How to live on zero dollars a day -or- how to survive with no money

by | Jul 23, 2009 01:00 PM ET

First there was the teacher who managed to live on one British pound per day. "Miss Kelly's rent and utility bills were already paid for the year, but her budget had to cover transport, food, clothes and social events."

Teacher lives on £1 a day for a year

Now this week there is a fascinating article about a man who is managing to live with no money - he is spending zero dollars a day:


He lives in a cave. He gathers his food from the surrounding territory each day. He bathes in a nearby stream. He offers a mini how-to guide in the article.

So what does the zero-dollar existence look like? The reality is not particularly appealing at first glance:

On a warm day in early spring, I clamber along a set of red-rock cliffs to the mouth of his cave, where I find a note signed with a smiley face: CHRIS, FEEL FREE TO USE ANYTHING, EAT ANYTHING (NOTHING HERE IS MINE). From the outside, the place looks like a hollowed teardrop, about the size of an Amtrak bathroom, with enough space for a few pots that hang from the ceiling, a stove under a stone eave, big buckets full of beans and rice, a bed of blankets in the dirt, and not much else. Suelo's been here for three years, and it smells like it.

See also:

I Know It Is Possible To Live With Zero Money, Abundantly

It is interesting to imagine what would happen if we all lived like this. We would start to look a lot like birds or squirrels. We would each have a "nest", and we would need enough "territory" to supply our food needs, and we would likely need to "defend our territory" like birds and squirrels do.

But humans just aren't wired like that. So instead we look more like packs of wolves, forming into tribes - small groups of people living/surviving together. This type of society was common in places like Africa and North America. Or, if living in the solitary state, we look like Robinson Crusoe. We develop technologies to make our lives easier, our comfort greater, etc.

But then, sometimes, we take the tribe concept a step further and we get a city, like the cities of Babylon or Greece or Rome.

And that evolves into the modern cities we have today.

And then, from our apartments and homes in the city or suburb, where nearly every human need or want can be satisfied with an Internet search or a quick drive down the street, we look back wistfully at where we started... We look at the man who lives on zero dollars a day, and we wonder.

What if you would like to merge the low-money lifestyle with modern society so you can avoid the cave and the smell? You might try something like this:

[[[Jump to previous How To - How to make Slim Jims]]]

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