Mark Boyle and Heidemari Schwermer have chosen a moneyless living and found success and happiness. Boyle traveled from England to India, relying on the Freeconomy movement to support him on his journey. Schwermer, a former teacher, has lived without money for more than 15 years, traveling from city to city with only a suitcase and a computer. Both have experienced greater health and happiness as a result of their decision to live without money.
From wealth to Gandhi: The journey of a man who chose to live without money
Mark Boyle, unable to bear the horrors of the world, thought that the more wealth accumulated, the more society was destroyed. His interest in living without money began while he was studying economics. Meeting Gandhi changed his life (when he saw a film about Gandhi).
Inspired by a conversation with a Friend, he founded Freeconomy community in 2007. This skill and item sharing organization, which has over 4,000 members in 168 countries, led Boyle to start living without money.
An epic 2.5 year journey to India
He, a firm believer in humanity, embarked on a 2.5 year journey from Bristol, England to Porbandar, India, the birthplace of Gandhi. After establishing the Freeconomy Community, he set out on this journey with only a backpack containing a few T-shirts, sandals, a knife, band-aids, and sunscreen. He supported himself during his journey by sharing his skills as part of the Freeconomy movement.
In 2010, he published a book titled The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living, which explores how reliance on money can hinder relationships and delves into the practicalities of everyday life. In the book, Boyle shares valuable knowledge on topics such as nutrition, DIY small tool creation, and preventing illness.
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Former teacher lives without money for 15 years, finds financial freedom and happiness
Heidemari Schwermer, a former teacher, has been living a life without money for over 15 years, although she’s already in her early 70s. She has no credit cards, bills or financial problems, traveling from city to city with only a suitcase and a computer. By choosing to live without money, Schwermer hasn’t only eliminated financial concerns, but also improved her health and happiness.
After deciding to live without money, Heidemari Schwermer gave away all her belongings, closed her bank accounts and began donating her pension. To meet her own needs, she now relies on the barter system.
200 euros reserved for unexpected situations
She opened a barter store in Dortmund to help the homeless, where items and skills could be exchanged. Therefore, this experiment in living without money has now been going on for 15 years. She is able to stay with people and use their kitchen, phone, and internet in exchange for helping around the house. However, she only carries 200 euros for emergencies.
Schwermer has published two books, and the money she’s made from them, she’s given to people on the street. Besides, Living Without Money, a documentary about her, was filmed in Norway and Italy.
How do you manage to survive now? Where do you satisfy your hunger? Aren’t you afraid of starving?
In the beginning, of course, I was afraid. But this way of living teaches you a lot about not knowing what will happen tomorrow. Also, I love to travel. I travel all over Germany. When people aren’t at home, but on vacation, I take care of their houses. I take out the garbage and mow the lawn. In return, the people whose house I stay in fill up the refrigerator. They allow me to use the internet and the phone. It’s a barter system… For example, I live for three months in such a house in the north of Wilhelmshaven. Sometimes they call me to talk about this way of living.
Have you ever thought about a moneyless living? Do you think it could be a feasible and fulfilling way of life for you?