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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009
Man's cashless year comes to end

Mark Boyle
Mark lived for a whole year without taking or spending any money

A man who set out to live cash-free for a year says his experiment has "gone really well".

Mark Boyle has been living in a caravan on a farm near Bath and says he has not spent any money.

He has been foraging for his food, using a solar-powered laptop, and making toothpaste from fishbones.

"I haven't received a penny and I haven't spent a penny - it has been completely cashless," he told BBC Bristol.

Before his year long attempt to live without money Mark had been managing food companies in Scotland and the west country.

But he switched to his life in a caravan and shunned the "wasteful culture we live in today".

Socially it was quite difficult to be honest - it was quite difficult to socialise in the same way.
Mark Boyle

"There's people starving the other side of the world and people who die for wanting basic medicines, food and clean water.

"We're over here in the West spending crazy amounts of money on complete luxuries."

Mark said the year had been very positive but that it did have its down moments.

"People always ask me that question, what is the hardest part or what was the most down part, but actually it has been a really uplifting year for me.

"Socially it was quite difficult to be honest - it was quite difficult to socialise in the same way. That bought up some hidden emotions that you deal with yourself in long evenings.

"On the whole it has been fantastic [and I am] much happier than I used to be when I had money."

In the short term, Mark says he has no plans to return to a life of splashing out cash.

"I'm not going to go off to Broadmead on Monday morning on a shopping spree kind of compared to an alcoholic celebrating a year of sobriety by having a few whiskies.

Time out

"I have no plans for using money next week or the week after.

"I'm going to have to take some time out and think how I'm going to work this long term."

Mark said he wanted the overriding message from the past 12 months to be for people to "consume a bit less".

"I don't expect anyone to go to extremes that I've gone to this year but we've got things like the tipping point of climate change coming up and I think we all have got to take it seriously.

"I think we've all got to think about how much we consume - it's going to hit them [the next generation] a lot worse than our generation.

"So just use less resources, use less money and a bit more community is probably the message I'd give out."

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