Something that has become a HUGE asset in the savings war has been to be able to do trades with people. If you do something or have something that could be trade-able: some desirable skill or items then you are already one step ahead. Think about what you can do, what can you bring to the table? What is something people may want? Offer it up for a barter/trade. I’ve found that usually the hardest part of bartering is asking because it can feel a little awkward at first. The person you make the offer to may say they’re not into the idea but that’s okay. It’s worth a try. No harm done.
The barter/trading idea came in handy when I was planning our wedding last year. I would ask people if they would like photographs (or a photo shoot) for something they offered that we needed for the wedding. It’s really amazing how much people were into the idea of bartering and there was no exchange of money… PERFECT!
Of course, as with anything things can quickly go sour if you don’t have the conditions hammered out BEFORE the trade or barter happens. No one wants to feel screwed so just get it out in the open and then if things start to get stinky they will be waay less smelly because things have already been discussed and laid out. It’s even better if you can write it all out. That way both parties are on the same page. I know that might be a bit idealistic and not the most realistic though. I only had one situation where things went south and that’s because we didn’t discuss things thoroughly before hand. It’s a bummer when that happens but typically it works out fine. My biggest tip is to just be forthright with what you are and aren’t willing to do and save yourself some awkwardness and grief.
A little bit ago I talked about my BIG need for a haircut. Do I break out the scissors and chop away or look for a student or just wait it out and deal with split ends and a floppy grown out hairdo? Well, I waited. My hair got nastily floppy and it got REALLY grown out but it ended up working out because I ended up doing a trade with my hair salon, Vain, for a cut AND color!
The hub had gone in for a haircut (he’s not on the Spending Fast) and since we share the same hair stylist I asked him to mention the idea of a trade to the hair-cutter. And then, wouldn’t you know it, I got a call that Saturday following his haircut with her! She needed photographs for an event that was taking place and wondered if I might be available to shoot it. She said I could have a cut and color and products too if I wanted. So, as you can imagine with my hair being in the state of disrepair that it was in I said yes without any hesitation.
The shooting of the event went off without a hitch and it was a such a fun night because Vain Salon definitely knows how to throw a party. Then about a week later I went in for my much needed haircut and it made all the difference. Her associate professionally colored my hair (which was a treat in itself since I usually use box color to dye my hair since I’ve been too cheap in the past to pay the pros to do it) and they hooked me up with tons of product. Wow. I’ll do a trade/barter any day of the week.
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!