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25 August 2011

Bartering has been around for a very long time, certainly longer than money. It's well documented that ancient people traded their own items of value for goods from others who had travelled from distant lands.

The definition of bartering is to trade goods or services without the exchange of money. During these uncertain economic times and the need to put a lid on previous easygoing spending habits, bartering is making a big comeback.

Bartering is an excellent way to get rid of items you don't want. Do you have a rocking chair you don't use anymore now that your babies have grown up? You can dispose of it by trading it for something you want. It's a win-win situation and has the added benefit of not adding stuff you no longer like or need to the landfills. Keep in mind the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure". It's so true.

Bartering also works with services, not just goods. Perhaps you have a skill like mending, teaching math to kids, cooking, or website building. Maybe you own a big flatbed truck or you have a strong back and big biceps. You can get piano lessons from the little old lady down the road for your child in exchange for mowing her lawn. Maybe the gourmet cook next door will make you a few dinners every time you haul something away for her. Use your imagination; you have plenty of skills you can offer for the services you need.

There are many bartering groups popping up online. Be sure to read their terms of service and then jump in. Don't be intimidated; start off looking at what people are in need of and asking for, and see if you can help them. It's a good idea to figure out what services you might need or items you have to barter with before you get started.

Bartering is also fun. Perhaps you can trade your older TV for those belly dancing lessons you've always wanted to try but never had the money for. Or maybe you get tired of your living room furniture quite often. You can trade your furniture every time you feel like you want a change without having to visit the furniture store.

Bartering has been going on forever to a certain degree, and it sure makes a lot of sense now when money may be tighter. Join some bartering groups online or look around at what you and your neighbors or friends could offer each other. Enjoy your new stuff and feel good about keeping your old stuff out of the landfills.