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Living without money

Steve Furlong


Joined: Nov 10, 2010
Posts: 40
http://sites.google.com/site/livingwithoutmoney/
The author of this website claims to have lived for several years without money. And I'd believe him! There's an excellent FAQ all down one side, with vast amounts of insightful information given through simply answering questions. He's also got a blog at http://www.zerocurrency.blogspot.com/
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 893
    
  17
Sooo... what about real estate taxes?
Oh, no land? Then what about rent?
Ah, homeless?
Well, yes. Doable in that case.
Nice theory, maybe, but no thanks.

Me, I like having a home, a place to call my own. The government then takes a bite every year called the real estate tax. If I don't pay them they will take away my land so that means there must be some money. Government's don't take barter and if you're going to start advocating barter then that is simply money in another form so we're back to money.

Cheers,

-Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop

Check out our Kickstarting the Butcher Shop project at:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sugarmtnfarm/building-a-butcher-shop-on-sugarmountainfarm
Sam White


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
A bloke called Mark Boyle lived for a year without money here in the UK. You (or others) might have heard of him - scrounged food from bins (skipping/dumpster diving), foraged, grew his own veg, bartered (labour for land to put his Freecycled caravan on). Very admirable in my opinion, a great demonstration of non-consumerism, and achievable by most assuming you can or want to give up/do without various things.


"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3468
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  63
Walter Jeffries wrote: if you're going to start advocating barter then that is simply money in another form so we're back to money.

Walter, I'm quite possibly misunderstanding your post, but could you elaborate on that statement? I'm a bit confused. I know very little about financial systems, but I've always seen money as a sort of symbolic barter: "I don't have honey/horseshoes/whatever, will you take cash instead".
Money=barter? I dunno, I'd say something like 'I think societies rely on some form of reciprocity/exchange in order to function'
I'm certainly not arguing that the bank might accept my cider in lieu of a mortgage payment though! Or maybe...


Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 893
    
  17
Leila Rich wrote:
Walter Jeffries wrote: if you're going to start advocating barter then that is simply money in another form so we're back to money.

Walter, I'm quite possibly misunderstanding your post, but could you elaborate on that statement? I'm a bit confused. I know very little about financial systems, but I've always seen money as a sort of symbolic barter: "I don't have honey/horseshoes/whatever, will you take cash instead".
Money=barter? I dunno, I'd say something like 'I think societies rely on some form of reciprocity/exchange in order to function'
I'm certainly not arguing that the bank might accept my cider in lieu of a mortgage payment though! Or maybe...


Money is just a abstraction of barter. A way of keeping track of valuations. People seem to lose track of this fact.

I have ten pigs and want my car fixed.
You fix cars but you want five pottery jars.
Richard makes pottery jars but only wants one pig.
I'm willing to give Richard one pig for ten pottery jars but I have no need for the other five pottery jars.
We can't barter directly since you don't want a pig and Richard and I have a quandary as I won't give him a whole pig for only five jars.
So I give Richard a pig, he gives me five jars and an IOU. I give you the five jars and you fix my car.
Now I've got an IOU. We bartered but that's money.

Now the government comes along and tells all of us that we own them sales tax on the transactions and they want each of us to pay our real estate taxes and income taxes too.
Now we all must fix another car, sell more jars and sell more pigs in order to pay the government.
But the government won't take pigs, jars or mechanic work. They won't even take an IOU.
The government demands cash which is really their IOU called dollars or Pounds or Euros, etc.

Money is merely a way of keeping track of value, of IOUs in a barter system that gets too complex.

As to Mark Boyle living without money for a year, sure, that can be doable. Pay your taxes and use no money until next year when the government demands their money again. But how about two years? Three years? And how did he pay the registration on his caravan? How did he pay for his license? Those things took money. So he pays them outside that one year period but the fee comes due again another year. He isn't doing non-consumerism at all.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Maybe someone gifted him the registration (paid it for him).....



Idle dreamer

Eric Thompson


Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Posts: 211
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
I think a key to frugality is living beneath your means. Making some money is the most straightforward way to have "means" in our economic structure. All other things being equal, I would rather make $20k, spend $10k, and save $10k of that than make $0 + barter credits, spend $0, and save $0

But there are many ways to make a little money without toiling away all the time -- just buying a property and renting half of it out can often pay for the basics.

