Have you ever fallen in love with a custom piece of furniture but knew you’d never be able to afford it? Or wanted to start taking yoga classes, but realized that the cost of a monthly membership was just too much for your budget?

Believe it or not, sometimes there’s a way to get exactly what you need without spending any money and it involves one unique piece of collateral: you.  

Skill-swapping has become more and more prevalent in our culture because, as it turns out, we all have skills someone else needs. And sometimes all it takes is asking.

When new mom Elizabeth C. of Pittsburgh wanted to get back into shape after having a baby, she looked into get getting a personal trainer to work in a quiet gym setting that would allow her to bring her daughter along. The more research she did, the more she realized…personal trainers are expensive. But she spoke with a trainer who was really into tattoos and it just so happened that Elizabeth’s husband owns a tattoo shop in Pittsburgh. Her trainer was willing to trade training sessions for tattoo sessions. It’s just that easy.

The art of skill-swapping, even though it’s suddenly seeing a surge in popularity, has actually been around for centuries. Bartering can be traced back to Mesopotamia in 6000 BC. Roman Soldiers were known for exchanging their services for salt, which, at the time, was incredibly expensive.

Once you realize what skill you have to swap, the hardest part can be figuring out how to swap it. Enter skill-swapping websites like simbi.com or swapaskill.com. At each of these sites, users can offer what they love to do in exchange for what they need. Everything from haircuts and oil changes to resume writing and cooking classes are available or wanted by users anywhere from around the corner to around the world.

With the uptick in popularity and positive reviews these websites have received, many more have been developed in response. Skill-swapping is not only something that can help you get by in your day-to-day life, it’s also something which makes you more marketable. Many people who utilize skill-swapping websites can add the work they do to their resumes. Additionally, skillshare opportunities offer a great way to get connected to the community around you. By offering your services, you open your doors to networking in your local area and also meet people who may just change your life.