Monday, March 23, 2015

What If You Run Out of Money?

My new tiller
Let's face it...who hasn't run out of money at some point in their lives? The point of this post is to show you that cash isn't always king in the real world. Handheld physical assets will always be an acceptable form of exchange.

Trust me. I just did it tonight.

One thing we sorely needed on our new homestead was a tiller to begin our new garden. Tillers can be bought from stores for hundreds of dollars. They can also be rented from equipment rental stores by the day or week.

We are low on funds from our recent move to Idaho so I had to think outside the box. One method of finding things you need, which I have shared here before, is using a CraigsList application on your computer or cell phone to notify you when someone posts something you want for sale. I input several items into my app like "tiller", "freezer", "shed" and such. Then, when someone posts an add selling something with those keywords in the title, I get an email or text notification.

The quicker you act on the notification, the better the chance you can score it. Tonight was just such a night for me.

Someone posted a used Husqvarna tiller for $300. I looked up this tiller on Google and found it for sale (new) at Sears for $459. Having no cash, but knowing what items are ALWAYS in demand, I quickly contacted the seller and offered a trade.

I said "Your tiller is just what I'm looking for to start our garden but I have no cash. Would you be interested in trading for something that goes bang?"

His immediate reply was "Absolutely!"

I sent him a few photos of my 12g shotgun bought at last years Black Friday sale over at Cal-Ranch in Flagstaff. It was a $300-350 semi-auto that they had on sale for $199 (only seven were sold at that price.) I had only fired it twice so it was still in pristine condition.

I quickly headed to his house and reviewed the tiller. It barely showed any signs of use and fired up on the first pull of the cord. I was sold! I showed him the shotgun and the deal was done. We wrote up a quick contract of sale and down the road I went.

With no cash to speak of and payday still three days away, I am now a proud owner of a shiny new ORANGE Husqvarna front tine tiller.

Garden, here I come!

Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Offer services (like yard work, babysitting, etc) or items for trade and you'll be surprised what you might get.

My past barters:



  1. You've moved your blog. Glad I found it. When I searched on Google for you I found a post that said your house had burned down!!! I thought it was recent. Whew! Good job on the trade!!

    1. Sorry about the hassle but I haven't moved the blog. If you can share what happened I can look into it. Thanks for the effort to keep up!

  2. That thing will beat you to death!! I prefer the ones with rear tines.

    1. There wasn't a rear tine for trade. I don't mind a little work anyway. My main concern was getting the garden started.

  3. I have been pondering this post for quite some time, frankly just unsure whether anyone really cares to think about the frightening prospect of running out of money. Bartering is a good useful tool to have, and to learn about what one has that might be wanted by other people in the same situation.
    I'm going to offer my experience, having been without money more than once.
    I grew up in a household with a very limited income, an Army brat. My mother was given a set amount of money every month to buy food, clothing and any incidentals. We ate three times a day and there was never any snacks. No one had them at their house, either. We grew up eating "yucky" food and cleaning our plate. I vividly remember the first time I ate out, a treat paid for by a generous friend of my mother's. It was at Shakey's Pizza. The next time I ate out and the only time before I turned 12 was at McDonald's in St. Charles Missouri on a bowling trip the military base sent the kids to. I spent about $.75 and it was a big deal.
    I was raised with the phrase, "we don't have money for that". It didn't frighten me, as our needs were met, and I can't remember much disappointment. I had a great childhood in a time when the outdoors was not off limits and imagination was mandatory. I was clothed in my cousins hand-me-downs and I thought they had to be rich. Most of their clothing that I received was handed down from someone else, lol. I raised my children with the same phrase often spoken, telling them about choices in life. Hearing, "we don't have money for that", makes the possibility of "we don't have any money" less daunting. Unfortunately, our government has filled into far too many holes in "we don't have money for that" and someday we will be faced with "we don't have any money". Meanwhile, students going to college on other people's money party on the beaches of Florida because their parents never helped them learn to make proper financial choices early on.
    We protect children from the lessons learned through truth. How is this preparing them to be responsible adults instead of entitled brats? I have run out of cash before and it was not pleasant but we didn't go hungry and I never once heard from my kiddos, why are we having this for supper? The attitude of gratitude helps cover the gaps we all face from time to time.
    This isn't directed at anyone, just my experiences with not having cash. I'm thrilled you were able to barter for your needs and your family saw how effective your decisions were on what to store that you must have all sacrificed for and how to make a good choice on a practical necessity that you needed. Deeds are always stronger and more effective than words.

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