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Meet the German Family Who Lives without (Almost) Any Money

29-year-old Rafael Fellmer and his family lead a very frugal lifestyle, one that requires them to spend almost no money at all. They get their food from organic supermarket dumpsters, “pay” their rent by doing all kinds of chores around the house and use a barter system to get the things they need. They only use money when they absolutely don’t have any other choice.

Rafael Fellmer was born in a good German family. His father is a successful architect and his mother an art therapist. He himself graduated in European Studies, in Hague, so there’s no question he could have gotten a good job, if he so wanted. But a few years back, Rafael realized there were things in this world much more important than money. He started gradually reducing his expenditures by doing things that didn’t require him paying anything. The economic crisis, the global food and water shortage, climate change, they all inspired him to live a frugal lifestyle, and made him realize that giving up money is a sure way to a more stable world order. Although there are those who consider him a “deadbeat” for not getting a proper job and providing for his family from supermarket dumpsters, Rafael Fellmer commands a lot of respect from those who share his views, and he is considered the leader of the life-without-money movement that is gaining a lot of popularity in Germany.

Rafael-Fellmer

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Man Gave Up Using Money 12 Years Ago, Lives in Caves of Utah Desert

Daniel Suelo, 51, is a very special person. in 2001, standing on the edge of a highway, he left his life savings, $30, in a phone booth and walked into the desert to start a new life, one that wasn’t based on the rules of modern capitalism. He gave up using money and began living in caves, foraging for wild berries and scavenging for roadkill raccoons and squirrels.

Suelo became an inspiration for thousands of Americans affected by the economic crash and activists like members of the Occupy movement, after his friend, Mark Sundeen, started documenting his way of life. A friend of Daniel, Sundeen admits he though he had gone crazy or suffered a mental break down the first time he heard he had given up money and moved to the desert, in Moab, Utah. They had been out of touch for a few years, but after the economic crash of 2008, he started thinking about his old friend’s ideas. Suelo had once said money was just an illusion, it wasn’t real, and when the money everyone thought they had just started disappearing, Sundeen began to realize Daniel had a point. Because if your house was worth $500,000 today, and just $300,000 the next, what happened to that $200,000, what was that money in the first place? That was when the author got in touch with Suelo and started studying his life.

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