I really like my job. Of course I would prefer not to work, but everyone says that. Over the last weekend I thought to myself…Why do I enjoy the weekends so much? I enjoy them because they are a break from my work week, but what if I didn’t have a work week to break away from.
I recently met someone at Starbucks who doesn’t work. He lives, eats, and bathes on a daily basis; but he has no income. Regan is a 30 something year old man who lives entirely on the barter system. He doesn’t earn a monthly income and he leads a simple, very happy, and non materialistic life.
Of course as a financial services employee with a monthly disposable income to spend anyway I want, I don’t understand this concept. So I sat down with Regan (at Starbucks) to discuss his moneyless lifestyle. Regan was at Starbucks for the free WiFi internet access. He wasn’t drinking or eating anything; he declined my offer to buy him a Tall Caramel Latte with Whipped Cream.
I have occasionally seen Regan at my local Starbucks over the last few months. He always sits in the same spot with his laptop, and we occasionally exchange a smile as I wait for my Latte. Last week I decided to say hello to Regan and ask what he was working on. I expected him to say the world’s next great novel. But he didn’t. He uses the free Wi-Fi internet access at Starbucks because he volunteers as a remote technical support analyst for a start up internet provider.
“You will be much happier when I teach you how to live in a world that is not ruled by money”. Regan used to work as a chartered accountant, but the stress on young professionals combined with the pressure of corporate accounting led Regan to leave his 9-5. He has lived in the same apartment for over 10 years, so when he decided to leave his plus $80,000 a year accounting job his landlord was very understanding.
Regan now lives rent free in exchange for various handy work chores and home repairs. He even eats one meal a day with his landlord. Regan is not lazy and he does not live carefree. Actually, he lives a very structured life. He volunteers for the start up internet provider 5 days a week. In his spare time he repairs computers for extra cash to buy basic goods such as soap and groceries.
Regan doesn’t indulge in anything. His life is about personal fulfillment rather than financial assets and his personal net worth. “More Money. More Problems” and according to Regan “No Money, No Problems.” He doesn’t need or want material goods in his life, and he doesn’t live in a world ruled by money. Could you? Think about why you love money and how you spend it.
Ask yourself these questions to see if you could live in a moneyless world like Regan.
If I didn’t work every day I would ________
I would feel ________ if I didn’t have money
My current financial priority is ________
If I didn’t have money I would ________