10 Tips On How To Live A (Mostly) Moneyless Life

Categories: Tips & Tricks

By Liselotte Roosen

On request, here is a more detailed how-to guide on finding everything for free. But before we go into the details, the most important and fundamental rule concerning your attitude to life should be made clear first and foremost: 

  • Be A Generous Person *
    You can't expect to get things for free if you are not also a giving and generous person yourself. Karma really does work. This doesn't mean that you always have to give things in return for other things. In fact, there is a lot of power in just giving or just receiving. Firstly, it makes the act more pure, especially for the unconditional giver, because there is no 'hidden agenda' of wanting to please or just following rules. This makes the experience so much more fulfilling and rewarding. Also, when you receive something for free and the other person doesn't expect anything in return, you can give the biggest gift of all, which is sincere gratitude.
  • A sincere thank you and a description of how you were affected by the kindness of someone else in that moment, is one of the most precious things you can give someone. This does not mean you can't also show your appreciation in other ways later on, but definitely don't skip the heartfelt gratitude. In fact, in my own life it has been this giving and receiving of sincere gratitude that has been most rewarding and transforming, especially since I started my moneyless journey.
    While practicing being grateful and generous, you will discover that there are many ways to give gifts to others, other than money. Money makes people lazy, because we don't have to get creative in what we give to others. We can pay our way through life, without ever giving anything else. But without money, you discover that you can give your time, your attention, share your skills, or just share how you feel about someone. Even just being with someone can be a great gift, to both people.The connection with others becomes more of a priority. You notice you will slow down. You may even discover that those new-found gifts are more valuable than any amount of money.

  • Now, let's go into the details of getting creative and living for free.

    * (Be willing to) Simplify and learn to let go *
    In the process of finding ways to ban money from your life, it is important to keep an open mind and not be too attached to a certain outcome or holding on to a specific way of life. If living for free is really your priority, you may have to consider doing things a little bit differently than what you were used to. It helps to frequently ask yourself the following question, and ponder it carefully: "Do I really need this? (Or is there a different way of doing this?)"
    When you do this every time you think you may need something, you will discover that you need a lot less stuff than you may have previously thought. Most of the time, there are alternative ways to live your life so that you don't need as much stuff; it just requires a bit of resourcefulness and creativity. And it is more fun and adventurous too! So in the process of living for free, you will automatically simplify your life, learn to let go and open your mind.
    Next, I will go into how you can get specific needs met without the use of money, or at least while drastically reducing the amounts you spend. With all of these following categories, remember that society's waste can be a huge resource! Waste is a huge global issue, threatening and polluting our earth, and a lot of useful stuff is thrown away every day. Remember that next time you want to buy something: that product you want to buy is probably about to be thrown away by someone somewhere on earth, at that very moment. And it may be somewhere near you!
    1. Food and water
    Of course food is one of the most important things we need. Luckily, food is plentifully available if you know where to look. You can try dumpster diving, or if you don't want to eat from dumpsters you can set up a food rescue program and collect food waste directly from the supermarkets and keep a small portion for yourself (probably you will only need about 1-5% max if you only manage one shop). And of course you can always go into nature and learn about edible wild plants. You will discover that there is a lot of nutritious food growing all around you! (that is if you live in a reasonably green place).
Found foods

Drinking water can be found in mountainous areas with streams and waterfalls. The higher you collect your water, the cleaner it will be. Just follow the stream upwards. Of course you can also collect rainwater, filter it and drink that. Also inform yourself about viruses, bacteria and chemicals that may lurk in your water and what you can do about it. Sometimes just boiling the water can be enough to purify it. There may also be springs or wells in your area, where you can find clean (or reasonably clean) drinking water. Water can also be found in public places. Sometimes there are even outside taps where you can fill up your water bottle with fresh water.

Clean freshwater from the mountains in Norway

2. (Temporary) Shelter
Where do you live if you really want to live the moneyless lifestyle? Again, there are several options. If you are living in a pleasant climate, then living in a tent or building your own shelter is an option. But if you live in a cold climate (like me) then you can try to find a free place to live in exchange for something that you have to offer, like food or skills. Everyone has unique skills to contribute. And of course, a pleasant personality will also help. Check out how I found a free place to live here.

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