Heidemarie Schwermer: A rich life without money

Living without money was the way to live in the past. Money is only a recent phenomenon. But since we live in a money economy it's a big challenge to live without money. Heidemarie Schwermer from Germany has done that for 20 years, since May 1996, until she passed away.

How was she living without money and why? Hoe can Heidemarie provide for her needs? If she needs something she's doing this by exchanging: to get bread she works with a baker and to get a roof over her head she watches after houses when the inhabitants have left. After four years she concluded:

I'm richer now than I ever was before.

Heidemarie Schwermer's book

She also wrote a book about it. "A Rich Life Without Money" is her story. You can download the German version for free here, but that is the German version.

Heidemarie's story starts after she divorces her husband and moves to Dortmund with her two kids. She's astonished about the poverty there. In 1994 she's starting an exchange shop called "Gibb und Nimm" (give and take). Goods and services can be exchanged without the need for money.

In May 1996 Heidemarie Schwermer disposes of all her possessions including her house, furniture, insurance etc. and starts a life according to the motto: "to have nothing and to be a lot".

Motives of Heidemarie Schwermer to live without money

Why is Heidemarie living without money? What are her motives? If she's asked about this she always explains that she's critical about the role of money in life. Why is it playing such a big role? According to the review the book is very convincing:

From the beginning the reader is caught by the narrative style, victories of and choices in dilemmas, faith and hope about future visions of humanity and society, caring for earth and environment. Thus the content convinces: it has to be different, it can be different


There's also a documentary about her life. You can find it on the website LivingWithoutMoney.org.

Watch Heidemarie at TEDxReset 2013

Book: Steps Towards Inner Peace

The Peace-Pilgrim was a woman living almost 30 years without money, in the walhalla of money: the United States. She made many walking trips and took only little on those trips. She lived just from what people gave her and she never needed any money!

Her message was about an inner peace that is reachable by anyone. You as well! It's the ultimate form of happiness, always in peace with whatever is there. Always be at peace with yourself.

"Steps Towards Inner Peace" is the book published after her death. The book is available for free. You can order it at the website about the book and there is also a digital version in Dutch and other languages.

Also check Wikipedia for more information about her life and the website Peacepilgrim.

Moneyless.org - Life Without Money

Living without money is a great way to revalue life as it is. Let people who live without money inspire you. See our tips on how to live a simple life with little money and to reduce the influence that money has on your life. Enhance your lifestyle and reduce your money dependencies to zero.

On MoneyLess.org you'll find tips for simply reducing your dependencies on money, information on alternative currencies such as the bankless currency Bitcoin and tips for living and traveling on a very limited budget.

Living Moneyless: Mark Boyle

Living without money, how does that work out in practice? The Irishman Mark Boyle has been doing it since November 2008 and he's having a great time. He's living in England in an old caravan given to him. He start symbolically on Buy Nothing Day, a yearly day to not buy anything together with others.