I would have to say some conveniences I pay for are keeping me alive longer!
Sam White


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
Walter Jeffries wrote:As to Mark Boyle living without money for a year, sure, that can be doable. Pay your taxes and use no money until next year when the government demands their money again. But how about two years? Three years? And how did he pay the registration on his caravan? How did he pay for his license? Those things took money. So he pays them outside that one year period but the fee comes due again another year. He isn't doing non-consumerism at all.


Things are a bit different here in the UK to the USA... No reg or license for the caravan, no job (no income tax), no buying anything (no VAT), no house (no council tax), land isn't taxed in the UK... Think that's all the based covered - no tax bill. And I don't think the media would have let him get away with it if he merely paid all his taxes before or after his year without cash. I'm not saying that living without money is necessarily the way to go but it does have it's benefits from a moral, environmental, and, dare I say it, spiritual point of view. It certainly generated more media coverage than simply living frugally might have, bringing the issues related to consumerism to the wider public. Anyway, I'm with Eric; money does have it's uses but frugality is the key. Spending as little as necessary means I can work less at things I don't enjoy and concentrate on the things that make me happy but does afford me the convenience of cash.

On the issue of barter... I think it has it's place. Yeah, it's not as convenient as money but, if I can exchange the fruits of my (enjoyed) labour for someone else's without having to toil away, I'd much prefer to barter! Money does have it's issues, such as separation of people from the origin of their food for example.
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 893
    
  17
Tyler Ludens wrote:Maybe someone gifted him the registration (paid it for him).....


Then he was living on the money of others rather than actually living without money.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3951
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
Walter Jeffries wrote:
Tyler Ludens wrote:Maybe someone gifted him the registration (paid it for him).....


Then he was living on the money of others rather than actually living without money.


As Sam said, it was in the UK so no registration to pay. It *is* possible to live with virtually no money in the UK, if you have somewhere you can park up a caravan and have bins handy to raid.

The catch 22 is that if you buy your own land, it's very likely you won't be able to put a caravan on it as the planning department won't like it. Putting it on someone else's land is usually ok as either they already have a house on it or you can claim you are a temporary agricultural worker.

In Portugal you can buy cheap land and put a caravan on it pretty well anywhere, but you won't find bins full of food! You'll have to find some way to support yourself until you can produce your own food.


What is a Mother Tree ?
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 893
    
  17
Burra Maluca wrote:
Walter Jeffries wrote:In Portugal you can buy cheap land and put a caravan on it pretty well anywhere, but you won't find bins full of food! You'll have to find some way to support yourself until you can produce your own food.


So that rather proves my point. You _buy_ cheap land. That is then a cost you've paid. The fact that you don't pay it every year is just that you paid it up front for the long term. This isn't living without money which was the title.

I'll bet the government taxes the land, the roads (tolls), or other things. Government's are very prone to do that. If you really have found a place where the government does not tax anything I would like to hear of that. I doubt it exists but would love to be proven wrong.

And again, if you're bartering then you're not living with out money. Cash, checks, credit cards, "money" is just a way of keeping track of the exchange of value.

Again that gets back to the government since most of them, virtually all of them, tax sales and income as well.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
For those interested in the gift economy, in the US, gifts of $13000 or less to each person are not taxed. Yes, taking a gift is technically "using someone else's money." But if someone has a bunch of money and feels like giving it away, this is a way of furthering the gift and sharing economy. Gifting is not barter, as there is no exchange of value. Gifting is also a way people with lots of money can avoid estate taxes and other burdens on their heirs.

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=108139,00.html

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Gift_economy
Hanley Kale-Grinder


Joined: Sep 30, 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
    
    1
In the usa one could possibly live on a piece of land owned by a non-profit such as a church or monastery. AFAIK these situations don't pay property taxes. Food and clothing could come in the form of gardens etc., excess (IE dumpsters or whatever), or from donations.

