought that if everybody would work less, the lack of money would be compensated by the time you get in return’Kath Kelly
Not Always a Perfect Fit
Most of the time sustainability and a cheap lifestyle go together perfect. But not always. This is also something which Kelly describes in her book by examples. She searches for the cheapest brands of shampoo or toothpaste and she signs up for a lot of useless freebees. She basically accept everything as long as it’s free and that mentality doesn’t align with sustainability if you’d ask me.
There are so many things I learned from the book and some of them I will try to implement to my own life. The most important one is free events. Kelly visits so many free events, therefore meets a lot of new people and a whole new world opens up to her when it comes to knowledge and experiences. I loved that! You just have search for it. I did some research and I found out that there are indeed a lot of fun free events in my hometown Enschede too, every single day! Besides that I also liked the fact that Kelly swapped a lot. She swapped clothing, but also books via Bookcrossing. And also how she fills in her holiday, getting free stays and food! It sometimes comes down to the tiny switches too. Instead of getting a coffee in a cafe, she goes pick-nicking in a park (which might be more fun at the same too).
The list goes on and on, you should read the book too!