At this point in time, time-banking is a viable alternative to the cash economy, but that does not mean that it is currently able to be a replacement. It opens up the doors for us to realize that there are other ways of developing economic value outside of the monetary system. The monetary system still serves a purpose, but as we realize its limitations in providing us with what we really want and need, we must direct our energies toward currencies that will. I think that the time bank is but an introduction to other currencies that we will develop as we seek ways to meet our needs, and the needs of the world, in more just, efficient, and sustainable ways.


Time dollars,¨ says Edgar Cahn, ¨tap the side of human nature that barely exists in economic thinking-the side that wants to help and be useful and simply feel good. In mobilizing this important resource, money is not very good.”


Money is good at accounting for limited resources, and used wisely and judiciously, it can really thrive at measuring scarcity. However, to measure the value that we can receive from our community when we invest our time, care, talents, and skills into the people around us, money is completely ill-equipped to measure that kind of abundance. What we need to realize is that money is not the entirety of our economy. Time banking helps us find value in the Core Economy that really makes life vibrant.


If you want to free yourself from some of the stress caused by financial woes, something that´s coming down hard on everybody, you want to find ways to not only alleviate that stress, but make your life even better. Time-banking allows you to do what you enjoy and connects you with people that want to make sure you´re taken care of. At a time like this, with so much changing in the world around us, community is the greatest investment you can make.



Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at The Unbroken Path and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.