Many of us tend to go about our daily business without stopping to say hi to our neighbors. Even if we do give them a polite nod in acknowledgement, we rarely get to know them. Getting to know your neighbors can be a great thing. Of course, not all of your neighbors may turn out to be friendly and welcoming, but those that are could turn into great friendships. And, as most people know, friendship means helping each other out!
For instance, the next time you need an appliance or tool, such as a blender, lawn mower, broom, or ladder, why not ask your neighbor if you can borrow it? It saves you the money of having to buy or rent it yourself. This is especially good if it’s something you only need temporarily rather than permanently.
Additionally, if your neighbor is great at repairing appliances and you’re great at landscaping, why not swap skills when the need arises? Instead of paying for an overpriced service to do the job, ask your neighbor for a favor, promising one in return when the need arises.
Of course, it’s never a good idea to expect a neighbor or friend to help you move or help you perform any task. And you should never ask them all the time since you don’t want to take advantage of them. Though, if you’re getting a new couch or refrigerator delivered — or even if you need help moving something — see if they’re willing to help you. If they are, that’s money you won’t have to spend on movers.
Secondhand items are a great way to save money, especially if they’re given to you by a thoughtful friend. Your neighbor might have children older than yours and offer you some hand-me-down clothes. Or a neighbor might be getting ready to throw out some movies, books, and clothes and offer to let you have anything you want. They might even decide to let you have an older model of an electronic when they decide to buy a new one. Just remember to keep them in mind when you also have items you’re looking to get rid of.
Share Wireless Internet
If you’re very friendly with your neighbor, you might be able to share a wireless internet bill. Of course, this will probably depend on how close your apartment or house is to theirs and each person’s respective usage of internet. But if everything works out, you could both be splitting a bill. Internet service is expensive in some areas of the country and only having to pay half a bill is better than paying the full price.
Again, sharing a car depends on the level of the relationship between you and your neighbor. Not every person is going to be willing to share a car. But if you and your neighbor are on good terms and are headed in the same direction, why not suggest a carpool? You’ll both be saving money, especially if you take turns driving or split the cost of gas.
In this day and age, you have to be careful about who watches your children, so make sure you really know your neighbor before you ask them to keep an eye on your kids. But if you think everything is good, see if you and your neighbor can take turns watching each other’s kids. Instead of paying for a babysitter, they might be able to watch your kids for the night or pick them up at school. Alternately, you can suggest doing the same when they need your help.
You can also see if your neighbor will watch your pet while you’re away. Boarding a pet can be very expensive, so why not try to cut down on that bill and have your neighbor do it for less (or free). If they have an issue with keeping your pet in their house, see if they’ll stop over once or twice a day at your house to take your pet out or feed them.
Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions
Does your neighbor subscribe to the same newspaper that you do? Does one of them read the same magazines? If so, suggest sharing a subscription and then sharing the magazine or paper. While a newspaper or magazine subscription might not seem like a lot of money in the long run, multiple subscriptions add up. Besides, after you read a paper or magazine once, most people usually throw it away. If there’s a group of people who read the same magazine, if you all chip in, you’ll be paying next to nothing!
Shared Trash Pickup
Depending where you live, you might have to pay to have your trash picked up. And each trash can or dumpster costs additional money. If you never have a lot of trash to put out — and if you won’t be fined by the garbage company or the town — see if your neighbor wants to have a joint trash pickup and split the bill.
If you have neighbors that have home gardens, chances are that they have an over abundance of the vegetables they have been growing. Most gardeners would love to give away the extra food their garden produces rather than let it rot on the vines. being both thankful and complimentary to the delicious vegetables they grow can often get you a constant stream of your neighbor’s garden extras.
These are just a few of the ways that knowing your neighbors can help to save you money. What other ways have you found that knowing neighbors has been a financial benefit to you?
(Photo courtesy of tofslie)