1) Lawnmowers: Why does every household need a separate set of garden supplies, such as a lawn mower, rake and hoe? Those items are used only periodically. Why not share a set with a group and create a timeshare schedule?
2) Babysitters: A friend of mine, recently shared the cost of a nanny with another family. Here's the deal: One sitter looked after babies from two different families. Each family shared the salary and provided a little extra bonus for the nanny.
3) Bikes and sports equipment: Why not buy the best equipment and share items such as bikes, hockey sticks and tennis rackets? Create a sports-lending library, with safeguards and a sign out.
4) Toys: I know a group of mothers -- upper-middle class -- who once created a toy rotation system for their young children. The toy timeshare prevented boredom and the kids always had a fresh supply of toys, with minimal costs for the parents.
5) Boats: A former co-worker of mine participates in a timeshare for a recreational boat. Each month, a different family has a weekend or week for enjoying the boat. Operating costs are evenly shared.
6) Expensive school supplies: One year, the school supply list for my kids included an expensive scientific calculator and a costly compass. Those items were not regularly used and in hindsight, I wondered if the class parents could have just purchased a few of those items and then shared the gadgets. The kids would have received another lesson in sharing and cooperation.
This article by MARTHA IRVINE about communal living and shared expenses is excellent:
Communal simple living provides economic shelter
"Keri Rainsberger isn't rich. She works in the nonprofit world for a
relatively low-profit salary. Yet, as many Americans are scrimping for every
penny, she hardly feels the pinch...."
What items or services do you think we could all share?
Here's how to buy my new book: