How to live without money

A German lady has lived without money for sixteen years and thinks it’s great:

In the beginning, she did odd jobs around her hosts’ homes, like gardening or window washing, to earn her keep. These days, people usually don’t expect anything in return.

When seasons change, she gives away old clothing and waits for new ones to come along. When they do––usually donated by hosts or friends––she calls them ‘miracles’, rather than charity.

[S]he coaches a group of student environmentalists from Muenster, Germany’s BUND Youth in the ways of bartering. At a local market, they managed to turn that pencil into a fistful of fruit.

So she started off by bartering labour and progressed to simply living off the generosity of others. Perhaps there are useful lessons here beyond exemplification of the generosity of many people but I don’t see them. Why is this apparently an environmentally friendly and admirable endeavour?

If you want to know more about the lessons she has to share, she has a website: Living without money

HT: Interest

  • Seamus Hogan

    This story is a lovely contrast to Landsburg’s classic defence of misers like Ebenezer Scrooge: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/holidays/2004/12/what_i_like_about_scrooge.single.html. In fact, I think I see next year’s essay topic for my 200-level micro class.

  • http://lifebehindtheirondrape.blogspot.co.nz/ Mark Hubbard

    I’m sure IRD would like to have a word to this woman also: barter, obviously, has a dollar value still.