Man who lives without money for the past 12 years


Daniel Suelo lives entirely without money and has done so for the past 12 years. In 2000, he put his entire life savings in a phone booth, walked away, and has lived moneyless ever since. Most frequently, he lives in the caves and wilderness of Utah where he eats wild vegetation, scavenges roadkill, pulls food from dumpsters, and is sometimes fed by friends and strangers. Daniel proudly boasts that he does not take food stamps or government handouts.


Here is excerpt from an Interview with Daniel by JOSHUA BECKER on his blog,  For the complete interview please click here , For Daniel’s own blog click here

Q : The thinking that led to your journey into willful moneylessness evolved by degrees during your travels. Could you share with us some of the foundational beliefs that have evolved in your life that led you to make this decision to give up money entirely?

A : My first thought of living moneyless came when I was a child. In my Evangelical Christian upbringing, I wondered why, if we were followers of Jesus, we didn’t practice his teachings–namely giving up possessions and doing not for the sake of reward (money and barter), but giving freely and receiving freely.

When I left home for college, I studied other religions and found that all the world’s major religions teach giving up possessions and doing not for the sake of reward. If all the separated witnesses are saying the same thing, it must be true. Ironically, few practice the one thing they all agree upon in word. What would happen if we actually practiced this stuff, I thought.

My dad also took us camping a lot, and I was a nature freak. I couldn’t help but see how perfectly balanced nature was, and it ran on no money. Why, then, couldn’t we?

As an adult, I thought it through more thoroughly. Nature’s economy is a pay-it-forward economy. This means one sows, another reaps, ad infitum. For example, a bear takes a raspberry, and the raspeberry bush demands nothing in return. The Bear takes with zero sense of obligation, zero guilt. The bear then poops somewhere else, not only providing food for soil organisms, but also propagating raspberry seeds. You never see 2 wild creatures consciously bartering. There are no accountants worrying what the bush will get in return. This is exactly why it works, because nobody knows how it works! There is no consciousness of credit and debt in nature. Consciousness of credit and debt is knowledge of good and evil, valuing one thing and devaluing another. Consciousness of credit and debt is our fall from Grace. Grace means gratis, free gift.

My next impetus for living moneyless came from observing the world economy and politics. Do our economy and politics function well? It’s self-evident, isn’t it?

My next impetus for living moneyless was to find authenticity for myself. To do out of one’s heart is to be real. To do for somebody, expecting something from them, is ulterior motivation, which is to not be real, which is to prostitute oneself.

My last impetus for living moneyless was to heal myself. Okay, I guess I’ll talk about my craziness. To heal myself was to first see myself as crazy, and only them could I become free of craziness. I was suffering clinical depression. Mental illness is rooted in having unnecessary, thoughts and to let go of unnecessary thoughts is to free oneself from mental illness. This is basic Buddhist philosophy. It is the philosophy of all the ancient religions. To cling to thoughts is to possess thoughts and this outwardly manifests itself in having unnecessary physical possessions. We accumulate what we don’t need out of fear and anxiety. This is true craziness. Unnecessary thoughts and unnecessary physical possessions (including possessing people) are inextricably linked. To accumulate unnecessary possessions is not to live in abundance, as we’re led to believe, but is to live in scarcity. Why would we have too much stuff if we believed the universe was abundant? Why would we worry if we weren’t crazy? Worry is simply lack of faith, faith that everything we need is in the here and now.

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15 thoughts on “Man who lives without money for the past 12 years

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  3. I have thought about this myself, but have never quite been able to actually take the step. I commend the act, but by doing so the steps after this should be lead by God, but I question eating out of dumpsters this is not what God intends. Though question, not sure of the answer.


  4. Basic life concepts… Reminds how our early grand parents lived before the invention of money…


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  6. The take away message for me is the fact that we have been channeled by the economic “pied pipers” towards greed and excess. This has also bred selfishness. I am not advocating that everyone walk this journey but there is something to be said about re-accessing how we consume.


  7. Amazing~ What a wonderful idea.


  8. Pingback: Man who lives without money for the past 12 years | Oyia Brown

  9. Creativity, but what is the message for our youth?


    • Not to develop greed for money. Even a man can live without money. People are killing each other for money, hating for money which really does not exists. We cannot remove it over night from the system. Without money we would not be here writing a blog.. No inventions could have been made indeed. Ok we made money. whats the next stage if we are not renouncing it. Keep the prices increase, inflate? We need more Economic Geniuses from youth to solve this puzzle of money, barter replaced by money, what will replace money? I hope this is the message We try to convey 🙂 Thanks for making me to put my thoughts as words 🙂 Your Question lead to a key 🙂


  10. [ Smiles ] I always knew that it was possible to live without money.

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely post!


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