Could You Live Without Money? Heidemarie Schwermer Has for 19 Years

Could you live without money? For many, the idea of living without money is unfathomable. But former pscyhotherapist Heidemarie Schwermer, from Germany, says she’s happier and better off than she’s ever been after having given up money for the past 19 years. And she has no plans to go back to it.

Outraged by the world’s growing wealth gap in which people starve of hunger while tons of food goes wasted, Heidemarie decided that her work simply wasn’t fulfilling enough. She wanted to do something to help change the world.

More than two decades ago, Heidemarie opened a Tauschring (swap shop) in her city called Gib und Nimm (Give and Take) where people could trade various items, skills, and services for others that they needed without money ever having to exchange hands. The shop became a huge hit, and it eventually led Heidemarie to want to revolutionize her relationship with money in even more profound ways.

Heidemarie’s Story

Heidemarie Schwermer was a well-educated professional who simply couldn’t abide the inequities of the money system any longer. She took the issue so personally that she started a swap shop based  on equal give and take where people could get what they needed without exchanging money. Eventually, she decided to give up money entirely.

Read this article excerpt from to learn more about Heidemarie’s story, and watch the video below it to hear Heidemarie’s TED Talk about her revolutionary life transformation:

“She started to realize she was living with a lot of stuff she didn’t really need and initially decided not to buy anything else without giving something away. Then she realized how unhappy she was with her work and made the connection between this feeling and the physical symptoms (backache and constant illness) she was feeling, so she decided to take up other jobs. She began washing dishes for 10 Deutchmarks an hour, and despite many were telling her things like “You went to university, you studied to do this?”, she felt good about herself, and didn’t feel like she should be valued more because of her studies than someone working in a kitchen. By 1995, the Tauschring had changed her life so much that she was spending virtually nothing, as everything she needed seemed to find its way into her life.

So in 1996. she took the biggest decision of her life: to live without money. Her children had moved out so she sold the apartment in Dortmund and decided to live nomadically, trading things and services for everything she needed. It was supposed to be a 12-month experiment, but found herself loving it so much that she just couldn’t give it up. 15 years later, she still lives according to the principles of Gib und Nimm, doing various chores for accommodation in the houses of various members of the Tauschring, and loving every minute of it.”

Source: Wake Up World

Watch Heidemarie’s 2013 TED Talk About Her Life Without Money

Heidemarie Schwermer wasn’t sure she could live without money at first, but then amazing things started to happen. People in the Tauschring she started began offering home-sitting work to her, and she soon found she had several homes she was able to live in at various times instead of just one home all the time. So she left her apartment, gave away all her possessions, and even canceled her health insurance. She had to overcome her fears of living without health care at first, but miraculously started self-healing using the power of positive thinking.

Article Image Source: Berliner Büchertisch