Too Broke to Spring For Something New? Save Money with Time Banking! By Julie Pilat
In a world where community has evolved into a social networking term for how many “friends” have accepted your request on Facebook but few people know the names of their neighbors - time banking has instantly changed my life.
Last year I read an article on “time banking” and searched for more info. I was pleasantly surprised that there was already one in my zip code – The Echo Park Time Bank. Right on the front of their site is a quote I treasure from Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Time banking is built on reciprocity – its not charity you don’t donate. You “get something” for being involved. It’s a pay it forward system in which everyone has value and hours are traded. I personally have a theory – if you know how to do something it’s easy. If you don’t, it’s incredibly hard. You could be a boss in the game CEO but if you have to do some heavy lifting at your house finding someone to help could be “worth” millions. If you’re stuck with a flight at LAX during rush hour traffic and live on The East Side planning a ride might be more complicated then booking a flight. At the same time there could be a time banker that’s a stay at home Mom who loves driving people to the airport because her schedule is open. It happens every day in the time bank.
There are core values to time banking (as listed on www.echoparktimebank.com)
1. Assets – We are all assets
2. Redefining work – some work is beyond price.
3. Reciprocity – helping works better as a two way street.
4. Social Networks – we need each other.
5. Respect – every human being matters.
I’m a music person and best at marketing. I’ve given marketing consultations to a gourmet chef and also a woman who owns an acupuncture business. Both were so busy running their business and so close to it they couldn’t see little details that were making it tough for the consumer to understand their websites. It was really fun for me to help them and also learn more about their business.
I tried acupuncture and LOVED it. I blew out my ACL almost ten years ago and after one session my knee has never felt better thanks to Kristen Ebbert (www.ebbertacupuncture.com) After meeting Jennie Cook I plan on taking cooking classes (www.jenniecooks.com.) A lot of time bankers helped in planning my upcoming benefit for the non-profit I volunteer at or donated services for the auction. Its really sweet and a great feeling to both help someone and get support. It’s a REALLY great feeling saving money.
If there’s not a time bank in your neighborhood you can easily start your own. Get together 10 friends and exchange services. The time banking software is really easy and very affordable if you would like to try it for the first six months. I don’t have any friends who have “extra” time or “extra” money in the bank. What better way to improve your quality of life then to add some with a Time Bank. There’s always going to be things to do so it’s important to add things into your schedule you want to do!! More info at www.echoparktimebank.com