Time banking is an updated, Web-savvy version of barter that allows users to accumulate the time they work and then “spend” it elsewhere. Unlike traditional bartering, it’s not limited to an individual transaction. The medium is so fluid that it can be exchanged many times as a form of currency.
Most people do a variety of tasks that others may not want to do or are incapable of doing themselves, such as writing, preparing taxes, babysitting, housecleaning, plumbing or even dentistry. For example, an hour of gardening equals an hour of child care, dentistry, home repair or teaching someone to play chess. The idea is that people trade for what they need and do what they’re good at. Everyone gets what they need by exchanging their expertise.
Time banking works for groups, too. Organizations, agencies, churches and businesses can all become members of TimeBanks USA, formed in 1995, and contribute time, energies, skills and resources.