What if you stopped using money, I mean all money? No credit cards, no debt cards, checks, nothing! How would you eat? How would you get new shoes when yours wore out? When I really think about it, I can’t imagine if I couldn’t not buy anything. Not because I am addicted to consumption and materialistic things, but there are arguably things you absolutely need. Soap for instance, I don’t need fancy soap, but a bar of ivory, sure. To wash my hands, to shower, to clean cuts when I get injured, to wash the counter after cutting raw chicken. Shoes, in our urban waste….I mean urban wonderland there are too many things that can injure you and places you can’t enter without them.
Reprinted: Style Christopher Ketcham
Daniel Suelo lives in a cave. Unlike the average American—wallowing in credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified of the next downsizing at the office—he isn’t worried about the economic crisis. That’s because he figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place. Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit.
His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo. Suelo’s blog, which he maintains free at the Moab Public Library, suggests that he’s both. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking,” he writes. “Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”
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