How Timebanking Works
Timebanking can be seen as an extension of your family. Someone who loves to cook and share their
food can cook a home meal for you during a difficult time of your extended visits to the hospital.
Timebanking is a way for people to fill a gap of what they're missing, whether it's a necessity or
quality of life. And your life is enriched because you are offering something you love to do. And
you are doing it for time credits which you offer to someone else to help them enrich their life.
It's true, everyone has something to offer!
Timebanking Builds Community
Timebanking can change your life! You see, Timebanking helps to build community in many ways, but
one of the greatest ways it helps people is creating caring interactions with those who are alone.
What is it like for a shut-in to receive a call during a storm? What happens to you when someone
on the other end of the phone asks "Are you OK?", "Is your power on?"
"What do you need?" This is an assurance that money can't buy; an invaluable way that
people connect. This is how Timebanking builds community.
When people get out of the house, when they know they can go to another's home during a power
outage, or depend on another for a ride, they have a renewed sense of humanity. And as people use
their Timebank credit hours when they need to, they feel good about the exchanges they make.
They're paying for a service from their account of earned Timebank credit hours. Personal
self-esteem grows and faith in other people grows too. And best of all, they gained their
Timebank credit hours doing the things they love doing! The Timebank helps people get to know
their neighbors and their neighborhood, so they feel less isolated; they feel respected and
connected. All for Timebank hours!
The Idea of Cooperation
Timebanking is based on the principle of cooperation. This involves people working together for
Our market economy is based on people using money to exchange things. Money is useful, but markets
don't recognize most of our real value. In a market economy, "value" is based on scarcity.
If something is scarce it has a high price. If something is commonly available it has a low price.
But many things that people value most — caring, learning, sharing, socializing, raising children,
being a good neighbor — are not valued highly in the marketplace.
The Five Core Values of Timebanking
We are all assets! We all have something valuable to give. We have enough, if
together, we use what each of us has. Ninety percent of what you are able to do may never appear on a
resume, but it can be very valuable to someone else.
Re-evaluating Work Some work is valuable beyond price - and that work needs to be
recognized and rewarded. Everyone benefits when we work to raise healthy children, strengthen
neighborhoods, build strong families, live sustainability, and foster social justice.
Reciprocity Helping works better as a two-way street. When we create a reciprocal
system, we honor each other's value by receiving what they have to offer. We create value by
accepting the service of others. Others can't give unless someone receives.
Respect Every human being matters; there are no throw-away people. Respect
underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect is the blood
supply for the heart and soul of democracy. In Timebanking, an hour of time pulling weeds is honored
the same as an hour of an attorney's time crafting a will.
Social Networking Our social infrastructure of relationships with one another
is as essential as a systems infrastructure of roads, bridges, and utility lines. When people help
each other they also reweave communities of support, strength, and trust. Social networking builds
commitment with each another and in Timebanking, commitment is part of every exchange. We need each
other, and networks are stronger than individuals.