Sharing Resources: Using a Time Bank in Your Household

Have you ever heard of a Time Bank?

Many communities are establishing formal time banks. At this year’s Ignite Asheville event, speaker Thomas Beckett shared some information on the concept.

The idea is pretty simple. You exchange your skills and time for other people’s skills and time. And what better way to implement this than within your community living environment.

Many of the resources you will read when it comes to time banks are about a formal establishment; however, bartering your time with that of your housemates doesn’t have to be any more formal than a verbal agreement. Consider these ways to create a time bank in your home.

Click below to read some the ways you can make this happen.

Determine what everyone enjoys. Is there one person who adores cooking large meals? Is there another who really loves getting their hands dirty by working in the yard? A third who finds Zen in doing daily household chores?  What could be more perfect than trading these skills to make the shared house a better place? For example, the chef of the house can spend all day Sunday making amazing meals and freezing them in small portions allowing the other housemates to eat them throughout the week. At the same time, the grass will be mowed and the garden weeded to keep the landscaping pristine.

Make a chart. Take a page out of parenting books by creating a “chore chart” where each household member indicates what they are willing to do for the household. Consider all of the things that need to be taken care of and divide them up equally.

Offer extra work. One great way to get more bang out of your household time bank is to offer more services as needed which can be bartered for other things. Do you happen to be a wiz at fixing computers? If your massage therapist roommate’s laptop is on the fritz offer to take a look in exchange for a neck and shoulder massage.

Disallow abuse of the system. This concept only works if everyone is willing to put in the same approximate amount of time with their tasks as everyone else. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, or misses a week of their work, talk to them to find out why. If outside circumstances have gotten in the way give them an opportunity to fix the issue. Otherwise they may no longer have access to the hard work of the rest of the household.

There are many ways to live in community. Shared household tasks give people a way to feel like they belong and contribute. Have you considered how you envision your community living situation?

To learn more about how to build community as you age, contact me. I live in community and want to show you how to do it too.

Women For Living in Community