There is a trend happening in many societies with many families still reeling over the financial crisis a few years ago. With the home budget too tight for comfort, and the bills still racking in as usual, more and more people are looking at alternatives of getting what they want without actually paying for it. And that translates to savings and more money to help pay for basic necessities. Experts refer to this as the freeonomy and this comes in many forms and are performed not only by money-strapped families but individuals who are wanting to save money.
Bartering is nothing new as prehistoric men are likely to have been doing it and they managed to survived for a long time without the invention of cash. Neighbors will swap fruits and veggies grown in their own backyard for something else or even for a promise of something.
There have been stories of skilled professionals giving out their service for free in exchange for another kind of service their clients can provide them with, such as tennis or golf lessons. And you can do the same. Remember, money is not your only resource. You have the time and skills that you can offer to another willing member of this freeonomy.
Freebies & Product Reviews
Many people are able to get food and household products for free or in return for a short review. All you need is to sign up to these sites, making sure they are legit and trustworthy of course. This practice is popular especially for stay at home mums who are targeted and recognised as the main purchaser of the family.
Some receive the latest DVDs which provides the kids with entertainment, cancelling out the need to save money to go out to the movies. And even a bottle of household cleaner or a box of detergents to ease up the pressure in the family budget. So have a look and it may just be worth your time.
Chances are you know someone whose business or service you require but cannot afford to pay with cash. There is no harming in asking your gardener friend if he can clear out your front lawn for a homemade meat pie or two. Or you can ask a friend to baby sit for a few hours a week in return for the same service so they can have a couple night out.
People are often considerate and kind to those who are sincerely in need. So ask and offer your barter but be sure you keep your promise to return the favor or as agreed.
Look out for swap parties in your local community. This works by bringing something you’d like to swap, may it be an old pair of boots that are still in good condition. Generally, the items are checked to make sure the customers do get something worthwhile. Your items are usually enough to give you entrance but otherwise a small fee often is requested for charity.
This is perfect if you have that urge to get something “new” or just go about shopping but do not have the money to spare. It does not only save you money but helps you be more ecologically mindful as swapping a piece of clothing saves tonnes of water over buying a new one. This is also a cheap yet meaningful way to socialize and that alone will save you money.
And if you do happen to find that extra cash which may not be enough to buy the entire family winter clothes, then go to op shops and second hand stores instead. There are many out there who sell clothes in perfect good condition for almost the cost of nothing. You can therefore buy more with your money if you spend the time and patience to have a look. A good washing is all they need and be proud that you are cutting down your carbon footprint as well by appreciating preloved items. Consider it a challenge to your fashion sense and creativity.
Annie is the money saving expert specializing in frugality, coupon codes and free online tools. Her favorite tool is SavingsAccountFinder, the free tool allowing to compare term deposit online.