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The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,461 ratings  ·  221 reviews
Encountering seasonal foods, solar panels, skill-swapping schemes, cuttlefish toothpaste, compost toilets and - the unthinkable - a cash-free Christmas, this book puts the fun into frugality and offers some great tips for economical (and environmentally friendly) living.
Paperback, 244 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Oneworld Oxford (first published 2010)
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Feb 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Started reading this for the adventure and the idea. Put off by the theorizing and sermonizing about all the bad we do to the planet. I do applaud him for trying to make a change for a year but now its back to money Il sure. The problem here is that although he advocates that he didn't use his own money everything he had to do cost someone somewhere some money. Whether it was a few years ago or a few hundred years ago everything cost someone something. There are all kinds of cast off things but ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
To be blunt, The Moneyless Man is a boring diary written by a boring man.

To be fair, Moneyless lacks a Hollywood storyline. Mark Boyle is a principled young man who sold his house(boat), quit his job, closed his bank account and went to live in a caravan in the middle of nowhere for a year. Not a huge amount happens to him in the caravan (no DRAMATIC INTERLUDES! ... no second-act decision to JACK THE WHOLE THING IN! ... not much of anything). And, unfortunately, Boyle doesn’t have enough skill a
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the most inspiring books I've ever read!

At the time of reading i was in a period of learning and trying to get my head around the sustainability crisis we face as a civilisation, deep stuff really.

Since reading this book Mark has become a personal hero of mine. Recommended to me as the modern day Walden. Having just read Walden before this I somewhat agree. Mark is a self confessed ordinary guy so I never expected the same standard of writing as Thoreau however it does make for a remarkab
Look, it is just time to kill the myth that vegans don't need to shower. You do guys. You do.
Sharon Davies
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really great read, but I love real people with real stories, who refuse to conform to how society states we should live. Wirth 1938, under the ‘Determinist theory’, coined the term ‘urban anomie’ to describe the way growing cities producing an urban outlook, ‘where ties of kinship and face to face association decline’ (Rich & Hadrill, 1991, p4; Wirth, 1938). The voids that appear in society’s everyday lives are replaced with materialistic goods. However, the resulting happiness is temporary, and ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I started this book because I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see what the effects of trying to exist without money would be, I thought it would be more of a look at the personal struggles than it was.

Moneyless Man started with a fairly dull section basically explaining what money is and why it is bad, it then grew in to something that really sounded like it was going to be interesting. An experiment not only in economics but in sociology. How would someone cope if they reject t
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I was experimenting in spending very little on food per week, to see how possible it is, and I like the idea of living very simply and frugally in general, so I was curious to know what it was like to live on no money, and how this could be achieved. I found it an interesting read, and was impressed by Mark Boyle's honest up-front style, and the values he imposed upon his experiment - not to let others buy him food or drink as a favour, for instance. He exchanged his l ...more
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, he relies on the odd hand out...yes, he had a mobile and a laptop with him...yes, others who support free living are probably selfish spongers...yes, it's a good parlour game to pick holes in the consistency of Mark Boyle's arguments but, in all, this is a really important book in helping us realise how much we rely on lucre to live our lives.

Polemical in places but mostly convincing, Boyle teaches us to see how we can rely on the natural resources around us in order to try and build an alt
Louise Armstrong
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Quite interesting. I think it's worth considering all options, which is why I read it, but if we all lived in caravans and chopped our own wood, the UK would become one giant allotment site, which I don't fancy. It would be nice with a smaller population. The greenest thing you can do for this planet is to not have a child.

I also think there's nothing intrisically wrong with money - it's just a medium of exchange. The human weaknessess and limitations that cluster around money pop up in every s
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eco, non-fiction
Loved this book. It really made me think about how much money i spend. It made me question how i spend my money and how much of what i purchase is needed and what is unnecessary crap. I already question my purchases: 'Do i need this?', 'Why do i need it?', 'How much use will i get from it?', 'Is is worth it's cost?', 'What is it's background, where was it made, who made it and how much were they paid?'.
Spending is a very hard habit to break, i don't plan to go as far as Mark and live moneyless b
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: activism
I couldn't decide whether to give this book a 3 or a 4, so ended up going lower. The Moneyless Man is a fascinating, thought-provoking social experiment - humorous yet serious, both a philosophical and practical account of living a year without money. Is it really possible to live without money in a monetary system? I would say no as it's almost impossible to draw a line on where money starts and stops, however Mark creates and lives by clear rules for himself. He highlights several crucial them ...more
Bethwyn Badger
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I adore Mark Boyle's The Way Home, and this was a great build to that. I am definitely intrigued by his ideas, even if I know I can't apply all of them to my own life, and he has given me much to think on and change.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really fascinating read, though after living in multiple communal living situations, I find his take on communal-ism naive.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When I first began to read this book I must admit I was a little cynical about a young economics graduate and businessman choosing to establish himself to live without money for a year. Just as he points out that some contributors on his website also suspected that he had some kind of trust funding behind him, so I wondered about the legitimacy of his attempt to embrace a lifestyle very different from the one he had been living.
As the book lays out his own ups and downs about his own thinking p
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
I feel a bit guilty giving this book such a low rating, but... let me try to justify it:

It was a really interesting book. Lots of useful information, lots of good points, lots of things that I promptly looked up for more information. However...

