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Feb 21

Swap to Save Money

Reading Time: 3 mins

If you’re trying to think of ways of saving money, why not have a think about skill swapping?

Your most valuable asset is you – your knowledge, your skills, your time. Perhaps even your aptitude for making meringues? Someone, somewhere will want your skills. By using the idea of skill swapping, you could get something you want in return.

Based on the premise that you trade in skills rather than cash, it’s a great way of saving money for unavoidable expenditures. It can be a fun way to meet new people, too.

Skill swapping online

Swap skills online to save money

While you can of course swap skills with your family and friends, lots of organisations cater to whole communities of skill-swappers. This is great if you want to widen your horizons.

The degree of skill or amount of time that you want to contribute is totally up to you. Of course, what you offer will need to match with what you want to exchange it for. You can’t do an hour’s ironing and hope it will get you an hour’s helicopter flying lesson.

Here are some places to look if skill swapping online.


Local Exchange Trading Schemes were set up to create a community for skill swapping. They represent grassroots initiatives around the country where people advertise ‘Offers’ and ‘Wants’. For each offer you fulfil, you gain LETS credits to spend on your ‘Wants’. This ensures everyone’s time and effort is rewarded.

The website gives a list of schemes in your area. If there isn’t one nearby, you can always set one up yourself.


This is the national umbrella charity linking and supporting time banks across the country. Participants ‘deposit’ their time by giving practical help and support to others. They are then able to ‘withdraw’ their time when they need something done themselves.

The site has a ‘find my nearest‘ search. If there’s nothing near you, have a look at the guide for setting up your own time bank.


For those who have a specific or unusual skill to offer, Skillbound is the platform of choice. After registering, it’s a case of posting the skills you have and those you want to learn. You’ll be alerted if a member is interested, and you can browse to see who could teach you. If you’re an accomplished pianist but long to learn how to tap dance, for instance, then this could be the site for you. You can also pay to learn if you don’t have a skill to offer.

done with skill swapping? Swap your stuff instead

It’s not just skills that are swappable – your unwanted stuff is too.

There are hundreds of sites around devoted to swapping clothes, DVDs, books… pretty much anything. One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure, after all.

While an auction site can get you cash, your stuff might not make people part with more than 50p. They will probably be more willing to part with their unwanted items, though, giving you something much more tangible in return.

MoneyMagpie has had a look around and come up with a list of some sites for you.


This main site runs a host of Freecycle groups around the country, matching people wanting to get rid of stuff with those who might be able to use it. After finding a group near you, you can browse and post any ‘wanted’ or ‘offered’ items.


For swapping clothes. The site gives all the advice you need to set up your own clothes-swapping (or “swishing”) event, in five handy stages.


If your books are gathering dust on the shelf, this site can help you swap them. Register, make a list of your unwanted books, and add the books you want to your ‘wishlist’. When another member has a book on your wishlist up for grabs, ReadItSwapIt will send you a notification.

Alternatively, if you don’t fancy swapping online, you could always organise your own swap shop with your friends and family.

Swap your house

No swipe-able card keys that never work, no towels folded into swans, no chocolates on the pillow… okay, well the latter isn’t a good thing, but you can always put those on yourself. Swapping homes instead of paying for a pricey hotel or apartment can make you a massive saving on your holiday. It can give you a much better sense of what it might be like to be a local, too.

There are a number of sites that help organise this service, including Home Exchange, Home for Exchange and Intervac.

With Intervac, you pay a one-off membership fee to become part of a community of home-swappers. This ensures that all members are serious about the concept and will look after your home the way they expect you to look after theirs.

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6 years ago

Would like to add caretoshare.co.uk to the list above the latest skill and task swapping social network!

Adele Guillen
Adele Guillen
7 years ago

meant to add the name of the website to the previous comment:- myswango.com

Adele Guillen
Adele Guillen
7 years ago

this is another to add to the list. It is free and also offers their own currency so that anyone on there can earn credits if they can’t find a direct swap! It’s unique and moneymagpie have already printed an article about them (last month!!!). It’s a great and easy site to use and is for anyone with something to offer…goods, services, talent, hobby, unwanted presents and used items etc! Get on it for the best swapping experience of your life!

7 years ago


Thanks for the article.

I wondered if you could add mumplusbusiness to the list above?

Mum Plus Business is a website aimed at mothers helping them develop flexible careers. You can use the our free collaborate program to Work on a project together, swap skills and find support and inspiration. This service allows members to complete work without spending money. You can also use this service to build up your work experience or find a compatible business partner to set something up.

Vennie Encheva
Vennie Encheva
10 years ago

skillbound is a great platform to meet people and swap skills. I find it very useful to lookup people in my area and reach out to learn desired skills. I enjoy the interaction.

11 years ago

Totally agreed. Skillbound.com is really good. I’m learning Calligraphy, and have met a great girl on top of it.

Mike Sulivan
Mike Sulivan
11 years ago

Just checked out Skillbound.com – idea is super cool I must say. I want someone to teach me how to DJ…I’m willing to teach them French. I’m really impressed with the site.

12 years ago

The best I’ve site I’ve seen for this is Skillsbox.com
They operate a credit system similar to LETS, where you use your skills to carry out jobs posted on the site, and then earn credits which you can use to pay others to use their skill and work for you.

12 years ago

Skillbound. is a very useful site for this. The idea is to meet people and exchange skill training in skills of their choice and aptitude.

Katrina Gillard
Katrina Gillard
12 years ago

I wondered if you might be able to add another link to the list above? I launched a website last year (when I was out of work) to encourage skill swapping in my area (London SE19). By request, I have now expanded to cover 24 groups in London and the rest of the UK. It is similar to the LETS scheme but the “local currency” is time, and you can sign up to your local area on line.
Happy to provide more information if required,
Thank you,

Gloria ojulari Sule
Gloria ojulari Sule
11 years ago

HiKatrina I am new to SE19 but I see you are in my local area and have started a skills swapping group. I can off an artwork original or print, also Arts & Crafts, Including mixed media, knitting, croquet sewing, gardening. Domestic painting and cleaning. Arts educational workshops have enhanced CRB.
I have a flat tyre and thought this might be the best way to find someone to help me fix it. Many thanks

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