This time last year I was running out of money… on purpose. I’d set myself the challenge to face my money fears by quitting work and vowing to seek no more income until my bank balance reached zero.
To make it even harder, I was to make my way back up from zero without begging, borrowing or stealing – so no overdraft, no benefits or handouts. I wanted to address fears that self-employed people often have about running out of money with no work booked. I’d always feared this but it had never actually happened to me.
Although I found the experience wholly positive, I’m not implying that poor people aren’t suffering, just because I was poor for a week. Many people, even in the UK struggle to feed themselves and this is not ok. “Using less money” and “being poor” are not the same thing, as shown by Moneyless Communities.
The challenge taught me that money is not my only resource: Because money can be exchanged for any goods, it easy to see it as life-blood. But there’s also trade (in goods or favours), dumpster diving, making things and more. Although I did run out of cash, I started to earn money again before my food ran out.
A year later, I’m back to earning a living, but my lifestyle is totally different – it’s much MUCH freer, financially, in terms of free time and abundance. Through adopting a minimalist lifestyle, I’ve cut out my consumerist habits (which I never thought I had!!!) so I can spend what I do have on the things that really matter.
I’m more resourceful than ever before and despite having a relatively low income, enjoy more luxuries. This summer, through a mix of work and favour exchanging I’m taking two trips to Europe. Last month, in the same way I enjoyed a beautiful trip to Wales and an all expenses paid visit to London including food and hotels.
Since I am no longer afraid of running out of money, I can choose work I enjoy and say no to anything less. Well… most of the time anyway. Because here’s a surprise: Sometimes I still worry about money
It’s amazing how hard old habits die, but at least nowadays, when I do worry, I can think back to The £0 Challenge. Then remember what I learned and how I felt, and re-align myself. The experience has made a lasting impression on me and permanently changed me. I would recommend it for anyone. Contact me to request your How-To e-booklet ( firstname.lastname@example.org )