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Bartering in Today's Economy

We are working so hard to save money for our farm and dream home. It's difficult considering we have only a minimal amount of income. So when we started thinking about how to save more money, the subject of "bartering" came up.

Bartering isn't trading. Bartering is exchanging goods or servings for something else without using money. Trading can involve credit cards, money, etc. And money is defined as a medium of exchange for goods or service. This means if we're using a medium of exchange, it's a trade, not a barter. I'm sure you get the gist. But, it probably doesn't matter. In the long run.

In the USA, we've gotten away from bartering; it used to be the main way humans conducted business, and got what they wanted/needed. Now we use credit cards, getting into debt for a sandwich or gallon of gas.

Bartering is a good way to do business, but it does have limitations. In the best scenario, both parties get what they want, and the exchange is of "equal value". This doesn't happen very often. One person might barter babysitting skills for car repairs. The car repair person might barter the first person's babysitting skills to a third person for homegrown tomatoes. And so on.

There are several bartering organizations to join; some have specific value attached to each service or product, and you can save your tallies (sometimes called Credit Dollars) or use them to trade or barter. Try: http://www.u-exchange.com/barter

We are going it alone. We don't have many actual possessions to barter (yard sale in the Spring), but we have some great tomatoes growing in our front window, we make soap and candles, we have this blog (see note towards end of this posting), we have e-books. Hubby has major computer/tech skills, he can do most simple repairs to mechanical items or furniture, and is preparing to increase his repair skills overall. In the Summer, we have lots of produce to barter.

Are you thinking about giving bartering a try? Take a look at your home, and your skills. Here's a few ideas to get you started...

Useful items to barter today:
  • homegrown produce
  • pillow or quilt maker
  • artwork
  • jewelry
  • clothing/costumes
  • food/prepared meals
  • dried or otherwise preserved foods
  • fishing gear
  • sewing gear
  • defense items
  • candles, soaps, lanterns, fuel, etc. etc. etc.
Useful skills to barter today:

  • tax preparation
  • mortgage/loan analysis
  • sewing
  • dog-walking
  • babysitting
  • language tutor
  • plumbing
  • electrical
  • daycare
  • running errands
  • homework tutor
  • car mechanic
  • carpet cleaner
  • housekeeper
  • holistic healing
  • herbalism
  • investment advisor
  • facial or other massage
  • irrigation systems
  • dog grooming
  • technical writing
  • jewelry making
  • computer
  • fashion
  • spiritual direction
  • outdoor training
  • personal safety strategies
  • real estate
  • letter writing
  • house painter
  • professional organizer
  • dating assistance
  • business development

Coming Soon: We're working on a blog posting for items to stock up for bartering when the economy gets worse, and "things" hit the fan.

Do you have something you'd like to barter with other readers of this blog? Leave a comment to this blog posting, with your location, what you have to barter, and what you need/want in exchange.

Note: We are willing to barter/trade ad space on this blog for emergency supplies and dried food. E-Mail Us.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Interesting you are talking about bartering, ever since Oct 08 I have been trying to see how I can get what I want without using money. After all I am trying to save for the rainy day, funny that it is pouring these days. I am a hairstylist and started to barter for massage in exchange for haircut. Now I am using this site www.favorpals.org to exchange more service than massage in exchange for haircut. Yes, the bartering days are here with twist from the 21st century.

NVG-WmsFam said...

Definitely need to learn a new way of bartering and trading. Good for you. Keep us posted.