Do you really need money?

this that and the mba, dumpster dive, daniel sueloHave you ever heard of the cave dweller?  Dumpster forager?  What about Daniel Suelo?  Well I have news for you they may all be one in the same.  Daniel Suelo is a man who decided he didn’t need money anymore. 

What did you say?

That is right he decided he didn’t need money anymore.  So one day he walked out and put his last $30 dollars in a phone booth and hasn’t looked back.  That was 12 years ago.  He has been wandering the country since living off the land and others generosity.  He really takes it to heart when we say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  For Daniel it is his means of survival.   

Where would you ever get an idea like this?

For Daniel Suelo it was his 2 years in the Peace Corps that he saw the quality of life of an Ecuadorian village decline the more money that they spent.  They were spending money on TV’s and modern day conveniences.  He came to the conclusion that money was the underlying factor.  This idea fostered in his head for a while and then one day he decided to take the extreme measure and go on without money.  

Do you think you could walk away assuming you had no debt?  I know we all want to walk away from our debt!!!

 Photo By: Meaduva

28 thoughts on “Do you really need money?

  1. I have a followup post idea for you! Tell more about this Suelo guy. How did he get buy exactly? HOw did he live off the land if he didn’t own any? (these days I feel liek someone would get in legal trouble taking food off someone elses land). This is a crazy interesting story!

    1. @ TB – Right on I will gather things on him and draft another post. It is very interesting. There is some other guy in Ireland that is doing it too but he hasn’t done it as long as Suelo. Make sure to come back for the sequel!

  2. not a chance. I am too comfortable with what I have. I don’t mean this in a conceited way, I just can’t see myself walking away from everything on purpose.

    1. @ Sean – I couldn’t see myself doing it either. More power to him, it is just not for me.

  3. I like the things that money affords me – being able to have fun and an increased quality of life (I could do without the debt though). It seems to me that he wouldn’t be able to get buy without OTHER people’s money (other people’s land, generosity, people giving him food and clothing) so he’s not really done with money.

    1. @ Daisy – he is a glorified mooch using his publicity and notoriety to get other stuff….I wonder what he plans to do in retirement?

  4. I wouldn’t be able to do it either. I am too spoiled by modern day conveniences. Besides I wouldn’t be comfortable basically begging other people for money and food to get by. There is something to be said for being independent and being able to take care of yourself. If he really wanted to ‘live off the land’, he’d go move into the wilderness and you would never hear about the guy.

    1. @ Jeremy – The guy in ireland has a blog set up where he tracks his adventure. Still he has been doing it for 12 years which is a long time to go without any money.

  5. Mo Money, Mo Problems. I couldn’t take it to that extreme though.

    1. @ James – haha never put 2 and 2 together….mo money mo problems…that is exactly what he believed and photos of the guy he appears happy.

  6. Yeah, there isn’t much chance that I would consider doing this. While I do agree that the desire for material possessions have really hurt our world, there is no doubt that I enjoy them myself.

    I give him all the credit though – really cool story!

    1. @ Jason – I enjoy my material possessions too. They give me a sense of self worth. It is something that I can see that is tangible that everyday I am at work can appreciate. It makes it easier for me sometimes at work when the days are dragging that I can see all the things that we have.

  7. Reminds me of Christopher McCandless from the book “Into the Wild”. I think it’s fine in the short term and while you’re young, but if not having money gives him a better appreciation of life, I assume he’ll want to live to as old an age as possible. How does he plan to afford healthcare?

    I believe that the job I have in health care is in direct support of helping humanity. I believe the research I do will better the future. I believe that if I don’t want to make money for the job I do, I have the right to donate it all back into the community. This is my job on earth 🙂 I approve of what he’s doing to enjoy his life, but I’d also argue that “living off the earth” and “generosity of others” is pretty lazy.

    1. @ GB – never heard of that book. I can see the appreciation for life and you are right, what about when you are done living off the land. You are not exactly the most employable person when you are old. And if you dont pay into the system I dont think you will be receiving Social Security. It would be an interesting case to see how this guy is living when he is 60. I will put that in my to do list to follow back up when he is elderly. Come to think of it, I wonder where this blog will be when I am 60? Will you still be following along?

  8. I know someone like that — and nobody likes “that guy” who suggests going out and can’t chip in?

    1. @ Frugal – nothing more irritating when you have a friend suggest something then not want to contribute.

  9. Definitely a cool idea but no way I would ever be able to or want to do it. It sounds like he had bad experiences before he went off on his journey.

    1. @ Lance- It is a cool idea for someone else, just not me.

  10. There’s a not so fine line between ‘living off the land’ and taking advantage of friends and family. Need more details to know which this guy is really more about.

  11. I don’t think money is evil; rather, it’s the foolish use of money. When you have a family with kids, you can’t just walk away. I have too many responsibilities on my shoulder to even remotely entertain this thought of walking away. 🙂

    1. @ Shilpan – all too often we get sucked into having to buy the next newest and best thing and we do spend our money foolishly. I don’t think my wife would go along with me walking away from everything and living in a cave. I also think the way he did it in the peace corps and seeing the way they lived and then coming to America and trying to replicate that. It just is not as feasible as we are so advanced compared to some of the third world countries.

  12. Very interesting story— what he is doing is not much different than all the other homeless folks out there—though he made a conscious decision to do so.
    I hope he found some land down south to live off— I always wonder why the homeless folks here up north don’t hop a train and head south so they don’t have to sleep out in the cold. (Plus there are free showers at the beaches.)
    Though we are simple people, I do not think I could ever go without having a place to lay my head at night.

    1. @ Denise – I agree, I am always amazed as to why they live in the North. If I am going to live outside, I would much rather be down in Florida. It would be interesting to know or to interview a homeless person and find out why they live up north.

  13. I couldn’t do. I really can’t even imagine doing it. But good for him if that makes him happy.

    1. @ Katie – I cant even begin to comprehend what it would be like to walk away from money for good.

  14. When it comes to a discussion of practicality, every discussion has got two different perspectives. Personally if I am asked regarding the importance of money, I will say that obviously money is really important for meeting our day to day needs. Practically to have a life, without having money sounds obnoxious. After all life is not a bed of roses, hence eventually at the end of the day you have to seek for money whether you want or not. But from an explicit and carefree point of view, its always a treat to read over someone’s personal life originated experience. It basically makes you look the other way round and help you believe that nothing is impossible and sometimes its good to take a risk to achieve something big and place an idealism over the society. So yeah, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece of writing and needless to say, I am looking forward to read the continuation.

    1. @ Jonny – Thanks for the thoughtful response. I will be sure to let you know when I have posted the continuation.

  15. Welcome Chris 🙂

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