The idea of writing on this topic came, the moment I heard that one of my friends gets her hair done for free, by her neighbor who happen to be a hair stylist by profession. She gives, in exchange, cake decorating lessons, although it’s not always give and take between them.
There are certain things in our lives for which we depend on experts, we pay money for the services we otherwise can’t do our self. What could have happened had you gotten these services for free? You could have saved a fortune by now.
Imagine you have your friends who are experts on areas like car servicing or hair stylists. So much money you spend every year on these two items alone, what if you request them to take care of your car or your hair?
I agree you should give something of equal value in return and why not pay them by something you are really good at? If you don’t have anything to offer, why don’t you learn something that can be valuable to them?
Yes, I am talking about the ancient tradition of bartering, but, bartering of service rather than the goods.
Here are the people you should befriend to save significant amount of money over your life time
1. A medical professional – Doesn’t have to be a doctor, the assistant will also do, nurse is even better. They can help you on many things including minor illnesses by suggesting an over the counter drug, any preventative medicine, even they can give you a pack or two of sample medicines. They can also guide you through your illness/pregnancy etc, have you ever heard of ‘Nurse help line’ offered by insurance farms? I am talking about befriending one of them, possibly if you could.
2. A Realtor – This friend can save you thousands of bucks, he/she can get you the best house in the neighborhood or the greatest deal in the town. Haven’t you seen the Realtor himself/herself leaves in one of the best houses for that money? A Realtor can inform you when a great property is just listed at an unbelievable price. I am fortunate to have one!
3. A software engineer or web/graphics designer – Doesn’t matter if its your children, or you, who want to learn computer skills, programming language or create a new website, this friend of yours can happily lend you support in exchange of just a few good words. Readers, I happened to be a software professional, want to try me? 🙂
4. An interior decorator – This friend can make your home an object of social envy; free of cost. Starting with your landscaped garden to your bathrooms, he/she can make everything beautiful. And, who doesn’t know that a happy soul saves more money than a sad soul!
5. Hair Stylist – I do my hair once a month (being a male), it costs me $18 for each cut including $3 tips. At this rate I will give my barber $6500 in next 20 years. Had I gotten a hair stylist friend, I could have saved a lot of money, isn’t it? Add to it the expense on SMB’s (my wife) hair, that’s $50 per month, do your own math please.
6. Auto Mechanic – Who doesn’t want a free or discounted car maintenance? At least this friend can verify if your dealer’s claim of damaged rotor is really valid or not. Depending on your car’s condition, this friend can save you a lot of money. Those oil change, filter change and inspections can be handled by this person at his or your home.
Now you tell me if you are one of the above 6? And if you are also living in south Florida, open offer is extended to be my friend. I know a bit of web designing, but my strength is in programming language, any takers?