I’ve been meaning to introduce myself but just like you, I’m … busy. I promise to get an intro up within the next week like Val asked. I have a ton of posts rumbling around in my head so I want to get some of them out while they are fresh.
I love being frugal and looking for ways to save. An awesome way is to barter.
The concept of bartering goods and services is not new. In fact, this method of commerce goes back to the days way before currency, probably because it’s very simple and equitable. Today, though, it’s a little trickier. Done right, bartering can save you money and reduce business costs.
Here are some tips and ideas on how to save money by bartering services.
1. All Commerce is Barter
When you think about it, when you buy something with money, you’re trading one thing (money) for something else (goods or services). So keep that in mind as you take part in bartering.
2. Remember That Time is Money
When you are considering trading your services for something, it’s good to have a general idea of what your time is worth per hour. If you consider your time to be worth, say, $25 per hour, and someone needs a job done that will take you 4 hours, then you can reasonably trade something that’s worth about that much.
3. Keep Your Ears Open
If you have something that needs to be done and you can’t afford it or are unable to do it for various reasons, listen to what people are saying. Someone might need childcare or help with their elderly relative; someone else might need a pet sitter or a house painter. Are any of those things skills that you have? If so, offer to help that person in exchange for their help. That person might have just the skill you need.
4. Make a List
Some people are natural list-makers and some people aren’t, but when it comes to bartering, making a list is a good idea. In fact, you could make two lists: one that itemizes your skills and another one that notes the skills of others. Keeping these lists helps you be prepared, and seize those bartering opportunities.
5. Have Courage
It can be hard for some personality types to approach others about bartering. But remember, you are willing to offer something of value, too, so there’s no need to feel uncomfortable. You’re not asking for something for free.
6. Consider Advertising
Go ahead and make some noise about being available for barter. It can be something of a side business; you could even advertise in the newspaper. Tell friends and neighbors, distribute flyers, form co-ops, or make a facebook group. All of these are great ways to connect with others who have similar interests and needs.
Bartering is a legitimate way to obtain needed goods and services. You may discover skills and abilities you haven’t had the chance to use before.