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How Bartering Can Help You Save Money and Reach Your Goals

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Money is essentially a trade. You get money for the work you do, and you give money for the goods and services you need. Money puts a value on the work you do, as well as the work others do. However, before there was money, people just traded their goods and services themselves, putting their own value on these items.

Bartering may not be as popular as it once was, but it is still being used by a small subset of the population as a way to save money and reach financial goals. Through sites like Craigslist and other classifieds, you can connect with members of the community who want to trade their items or their services for what you have. Here’s how bartering through these sites can help you save money and reach your goals:

Value for the Valueless

If you take a look in your closets, your attic or your basement, you are likely to find a number of items that you no longer want. You could have a yard sale, but you’d probably only get a few bucks for each of them. They are unique items that have value for only a select group of people, and you aren’t likely to reach those people without determination.

Though you may not be able to make money on some of these items, you can likely trade them for items that have value to you. Your old bike might only get you $10 at a yard sale, but it could be traded for a grill you’ve been wanting to get. The flute you played in high-school isn’t worth much on the second-hand market, but it could be worth a trade for that blender you’ve been eyeing that someone else got as a duplicate at their wedding. Bartering helps you (and others) give value to the valueless.

Additional Value

Bartering is a subjective enterprise. You assign value for the items you are trading, as does the other person. As a result, you may end up getting something that actually has greater value than what you are offering. You can use this system to either get a “bargain” or to keep trading your way up — getting one item to trade for the next item of higher value and so on and so on until you have the thing of great value that you want. Consider the story of this man (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006-04-16-paper-clip-barter_x.htm) who traded his way from a paperclip to a house. You could do the same!

Little to No Investment

You don’t have to trade items when you barter. You can simply barter your services. If you are talented in some way — writing, web design, guitar instruction, photography, etc. — you can offer these services in exchange for goods or other services. For example, you could get landscape design in exchange for creating a website, or you could trade a series of guitar lessons for a small truck.

You could end up getting something of great value without having to spend any money — and without having to offer a tangible good that could have cost you money (or made you money if you sold it).

Greater Access

You might not be able to afford to buy the item that you need, but you can part with something that’s been sitting in your garage for years that you no longer want. As a result, you can get the things that you need. For example, you might not be able to afford to get a new roof, but if you trade that Mustang you inherited from your uncle and haven’t gotten around to fixing up, you might be able to get it.

Bartering opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you, regardless of your economic situation.

Bartering may seem like it’s an outdated system, but it still has many possibilities. With the right trades, you can use bartering to get the things you need without spending a lot of money, helping you to reach or maintain your financial goals.

Do you barter? Tell us the best trade you’ve worked out in the comments!


Chloe Trogden is a researcher focusing on college grants who writes on specific opportunities such as government grants for college. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and playing her guitar.

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