How One Woman Gave Up Money Entirely

We often talk about living on less money, but can you imagine living on NO money?  A German woman has been doing exactly that for 17 years now – on purpose.

Psychotherapist Heidemarie Schwermer decided at age 53 to try living without money or possessions for one year.  After cancelling her apartment lease and selling everything but a change of clothes and a few daily care essentials, she started bartering her professional services and other chores for room and board in private homes.

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Image from Heidemarie Schwermer

Schwermer was so happy with the result, especially the sense of freedom she felt, that she continues to live money-free to this day.  Her barter “buying power” has been enhanced by the lectures she gives about her experience.

I’ve never heard of an American trying something like this.  I suspect Germany’s government healthcare program helps make Schwermer’s lifestyle possible.  I know I certainly couldn’t live without money at this point in my life – not with four young kids!  But I’m often surprised how little money people need to live happy fulfilling lives, even young parents; sometimes as little as $2,500 a month.

I don’t recommend Schwermer’s extreme approach.  But her story is a good reminder that we may not need as much money as we think we do – nowhere near as much.

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