‘Ten pound pom’ Catherine Lux has spent the last nine months living on just £1.50-A-DAY to raise charity cash – and has even managed to get sponsorship from Stephen Fry.
The shopaholic student, 19, is living on a shoe-string budget to raise money for research into Lupus disease, a rare autoimmune deficiency that killed her aunt Nakita Gray.
She has sacrificed her student partying lifestyle and can only go out with her friends when a restaurant or bar has a free offer, and is recording her challenge on her blog ‘ten pound pom.’
The newly-fledged skinflint, who received a donation from Stephen Fry when he came across her campaign on Twitter, cannot buy herself new clothes and has to eat own brand products to cut down on food bills.
Catherine, who is studying media and communications at Brunel University in London, admitted she can’t wait to go on a shopping spree.
She said: ”My friends think I am crazy. At first they were all in complete shock because I am so addicted to shopping and spent loads of money last year.
”I wanted to prove them wrong. And hopefully this will teach me how to budget properly.
”But the first thing I will do when the challenge is up is hit the shops and buy myself some new clothes.
”At first it was difficult. No more car journeys or buses but walking is good for me I suppose. I have found ways of making my food shop manageable.
”I only buy own brand products now but most of it seems to be as good as the real thing – apart from the bread, which tastes like cardboard.”
Catherine, from Guildford, Surrey, began her nine-month challenge to spend just £10-a-week in September last year and will complete the fundraising effort in June.
She has had to cut down on expensive products such as fruit and eats only toast for breakfast and cheap own brand supermarket meals.
Catherine is raising money for the Hughes Syndrome Foundation and Lupus UK, which research the disease that killed her aunt Nakita Gray, 39.
She also hopes to donate money to Home-start Guildford, a charity supporting young families and Tommy’s charity, which carries out research into miscarriages.
Catherine added: ”The charities mean a lot to me. Lupus is a rare disease and, as for my aunt, it can go undiscovered.
”Members of my family have suffered miscarriages and Tommy’s baby charity do a lot of work to prevent them.
”The messages that people have sent me give me a boost to carry on. I am amazed at the amount of people who have donated who don’t even know me.
Catherine has raised over £700 so far, but hopes to make £1,000 for each charity. Writer and TV presenter Steven Fry donated £250 after coming across her Twitter page.
A record of Catherine’s challenge, set to finish in June, can be found on her blog