TwitterFacebookHistory of Living Better on Less

Following the financial collapse of the Global Markets in 2008 the need to live within our means became very apparent. Costs were going up, savings were lost and our incomes were more precarious. Poverty was and is a continuing reality. Living Better on Less was developed to respond to this community need. There was a greater need to save our earth, which cannot sustain our present lifestyle.

The Environment and Social Justice Committee in the fall of 2009, at St. James the Apostle Church, Guelph, Ontario, developed a free 8-week program. It was started with the recognized need to provide assistance to people who were having difficulty living within their income. It soon became evident that living within a tight budget also had a positive impact on one’s environmental footprint and health. Participants in this program came from all income levels. In each group there were diverse needs and all participants enjoyed the opportunity of meeting and making new friends. Participants developed a variety of skills, which empowered them to take control of their own Living Better on Less. They also learned how to access many resources available in their community. This program now called Living Better on Less has continued by adjusting to the needs of the community.

The 8 week program reinforces the content and enables long term life changes. Living Better on Less is open to all in an accessible building and on a bus route. Everyone is encouraged to do their part for their health, the earth’s health and to save money.

Over the years, many generous sponsors and donors have financed the program. Initially funds were needed for supplies with leadership offered by volunteers. In 2011 our first facilitator was hired and the program continues with the one part-time staff and many volunteers. In 2015 a mentor program was initiated to engage more people through the Neighbourhood Community Groups and to expand our reach by training more LBOL Community Leaders.

In 2017, the program became available in both a Facilitators Guide and a Personal Guide. These guides are available for purchase electronically or in hard copy. The facilitator guide allows a facilitator to follow the guide week by week. The Personal Guide allows individuals to utilize the information and exercises at home. This program empowers people to take control of their Living Better on Less. Selling the Facilitator and Program Guides helps to support and expand the LBOL program, in addition to fundraising efforts and grants.