I'm with Tyler on this, a gift is not the same thing as a barter and its not even close to a currency exchange.
Alex Ames


Joined: Feb 24, 2012
Posts: 319
    
    1
Walter Jeffries wrote:
Tyler Ludens wrote:Maybe someone gifted him the registration (paid it for him).....


Then he was living on the money of others rather than actually living without money.



Give it up Walter. We can go to a thread about making money and call it money and if we want
something shiny we can go out and buy it. Then we can be very thankful we aren't dumpster diving
for supper! If I am trying to prove a point it is that I can grow my supper and be out of debt to other
people and get to live in place of natural abundance.
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 177
Location: SW Missouri
    
    2
I think you are beating a dead horse here, Walter. I don't think the OP intended to spark a discussion about the exact definition of money, so much as to make the larger point that we can make do with little or nothing if we want to badly enough.

Case in point...
My husband and I live quite well on about $4800 actual cash income per year. We own (paid in full way back when we had full time 9 to 5 type jobs) our 75 acres of land and our home (which we built ourselves from mostly recycled lumber and other house materials we got from tearing down houses slated for demolition in the face of a new highway project); our one vehicle is 100% paid for. We grow almost all our own food in 3 large gardens, or forage in the woods and national forest next door.

We feed our 11 dogs, 5 cats (all rescues) & 30 chickens with a combination of vegetables from our garden, meat scraps and leftover produce from a local grocery store (the owner saves it for us) added to purchased grain products. We cook everything down to make a stew -- they all love it and it is very nutritious. We also supplement with eggs and purchased dry pet food, but we are slowly weaning away from the dry food because we feel it is not healthy. (Plus, that and the winter hay and grain for the 6 goats takes a big chunk of our yearly cash. We do not own a tractor and none of our land is quite right for grain production on a large scale, or we would try growing our own hay. The goats browse in the woods and their 3 acre enclosure spring thru fall.)

Our water is free -- from a clean, deep well. We bought a solar pump for the well (which we need to get installed this year). Our heat and fuel source for cooking and heating water is from wood. We do use a chainsaw, so we must pay for upkeep and to purchase gas and oil, but the outlay for that is much much less than the utility bills would be if we used natural gas or electricity. Our only utility bill is for electricity, but we use so little that it amounts to an average of only $50 per month. (And we are whittling away at that constantly -- hoping to go completely off-grid soon.) The only things we have not been able to get around for the time being is vehicle registration/license and insurance (its the law), and our phone/internet bill. Since we make what little we do earn online, it is a necessary evil, but we are really trying to get away from it ultimately. Taxes here are incredibly low, so that is not much of a problem (our property and personal property taxes only run about $60 to $120 per year in any given year -- depending upon what we have or have gotten rid of). We buy all our clothes (when we buy clothes at all -- we don't need much) second hand from the local thrift shop. We do not eat out or pay for entertainment - period.

We do not live a luxurious life, but we don't really want to. We love our place and the feeling of freedom we get from being so much more a part of the land than most. Yes, cash is unfortunately necessary for many things, but you can do a lot with remarkably little cash (of any kind) when you really want to.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 3951
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
130
Walter Jeffries wrote:

I'll bet the government taxes the land, the roads (tolls), or other things. Government's are very prone to do that.



Yeah - they *do* tax the land. For the two acres with the farmhouse on it I pay over 80 cents a year. Most roads are free, except some of the motorways. But then, most of my neighbours don't drive, so that doesn't effect them. Also, I'm an immigrant, so I had to buy land. Most native Portuguese inherit it. Selling land is considered to be theft from the children.
Paulo Bessa
pollinator

Joined: Jun 15, 2012
Posts: 330
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
    
    5
First important thing: if you work (a job or a project) do really something you truly enjoy. Chances are, sooner or later you can get at least some small income, and that should be enough to live frugally (and even to save). If you live frugally, you can save plenty of money (for later) even in a normal salary.

Food: you can easily grow a significant portion of it. If in the ciuntryside, you can grow your grains, pulses, even eggs, and you are on your way to most food self-sufficiency.

It is possible in several countries to work for food and accomodation. You can do this for months or years, and there you have it: you can live almost without money. Or to use the money for things you like: books, travel, seeds...

