Most of us believe that money is absolutely necessary for living a good life. We also believe that it’s hard for anyone to live life without money. In fact, most of us think that having more money means we can have a better life. That’s true to some extent.
However, there’re countless people in the world that survive without money. No, I’m not talking about remote tribes or people living away from civilization as we know it.
Nor am I speaking about people that are helpless and have no money- or the persons we generally call or know as poor.
Instead, I am speaking about what happens if you decide not to make money or you don’t wish to earn anymore. Clearly, you would wish to know whether you can survive without money.
Therefore, I will start by telling you that it’s possible to survive without money. I mean, you can survive with absolutely no money in the world, in the US or even in other places around the world.
I will begin by explaining why we need money. That would help better understand if you can survive without money.
Reasons We Need Money
Obviously, we need money to buy things. That’s the main reason we work or do business. We work for a certain time every day in return for our wages or income.
That’s possible because we’re giving something that people, such as an employer or our customers want. We need money for three basic things: food, clothing and shelter.
It’s almost impossible to live without these three basic necessities of life. Food is necessary for our physical and mental wellness, clothing is needed because we live in a civilized society and shelter- or a roof over our heads- is an absolute need since we can’t sleep unprotected against weather changes, insects and animals.
Additionally, we have certain modern-day needs, including telephones or mobile and entertainment and transportation.
If all these needs are met automatically or available for free, obviously, we wouldn’t require money. In fact, the biggest part of our income- or about 50 per cent- is spent on these basic and modern-day needs.
In our era, we also have wants. These could include a high-end house, an expensive car or even the latest smartphone and computers. However, it's worth remembering that these are simply wants. We’re not going to die or suffer bad health if our wants aren’t fulfilled.
When I ask, can you survive without money and say that it’s possible, the most important thing to know is that we can get all our basic necessities without money. However, it is difficult to meet our wants without money.
Therefore, to answer the question: can you survive without money and know how it’s possible, continue reading.
How to Survive Without Money?
As I mention earlier, there’re three basic necessities or basic needs of all humans. If we take care of these in some or the other way, it is possible that we can survive without money. As a matter of fact, several thousand people- if not millions- are already doing so, either out of necessity or because they want to live that way.
1. Food for Free
Obviously, none of us can go hungry. Maybe we can fast for a few hours or even a couple of days if we wish. We simply can’t go starving. There’re several ways to get free food, just in case you didn’t know. I’m not talking about begging for food.
One of the best ways to get free food is by growing it yourself. If you have a house or are staying somewhere, it is possible to grow vegetables and fruits. The more you grow, the better.
Instead of selling the product for cash, it is possible to barter them at restaurants and diners for free food. Any restaurant or diner will accept fresh fruit and vegetables as long as they meet their quality.
Then we also have community kitchens and charity kitchens that provide soup, bread and other meals completely free. If you wish, you could have meals at any of these places.
Furthermore, you could work part-time at some small job at a restaurant or two to get free food. Generally, most restaurants offer free meals to their workers during their duty timings.
Another way, which lots of people are using now after the Covid-19 pandemic is by asking supermarkets to give away any products that are nearing expiry or whose containers are slightly damaged.
You can get everything from breakfast cereal to snacks and food grains or meat in this way. That’s because stores and restaurants can’t sell these food products. Nor can they be returned to the wholesaler or manufacturer.
As a matter of fact, there’s also a community that believes in lowering food waste. Members of this community go around foraging for food at trashcans and containers outside restaurants and supermarkets to take canned food and packaged food that’s been thrown away.
According to their testimonies, this food is perfectly edible and hasn’t even spoiled, except for the outside packaging, which might be damaged in some cases.
Now that we’ve learned about where to get free food, the next step is to find free clothing. Again, this might sound impossible or even ridiculous to some of you.
However, I can assure you that it’s perfectly legit, and you can actually get free clothes in the ways that I am about to describe. Obviously, these clothes might not exactly be fashionable or trendy. Yet, they can suit your needs for all weathers.
The Salvation Army is your first stop to get free clothes. They have offices and counters or even stores all across the US. Furthermore, Salvation Army gets tons of clothes donated by people for the needy.
You can always request them for some clothes and get them. In fact, some of these clothes might also be branded.
The next place is to find a clothes recycler. They usually buy clothes or get them free for recycling. If you can, check FreeCycle.org because it’s the largest community for recycling clothes in the US.
They recycle used clothes to make fibre for use in paper, more clothes and industrial needs. They operate across the US, so you can easily locate them near your place. Any counter or recycler affiliated with freecycle.org will happily give you away a few clothes for free.
