In Practice

Typically, exchanges within ATEN can include nearly any skill or trade: computer or office assistance, minor home repair, painting, cooking, running errands, yoga classes, massage, tutoring, yard services, moving help, haircutting, housecleaning, language translating, etc. any service that one would generally pay for in the day to day.

When an Austin Time Exchange member offers a trade or skill to another member, the individual providing the service earns Exchange Shares, the unit of credit exchanged within the Austin Time Exchange. Each time a member performs one hour of work, regardless of the type of skill offered, one Exchange Share is earned by that person. A member will be given one Exchange Share for every hour of service performed for another in the network, whether they are providing acupuncture, gardening, house painting, tutoring, piano teaching, or any other service. Each member’s hour of service is seen as being of equal value.

There is no physical trading of Exchange Shares. Rather, an online account keeps track of the Exchange Shares earned and spent between members. Exchange Shares can be saved indefinitely or spent on any service that another member of the ATEN community has to offer.

Most exchanges will be coordinated through the web-based Time&Talents software specifically developed for Time Banking programs by hOurworld Co-op. Through using this online program, members can develop a profile, list their Offered services, review the requests and offers of other members, and record exchanges. The program allows members to observe activity on their account in a similar manner that one could view on a bank’s online checking account register.