Last night I bartered with a close friend, and I’m confident that we both came away better off. How is this producing freedom? Let’s talk about what we exchanged first, and why I think it produced freedom for both of us second.
My friend had broken a fairly cheap pocket knife. He buys the cheap ones because he loses and abuses them, so he doesn’t feel the need to pay for quality knifes that will just disappear. I on the other hand, tend not to lose my knives, and I’m a little bit of a knife nut. Not as crazy as some, but I definitely have more than I need.
Originally I just planned on giving him an older, cheaper knife, since I can’t even remember the last time I used it. He had previously let me borrow a pretty good set of calipers, and I needed to recheck the work I had used them for. We hung out, I gave him the knife, and I asked if I could check grab his calipers to check my work. Instead, he gave them to me, since he didn’t see himself needing them anymore, and I’ll probably continue to use them.
So I didn’t go into this intending to barter, but here are the ways that I see this helped produce a tiny bit of freedom (something is better than nothing):
- Neither of us spent any money, so we both have a little more financial freedom Think of this as free money. Neither of us really cared if we had this stuff, but the items were small enough that neither of us would really think to sell them.
- We both saved the time we would have spent shopping for these items and waiting for them to show up, since we were bound to see each other either way. Time saved is freedom created, since we all only have so many hours in our lives to create and enjoy our liberty. Saving the time driving to a store or shopping on Amazon for this stuff allowed us to spend more time hanging out as friends.
- We both reduced our dependency on the manufacturing industry, supply chains, and retailers.
- We both did not use a credit or debit card anywhere, creating an infitely small addition degree of privacy from the government, which I just eliminated by writing this. If I hadn’t written about this, that would be a plus in the freedom column. By avoiding transaction fees, we also didn’t give a bank or credit card company money to encourage people to enslave themselves with debt.
- We both got freedom from clutter, since we both now have slightly less cluttered homes. I know this one is a stretch, butgetting rid of the little things really adds up.
Note: In the United States of America, barter transactions are not tax free. The IRS requires you to pay tax on the value of the goods you received, and if your state has a sales tax they may require you to remit the sales tax on the goods you gave away in the transaction. What you do with this information is ultimately your decision, and you should consult with a CPA on any tax implications. I take no responsible for anything you choose to do with this information.
As always, have fun your journey to freedom, and feel free to check out the youtube channel.