Going extreme is possible but challenging, and I think it's not the sort ot thing for most of us. Still it is doable also to live for a while doing wild camping, hitchhiking, batering, dumpster diving. You can go as further as you feel confortable and happy. Because that's the whole point of it: to feel happy with your choices.

Its really nice nowadays to have all these people trying these unconventional choices. So much to learn...

Our projects:
in Portugal, sheltered terraces facing eastwards, high water table, uphill original forest of pines, oaks and chestnuts. 2000m2
in Iceland: converted flat lawn, compacted poor soil, cold, windy, humid climate, cold, short summer. 50m2
Mark Olinghouse


Joined: Oct 10, 2012
Posts: 7
In the US and many other countries it is nearly impossible to live on a piece of land without participation in the money=freedom deception.

You see governments need money to continue the deception of money=freedom. The government is only able to borrow money (from the super rich or other countries) based on its tax payers' ability to pay the loans back.
So you see, if government allowed you to live on a piece of land free from taxes then you wouldn't be forced to participate in their money=freedom deception and they couldn't borrow any more money and then couldn't continue the money=freedom deception.
Which would lead to more people opting out of the money=freedom deception, further degrading their control over the people.

Such a vicious cycle would follow that soon everyone would be able to live a life of TRUE freedom being money-less and having less-government.

IMHO


Bulk Herbs By The Pound
http://www.herbgrove.com
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
I don't think property taxes are what is keeping people from living on the land. In many areas, at least in the US, property taxes on unimproved land are minimal. Yes, it might take some money, but only a few hundred dollars per year for taxes, depending on where one chooses to live. What is keeping people from the land, in my opinion, is our inability or unwillingness to share and pool our resources. We all seem to want "our own" piece of land and "our own" house. Of course our society discourages working together and pooling resources, because people who do so become less dependent on the money system, the system of power. We're all expected and encouraged to "paddle our own canoe." This is not how we evolved, we evolved as cooperative beings living in groups, in my opinion.

Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
If you don't want to make money or pay taxes, you could form a not-for-profit organization and locate where such an entity gets full property tax exempt status.

Mark Olinghouse


Joined: Oct 10, 2012
Posts: 7
Tyler Ludens wrote:If you don't want to make money or pay taxes, you could form a not-for-profit organization and locate where such an entity gets full property tax exempt status.



You suggest "working the system" to gain the appearance of not being part of the system?
amelia nicol


Joined: Oct 11, 2012
Posts: 3
Wait, why do we owe any government or corporation for being alive, needing food, and needing shelter? Why do we owe offerings and sacrifices to a belief that doesn't actually exist -money- that says unless we pay tribute we are violently punished?
Mark Olinghouse


Joined: Oct 10, 2012
Posts: 7
amelia nicol wrote:Wait, why do we owe any government or corporation for being alive, needing food, and needing shelter? Why do we owe offerings and sacrifices to a belief that doesn't actually exist -money- that says unless we pay tribute we are violently punished?


Why do we owe government? We lost our vigilance. We grew apathetic. We allowed manufactured distractions to blind us. We suffer from acute Alzimers.
Look at this discription. Describes our condition to a tee.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5320
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Mark Olinghouse wrote:

You suggest "working the system" to gain the appearance of not being part of the system?


I'm not personally interested in "appearances." I'm interested in action. If one does not want to make money or pay taxes, there are several ways of doing that, one of which I suggest above.
amelia nicol


Joined: Oct 11, 2012
Posts: 3
no doubt; commercial distraction, industrial food and material convenience have done their best to blind our most basic natural need-- to survive.
laura sharpe


Joined: Nov 17, 2012
Posts: 243
    
    2
I have to admit I hated reading that man's blog. Oh how did he write that...a computer? Maybe there is some things he doesnt talk about but does. Oh the bluebird does not store food....ugh I found the websight soooo....ummm pretentious?

Money is just an easy form of exchange....very difficult to keep half a pig alive after you bartered the other half for some seeds. One can live without money yet still have the form of exchange, "I will work for a meal". One would hope that we not only earn our subsistence but we also positively contribute to this world.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Walter Jeffries wrote:
Tyler Ludens wrote:Maybe someone gifted him the registration (paid it for him).....


