Monday, May 25, 2009

Money Saving Monday #11

I know it's been a while since I posted a "Money Saving Monday" tip. It's not that I've stopped looking for ways to save money, but it's more that I was so consumed with the necessity of saving money tha that I was a bit overwhelmed.

I liked having a plan for Mondays, though -- so I'm going to start posting again.

When we had our home built in 2001, we felt that we made a wonderful choice. C was a few months old when we started the process, and we never imagined we'd have more children. We chose to build a smaller 4 bedroom home on a larger lot, and it seemed more than big enough for our family for a long time!

When we first moved in, one bedroom was for C, one was a guest room, one an office, and the master bedroom was ours. Then, a few weeks after closing on our house, we found out we were expecting N. Well . . . there went the guest room!

For a while when the boys were preschoolers and older, they shared a room and the other room was a playroom. That worked well, and then as they grew and sleep became an issue, we put them each in their own bedroom.

And, then, along came L. She's been in our bedroom since she was born and her toys are scattered throughout our home. We talked about an addition - but we had put in a pool before we knew she was coming, and couldn't pull any more equity out of the house. We talked about moving, but one thing or another came up and we ended up staying put . . . and then the economy nose-dived.

(Don't worry -- I'm getting to my money saving tips!)

My husband is a very resourceful and handy person. He decided that he could close in our back patio and we could move our office there and give L the bedroom we've used as an office. He started the project last summer, but we ran out of funds and we have had the room framed and stucco'ed outside for almost a year.

In the last couple months, though, we've started working on it again. At a contractor's overage store, he found a great deal on insulation. We purchased drywall from Lowe's. And he realized he had NO idea on how to texture the drywall to prepare for paint -- and the equipment would be pricey!

SO . . . we placed an ad on Craigslist. At the last moment, he said to me - "Put that we'll pay cash or barter hvac work," so I did. Within an hour, we had over 10 responses and one was interested in bartering hvac work.

DH has done hvac work his entire life, so it's something he definitely knows. This wonderful guy came over the next day and worked for the next 3 days texturing our walls in the back room. DH went to his house and got his a/c running again. Everyone was happy -- and bartering meant that we were each out very little cash. It was a great money - saving tactic.

This guy also needs to replace an air conditioner, so is willing to help us tile the room in exchange for DH installing their new a/c.

After my long story -- my money saving tip for the day is to consider bartering your skills for things you need! You never know what may work out, and I have found that posting a free ad on Craigslist is a great way to find someone to barter with.


  1. Wow! That's awesome Melanie! Wish I had a handy man I could barter out! Hehe!

  2. I *love* barter! I try to do it as often as possible, and you are right - it saves a ton of money!!!

  3. I'm so glad you found a frugal way to get your addition finished and thanks for telling your story. I never think to barter, but your post was a great reminder.


  4. I do that with my own business for some of the holistic practitioners I work with so I am able to attend a class or get worked on (have been doing that lately with a Bowen therapist)


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