Jaime Thompson’s list of all the things she doesn’t pay for anymore keeps growing.
“I’m able to get clothes for my kids,” says Jaime.
Included in that list is tutoring and babysitting for her kids, petsitting for her dog, yard work, house cleaning, and concert tickets.
What about dental work? “Yes,” she replied instantly, smiling.
How does she do it? “I trade,” she says.
In fact, Jaime Thompson’s favorite thing to say is “Let’s trade!”
What is she trading? Her services.
“I give haircuts,” says Jaime.
The Bothell hairstylist says by trading with about dozen people, she’s cut a couple of hundred dollars a month in expenses. She also earns a living as a hairstylist. But it’s been tough balancing the budget as a single mom. The bartering has helped.
She says there’s a sub-culture out there of people who are doing exactly what she’s doing. Why do they do it?
“To survive,” says Jaime.
Hands down her best trade of all was with her brother. He and his construction team built a new addition to Jaime’s house, a nursery for her toddler Aiden. In return, “I’m giving his whole family haircuts,” says Jaime.
For how long? “For life,” says Melaine Thompson, Jaime’s sister-in law. “Can’t beat that!”