How it Works

Timebanking is an exchange of skills and services in the community. All it costs is Time – No Money. You earn Time Credits to exchange with other members of the community.


What is a Timebank and how does it work?

A Timebank provides the opportunity for exchanging through working on a basis of reciprocity – everyone has something to offer and neither age nor mobility need exclude anyone. This kind of exchange is not new – it has traditionally occurred among families and friends. All a Timebank does is to provide a new structure for neighborliness, one that turns goods deeds into real purchasing power.

How do Time Credits work?

Most trades are between individuals. Within The Timebank, the person providing the trade (e.g. teacher, gardener) is the “Provider of Service” and the person receiving the trade (e.g.. student, garden owner) is the “Recipient of Service”.

Sometimes trades can involve a group doing a service for an individual, as in a garden working bee. Every person who does the work is a “Provider of Service”, who logs their time that is then debited from the garden owner who is the “Recipient of Service”. If an individual member teaches a group of people a skill, then every student (Recipient) pays 1 hour, but the teacher (Provider) will only earn one hour. The rest will go into the Community Treasure Chest. In these situations it may be helpful for the Coordinator to put through the hours.

The Community Treasure Chest is a community TimeBank account, set up as a member. Members can donate as many or as few TimeBank credits as they like to the CTC. The TimeBank Coordinators can give these credits to any member(s) or community group that may be in need of them, for whatever reason.

For any trades associated with lending/borrowing goods and tools you can claim one hour, regardless of the time the tool is lent out for. The duration and any expenses involved in the lending of goods/tools should be agreed between the members before the trade takes place.

Providing transport to the airport, a medical appointment or shopping, will incur a fuel expense. Baking or cooking for a member will incur expenses for ingredients. For trades where there are expenses involved we encourage you to discuss and agree these with the member you are trading with PRIOR to the trade happening.

Timebanking is not about balancing the books, but about trading skills in the community and reciprocity. You can still trade if you have not yet earned time credits. In fact, for the system to work properly, most traders will move in and out of debit and credit at some point.