Sarah needed help with her taxes. Laura needed her hair cut, colored, and styled, but could not afford it. They decided to trade! Mike needed some work done on his car that he didn't have the time or ability to do. Tim needed help updating his resume because he was out of work and looking for a job. Mike's wife, Maggie updated Tim's resume for him and Tim fixed Mike's car.
John and Karen needed some repair work done on their house, but there was no money to pay someone to do it. Cole had a pile of clothing that needed mending and a daughter that needed a ride to work each day. Since his daughter worked near Karen, Karen gave her a ride and also did the mending. Cole was happy to do the repair work that John and Karen needed done.
What is Bartering?
Bartering is a trade, or exchange, between two parties (individuals or families) of goods or services that does not involve money. The entire family can be involved in swapping resources and work.
The trickiest part of bartering is placing "value' on the good or service. Ultimately the two people, or families, involved in the bartering will determine the value of each item or task. Something is worth what another is willing to pay for it, or it this case, trade for it.
As a Christian, we want to give what is fair and then a little extra. At the same time, we don't need to let others take advantage of us either.
What can you Barter?
Any item that you don't want or need any more can be traded. This includes appliances, clothing, bedding, furniture, food, musical instruments, books, textbooks, sports equipment, computers, DVDs, and anything else you can think of!
Here is a list of services that you can barter, but keep in mind that the possibilities are endless
- Appliance repair
- Air conditioner or heater repair
- Oil change/tune ups/car maintenance
- Car wash/wax/detailing
- Baby sitting/elderly care
- Home health nursing
- Garden produce (fresh, canned, frozen)
- Weeding/pruning/hedge clipping/tree trimming
- Lawn mowing/edging/weed whacking/blowing
- Garden tilling
- Insulation installation
- Electrical work
- Minor fix-up
- Wall papering
- Furniture repair/refinishing
- Baking & decorating cakes
- Meal planning/grocery shopping
- Cooking meals
- Hair cuts/trims/coloring/permanent/braiding
- Window washing
- Dish washing
- Pet sitting/walking/feeding/grooming
- Moving furniture/households
- Flower arranging
- Painting/sculpting/macrame/knitting/embossing/card making/scrapbooking
- Music lessons/voice lessons
- Entertainment/singing/playing instruments/juggling/clowning/illusion shows
- Catering/party planning
- Don't assume anything. Sit down and discuss ALL the details, exactly what will be done, who will do what, and who will pay for materials needed. In almost all cases, the person receiving the service pays for any materials
- Make sure that expectations are clear to everyone involved
- Don't spend someone's else's money without talking to them and having their permission to spend the money
- Communicate clearly and keep lines of communication open and humming
- Be clear on the details of the service you are providing
- Be clear on what your friend is expecting. Say to him/her, "We have agreed that I will.... and you will...."
- Don't agree to something that is too difficult for you to do
- Keep your friend informed of your progress
- Let your friend know if there are delays or problems
- Carefully explain what you want done
- Supervise the work that is being done for you
- Be sure that your friend is qualified to do the task
According to the IRS, the value of bartered services must be included in gross income. If you are bartering on a small scale, this will not be much of a concern. But, if you are bartering on a large scale, it will. An example of large scale bartering would be trading repair work on a house for free rent. Your monthly income would be the amount the landlord would be charging you for rent if you were paying him rent, rather than doing the repair work.
How about you? Do you have any success stories with bartering? I'd love to hear them.
Until, next time, God bless and prosper each one of you!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)