Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Living without money

I've just been reading an article about someone who claims to have lived without money for a year, none coming in and none going out. I find that very hard to believe. Mark Boyle is 28 and lives in a borrowed caravan on an organic farm near Bristol, he volunteers his services on the farm, presumably to cover his rent and access to a clean water supply.

It sounds all very romantic, living off your own means without the burden of modern day stresses and strains, but I'm sure if you asked homeless people living on the streets, they wouldn't think it was an ideal situation to be in at all. If you have no money coming in you have to rely on the goodness of others to help you out, which to me sounds a bit selfish if your situation is self imposed. If you plan to barter your services in exchange for food, light, heat etc, then that is more acceptable, but there are bound to be people who feel sorry for you and donate something out of the goodness of their heart. At what point does this turn into begging?

As you know I do believe you can live off very little money, but I would not like to live off no money at all. I tried living in a caravan once, though I did have a paid job, my house was sold and the money was in the bank waiting to buy another. It was quite nice not to have to pay utility bills, council tax, or mortgage. My job was a short pleasant walk down the road to the cement works, I could shower there when the day was finished before I walked back to make my dinner.

The downside was that after a few months I ran out of clean clothes and bedding, no launderette in the middle of the countryside. I got fed up of the cramped kitchen, no room to make decent meals, no fridge, and the condensation inside made everything damp. It was also very lonely, I used to go walking a lot just to get out and meet people, and then it got to November and it was so cold I went to bed as soon as I had my dinner at 6pm. Then I bought another house.

As an experiment, I believe living without money is something everyone should do for a while, it certainly makes you think about what is important in life. I could easily not buy anything for a week, or even maybe a month, I would have to stock up on cat food though, my boys have to be fed. Another experiment I would like to see is for all the shops, cafe's, restaurants, and retail outlets, to close one day a week, let's go back to six day trading. Wouldn't it be nice if families did something together on a Sunday instead of traipsing round Tesco's. Can't see it hapenning though unless the whole world goes bankrupt.


  1. From personal experience, I'd agree that living in a caravan can certainly be a bit bleak.
    I don't think I could ever fancy going on holiday in one; it would stir too many dismal memories. ;)

  2. fortunately we lived in a caravan for 4 months through the summer whilst between houses. I actually loved it. It was very free-ing. But we were hooked up to electricity and living semi outside was great. We cooked outside on our campstove and a gas BBQ. good times.

    That man you are talking about had a laptop mobile phone and alot of other luxuries others can not afford. And he worked on the farm for food and for free rent. so although no money changed hands he still worked and it had some monetary value.


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