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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.

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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