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  • Writer's pictureNoel Williams

What Time Banking Can Do To Benefit Life in your Community?

Time banking is a relatively new and simple concept that can have an amazing and lasting impact on your life and community. Educating yourself on what time banking is and how you can take part, is incredibly useful. With the right tools, you can create a time bank that can greatly benefit society. Below, we have compiled a list of the numerous and extremely beneficial things time banking can do for life in your community.

What is Time Banking?

Time Banking is essentially a reciprocity-based work system in which money is not used, but rather time is considered a currency. In a time bank community, a person with a particular skill set can trade hours of work for equal hours of work given in exchange instead of paying for services. For example, if you spend one-hour mowing someone’s lawn or babysitting someone’s children, you will earn an hour of someone’s services in return. Read more about the definition of Timebanking here.

There are many benefits to starting or joining a time bank. Here are just a few:

1. People involved tend to feel happier, healthier and less isolated

Time Banks get people out of the house to socialize and learn new skills. As a result, people involved in time banks tend to feel happier, healthier and less isolated. A New York Times article reported that only 10% of members at a particular time bank recorded the hours they spent working there.

[1] This goes to show that people are less concerned with banking ‘Time Dollars’ but prefer to gain a satisfactory feeling of helping and making a difference in other people’s lives. People who are happy and actively involved in their communities can help society in immeasurable ways.

2. Time Banks create new, fun and positive ways for people to connect with others

Time banks are like one giant social network. Everyone involved can participate in fun and positive activities and help each other out in the process.

Members can form strong ties to one another, which helps bring the entire community together. You can get to better know your neighbors and soon they can even become close friends. Timebanks take away differences such as age, culture or peoples income levels allowing people to connect in a very positive way and forge long-lasting relationships.

3. Time Banks emphasize social inclusion—everyone has the opportunity to participate and benefit!

One of the greatest things about time banks is that everyone and anyone has the opportunity to participate. All members are considered having something of value to share, even if that something is not worth a lot in traditional monetary terms. This provides the opportunity for people from all walks of life to participate and benefit from time banks.

According to Straits Times, “Time banking has the potential to create a robust supplementary economy that exists side by side with the market economy. There is likely to be more social justice in this system, as everyone’s hour is valued equally, potentially serving to alleviate income inequality. It encourages us to see the value in every person and share with one another a resource that we all have in common.”[2]

Time banks can be a great way to encourage social justice and inclusion. People from different backgrounds, who may not otherwise meet, can form meaningful connections and see the value in one another.

4. There is an amazing feel-good factor, and you are saving money

Time banks effectively redefine the concept of ‘work’. Instead of money, value is placed on the kind of services provided, for example, helping to care for children, improving your neighbourhood or social activism. Depending on the services provided, there is an amazing feel-good factor. Whether it is helping an elderly neighbor in need or babysitting for a busy mom.

Along with the feel-good factor, time banks can help you save money! For example, if you are strapped for cash but need to go to the doctor, you can use time credits to get a ride instead of spending money on a taxi. Less stress about money will allow your community to grow and thrive.

5. Time banking can strengthen communities

Time banks are a two-way street, people give as well as receive. The idea that time banks revolve around reciprocity in turn brings communities together. All relationships are even which removes any feelings of resentment or unfairness. With the community helping each other, everyone is empowered! Communities are strengthened by everyone working together to build a better social environment.

Timebanking can be considered a highly effective community development tool. Groups and individuals are empowered to bring about change and galvanize their neighbourhoods.

With all the benefits of time banking mentioned above, you may want to learn more about existing time banking communities in your neighbourhood or even start thinking about creating your own! The Nomos App[3] is a free platform that will assist you in starting your own time banking community. Simply sign up and start the process of benefiting life in your community.

The Nomo App will connect you with like-minded and local people so you can easily connect and start swapping time for services. To learn more about how to create a time bank community, you can read our handy blog post.[4]





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