Barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral, and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a very limited extent. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when the currency may be either unstable (e.g., hyperinflation or deflationary spiral) or simply unavailable for conducting commerce.
As economies around the world continue to falter, bartering is fast becoming the new currency of choice. Bartering has always been around, but it's popularity is growing with the need to continue to provide for one's family. Bartering communities are popping up all over the place.
Trading goods and services for goods and services knocks out the middle man and the tax man. When money is scarce, but your needs are not, bartering is a sensible skill to have. It's very similar to negotiating. We have all traded something for something. Children learn this valuable skill early by trading toys. As we get older, we may trade more valuable toys or skills for things we want, but can never seem to afford.
Bartering is occurring more frequently out of necessity instead of out of the desire to own a new toy like a boat or snowmobile. Trading more tangible items like eggs or garden produce for a hair cut is a lot more plausible these days.
When we built our first home way back when, Number One bartered his labor to tear down a structure at the University for the materials. This provided all the large timbers for our house. It saved us a lot of money that we did not have and the University did not have to pay someone to tear the structure down or haul it off. It was a win win situation. Number One has bartered for many things over the years. I think that it just comes natural to a man to want to provide what's best for his family.
If the economy continues in it's current downward spiral, Greece may not be the only country needing a second type of currency. Don't wait until you have no options to act. Bartering can take some time to find the right deal for you and your family, so don't wait till the last minute...