Daniel Suelo

A perfect example of how money doesn’t buy you happiness is Daniel Suelo, who for the past 12 years has not earned, received, or spent a single dollar. When Suelo was 39, he was walking along a Utah highway when he had a strange epiphany. He pulled from his pocket his life savings—$30— laid it inside a phone booth and walked away. Since then he set up house in caves in the Utah canyon lands where he forages mulberries and wild onions, scavenges road-kill raccoons and squirrels, pulls expired groceries from dumpsters and is often fed by friends and strangers: 

“My philosophy is to use only what is freely given or discarded and what is already present and already running.”

Suelo however is not a typical hobo. He does not panhandle and he often works–declining payments for his efforts but will take a meal for his effort. While he is driven by spiritual beliefs and longings he is not associated with any church. And although he lives in a cave, he is not a hermit. He is relentlessly social, remains close with family and friends, and engages in discussion with strangers via the website he maintains from the public library.  Suelo is steadfast.

“I know it is possible to live with zero money. Abundantly.”

Watch director John Zaritsky talk about how eccentric character Daniel Suelo helped him to find and create the perfect music for the film.