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07 April 2010

Young Adults in Havering Simplify their lives

Young Adults in Havering Simplify their lives

A group of 18-30 year olds at Romford Evangelical Free Church have completed their challenge of living 'as if on benefits' for a month in order to learn how to spend less and give away more. Taking part in the Simplify initiative for the month of March caused them to re-assess how they spend and handle the money they possess.

Hollin Cross, 21, presented the idea to the group of young people as part of the Evangelical Alliance initiative, Simplify, and it was agreed that the budget was £5 a day with an extra £3.50 for an occasional night out or treat. The money saved at the end of the month was given to local projects and a fund in their church to assist those who may not be able to afford to take part in church activities.

Hollin tells us: "I live on a budget normally but would make exceptions for certain events such as a conference over a weekend and give myself an extra coffee to keep me awake, for example. The realisation that people who live like this all the time have no allowance for even the odd exception, hit me hard. For them life is one big Simplify!"

She continued: "When we had our usual hangout time after church, when we usually get loads of food or go to the pub for desserts, I quickly realised that our budget wouldn't allow us to do the normal. I had £3 to spend on 10 people so I got a box of Roses (on special offer), a box of Pringles and overcooked some garlic bread. It was then we realised that this is more difficult than first anticipated but we managed, and the others were grateful…I think."

Simplify aims to encourage people to make the most of time, relationships and money and learn from people who already live on less, and give the money saved away to support those who have no other option.

The broader concept behind Simplify is to realise that life should not be based on material things at a cost to the world around us. It is putting what we need ahead of what we want and learning to be more generous. www.simplify.org.uk