When most people talk about saving money, they usually talk about things like clipping coupons, buying in bulk or cutting back on shopping sprees. These are all solid ideas, but very few people talk about another way to save money—by being a good neighbor.
Being an active part of your community can help you save in many ways that seem to get overlooked in the Internet Age. Here are a few of the ways you can save money by reaching out to your neighbors:
Get Free Stuff
People are getting rid of stuff all the time. Perhaps they’re upgrading and don’t feel like waiting to get rid of their old items at a garage sale. Or maybe they’re moving and trying to get rid of some unnecessary items.
Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for something, you should ask around and see if your neighbors are getting rid of one first. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Children’s clothes are especially good items to seek out. Since children outgrow clothes so fast, it only makes sense to trade clothes with other parents. This can really cut down on your clothing bill!
Save on Services
In old sitcoms, it seems like someone is always trying to get their lawnmower back from a neighbor. While keeping borrowed items is definitely not okay, lending items to and borrowing them from your neighbors is an innovative way to save money.
If you have a nice lawnmower, you can lend it to your neighbors. In return, you might borrow one neighbor’s edging tool and another neighbor’s ladder.
You can also coordinate services with people in your neighborhood, such as ferrying your children to and from school, pet-sitting and even babysitting.
While Yelp and Google Reviews are great ways to locate quality businesses in your area, there’s nothing quite like a person-to-person recommendation. A neighbor can not only give you a recommendation for services like roofers, plumbers and electricians, they can also let you know about any particular “local-only” discounts.
Where to Find Your Neighbors
The “old-fashioned” way of meeting neighbors by knocking on doors and introducing yourself still has its place, but you’ll probably have better luck by checking out the Internet.
Since almost everyone is on Facebook by this point, you can search for neighborhood-specific groups, People there may have posts about items and services they need or can provide. You might also want to check out Facebook Marketplace to see if there are any local deals in your area.
You can also check out Freecycle.org. This web forum is made for people who would rather give away their unwanted items rather than see them end up in a landfill.
Finally, check out Nextdoor.com. This is a social network and app where members share recommendations, post items they’re selling or giving away and even discuss services they can trade.
While having to buy less stuff is definitely a good money move, you’re not just saving your wallet some undue stress, you’re also being ecologically friendly by making sure less stuff gets thrown away. Even better, you’re getting to know your neighbors. This can really help you to feel at home in a community, and it also ensures you have some friends you can call on if you ever need help. It also puts you in a position to help your neighbors, too.