Can we join as a couple or as a family?

Yes you can.  The choice is yours.  You can join as a couple or family.  It might be that later on you decide to have separate member accounts.  For example, sometimes families join up on one member account, but then the children decide that they want their own account.  Time credits are transferable throughout the system, so it is also a simple process to transfer some of the hours through as well, if you wish.  



What can I offer?

What you can offer is limited only to your imagination.

Sometimes people find it difficult to work out what skills to offer as a Timebank member. You can offer any skill except what you do for your taxable income. We often don't realise how valuable our other skills are. That means things that we are good at, things we enjoy, hobbies or talents. Be creative!

Sometimes people feel they have no spare time. But if we do the things we like, for instance sewing or cooking, and get another member to do the things we don't enjoy so much, for example gardening, we find the time we do have is spent more enjoyably and we are also helping others in our community.

Some of the skills being traded by Timebank members:

Cooking, sewing, gardening, child minding, dog walking, odd jobs, card making, knitting, painting, working bees, wood stacking, computer help, pruning, music lessons, marketing advice, basic accounting help, listening, spread sheeting, puppetry, preserving, nurse aiding, rides for shopping and appointments, home help, photography, meditation, felting, needlework lessons, graphic design, cleaning, help during illness, window washing, craft work, building, use of trailer, parenting help and resources, computer tutoring, motherhood support, Japanese, proof reading, bicycle maintenance, yoga, soap making, ESOL tutoring, companionship, art lessons and much more!



What is the Community Treasure Chest?

The Community Treasure Chest is a community Timebank account. Here you can donate as many or as little of your Timebank dollars to the chest. You can do this as often or as little as you like. What happens to the time dollars that you donate? At the discretion of your Timebank Coordinator they will be given to any member(s) or community group that may be in need of them, for whatever reason.

If you want to donate hours to the Community Treasure Chest contact the coordinator to find out how to give this wonderful gift of time.



What if the trade was only 15 minutes?

Time can be put through in increments.  Generally it makes sense to round them up, we encourage to the hour.  You can agree the exact amount of time to put through with the person you are trading with.



How do time credits work?

One hour = one hour.  You spend one hour of your time doing something you enjoy doing for someone else, and you gain one time credit.  You can then spend this on having something done for you.  Time credits do not expire.  They are completely transferable to any other member or organisation on the Selwyn Timebank.



Who logs the hours?

Either the receiver or giver of a trade can input the hours.  Either way, the transaction will be displayed in each Timebank account.  If it has been input incorrectly, either of you can edit this.



How do I go about my first trade?

Some members are more than happy to just get stuck in and work it all out themselves.  However our coordinator is here to guide you thrugh the process i.e. help you search to find the service you require, attend the first trade with you and show you how to put through your hours.



Why put up a photo?

It's really important to put up a photo of yourself.  The reasoning is two-fold:

  1. Being able to 'see' someone encourages more of a community feel to the website.
  2. Identification - when you are trading with a member for the first time, you can be assured they are who they say they are.



How safe is the Timebank?

New members are asked to provide two character referees who will be emailed by the Timebank coordinator to ensure member's safety.  Police checks can also be carried out if required.   



What if I trade with more than one person at a time?

spent one hour teaching six people how to knit. Do I get six hours time credits?

No you don't. You have only given one hour of your time, therefore you can only claim one hour. The remaining five hours go into the Community Treasure Chest.



Five core values?

Timebanks operate to facilitate exchanges that honour five core values:-

  • We are all assets - every human being has something to contribute;
  • Redefining work - rewarding the real work in our society by creating a currency which pays people for helping each other and creating better places to live;
  • Reciprocity - giving and receiving are basic human needs which help to build relationships and trust with others;
  • Social Networks - building people's social capital is very improtant, belonging to a social network gives our lives more meaning;
  • Respect - encouraging people to respect others in their community.



Can goods / tools be traded?

Wouldn't it be great to have a Community Tool Box? You can with Timebanking.

For any trades associated with loaning goods and tools you can claim one hour, regardless of the time the tool is loaned out for. Why is this? Because you are not actually giving of your time, you are loaning a tool. The only time you are giving is the time taken to actually organise the loan of these tools. Sometimes this can be 5-10 mins, sometimes 30 mins. Therefore, it is the Selwyn Timebanks policy to round goods and tool trades up to one hour.

If there are any expenses involved in the loaning of goods / tools these should be agreed between the members before the trade takes place.



Can memers be compensated for expenses?

Can Selwyn Timebank members be compensated for travel expenses and any materials they have had to purchase as a direct result of the trade?

The answer is Yes, Timebanking is all about sharing time and this is what you are banking i.e. TIME. Sometimes there may be a monetary cost involved.

Transportation - you are providing transport, perhaps to the airport, a medical appointment or grocery shopping. There will be a fuel expense.

Baking / Cooking - you are baking / cooking for a member. There will be an ingredients expense.

Massage - you are giving someone a massage. There may be expenses involved in oils etc.

For trades where there are expenses involved we encourage you to discuss and agree these with the member you are trading with, PRIOR to the trade happening.



What if I don't have any time credits?

Timebanking is not about balancing the books.  It is about trading skills in the community and reciprocity.  You can still trade if you do not have any time credits.  In fact, for the system to work properly, most traders will move in and out of debit at some point.



How did Timebanking start?

Edgar S Cahn developed the Timebanking concept in the USA. Since then, it has spread to many countries around the world. Timebank's acknowledge we all have something to contribute to our communities and that what we offer is valued. Project Lyttelton set up New Zealand's first Timebank and now there are Timebank's all over New Zealand. The Selwyn Timebank is a Lincoln Envirotown Trust initiative launched in February 2014.



Where can I find more information?

For more information about Time Banking we recommend Edgar S. Cahn's book - No More Throw Away People:

"If we accept a market definition of work, there are a few minor omissions worth nothing. Work does not include: raising children, taking care of one's elder parents, keeping one's family functioning, being a good neighbor, or being a good citizen. So work includes everything - except family, community and democracy. Some of us think those things are rather important. If they can't be addressed as work within the market, it is clear we need a larger framework than that supplied by market." (page 41).



What about liability? What if a member is injured during a trade?

As part of the on-line registration process members must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Timebanking.  One of these conditions is that the Selwyn Timebank "shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by information contained on this web site or any other Time Bank resources".


1 hour = 1 time credit, whatever the activity and for items given away or borrowed.  If the trade is less than an hour we encourage people to round up.  If you are travelling a long way for the trade you may want to include your travel time as well as the time you actually spend doing the actvitiy. We recommend that you agree to the hours prior to the start of the trade. 
For example, I asked a friend to decorate a birthday cake for me.  The cake was beautiful and I was very happy with it, however, when she put through the trade it was for 5 time credits = 5 hours, when I had only imagined that the decorating would take 2 hours.