Then he was living on the money of others rather than actually living without money.


Everything that Walter said so far seems bang on to me.

This guy tweaks religious verse for some of his trite. "Where two or more are gathered in the belief of money, money is in their midst. " I've been done with religion since I was 8 but this bit was clearly lifted from the New Testament and it referred to Jesus, the central character.

Here's a fun one - "Gold is pretty, but virtually useless in most cases... Natives in North America thought Europeans were utterly insane because of their lust for such a useless yellow substance." I don't recall hearing that Montezuma kept gold in the compost heap or used it for target practice. I do recall that his people went to extrordinary lengths to mine the stuff and then they stored it in temples and palaces. This d-nk has cost me 15 minutes that I'll never get back. I don't suppose there's any point in suing him.


QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
wes kul


Joined: Dec 22, 2012
Posts: 6
My goal is to be able to live without money. I'll barter and have a trader pay my property tax, which is less than 1000 anyway. Just backtrack through the past century and undo what's been done with modern society, it isn't impossible yet.
Andy Reed


Joined: Jan 02, 2013
Posts: 69
    
    2
Walter Jeffries wrote:

Money is just a abstraction of barter. A way of keeping track of valuations. People seem to lose track of this fact.



Wrong, Money is debt. Barter is physical goods and services.
S Bengi


Joined: Nov 29, 2012
Posts: 939
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
    
    3
Money is debt.
I want something from you and I have no good/service that you want. but here is a bill that someone owns me.
The only problem is that the bill is not backed by anything and we simply collectively leave it up to the future generation to pay for the debt.
So I guess that we could make the claim that money is not just debt but that it is actually a security for our children and grandchildren.
Or the good/service/tax that they will produce/pay in the future. Which is at least debt with a foreseeable payment

Now in the old days when money was gold/silver or at least backed by it. At least it was a good, even of we saw it as a stupid/pointless good.
Even if it would have been better to have or money backed by a farm/forest/airspace/water right. At least silver/gold was a good not a debt.
Shelly Randall


Joined: Jul 04, 2012
Posts: 73
Location: Central Valley California
    
  10
I believe money is a convenience. If I'm a butcher, it's hard to carry a side of beef to my neighbor to pay for some candles. How is he supposed to make change?
Mark Olinghouse


Joined: Oct 10, 2012
Posts: 7
sheila reavill wrote:I believe money is a convenience. If I'm a butcher, it's hard to carry a side of beef to my neighbor to pay for some candles. How is he supposed to make change?

Money is a convenience, but only for the owner. None of us own money, we just pay a tax to use money. The tax is in the form of deflation. The value of the money dwindles day after day. So the owner spends out the money and a high value, then buys it back at low value. Rinse repeat. The owner gets rich, the users get perishable goods that need to be purchased over and over again. Each cycle cost the user more, and makes the owner more.

Taxes are the real problem not the money. Yes taxes pay for lots of services. But all those service come down to the support and feeding of commerce, corporations of any and all sizes. They are the ones that should pay ALL taxes. Sure it would increase the price of store bought goods, but I would have the option not to participate in the money exchange commerce system; if the land I am allowed to live on was not taxed. As it is we all have to pay taxes with money, which means we are forced to participate whether we want to or not. It is a slick form of slavery that has all the trappings of freedom but without the benefits.
Nina Jay


Joined: May 19, 2010
Posts: 64
Location: Southern Finland, mean annual temp +4 C, rainfall 700 mm, growing season 180 days, clay soil.
Andy Reed wrote:
Walter Jeffries wrote:

Money is just a abstraction of barter. A way of keeping track of valuations. People seem to lose track of this fact.



Wrong, Money is debt. Barter is physical goods and services.



What I think is maybe the biggest problem with money is that it's so abstract and easily transferred all over the world. I think this was one of Mark Boyle's main reasons for trying to live without it.

You have no way of knowing where the money originates. Maybe someone clear cut a rainforest and sold the wood to some company and this company then is a customer to some other company that is a customer to some other who pays your salary. All the sudden you're involved in something you had no idea about and do not approve of.

