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August 11, 2010


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Re #1 that would qualify as reselling internet access and is violative of essentially all internet services' terms of service.

Also, $30/month sounds really expensive for what you get from your 'HOA'.

I agree, the Internet and trash service sharing are both against the terms of service and I think crosses the line of frugality. But, the rest are pretty spot on. One thing I would add to the list is 'Out of town watch' where neighbors will keep an eye on your house, pick up newspapers, water plants, check entry points for anything out of the ordinary so that a week vacation doesn't turn your house into an advertisement for 'Break In, Nobody's Here'.

I pay ~$48/mo and we get a few things that I'm aware of including discounts trash/recycling, playground upkeep, clubhouse and community pool upkeep, common grounds maintenance, and snow removal (street only).

That being said I agree w/Michael that I'm sure sharing internet access wireless would be a violation of your agreement. Additionally, I have a lot of sensitive data that I don't want to worry about someone else accessing so I'll just keep my internet protected and encrypted.

I like the idea of a Yahoo! group. I know my association has a community website but I haven't yet setup an account (only been around ~3-4 months) but will be checking it out soon.

Re #5: Seriously? No babysitter I've ever heard of will take on extra kids for free!

Usuaally if you make a babysitter look after 2X the number of kids, you have to pay him or her twice as much.

Also, sharing internet and garbage would be considered illegal in my town.

I like my neighbors mainly because they watch out for my house & the neighborhood, and some of them are available in case my tween kids home alone need some help with something (never has happened but I feel better knowing that they can call on the retired couple next door "just in case"). Other than that, I wouldn't risk the relationship by trying to borrow lawnmowers etc. If you own a home, you should be able to pay for the cost of maintaining it all by yourself.

Michael --

Ugh. I hate when I do that. It's $30 per YEAR. I updated the post.

Loose-knit, not loose-nit. Sorry to 'nitpick'! LOL

I plan on switching my trash pick-up to every two weeks to reduce costs and my neighbors will do the same, but on alternating weeks. This way if there happens to be an occasional bit of overflow (say, at Christmas), we can place the extra bag w/the neighbors'.

Our prices are going up 20% and our state is finally requiring residents to recycle (I know...Hello! It's 2010!). Recycling will reduce our trash volume by at least 50% so this plan should work.

I agree that some of these may be either illegal or violate your agreement with the provider. It's not worth the $25 in savings to risk legal action (criminal or civil). But the concept is still sound. My wife stays at home and we were talking about a job share where she and another SAHM each work a couple days a week to get out of the house, keep up with employment, socialize and earn a few extra bucks as a bonus. On the off days the non-working parent would watch both kids.

She liked the concept. I'm sure there are some businesses that would prefer 2 part-time workers to one full time (for benefits purposes for example). But it doesn't have to be the same job. Anyhow - I agree that "resource pooling" is a great concept, but I'm not sure I agree with all of the Yahoo suggestions.

I share a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery service with my neighbor. (see localharvest.org - I have no vested interest nor get any benefit from the website.) It costs us $44 a week ($22 each family) for a large box of organic fruit & veggies grown within ~100 miles of my home. We split the contents; and trade if we get something we don't like. We save based on the larger size of the box we now get (it would separately cost about $30 each); and I don't get stuck with the onions I hate.

The farms encourage sharing, so we are not violating any rules/laws.

Another cost sharing opportunity: We are currently looking into geting a security patrol service for a larger group of homes in our area; no HOA, just cost sharing. This is still in process.

My friends share DirecTV. They basically buy extra boxes and dishes. Like they enjoy ALL channels (HBO... blah blah) under $25.

Without know it violates the term of service, we (bunch of students at that time) shared internet with our neighbors, who were also bunch of students. Now I won't do that, but that $20 savings a month was great for a poor graduate student.Now I know sharing is a violation, I think trash sharing is too. But we do share our CSA with someone else from our community. And some huge Costco products (we know we can never finish the mustard).

It is a good idea about baby sitting. Infact if the relationship is good enough between the neighbors and they have kids of similar age, people could watch each others kids for a night and skip baby sitting on those date nights.

I'm not close enough with any of my neighbors...

1. Internet service - this may be against the terms of service as people mentioned above.

2. Lawn equipment - what happens if one person moves? Does the other person buy out their share of the mower? :-)

3. Trash pickup - we get a group discount for our neighborhood, but we don't have a homeowner's association. It's $52 every 3 months by Waste Management.

4. Contracting services - this seems smart if you are both in the market. Woot for savings!

5. A babysitter - I charge per kid, not per family, so this wouldn't save anybody anything if I was babysitting, but it would be good for a fun double-date or something...

The internet service suggestion runs under the probably faulty assumption that everyone using it does nothing more than check email and maybe read an occasional blog.

If people are watching youtube videos, playing WoW, and sharing files the speed is going to drop to near zero. So I'd say no thanks to that option.

Growing up, I was at my friend's house and I noticed that on garbage night, his neighbor brought over his garbage cans and put them in front of my friend's house. In our town, garbage collection was done by the town itself, so it didn't make any sense to me that the neighbor would do this.

I asked my friend about this one time and he said that his neighbor had gotten into a big fight with the town over his garbage collection. He tried to dispose of some items which were not allowed to be in the trash, they refused to take them, a fight ensued, and eventually they refused to take his garbage altogether!

I can't get where anyone says the babysitting would cost money. We're talking sharing here folks. My husband and I and another couple often exchanged date nights and kids. We would go out once a month, take our kids to our friends and then go out. Once a month we would do it for them. Worked wonderfully. Since we lived in the country it was great for the kids also - they got someone to play with.

We used this exchange even when we couldn't afford to go out to a movie and supper. We would have date night at home and enjoy a little us time together. No money exchanged hands.

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