Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Wallet Full of Friends

So far in my introduction of Recessionistas, I've mainly focused on things that we can tackle individually, in our homes or with our talents and skills. But a Recessionista is no island. She's well-connected, and sees her friends as her best support and ally in these times.

Easy to Drift:
I don't think this is a hard quality to sell. We tend to be social, after all. I figure it won't take much persuading to convince you that friends and family are important right now. It's making the time for these relationships that is the hard part--at least for me. Whether you work full-time, or from home like me, busyness and isolation are easy to drift into. I know because I find myself drifting all the time.

A Secret:
But there is a secret in relationships that applies directly to a recession. A secret that I think we all instinctually know but rarely hear about. The secret is this: relationships are some of the best currency we have. Sometimes they're even more valuable than real currency. True--you can't pay your mortgage in favors to a friend, or buy a new car with dinner parties, but you can do a lot. You can, for instance, barter and swap a multitude of goods and services with those you know. You can borrow instead of buy, and lend in return. You can multiply your impact, or just boost your motivation, with the help of friends. You can split costs on bulk items, or share garden real estate, or carpool. All of these examples accomplish two things: they make the recession less scary, and they save you money.

But while these things are simple, they are not easy. They do require a bit of organization, and certainly an investment in time. The investment, I speculate, is worth making. So we'll be experimenting in the weeks to come about how to gather and spend this new "currency." And I'm hoping that we'll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Become an Insider:
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