What are you contributing when you’re not earning or spending money?

Lately I have been learning about GDP – what it measures and what it doesn’t. I made the following lists as a form of activism: to reclaim the inherent value of how I spend my life energy when I’m not making or spending money, and how I benefit from others doing the same. I hope it inspires readers to make their own lists. Maybe you will even rethink the messages we have been fed from our money-obsessed society about what our lives are worth.

Ways I contribute to society without contributing to GDP:


  • Posting on my blog
  • Pride and Prejudice adaptation I send out chapter by chapter (email me if you would like to be added to the mailing list (1) )
  • Novel I am working on
  • Memoir I am working on
  • Short book I am working on
  • Posting on my Instagram
  • Crocheting beanies and giving them to Good Omen Goodeze project


  • Participating in a small group about personal finance
  • Participating in a bible study group
  • Cooking for people outside my family (guests or families with babies)
  • Doing favours for people
  • Giving away items on my local Buy Nothing group


  • Doing laundry
  • Cooking for my family
  • Tidying my house
  • Cleaning my house
  • Laundering cloth nappies
  • Decluttering my house


  • Breastfeeding
  • Looking after my child
  • Emotional support for my husband and child, and family and friends


  • Herbs and veggies
  • Composting
  • Brewing kombucha


  • Educating myself on various special interest topics and sharing what I’ve learned

Ways other people benefit me without contributing to GDP:


  • Free babysitting from family and friends, both regular and sporadic, including childcare support while I am also present (this is a massive one)
  • Emotional support from my husband and from family and friends


  • Accessing my local library
  • Watching free YouTube videos
  • Learning maths on Khan Academy


  • People who organise the small groups I participate in
  • Volunteers who run church services every week (this is also massive)


  • Presents for Finley
  • Items on my local Buy Nothing group
  • Free books from book exchange at church
  • Free seedlings from friends or from church garden

Would also love to hear your list! Also, let me know if you can think of anything from either list that I have missed out.


(1) emmelineysun at gmail dot com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s