Without money this kind of thing would be much more unlikely to happen. Trading physical goods and services makes it much easier to keep track of what kind of activities one is supporting, where the materials come from etc.

Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 961
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  11
I think the problem with money is when one thinks it is the only way to function. When everything breaks down to money, you lose the creativity in working without money. Of course, it is much easier to tax transactions based on money than say, exchange of services.

I have a few locations of plantations that aren't that far away, but I can't be on every day (or don't want to). So I have now worked out letting a couple of local farmers use the grass for calves, it keeps down the grass, and they get fatter animals. Win / win.

We also exchange starts of plants. I brought him moringa yesterday, he is going to get some Jamaican red bananas ready for me (shoots). His son is going to live in the house I have in the plantation, to watch over their cattle, which will provide better oversight to our plantations.

No money being exchanged. One other thing, he gave me a license plate from 1957-58 here in Costa Rica, numbered 155.

My view of money is pretty simple, there are times it works as exchange, but I don't store it up. I store up lands, assets things that produce. Since I am not a bank, I don't try to make money, on money. I do much better increasing my wealth in assets, not money.

I do think that modern society teaches us to measure our well being in dollars (or whatever currency you use) instead of productive things. Coming from a successful career, it took me a long time to realize that having 900 acres of forestry, with all the equipment I need to harvest it, without any debt, makes me wealthy, no matter how much cash I have in a bank account.

After all, the trees are still growing, no matter what is happening to the dollar, or any other currency.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Jen Shrock
pollinator

Joined: Jan 25, 2013
Posts: 326
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
    
    7
I think that wealth is often, too, a state of mind. While some do not have the choice but to live frugal and scrape by, others do so by choice. I agree that money and wealth is not just cold hard cash / currency. It is whatever one percieves that has value and can be used in trade / exchange for work or goods.

I am lucky enough to currently have a good job, but I am working toward paying off things and building my home system to become more sustainable because I hope to transition to a life in which I can do work which is more meaningful to me. I grew up poor and I think the lessons that I learned then will be the building blocks to lead me to my future goals. I want to learn to go away from the consumerism that I have gotten sucked into and become more frugal again. I am always open to ideas and I respect those who have taken up the challenge before me.

Whether one is frugal by choice or not, I think that frugality is needed because the world is being sucked dry of resources. Support one another's efforts...cheer each other on. We only have one world and there is a limit to how much it can "give" without thought and care for it. I think we need to not get so hung up in the technical term of things and focus on what really matters. Don't tear down others and their efforts to do better. Support them. Don't get hung up on terms, because they really are just words. I think that I will be far more wealthy once I get to the point of being able to rely less on conventional money and become more frugal. I have a long way to go, but I am trying to learn how to make my spot on this earth count more.


"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." ~Maori Proverb

www.permi-eden.com
Xisca Nicolas


Joined: Aug 06, 2012
Posts: 897
Location: La Palma Canary Zone 11
    
    7
I just wander WHY when something is interesting, some want to go from 100% to 0%

Money is an exchange symbol, and unfortunately also part of some capital manipulations.
The first is better than the second....

Less money and keep it only an intermediate for exchange is good.
Less money is good.
No money is a challenge.

Do we need proves for people who are afraid of missing?
But I believe that living on 1000$ per year or even more would also make someone a hero.
And it allows more heroes than living with zero.


Xisca - Canary - Look at pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project
However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...
Nina Jay


Joined: May 19, 2010
Posts: 64
Location: Southern Finland, mean annual temp +4 C, rainfall 700 mm, growing season 180 days, clay soil.
Jen Shrock wrote:I think that wealth is often, too, a state of mind. While some do not have the choice but to live frugal and scrape by, others do so by choice. I agree that money and wealth is not just cold hard cash / currency. It is whatever one percieves that has value and can be used in trade / exchange for work or goods.
.


