Ali Jenkins: Reflections of a Solo Live Below the Liner

Ali's purchases for the week. Are those Ju Jubes I see there?

Ali’s purchases for the week. Are those Ju Jubes I see there?

1. You live with your family and you’re the only family member who participated in this challenge. Did you find this context particularly challenging for yourself or was your family accommodating of how you were living below the line?

My family was really supportive. My mom and sister made sure to have their dinner before I got home. Also, they sometimes helped me prepare my Live Below the Line meals.

In terms of fundraising, my immediate and extended family and friends were incredibly generous in donating to YCI on my personal donor page, which helped me raise over $300. However, I had to do some work for this sum to grow. First, I emailed my personal network to inform them of how I was taking on the Live Below the Line challenge. Included in this message was a little blurp about how I would keep everyone updated on my 5 day experience via twitter and email. Second, I routinely checked my donation page to see who was donating to me and made sure to give them a “Thank you” call soon after.

2. What are some pros and cons of doing the Live Below the Line challenge by yourself?

There were two main benefit to doing the challenge on my own. One was that I didn’t have to think about someone else’s needs by sharing and dividing the food. I am almost certain that had I done this challenge with my younger sister, I would have given her more food. Also, it was much easier to think of only my food preferences while grocery shopping and cooking. In terms of set-backs or challenges to being a solo live below the liner, I definitely think that my limited budget of $8.75/per 5 days didn’t get me a great deal of variety in what I could purchase since I couldn’t pool my money together with another participant.

3.What would you say to someone to encourage them to participate in Live Below the Line?

I was easier than I had anticipated. It’s a do-able challenge that most individuals could take on. It simply requires re-thinking the way you’re eating and you can still get your 3 meals a day with sometimes even a mid-day snack!

4.Considering there is still time to participate in Live Below the Line (Sign up before June 30th), what advice would you offer to interested participants?

My first piece of advice would be to be prepared for the first day, since it’s the hardest day. However, as the days go on, the challenge becomes much more tolerable. Also, be resourceful with what you purchase and buy something small to treat yourself with!


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