Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Could you survive without money?

Money – that soulless, empty, arbitrary concept, subject to the fickle whims of markets and inflation, in itself good for neither feeding us, sheltering us nor loving us – has become more meaningful, more valued and more sacred in our lives than trees – providers of oxygen, water, food, shade, shelter and soil structure. We are in Alice’s wonderland, where nothing is what it seems, and nothing is as it should be. We are completely delusional about what we need in order to live nourished, meaningful lives, and our delusion is destroying not only our ability to do that, but the ability of every other species on the planet to do so too. As the Cree Indian proverb goes, it seems that “only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught, will we realise we cannot eat money”.
Mark Boyle, The Moneyless Manifesto

What is money and why is it such a driving force in today's world? Some people have a lot of it, some people very little and others just enough. No matter how much or little of it we have, we can't imagine our lives without it.  We are raised with the idea that money is necessary for our survival and we in turn raise our kids teaching them exactly the same thing. On the surface it is simple enough, but if we look deeper and ask ourselves the right questions the reality shows its ugly face.

The truth is most of us are addicted to money.

When we have very little money, we want more. When we have enough to survive, we still want more. When we have more than enough, we want even more and we are reluctant to share what we already have.  We buy bigger homes, faster cars and surround ourselves with expensive things.  We are addicted and don't even know it. Our "needs" grow increasingly bigger and the fear of withdrawal symptoms keeps us awake at night.  We are in denial and just like any addict, we keep this madness going at all costs, afraid to think what might happen if we stop.

What about if we woke up tomorrow and money was no more? Have you ever inquired what would it be like to live your life sans moola? How would you survive?

I thought about it and I find the whole concept intriguing.  I have a lot of respect for people that have enough strength and courage to attempt such extraordinary life.  Sometimes I wish I could do it too but family commitments prevent me from pursuing such ideas.  For now...

If I'm going to be honest, I've grown completely disillusioned with money. I find the perpetual credit and debt cycle nauseating and I despise what love of money has done to our beautiful world.  The prospect of moneyless living or, dare I even say, moneyless society is thrilling to say the least.

When I was younger I envied people with lots of money and felt sorry for those that had none of it. How things have changed. Today I envy people that can make it do with very little and pity the richest. In the matter of seconds physical wealth can be lost and what's left is a deep void and very little survival skills.  Like the saying goes, the higher you are the harder the fall.

Few days ago I stumbled upon an interview of Daniel Suelo who back in year 2000 walked away from money and never looked back.  It's not the first time that I've heard of Daniel or other people that have attempted moneyless living, but it is first time that I've heard that particular interview.   I found it thought provoking and incredibly inspiring. I hope it does the same thing for you.


  1. I only got about 10 minutes into the video and although I found it interesting, I know for a fact that I couldn't live without money. For me, it seems like a pretty scary thought. For instance, if we lost all the money that we had, we wouldn't have a roof over our head. Since we just had an ice storm, I also can't imagine living outdoors in a tent like Daniel when the temperatures drop to 6 and 7 degrees at night here in Pennsylvania. Electricity gives me warmth during these cold winter months and my body isn't covered with fur like the animals that are able to survive in nature. If there's no money, there's also no running water and I love being able to bathe and brush my teeth daily and not having to worry about digging a hole in the dirt to relieve myself. Since I don't own land, I can't grow food, so money keeps me and my family from starving. Also, Daniel admitted to occasionally relying on people that have money to support him. I just can't imagine dumpster diving and begging for food or money from people who still go to work every day, to help me buy a new coat or shoes because the ones that I have are worn out. I think it's also more dangerous for women that are trying to survive in this type of lifestyle and don't have the protection of walls and a locked door around them at night. I don't know, Kamyria. It just seems like having no money at all means living a much harder lifestyle and I know that's not for me. I'll probably watch the rest of the video a little later, though.

    1. Thank you for the awesome comment Dee. All the points you bring out are valid and I agree with you. Dumpster diving is not for me either. I love videos like that because they are very thought provoking and make me want to make changes in my life to be less money reliant. My dream is to become sustainable, grow all of my food and go off the grid eventually. I also want to learn to recognize all the wild edibles out there and there are lots. I remember when I was a little girl, my grandfather would go into the woods and come back with bags full of mushrooms, raspberries, blueberries etc. We've lost that. We've lost the ability to take care of ourselves without money and I need to get some of that back.