I have friends that clean goat stalls in exchange for fresh goat’s milk. I know someone who trades homemade whole grain bread for piano lessons. My sister-in-law once cleaned barns in exchange for rent. We once traded a computer for a beautiful wardrobe. I have a friend who trades his cleaning services for clothes, shoes, legal advice and more.
J.D. Roth linked to an article today about a boy who started with a phone over the next two years bartered on Craig’s List until he ended up with a Porsche! I am not suggesting that people devote huge amounts of time to trading their stuff online, but it is definitely something to think about.
My friend Ruthanne makes adorable aprons and camera straps. I’m sure she could barter for some great stuff with her talent!
It is easy to pay for something with cash, credit card, or check. It usually takes a time investment to barter. My friends that clean the goat stalls work hard for their fresh milk, but the trade off is worth it to them. How often do we pay money for something that might be acquired through a trade of goods or services? How much money could we save by bartering?
What hidden talents do you have that might be worth cultivating for the purpose of bartering? I often think about the lost art of homemaking and how some of those skills are very valuable in today’s society because so few people have them.
It might be worth the time investment to improve some skills that could be valuable in trade. I make bread for my family, but how easy would it be to make extra loaves in exchange for child care, piano lessons, or lawn care?
I have often said that the best way to save money is not to spend it. Bartering is a great way to acquire goods and services without making a dent in your budget.