$20.09 for 20 Days Challenge: A Lesson in Food and Life


Last week, MommyQ came across an interesting story about a college student at University of Texas who is trying to prove that $20 is a decent amount of money. David Lee, a senior at UT and an advertising major, decided to see if he could exist on $20 worth of food for 20 days. He got the idea from a contest being hosted by UFCU (University Federal Credit Union), ‘What Can You Do With $20.09?

First, the serious…

I blogged about David’s quest to survive on $20 on Strollerderby and the responses were a bit more controversial than I anticipated. Obviously, in this economy everyone is feeling serious financial pressure.  To make a long story short, readers were upset that David was feigning to be poor to prove a point.  Quick to respond, David eloquently restated his reasons for doing the challenge. He was surprised that his actions were offending anyone and he apologized for any misunderstandings. (I encourage you to read the original post and comment!)

As someone who has been a member of blogosphere for almost two years, I understand David’s surprise. I have blogged about seemingly harmless topics like Jennifer Aniston and President Obama’s ‘dad’ jeans and have been berated by readers for my opinions. As David states on his blog, “I wonder what positive influence this challenge will have in my life…” He has certainly learned more lessons beyond what $20 can buy you in the grocery store. He has learned the lesson every blogger quickly learns, personal opinions are plentiful and people love to disagree.

Second, the fun…

I applaud David for his idea to survive on $20 for 20 days and think the results are quite positive. Today, many of us withdraw a $20 bill from the ATM and feel like it is chump change. He has shown us that with some ingenuity and help from his online community, he can make the most out of it. The rules he made for himself are clever, like he cannot accept free food from people, but he can eat free samples. If a question comes up about rules, he lets his readers decide. His blog journaling his cheap foodie adventure is funny and entertaining.

The average person seems to think this challenge isn’t challenging. I think those people are a bit delusional. They seem to think Ramen noodles is the answer. Let me say this, the notion of living on only Ramen noodles for 20 days is totally absurd, not to mention unhealthy. David isn’t sitting around eating junk food either. He’s trying to be healthy too and that in itself is quite courageous.  He has four days left and I wish him all the best.