“nicotine & multimedia makes up for the shortcomings of being poor”
Day 2. I was applying ashes at the Ash wednesday service. I think I got a bit over enthusiastic and couldn’t help laughing as I walked back down the isle to see all thes people with huge black marks on their foreheads. Pub was good, great chat with Rob as ever (he bought me a pint and only wanted a half in return. He is a lightweight but I am not complaining!)
But I have found the first thing that I really don’t like about this challenge. It is really hard to be generous. Someone asks me for money, and I think – you must be joking. Met up with a collegue today and I would usually buy them coffee – but not today.
Living frugally is good, but failing to be generous is just not nice. I guess that thinking about money all the time seems a bit shabby too. I guess I am hugely priviledged that most of the time I don’t have to think about money. I don’t spend a great deal, but I have enough for what I want.
General overspend today though. Had a meeting in town, and Central London is just an all round expensive experience. Walked in to save the bus fare.
Having friends round tonight so that should be nice, not to mention inexpensive. I plan is to catch up on some movies over the next few weeks too – I never have time to watch videos… Lend me your DVD’s!
Day 1. Ash Wednesday.
I withdrew my £50 this morning, a bit nervous about making it last for the week. I am aiming at £5 a day general expenditure, to give me some slack for other stuff. So I went straight into Starbucks for a meeting – good start! Starbucks normallys account for a lot of my disposable income. Economised with Tea instead of my normal Latte. Good meeting.
Its now after lunch, and I am in the office & hungry but I need to not go out & buy lunch as usual, and instead go home and make something. Already organised a pub visit after the Ash Wednesday service at St Andrews tonight… I don’t think I can get other people to buy me drinks for the next six weeks.
At Church last sunday evening we talked about taking up the Church Action on Poverty minimum wage Lent challenge.
Lent has traditionally been a time of living simply and sacrificing Luxury, which we tend to have reduced to giving up chocolate. The CAP idea seems to be a good one, painful perhaps, but very worthwhile. It involves living on about £50 a week after rent & bills, for the six weeks running up to Easter. The aim is an act of solidarity with those who have less, and a spiritual discipline of living frugally. Not to mention liberating a chunk of our regular earnings to give to others.
A good number of people at Church on the Corner were inspired by the idea, and wanted to take part. One of the suggestions on the CAP site is to keep a diary of the experience and I thought I would record my Lent experience in a way that others could share and contribute to. So I aim to keep this a daily record of the experience. Please comment (hit the comment link below) maybe sharing your own experience or reflections. We may fail in this – but even that experience of failure will be an important part of the exercise.
If you want to find out more about the challenge you can download the pdf here or the html version here