Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Main Experiment

For 40 days I am going to live on $1 per day. Immediately millions of questions pop into people's heads, so let me explain. I live in San Francisco, so obviously my apartment costs more than $1 a day. My public transportation Fast Pass costs $1.50 a day. So when I say $1 a day I am referring to my discretionary spending. For me that means groceries, eating out, buying personal items, recreation and entertainment.

Why did I pick this experiment?
A few reasons.
1) To identify with the poor. I've read many times that there are well over 1 billion people in the world who live on less than $1 a day. Sure, I know that I can't really identify with the poor because I dress in decent clothes, go to a good job, and come home to a nice apartment. But by living on $1 a day I can better identify than if I did nothing.

2) To train for a day when I go "all in". I keep thinking and praying about a day when I may be asked by my Maker to push all of my poker chips into the center of the table and go "all in". I don't know why I would be asked to do that, but I want to be ready and willing. So I attempt to cling loosely to my possessions, live simply, and keep to a minimum things in my life that might be hard to part with should I ever be asked to do something like "sell all you have and give it to the poor."

3) To reveal things that control me. Even though I'm careful with my money, if I feel a little compulsion to buy, eat, or do something, I usually go for it. I'm tired and cranky on the way to work? I'll stop at Starbucks and get a coffee. I'm surfing the internet and thinking about buying an iPhone? I'll stop at iTunes and buy a few songs instead. I eat certain things for comfort. I buy certain things for gratification. These are compulsions, not choices. And thus, they control me. So I'm hoping that God and I can sit on my couch and talk about these compulsions throughout the duration of my experiment.

Bring on the transformation.


  1. Melanie, first of all, I'm SO excited that you are exploring blogging. I love your writing and I know that it's been a struggle for you to find consistency in your writing. I think this is a great vehicle for you.

    Second, $1 a day? Are you CRAZY! I love the boldness and the passion and commitment of this. You are always so inspiring to me.

    -ed center

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. You are the best, Ed. Yes, I'm hoping that the 40 days of writing this will kick start me into some sort of habit. You inspire me too! So us being friends is a good deal.


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