I had a really difficult time sympathising with the author. He gets, well, somewhat preachy at times, and he sometimes gives off the impression that he thinks that anyone who uses money - and prefers to continue using money - is flat-out wrong. Bear in min
Sarah Goodwin
Bought in a charity shop as this sort of thing is usually my bag. Got halfway through and got sick of hearing the writer go on and on and ON about what interviews he was doing and how he was so busy running around doing things to be interviewed about....and he hadn't even started his money-less year at that point! The book is so short and yet wastes so much time not talking about what it's meant to be about. (Which is not to talk incessantly about all the different things he HAS done prior to th ...more
Jack Oughton
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
There's quite a lot to say about this book.

1. Mark is a SERIOUSLY hardcore guy. The Chuck Norris of hippies, dare I say? Straight up went to live in a trailer in the woods, enduring winter - not buying ANYTHING, even after breaking up with his girlfriend, whilst cycling and walking everywhere, dumpster diving, and arranging a 'no money' festival. And he came out of it claiming to be happier and healthier than ever. Fkn hero.

2. His philosophy behind 'freeconomic living' is very exciting and well
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was an inspiration and Mark is someone living his values to the fullest. His journey is challenging on all levels, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. In a world that revolves around money he gives some hope as he thrives off nature. Everything is of course slower and makes you appreciate everything so much more.

As a child I would always ask my parents why this piece of paper with a five pound sign on it was so important, like could I not draw one and use that
Zoffix Znet
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well-written and insightful story of a man standing up for his beliefs as an environmentalist. The book details how Mark Boyle lived without a penny for an entire year, living through Freeconomics and other goods- and skill-sharing communities, foraging and growing food, and collecting the edible food grocery stores are forced to throw away. At the start of his journey, Mark (and of course many same-minded people in the community) manages to arrange a feast for 150 people—completely free. At t ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fabulous book. It really made me think about all the work that would have to go into producing the things that I use everyday as "cheap disposable goods". I probably wouldn't go to the length that the author did but I definately have been made to see that it is time to cut back on retail purchases. It's time to slow down and start producing more of my own things such as fruits and veggies.
Another wonderful concept presented in this book was the concept of simply giving and recieving. Kind of li
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! The author (from the UK) goes a year without taking or using money, instead, relying on foraging, dumpster diving, freecycling, freeskilling, etc.... The book not only offers practical tips on living money-free, but also provides a theoretical framework for his project, explaining how money divorces us from the environmental and human costs of our consumption-based frenzy. The author also undergoes somewhat of a spiritual awakening throughout the book, becoming increasingly awar ...more
Matt Stevens
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Matt by: Friend - Jake
Definitely in my Top 3 books of the year so far. Inspiring, an incredible story of someone doing something I couldn't have imagined before. Very-well written, and surprisingly funny. Boyle self-deprecates a lot, doesn't take himself too seriously, yet his accomplishments are inspiring millions around the world.

A real perspective changer, he shares lots of insights which I assume one could only attain by going out to the frontiers, between civilisation and the wild. No end of useful hints at how
Frederick Dsouza
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: money
ecellent. I am following Mark Boyle since he started living without money more than two years back. His freeconomy site allows people to share skills, tool and has blogs and forum to give and take. He lives without money and proceeds go to building first freeconomy village. Its about sustainable living and moneyless living. He recommends to those who wants the book for free to have their local librarian of the library get it so they and others can read for free. Most w ...more
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love stunt books. In The Money-less Man Mark Boyle lives for a year without money. He lives in a trailer on land loaned to him in exchange for labor. He has a composting toilet, solar panels and a rocket stove. In the past he lived on a boat, so the small-space, do with less lifestyle works for him. He barters, dumpster dives, forages and grows his own food. It helps that he is a Vegan. His goal in all this was to reduce impact on the earth, and create a dialog about our money culture. Thought ...more
Mark G
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i loved this book ! Mark tells his story in away that is easy to understand. people say his way of life is extreme but his way is no more extreme than destroying the planet and fellow humans to massage your ego with new cars and up to the minute gadgets etc.
i read this book and unlike may other books you dont forget about it by the time you pick up the next, this book really gave me food for thought and this may make you change the way you look at your life and the people around you. great read
Chris Bowen
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I had just finished reading, "Twelve by Twelve" by William Powers and was hesitant to read another similar book. I mean, how many books about guys dropping out of the rat race can one guy read? But, I'm really glad I did. I'm particularly glad that I read the two books back-to-back. Where Powers' journey was more spiritual, Boyle wrote with more urgency; a deeper need to save the planet. It's a great book.
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A very thought-provoking book. It has certainly made me think about things a little more. I adopt some of the practices in the book anyhow, and although (like many other people he encounters in the book), I feel I couldn't live without money, it has made me want to implement even more methods of freeconomic living.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
An interesting book, but the tone is very preachy at times. Boyle also fails to take into account the massive amounts of privilege that he accesses in the process of living without money. He shrugs off accusations of 'trustafarianism' but let's be frank, if the cap fits etc. At least I got it from the library and didn't expend any money in reading it.
Kimberly Ann
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
This guy has some interesting and very relevant ideas. I wonder if he will maintain this lifestyle if/when he gets married and has a family???? HE is on the right track though- we all need to consume less. His writing got a bit tedious, instead of being all about his experiences, it was a lot of his ideas.
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Mark Boyle aka The Moneyless Man (born 8 May 1979) is a business graduate who lived completely without money for three years, and is the best-selling author of The Moneyless Man (2010), and The Moneyless Manifesto (2012) and Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi (2015).

He is a director of Streetbank, a charity which enables people across the world to share skills and resources with neighbours. Ma

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