Could you go a year without money?
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- last active 3 months ago
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Could you go a year without money? What would be your thoughts about people going moneyless, what would happen? This businessman conducted an experiment and entered results of going one year without money.. he prepared himself first, which i think made a big difference then if you were to suddenly have to go without money.. but it's very interesting and true, i know theres alot of things in my lifestyle i can cut back on, maybe i'd last a week..maybe...
- Started by
- at November 11, 2011, 00:02:34
- last active 3 months ago
Read how he did it.. he even is starting a "moneyless community"
In these lean times, people want to reduce their spending. It's easy to cut back on nonessentials such as video games and restaurant meals, but once you eliminate discretionary spending, you're stuck with an essentials budget that's hard to reduce. At least that's what most of us think.
Mark Boyle had different ideas. He'd been working as a businessman in the organic foods industry in England, and had become concerned about his relationship with money. To him, money was a negative influence: "It enables us to be completely disconnected from what we consume and from the people who make the products we use." He also believed money was largely responsible for environmental destruction and that banks spur this on by "pursuing infinite economic growth on a finite planet."
So in 2008 Boyle decided to try living for a year without money. His self-imposed rules were simple: He would close his bank account and not spend or receive money (including checks and credit cards). He would live off-grid -- meaning he would produce his own energy for illumination, heat, food preparation and communicating with the outside world.
Boyle sold his houseboat and used the proceeds (a few thousand dollars) to get ready. Here are some of the things he did:
He bought a $300 solar panel to keep his laptop and cell phone charged (accepting incoming calls didn't require subscribing to a cell phone plan).
He obtained an old trailer for free from a woman who wanted to get rid of it.
He made a deal with an organic farm to let him park the trailer on the land in exchange for a few hours' work each day.
He built a compost toilet near his trailer to harvest the "humanure" for his gardening needs.
He set up a solar shower, which consisted of a black plastic bag and a rubber hose for bathing.
For heating the trailer, he bought a d-burning stove made from an upcycled propane tank, and for cooking he built a "rocket stove," designed to produce high-heat using small pieces of d.
A bicycle provided transportation.
Even though Boyle launched his experiment at the beginning of winter, when gardening and foraging for food was out of the question, he discovered that food wasn’t a problem. He found all he needed, and more, by Dumpster diving for products that supermarkets were required to throw out after the sell-by date expired. In the summer months, farming and foraging yielded additional food.
Transportation became an immediate problem. His bike tires punctured so frequently that he soon ran out of patching material. He posted about the situation on his blog, Freeconomy, and, fortunately, a company that makes solid, puncture-proof tires sent him some in exchange for a mention on his website
Once Boyle got started, he fell into a routine. It was quite labor-intensive -- he had to wake up early and, in the winter months, put d into the stove to heat up the trailer. Then he would have to go out and fire up his rocket stove to cook his food. If he needed to go into town, he had to hop on his bike and pedal 18 miles. He was busy from sunup to sundown.
Discovering simple pleasures
Summer was easier. In the book, Boyle recounts the pleasures of "long evenings walking in the ds, camping by the beach at the weekend, cooking food that you've grown and picked yourself, cycling, listening to acoustic music by a camp fire, wandering in the wild foraging berries, apples and nuts, skinny-dipping in the lake, and sleeping under the stars."
At the end of the year, Boyle organized a festival for 1,000 people who came to enjoy free food and drink, made with the help of friends who foraged, Dumpster dived and bartered for the food, as well as fermented the beer and wine that was given away. The festival, along with his experiences over the year, prompted Boyle to make the decision to remain moneyless after the year-long experiment. He used the advance from the book to establish a trust to purchase a plot of land for a moneyless community.
Inspiration for living with less
I suspect that most people who read this book won't want to go completely moneyless. But it could inspire them to think about ways to reduce spending. For example, you can prepare more of your meals at home from fresh ingredients rather than eat at restaurants. You can play board games at home with friends and family instead of going to the movies, and you can invite friends over for impromptu amateur music jam sessions instead of going out to concerts and nightclubs.
Before Boyle started his experiment, he had prepared himself by learning "carpentry, vegetable growing, permaculture design, medicine, clothes making and repairing, cooking, bushcraft, and teaching." It turns out that these skills, while valuable, were of secondary importance to the "primary skills" for freeconomic living: "physical fitness, self-discipline, genuine care and respect for the planet and the species that live on it, and the ability to give and share."
"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game." -- Michael Jordan
That's a pretty radical change and I guess I wouldn't do what this guy did. But it surely can be inspiring for those who want to eliminate the things that they don't really need in their lives.
- Replied by
- Johnny Karp
- at November 11, 2011, 03:03:15
- last active 10 hrs ago
- That is very extreme. It just goes to show you what people can do if they are passionate about something. If living penniless was something that lit a fire under me, I could do it. Some of it sounds very nice and romantic, sleeping under the stars and skinny dipping. I was especially drawn to the part about beer and wine...
Quite an incredible story. I don't think it is something I would do by choice but if I had no choice, it does sound "doable" if you prepare well enough.
- Replied by
- at November 11, 2011, 04:45:28
- last active 4 hrs ago
- That's pretty amazing how he managed to do that. I am not so sure i would be to keen about going without money for an entire year. When it comes to survival it's incredible what we will do and think up!
I screwed up my check book once and thought all i had was $27 to last me for two weeks. My first thought was i will never be able to do this. I went to the most generic grocery store and bought items that would fill my tummy like Mac n Cheese for 29 cents a box.
I put only a few bucks of gas in my car and told myself i had to make it last. I rolled up my sleeves and said to myself i will survive this and it actually became a challenge.
The kicker of it all was after a couple of days i got to thinking about that check book and how i could of made been so off. I went back to balance it again when i realized i made no mistake at all and had $400 in my account. I can't tell ya how relieved i was.
But what was strange is there was a tiny part in me that was disappointed and wanted that challenge. A challenge i wouldn't want to last an entire year or having no money at all.
- We do get to a point of almost panic don't we? It's exactly how i felt being low on money, the worry and stress, and i agree about making and completing that challenge. When we find we don't have "enough" money to last, we think what are we going to do, how are we going to handle this, already feeling hungar pains,and emotional stress from the feeling of not being able to put gas into the car, what about if you are a smoker or a beer drinker, then we start with rent and utilities..Theres one thing it does it makes us humble and appreciate in times of less.
the very last part where he compare skills of what you really need to survive without money.. the first are valuable but secondary to "physical fitness, self disipline, genuine care and respect for the planet and the species that live on it, and the ability to give and share." has me to beleive that the cavemen had to be geniuses and passionate to have survived, inwhich those are our very first ancestrial instincs
"Today, most of the good people are afraid to be good. They strive to be broadminded and tolerant. It is fashionable to be tolerant but mostly tolerant of evil and this new code has reached the proportions of demanding intolerance of good."
I know it'd be dangerous for me and others who are on medication to keep their blood pressure down or preventing disease/rejection as they had a transplant...Still, if you're young enough or healthy enough it sounds like something worth a shot.
- Replied by
- at November 13, 2011, 09:56:50
- last active 3 months ago
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