The Moneyless Man tells the story of Mark Boyle, founder of freeconomy.com, who attempts to live an entire year without money. Humorous, inspiring and packed with practical advice, this is a book that will get you thinking about your own conscious consumption.
The Moneyless Man by Mark Boyle
The Moneyless Man is a remarkable first hand account of living ‘off-grid’.
Taking a decision to live without money for an entire year, Mark Boyle sets up shelter in a borrowed caravan, generating his own energy, foraging for food and bartering for bare essentials, with humorous results.
A great read for aspiring minimalists, eco-warriers, activists and outdoor types, this book will get you thinking about your own role as a consumer in an capitalist economy that damages our planet, impacts our health and seperates us from one another.
Below are some of the key insights I took from this book:
- Money has no inherent value.
- Money, by it’s very nature, incentivises competitive behaviour that has both huge benefits but also huge costs.
- To change the world, Gandhi advises us to ‘be the change’ we wish to see.
- Creating your own rules helps enforce self-discipline. (Discipline)
- The basic essentials: Shelter, Energy, Food, Transport and Communication can all be purchased but can (alternatively) be secured with minimal or no expense.
- Absolute poverty is defined as below 40% of the average income of a country.
- Without money, everything takes more time. We live in a world where money is consistently exchanged for time and vice versa. (Time vs. Money)
- Social norms always favour consumption over free alternatives (e.g. Hitchhiking, Bin-raiding, Minimalism)
- The national grid has to overproduce energy in order to meet human needs.
- The industrialisation of our food network creates low cost produce at the expense of producers, environmental cost, nutritional value and our own mental health. (Food)
- Living without money makes you appreciate the change in the seasons and see the true value of human input into each consumable good.
- The internet has empowered the freeconomy movement, making it easier to live without money then ever before in human history.
- The value of a single person’s actions/kindness can ripple outward by inspiring others to take up the cause. (Paying it Forward)