Work Together, Save Money

by April Borbon


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Individually we can come up with a variety of ways to save money on a daily basis. We can cut coupons, save our pocket change, cook from scratch, in essence, do everything for ourselves that we can possibly do in order to save a bit of cash.

There is an entirely different way in which to save money that is often overlooked, however, and that is working communally. Helping others to save money can also help us to save money; oftentimes, this will equate to even greater savings than we would be able to realize on our own.

The following is a short list of ways to enlist the help of your friends and neighbors to accomplish more than what one person could do by themselves, save money and enjoy the added benefit of developing better relationships.

  • Share babysitting. Trade off with friends and neighbors for evening or daytime childcare. Just think, if you can gather six friends and each of you takes a day of babysitting, you would not have to pay any childcare expenses at all.

  • Host an annual neighborhood garage sale. A one-family garage sale will draw some customers, but a twenty-family garage sale will have a much greater draw. Plus you can share the work of sign making and organizing your event.

  • Start a lunch club. You and a group of co-workers could agree that each day a different person will bring lunch for the group. You would only have to cook one day a week and you would get to enjoy other's cooking for the rest of the week. This saves lots of money over the cost of eating out every day.

  • Make your next party a potluck. This spreads both the cost and the work around so that everyone can enjoy the party.

  • Use the Web to work together. A neighborhood or a group of friends can use a website, provided free of charge by some hosts such as Geocities, to advertise and organize such things as tool exchanges, work parties, and food co-ops.

  • Old-fashioned quilting bees are once again becoming popular. Not only do these bees produce a beautiful product but the camaraderie is an added bonus.

  • Vacation together with friends. Vacationing in a group is an excellent way to save money since you can use group buying power to get great accommodations, discount show prices and even reduced-rate airfare.

  • Participate in, or organize, a community garden project. Gardening in your backyard is fine but gardening with a group of like-minded community members will reap even greater rewards. You will receive great advice, plant starts, help with the heavy labor and encouragement.

  • Form a study group. School can be difficult for both children and parents. Instead of hiring a tutor, coordinate a study group. This will allow each participant to help others as well as receive help. In addition, encouraging success in school now can reap huge rewards in the future.

  • Holidays are a great time to save money when working together communally. Cookie exchanges are always popular, gift wrapping bees, neighborhood Easter egg hunts, and Halloween parties can all be done as a group and save not only time but money as well.

  • Organize a community clothes exchange at the beginning of each school year. This way, used clothing can be shared and distributed before making a sweep at the mall for school clothes.

  • Bring back bartering. If your neighbor can fix cars and you can do landscaping, why not trade services instead of breaking out the checkbook? Other services can be added as you find out what special talents and skills your friends and neighbors possess.

  • Work together to sell your homemade products. Holiday bazaars, farmers markets and flea markets are all ways you can work with others to provide a place to sell your wares while sharing the cost of space, advertising and organizing.

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to work with others in order to accomplish the things you desire. The more work and expenses you can share, the more money and effort you will save.


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