Sara Ruffell, of Hira, living on just $2.25 a day in the Live Below the Line challenge. Photo: Andrew Board.

Living on $2.25 a day


Nelson hairdresser Sara Rufffell has already worked out her week-long menu and it doesn’t make pleasant reading.

Sara is joining people all over New Zealand and the world and attempting to live on $2.25 a day for five days, an act of empathy with people living in extreme poverty. She says she isn’t looking forward to walking past the cookie jar at her work each day and looking at her workmates lunch when she will be eating just rice, carrots and noodles.

The challenge started yesterday and runs until Friday. Sara says she has bought 1kg of rice, 1.5 kg of carrots, a tin of spaghetti, a packet of noodles and a tin of chopped tomatoes, with $1.40 left over.

“The hard thing will not be adding bits here and there, like salt and pepper. But the hardest times I think will be if I’m not busy during the day or if I’m at home when you tend to snack and just the boredom of the food.”

Since 1981, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has dropped from half of the world’s population to just under a quarter today.

Sara says she has raised $250 so far with a goal of $350 by the end of the week.

“It’s a small inconvenience for me but it will really help other people and I think that’s important.”

To donate to Sara’s challenge, visit and search for Sara Ruffell.