I have heard about Timebanks previously, but I never paid much attention to it. Recently I read the post by Chiristian PF on Timbanking and found the idea very interesting, especially given the current economic situation.
What is Timebanking:
It’s simply a “bank” where you “deposit” and “withdraw” time instead of money, all based online. It basically is a community based support network. You sign up and list your skills and things you would like to help with (e.g. painting, typing, driving etc.) when someone in the network requires help in your field, you will be contacted and asked to do the job. The person who requested the help will be “debited” the time and it will be credited to your account.
You have indicated plumbing as one of your skills, Mrs. Smith requires some plumbing and you provide the service, it takes you 1.5 hours to complete the job. Mrs. Smith is debited 1.5 hours and you will be credited 1.5 hours. You now have 1.5 hours to use if needed.
A few weeks later you need help with gardening so you go online and request help. Mr Gardner comes to do your gardening for you, it takes him 1hour to do the job. You will be debited 1 hour and Mr Gardner is credited 1 hour.
You follow the logic? The more you do for others the more you can get in return.
Timebanks in the News
These timebanks have been around for a while, but with the recent economic slowdown we see more and more timebanks being established. They seem to be more popular in the US than here in Canada, I could not find many timebanks in Canada searching online.
Would you like to get involved or start a Timebank in your community? Check out Timebanks.org
Although timebanks seem to have its critics, I find the concept very intriguing. I think the concept can have many benefits for small communities, the biggest is its networking potential and can help bring community members closer together.
What do you think of this concept? Have you used timebanks before? Would you like to start one?