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Before paper currency and coins gained widespread use, bartering or trading was the commonly accepted practice around the world. If you grew wheat, you would trade that wheat for the things you needed such as meat, furniture or livestock. The two parties would agree on what seemed a fair amount of each commodity or product and a trade would be made.
Bartering is still used today and is becoming increasingly common as money gets tight. If you plan well and get to know more about bartering, it can be a very useful tool in your thrift arsenal. Here are some sites that might help you out:
Tax Info on bartering: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc420.html
Swap-It! Now: http://www.swap-it-now.com/
How Bartering Works: http://money.howstuffworks.com/bartering.htm
The Barter Network: http://www.barternetworkonline.com/xob2b07/Home3/Login.aspx
You can also barter one-on-one in your own town. Could you tutor in the evenings for the local hair stylist in exchange for family hair cuts? Could you make greeting cards or holiday newsletters for a chicken farmer in exchange for eggs? Make sure you check out the top link above to find out about tax laws regarding bartering, but with a little work, you may be able to give your budget a little breathing room.
That's all for this week's edition. Now get out there and save some money!
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