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Friday, February 27, 2009

Bargain, Barter, Swap and Trade for Survival

To make it through the week on budget - because times have changed...with a very disciplined, cash-in-the-envelope-system that eliminates steak from my menu - trading what I own for what I want is the extender I need.

One thousand Hong Kong restaurants, lacking customers, joined together to feature a one Hong Kong dollar (that's thirteen cents US) bargain dish to trade to survive. Some people overdo it...I won't go so far as to barter my kids for a $1500. pet cockatoo or swap my freedom for the food and shelter of a jail cell. However, it seems to me that the only way to make it through this time when there are no buyers for De Beers or my diamonds, Steinway & Sons production of pianos is cut in half - can't sell that - and, every monthly bill shows an increase - gotta' get things without spending cash...

...forget garage sales - every body's doing it and it's dogged work that often produces very little. No body's spending freely - so, getting the stuff dusted, washed, priced...put out on tables...put back - Ugh! However, a talk with friends and family produced a list of their non-essentials that included many of my "need-it-nows" and an idea took hold.

It may seem too simple, and there was a time when I put things aside for a charity donation tax deduction. I don't need deductions now. The new plan is..."Barter, Bargain, Swap and Trade Sunday Afternoon Friendly Open House."

A few hours at a different home each week. I bring my six items and promise to trade at least three. We browse, over a cup of coffee, bottled water or fruit punch and we TV unless it's a "swappable" and until we run out of "stuff", it's a free, social occasion that extends my budget, deepens my friendships and is a plus in a time of so many minuses.

Times have changed...Do you have any new-old survival ideas to trade?

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