Live without money.  Mark Boyle did it

Irish Mark Boyle He tried to live without money, a life without income, without bank accounts, without expenses. A sort of radical demotion.

If someone had told me 7 years ago that an executive with an economics degree could live without money, I would never have believed it. The plan was to have a great job, make as much money as possible, and buy whatever our company thinks is a success. Mark comments on how he saw his world before this adventure.

The really important thing is to live simply, and that will ultimately make you happier and freer.

Free book: Manifesto for a life without money

It reminds us a lot of the story we published one day, albeit less drastic, of this banker, who retired to raise fish and grow plants in his New York apartment.

For a while he did, he was the director of a large organic food companyHe was earning enough to have a good yacht in port. But one day everything changed, after watching a documentary on Gandhi. If it wasn’t for this video, I would still do the same as before. This is the starting point that led him to spend 15 months living without a single euro.

One evening on their yacht, talking about life with a glass of wine in hand, they reflected on how the two of them could change the world. Only them, two small drops of water in a big ocean. They talked about the environmental destruction, wars over natural resources, exploitation through labor, industrial farms, of so many things that have pushed this planet to its limits. He remembered a phrase from Gandhi that had marked him in the documentary: Be the change you want to see in the world.

After that night, he understood. All these questions weren’t so loosely related as he thought, they all have a common cause. We no longer see the consequences of our excessive consumption on people, the environment or animals. We are unaware of the level of destruction and suffering embodied in the products we consume on a daily basis.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, I would have to live without money, give it up for at least a year of your life. He did it for three years. Now it has become their way of life.

Many people don’t want to hurt others, but most don’t really know how their use affects others.

How to live without money.

“I made a list of the basics for survival. I love the food so this was the priority. There are four ways to get free food: collect food from nature, grow, trade, or eat trash.


Mark survived because:

  • Housing ;: a caravan, he got it by volunteering at an organic farm, he helped renovate it to make it self-sufficient, he didn’t need an outside power source.
  • He bathed in a river.
  • He used newspapers to go to the bathroom.
  • He used the bicycle to get around.
  • He used beeswax candles to light.
  • He used wood he chopped or collected to heat his home, in a stove made from an old gasoline can.

“Surprisingly, this has been the happiest year of my life. I have more friends than ever before, I have not fallen ill and have never been so physically fit, I have found true security in friendship and not in money. Now, I am sure that most of the poverty in the West is spiritual and that independence is really interdependence. “

Could we all live without money?

No. It would be a disaster, we are addicted to cheap energy and we have succeeded in creating a whole world infrastructure around abundance. But if we could make our own decisions and relocate to communities of up to 150 people, then why not? For over 90% of our history, a time when we live much more ecologically, we have lived without money. Now we are the only species to use it, probably because we are the species with the least contact with nature.

Now people often ask me what I miss from my old world of profit and business. Stress. Traffic jams Bank statements. Utility bills. Oh yeah and the pint of organic beer that I drank with my classmates.

One of his conferences:


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The manifesto lives without money.

The happy pig

Mark’s story is documented in his own book The man without money (2010).

The man without money it has sold over 75,000 copies in 17 countries. The book is a guide to how someone can get by without money in a world designed for the opposite.

His farm now operates without the use of fossil fuels, without tractors; Boyle recalls that farmers in the region have unwittingly been practicing organic farming for centuries; but on a smaller scale.

People there can get free education and work, but in an economy called the “gift economy” where the idea is to help others without an explicit commitment to return the favor or the result.

The current model is so unsustainable that throwing our plastic waste in the yellow bin will never be enough.

It is totally absurd to want infinite growth on a finite planet.

It is obvious that consumerism has gotten out of hand.

The more the consumer is separated from the producers, the more bad things happen along the way.


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In his latest book “Drinking Molotov cocktails with GandhiMark wants us to change the three Rs of “reduce, reuse and recycle” to “resist, rebel and“ re-register ”.