I agree with this one. I recently took part in a conversation about this. Someone was of the opinion that so-called "downshifting" (living with less money) can be thought of as "the final class division" or something, I cannot translate it exactly. But the point was that only the rich can afford to downshift and save natural resources and the poor will just save natural resources because they have to which is not at all the same thing. I think that this was an important point. In an ideal world everyone would be equal and have exactly the same resources available but I have to say I also believe wealth is a state of mind more than anything else. Some people never seem to have enough and always think of themselves as poor. They keep comparing themselves to their neighbours which is I guess what one is supposed to do for our economical system to work. But if instead one starts thinking "I have everything I need" suddenly one doesn't feel poor. (Obviously this doesn't apply to people living in or near absolute poverty).

Xisca, I didn't mean to imply one has to go completely moneyless. I think the point of experiments like "living a year without money" is that they show it can be done. And in a way that draws media's attention so people get to read about it and get new ideas. "Living with less money" doesn't sound nearly as interesting and it would probably be much more difficult to get any magazine to write about it. "Living with 1000 dollars per year": that sounds interesting and I think would get media attention too.
I agree that frugality is the realistic solution and it's not necessary nor desirable to go from 100 % to 0 %.

I'm drawn to frugality not so much because I want to save resources (though that is of course important too) but mainly because I do not like the fact that the money I have on my bank account can have originated from some socially injust or ecologically distructive process. Another big problem is how money alienates us from each other. Money and bought services have eg. replaced neighbours helpin each other and that has been a huge loss. Frugality forces us into co-operation with other people and that although much more difficult than clicking "buy" is so much more rewarding.
Susan Noyes


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 50
Location: Dallas TX
Nina Jay wrote:
Another big problem is how money alienates us from each other. Money and bought services have eg. replaced neighbours helpin each other and that has been a huge loss. Frugality forces us into co-operation with other people and that although much more difficult than clicking "buy" is so much more rewarding.


When I read of barn-raisings and other pioneer activities I am reminded of the cooperation that occasionally occurred in my own neighborhood (a tightly knit catholic community of large families). I really miss that. Permablitzes seem like an innovative reconstruction of that type of activity. I think that is one of several reasons why an ecovillage (or even more so, Paul's farm) appeals so much to me.
Xisca Nicolas


Joined: Aug 06, 2012
Posts: 897
Location: La Palma Canary Zone 11
    
    7
Nina, I only answered in a general way to the title of the post!
I know what media want, but what do WE want here?

Nina Jay wrote:
Jen Shrock wrote:While some do not have the choice but to live frugal and scrape by, others do so by choice. I agree that money and wealth is not just cold hard cash / currency. It is whatever one percieves that has value and can be used in trade / exchange for work or goods.
.


I agree with this one.

hehe, I think I don't!
Money is money, this stuff they deal with in wall street.
Something for trade is something else than money.

We all agree I guess that we need to find other kind of wealth than money, and find other ways to exchange.
In France exists the SEL = Système d'Echange Local.
Great, no need to translate!

But the currencies are based on the Euro! It was obvious when the country change from francs to euros!!!
I had proposed to use the hours and minutes as a currency, but they did not want to calculate so much for the change.... (sigh...)
I know that the idea has gone its way and that some groups use time as their currency!

But the point was that only the rich can afford to downshift and save natural resources and the poor will just save natural resources because they have to which is not at all the same thing.


Which poors... The industrialized "poor" that still can buy more than their food are the ones who buy more low quality stuff, which have a very bad footprint because they must be thrown away quicker. they also buy more junk food.

I do not like the fact that the money I have on my bank account can have originated from some socially injust or ecologically distructive process.


At least at the moment, I leave some money on my current account, and remove it from the accounts that "earn a few % of benefit"!
This is called "interest".
It made my family crazy, and I loved the bank counsellor trying to "sell" me some of their products.... "all your money is "sleeping", you should make "work" etc"

If they give us money for this, it means they earn much more with it!!!
Who are the fools making the system work?
WE are the fools who prefer to get a few dollars, euros or pounds more...
...and prefer to forget that our money is used by the banks as eggs that will hatch for them.

Stopping this is very easy.
Refuse the interests and keep your money in the account that bring you nothing.
Just because it will bring them nothing either.
 
 
subject: Living without money
 
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