How not to live on £10 a week

It may have been reading all of these ‘How to Live on £10 a Week’ articles knocking about, it may have been an experiment to determine just how warranted the UK’s rage against Iain Duncan Smith’s claims last year were, or it very well may have been the fact that I went on a drunken eBay rampage and bought some indefensibly lavish burgundy brogues I’ll never wear, but to whatever we can attribute it is not important; the case is that I attempted to subsist on a tenner one week in January and, as I seem to have survived, I reckon I’ll regale you the account I kept of my toils.

Rows of shoes on a shelf

Monday 6th

I’m not sure I know what all the fuss is about, I’ve been at this for 11 hours already and it’s just like a normal day. I opted to downgrade from chicken and chips to lowly chip-barm for tea.

Little did I know that I should’ve been eating ice cubes and pencils already by this point if I had any real prospect of sparing myself anguish later in the week.

Tuesday 7th

Oh man I was fitting to get me some Domino’s Two-For-Tuesday later on but that is out of the window. I’m going to load a loaf of bread with ketchup and shredded Baby bel and sob into it.

If only I had siphoned those tears off into a container to imbibe mere days from then.

A slice of pizza!

Wednesday 8th

Day three, that’s basically half way and I’ve got 6 quid left, I’m the champion of the plebs. It’s lame that this budget doesn’t really allow for activities of any sort though; you’ve kind of got to chill in your house doing free stuff like imagining and sighing.

I’d neglected to even read any of the How-To articles referred to earlier, so it’s no surprise that I burned through my remaining £6 with scant regard for the remaining 96 hours.

Thursday 9th

I have wildly underestimated this affair. The scarce covey of comestibles that occupied less than half of my cupboards has been depleted. The toilet roll is petering out at a disquieting rate. Day blends into night.

You have not known the hunger. If you have never stared at your cat for 50 minutes and seriously considered with which of your remaining condiments he’d taste best with, then you have not known the hunger.

A cat

Friday 10th

You really should open your mind to new culinary habits; I might never have understood the nuances in taste of properly prepared toothpaste-in-an-envelope before this undertaking. I’m sure to any uncultured boor happening across this journal Apple cores marinated in out-of-date mustard probably sounds inedible. A couple years ago I read about a woman called Adele Edwards who eats the foam from inside couches. She takes it outside and rubs dirt in it to makes it crunchier. Now I’m not saying that the innards of my linen 2-seater weren’t stomachable, they put me in mind of Battenberg in all honesty, but if she would but sample the rich and complex timbres of bellybutton-fluff-on-soap then I’m doubtless she’d never look back.

The weekend’s messages consisted solely of geometric symbols, bedaubed on the fridge with earwax.

The ‘How to Live on £10 a Week’ articles are tosh. They don’t account for the quality of life their strictures engender. I implore you all to think hard before determining where to curtail expenditure. Whenever I close my eyes I can see the bowl of my own human hair I was forced to use as toilet roll, and I’ll have to live with that. Heed my words of caution.

Written by Peter Hall

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