Also, a sure way to get free clothes is through churches. A lot of churches in the US collect clothes from their parishioners to give away to the needy. Contact any church nearby, and you can find if they are indeed having a pile of clothes waiting to be given to the poor. If they have, you can surely get some clothes that you might like.
Now comes the most difficult part. We have found food and clothing. But what about shelter? Millions of people around the world sleep on sidewalks and in parks every night.
Some even huddle into vehicles or trains and buses when they’re parked. A few others sleep outside stores or other public places such as bus stations and railway stations. Where possible, people sneak into an airport for a restful snooze.
However, to survive without money, you don’t need to do anything so drastic as living outdoors in the open and without a roof over your head. Therefore, here’re some ways to stop paying rent and start living free.
The best bet in such cases is finding a job that provides free lodging or housing. As a matter of fact, there’re plenty of places where you can get a job that offers free lodging. These include jobs as security staff, restaurant helpers, shift workers and cleaners.
Staff at gardens and other public places, including cemeteries and cremation grounds, also get free accommodations, though these could be unpleasant.
If you don’t find such as job, head out in the open and camp yourself at any place of your choice where camping is allowed or at least isn’t against the law.
Many people camp permanently at public camping grounds or in open spaces. All it needs is some sort of fabric and some wood to make a shelter.
The third way to get free accommodation is to become a member of organizations such as couchsurfing.com. As a community member, you can spend the night on a ‘couch’ with other members.
Of course, you wouldn’t be getting a lot of comfort here since the stay is free of cost. Yet, it will save you the hassles of staying outdoors. We also have community shelters that house the destitute and homeless.
You don’t have to be destitute or homeless to find shelter at these places. At best, you might require some identification documents to prove you’re not a criminal hiding from the cops.
Community shelters can be found in most large and medium-sized cities across the USA. Check whether there’s one in your city and find out how you can spend a night there. Generally, all residents of these community shelters are in for the long term.
Other Needs Now
Since we’re aware of how to meet our basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, let’s find ways and means to survive without money for other things that we would need. Obviously, we all need hygiene and some form of communication and entertainment.
1. Personal Hygiene
Truck stops, hiker trails and camper trails are the best places to find places for a free shower. Of course, you would require some soap and other stuff too, which I will discuss later in this article. Among these, truck stops are the best because you can get free showering facilities there.
Look also for camper parks. Since campers and those living in vehicles such as caravans also need hygiene, there’re some places where you can find free showers and toilets.
For some persons that are living without money because they want the thrill claim, heading to nature and bathing in a stream, river or lake or pond can be very healthy and refreshing too. Obviously, this isn’t possible during winter or cold weather.
If you’re living somewhere and wish to go without money, obviously, there would be a bathroom and toilet on the premises. You can also use a bathroom or toilet at some public places such as parks and shrines.
2. Soap and Other Stuff
Ask hotels to give you some of their free soap. Some hotels offer complimentary toiletries to their guests. These include soap, shampoo, body lotion and other such stuff. Even when a guest doesn’t use them, the hotel disposes of them because they’re considered as used stuff.
You can request any hotel in your area to give you this soap and shampoo as well as body lotions. At truck stops, you might get lucky to find some free soap in the form of samples left by a representative of a company.
You can also get some free soap for washing at laundromats and other such places. Overall, finding soap is not a difficulty in any manner.
3. Communications and Internet
Public libraries can meet your need for free Internet if you wish to use it. After all, why would you require any Internet if you’ve decided to survive without money?
Other places to look for free communications and the Internet are sales counters and stores of telecom companies and their franchisees. They usually have a computer for people to use and experience their products and services. And you could make a couple of calls from such places.
Without money, you wouldn’t be able to watch a movie in a cinema hall. However, there is no need for concern. It is free and easy to get some entertainment at community events that are not charged. Also, spend some time with nature watching birds or the ocean or a river.
On some special occasions, giant TV screens are put up in public places to show events. You can get free entertainment here, as well. We also have street-side entertainers that play music and collect money from people around.
You needn’t pay, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their music or acts for free.
Barter Your Skills for Goods
And finally, the best replacement for money is to offer your skills and barter them for goods. That means you do some tasks for people, and instead of cash, you get any stuff that you like.
Working at stores and getting paid in goods can get you essentials such as soap and food or even clothing. There’s no limit to places where your skills would prove useful. You can also barter your work for food or other things.
If you see any of these ways above and try to use them, it’s possible to live and survive without money. I don’t deny that money is important. However, the lack of money doesn’t mean that life is bad or has ended. As I have just shown you, there are different and legit ways and means to get all the basic necessities of life without paying even a single Dollar. All it requires is your effort and the willingness to survive without money. While you needn’t be poor to use these ways to survive without money, such ways can also show how to save a lot of money that we spend on useless stuff.