5 ways social networking sites save money
Exchanging time for services
Swapping time for services is a booming niche. Several sites have sprung up to play matchmaker and save money on services, including FriendlyFavor and Time Banks.
With FriendlyFavor, you can begin by inviting your e-mail network to exchange services. Then, move on to social networking contacts. Simply register at the site and you'll begin to receive requests for favors such as trading vacation cabins. The service is free.
At Time Banks, you'll sign up at time-bank exchanges for your local area. Those local listings are by state and then are broken down by exchange services such as pet care, car repair or tutoring. One hour spent doing a service converts into a "time dollar" that you can spend on a service you need from another registered user.
More specialized Web-based services like BabysitterExchange, which operates like a baby-sitting co-op, can also help you schedule your errands or carpooling.
One caveat: Use the feedback system to vet people. "Do I trust someone to work on my car?" asks Mokey. "I have to wonder if people are stretching themselves too thinly."