The Guy Quit a Bad Drug Habit Known as Money

Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 2:00 AM | 2 Comments

Most average Americans are swimming in the swamps of credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified that they are next in the unemployment line of the next downsizing at the office. There is one exception: Daniel Suelo lives in a cave.

He isn’t worried about the worst recession and what the current unemployment rate is.

He isn’t worried about getting stock exchange news and therefore has no investment worries but apparently lots of peace of mind.

Twelve years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He got out of the money business altogether like a bad drug habit.

His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking,” he writes. “Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”


He wasn’t always this way. SUELO graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in anthropology.

He thought about becoming a doctor, he held jobs, he had cash and a bank account.

In 1987, after several years as an assistant lab technician in Colorado hospitals, he joined the Peace Corps and was posted to an Ecuadoran village high in the Andes.

Daniel landed a job monitoring the health of tribes people in the area, teaching first aid and nutrition, and handing out medicine where needed.

His proudest achievement was delivering three babies. The tribe had been getting richer for a decade, and during the two years he was there he watched as the villagers began to adopt the economics of modernity.

By 1999, he was living in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand – he had saved just enough money for the flight. From there, he made his way to India, where he found himself in good company among the sadhus.

Suelo is over 50 and he doesn’t exactly have a 401(k). “I’ll do what creatures have been doing for millions of years for retirement,” he says. “Why is it sad that I die in the canyon and not in the geriatric ward well-insured? I have great faith in the power of natural selection. And one day, I will be selected out.” Until then, think of him like the raven, cleaning up the carcasses the rest of us leave behind.

Avoid extremes in your financial life

Daniel’s just one way to avoid credit card debt, mortgage bankruptcy and be terrified all the time that you are next when the lay-off at your company happens.

Is Daniel’s the only option for us?

Very few people will try to live like Daniel. Maybe for him it’s a practical way of living but the majority of folks of all walks of life cannot live such isolated life.

How about swimming with the sharks, the anacondas and predators of the world but avoid being their prey.

Just live within your means and be debt free. Defeat the predators at their own game. Learn to live among them but try avoiding their bite.

Read the full story —> Meet the Man Who Lives on Zero Dollars.

Watch Steve Irwin

Crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin with a lot of different snakes.

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  1. 2 Responses to “The Guy Quit a Bad Drug Habit Known as Money”

  2. By Niel.S on Feb 6, 2013, 12:56 pm | Reply

    Alcohol and drug use can progress into abuse and even addiction so insidiously that … I know exactly how harmful alcohol is in our body. …. just really don’t care about anything but having that man find money and drugs for them. … we must walk through the desert (sand in our shoes, bad hair days & all).

  3. By ottawa residential mortgages on Feb 27, 2013, 12:04 am | Reply

    I really like it whenever people get together and share views.
    Great blog, continue the good work!

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