Last Chance: Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. today to win a $100 gift card! Learn more



Contests and

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


Time Banking: An Alternative to Bartering

You give your time, and you get services in return

Unlike bartering, which places a cash value on goods and services (and is taxed accordingly), time bank services are considered charitable acts informally traded among members of a group.

This reciprocity gives time banks an impact beyond the pocketbook, says Cahn: They free members from “feeling trapped and powerless to make a change upward in their quality of life.”

Time dollars earn no interest and have no equivalent monetary value. Each hour of one member’s service equals an hour of another’s, regardless of market value. Stuffing envelopes is worth exactly as much as preparing a tax return, mending a pair of socks or rewiring a lamp.

By placing the same value on all services, time banks not only avoid tax issues, but also encourage members to share abilities that might not have much cash value but can do much to help neighbors.

If you want to join a time bank, you can check if your community has one by going to the website of TimeBanks USA, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit founded by Cahn.
If you find nothing and decide to create a bank, you’ll find lots of resources at the site, including articles and Community Weaver 2.0, an open-source software tool for recording time credit balances.

You may also like: 5 ways to save big with coupons.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

AARP Financial Services

Info on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.