While TimeBanking as a concept is not a new one, it is yet to catch up with market trends in most countries. Its historical aspects are well established, and the entire idea revolves around a focal point, one ancient wisdom that every one of us has heard: time is money!
Creating, maintaining and profiting from a Time Bank is hard work. Before you begin, perhaps you should dig slightly more in-depth into the history of this new-age economy.
Time Banking is a concept of an alternative currency in economics. In this currency system, the idea of ‘money’ is different from what we traditionally use. Money is but a means of exchanging the value of the services provided. In this currency system, the unit of account is measured in person/hour. In other words, the hours in a day are the currencies in Time Banking.
While Edgar Cahn was the first to use the word ‘Time Bank’, the process predates modern civilization as we know it. Imagine the first farmer's markets where folks bartered and exchanged items of similar value. I'll give you a cup of sugar for a cup of flour. If we took it a bit farther, we'd show our evolutionary savvy and invite someone with milk and eggs to partake, so we could make bread or cake and share. Some call this a swap meet, I think of it as group economics, or a sort of kibbutz. Cahn, an American law professor wanted to address any social needs that remained unfulfilled from the above social exchanges. This reciprocity-based system works when a person with a specific skill(s) exchanges or trades hours of work with another person with a different skillset. No transfer of money occurs here. Time Banking would also help foster a spirit of community self-help. The main asset of this ‘bank’ would be time!
5 principles of Time Banking:
These are the five principles which define Time Banking –
Why is Time Banking used mostly in urban areas?
Economists normally tend to avoid giving a straight answer to this question as there is no empirical data to back up any single response. However, since people with different skills, professions and occupations share the limits of a city in an urban area, the concept of exchanging labor as currency becomes possible.
For example, a carpenter and a computer engineer may live in the same neighborhood. The carpenter can get his computers checked by the engineer; in return, he can work on the latter’s woodwork and other needs. No money changes hands and yet, services are delivered.
How to start a Time Bank?
These steps can help you start a Time Bank right in your neighborhood.
Here are some additional resources:
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