A recent survey from the neighbourhood network app Nextdoor has found that over a third of Brits have saved money thanks to their neighbours and local community.
More and more often these days we are told that being kind is really good for us. Not only does it make us feel like we are contributing to society, thinking and caring about others also makes a difference to our own well-being. But did you know that the more we share and care the more we can save too?
A nation of good neighbours
The survey from Nextdoor has shown that it’s clear that Britain is a nation of good neighbours. It also revealed that over a third of Brits believe they have saved money thanks to the kindness of their communities, with over half of those (60%) saving themselves as much as £200 a year.
Our very own CEO and finance expert Jasmine Birtles, who is working with Nextdoor to explore the value within communities, agrees, “Not only does it make you feel happier and safer to have regular contact with neighbours, but it can also save £100s a year. The more we can share with each other the richer all of our lives can be.”
So what kind of help are we talking about? Things like lending a hand with groceries, repairing a household issue and pet sitting or walking are the top ways in which neighbours have helped each other out in the last year, according to the survey from Nextdoor.
But it’s not just odd jobs and lending a hand, 69% of Brits have no problem giving away unwanted items to their neighbours, and over a third say they have borrowed something from a neighbour in the past year – a saving of up to £50 for a quarter of people.
Saving on your doorstep
Jasmine believes that the key to saving money is right on your doorstep, “From borrowing a ladder or a drill to handing over a bag of food from the fridge before going on holiday to watching each other’s kids for an hour or so, sharing goods and services with neighbours is a fantastic way of saving money.
I am fascinated by the amount of freebies people pick up within their communities and the way neighbours can help each other with everyday services to bring the cost down. Community groups are a wonderful way to find great value and fantastic service, whether that’s a decorator or a dog-sitter.”
As well as connecting people, Nextdoor also allows users to hunt for much needed items through the ‘For Sale and Free’ section, which offers a place for neighbours to give away anything from furniture to toys , books and more; over one in four items listed on Nextdoor are free.
Nextdoor is an app that connects neighbours and communities. It’s free to download and is a place where you can share information about your local area; find and give help; get things done; and stay in touch with those who live around you.
Today, neighbours rely on Nextdoor in more than 300,000 neighbourhoods across 11 countries. In the UK, 1 in 4 households uses the network.
Their purpose is to cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighbourhood they can rely on. Laura Roche, Managing Director of Northern Europe, Nextdoor says: “Kindness between neighbours is vital for creating a strong community, and we can see that helping others can lead to tangible money savings, which is so important to many households right now. Nextdoor users can utilise the app to pick up everyday and household items and save money.”
Jasmine believes that the key to saving money is right there on your street, “Arranging a power-tool sharing group or car-pooling with local parents can help make small savings that over time lead to a bigger impact on your household budget. Also, you never know what skills someone has three doors down! You could have a plumber, a computer expert or a mechanic living just down the road who would give you a better price than you’d get from a high street operation.”
Jasmine’s top 3 tips for saving MONEY with neighbours
- Get as much as you can for free – There is a surprising amount out there for free if you look. People across the country are giving things away every day. Nextdoor has locals offering fantastic stuff for free all the time from toys to tumble dryers and from shoes to sofas. Then there’s your local library full of free books, magazines, music and more. Your local council often runs free family events at certain points of the year so check their website before school holidays.
- Share, share, share – The more we share with friends, family and neighbours, the more we all have. Share food with neighbours if your garden is producing more than you can eat. Empty the fridge of perishables before going away and offer them to your neighbour. Share your car with neighbours or family for a small, daily fee so that they get to use a car for cheap and you get a bit of money to help run it. Offer to swap skills with people in your neighbourhood by posting about what you can do on Nextdoor.co.uk.
- Recycle, mend and re-use – It saves money, and saves the planet, when we recycle and mend things instead of throwing them away. If you have t-shirts, jeans and other cotton clothes in the wardrobe that you’re not wearing, stick them in the washing machine with a packet of dye and suddenly you have new, colourful clothes. Darn socks instead of throwing them away (there are great videos on how to do this on YouTube). Keep jam jars and either use them for making your own jam or decorate them to make cute vases or pencil pots. Pick up furniture paint and some cool handles and turn your old, battered chest of drawers into something fabulous. Look online for loads more inspiration for up-cycling furniture.
More ways to care and share
We’d love to hear about your experience with your neighbours and ways that you’ve saved money by sharing – let us know in the comments below!