I wrote a post last month on how I was getting on with life without a car. In this post I explained how I tried out one of Mr Money Mustache's frugal entertainment options - The Public Library. I signed up to the local Library, and I now had access to 1000's of books completely free of charge.
Whilst I was in the library I came across Moneyless Man, The: A Year Of Freeconomic Living* by Mark Boyle. A year of freeconomic living? That sounded interesting, and what the hell was 'freeconomic living' anyway? I like the sound of words that have 'free' in so I thought I would read the back cover.
It turns out the chap above, Mark Boyle, who was a former businessman, decided to live an entire year without money. The book details his decision to why he decided to do it, an account of how it went, and what he learned from the experience.
Mark feels that our modern western society has become extremely disconnected with from what we consume, and this separation is down to the use of Money. He feels that money has replaced community when it comes to security and happiness, and he wants the planet to go back to a more simple and satisfying existence. Rather than going out and consuming more, mark believes you should work as a community to help support each other. This will reduce consumption and increase your well-being. This made complete sense to me, and although I didn't have a desire to live completely without money, I was very intrigued as to how someone could do so in today's society.
He's been a key driving force for setting up 'Freeconomy', where people meet up and share skills with each other. It might range from car mechanics, language, computer skills etc. He believes sharing is much more rewarding than consuming. You feel great for helping others, and you can benefit from becoming more self sustainable in your own life and lessen the impact on the planet. I really like this concept too, I know I've been guilty of going out and buying things, when I could quite easily ask a neighbor if I can borrow something instead. I would like to help my neighbor's out in turn as well, but sometimes it takes that initial step to get the ball rolling.
He has some strong views on how we're treating our planet (very poorly), and expresses a lot of concern for how as a society, we're so reliable on using Peak Oil, which is ultimately an unsustainable way of living (not to mention unhealthy!).
Mark references one of Mahatma Gandhi's sayings "Be the change you want to see in the world", whether you are a "minority of one or a majority of millions". He said this really struck a cord with him, and helped him decide that if he felt that strongly about how modern society should change, he needed to take the action himself and prove how and why people should follow suit.
What a great saying though! You might not feel the same way about money that Mark does, but I'm sure there's change we would all like to see in the world. So, what steps are we taking to make that happen? No matter how small or insignificant it feels.
I found it a very interesting read on several levels. I was drawn in on reducing costs of living but the book turned out to be more than that for me. Living as a community, looking after the planet, and enjoying the simple things in life were to name a few. For that reason I would recommend it as a read.
*This is a link to the book on Amazon if you're interested in reading more about it or purchasing it. As a full disclaimer, I have signed up to Amazon Associates, so I will receive a payment if you choose to click on the link and then buy the item. I would like to point out that I only recommend items on this Blog that I have used and feel others can benefit from using. The book didn't cost me a penny, as I went to the local library, so it might very well be available at your local library too for absolutely no cost!
Have you read the book? What did you think of it? Have you read any books recently that you would recommend to others?
Labels: Book Review