“Helping works better as a two-way street.” ~ TimeBanks USA
Imagine a time when we had no money.
Or we could do something more practical. Say, like look at the negative balances on our checkbooks. LOL!
A few weeks ago, I found myself questioning a world without money. And that got me thinking about bartering.
Defined simply as an exchange of goods, services or time for other goods, services or time without exchanging money, the barter system isn’t anything new. In fact, during The Great Depression it was the happening thing to do.
When I was a kid, my late great-grandmother and great auntie told me stories about how they bartered with neighbors and friends during the 20s and 30s just to survive. Back then, sticking together and babysitting in exchange for a lemon cake or mending curtains for a whole fried chicken was not only common, it was necessary.
Ofcourse, I had no idea what they were talking about. At the time. But now that I’m living through what I affectionately call Great Depression Part Deux, their words ring loudly in my ears.
Artistpreneurs, money makes the world go ’round. This is true. But we all have talents and skills and time that we can barter with each other to make our lives a little easier right now.
To see a successful bartering system at work, all you have to do is look to our friends in Spain and Greece who have turned to barter networks. Or check out TimeBanksUSA, an organization founded in 1995 whose sole mission is to nurture and expand a movement that promotes equality and builds caring community economies through inclusive exchange of time and talent.
And you don’t have to stop researching there. Thanks to the Internet, you can find many bartering websites online. TLC offers you some tips and provides a list of what they deem are the best bartering websites online.
Give these sites a once over. Or if all else fails, there’s good, old-fashioned word of mouth. Someone in your church, neighborhood or family needs help. Trust. But they may be too proud to ask for assistance. Suggest bartering to them. Unlike charity, bartering is an empowering exchange in which the only way you can get, you have to give.
TimeBanks USA, I believe, says it best — “We all are assets. We all have something to give.”
Time to get creative, Fam.