Madison (WKOW) -- In today's economy, with many people struggling to pay for food and keep from foreclosing on their homes, anything extra is a luxury.
A Dane County organization helps make those little luxuries affordable through time.
Amanda McKaig doesn't make any money watching little Noah, but she does get paid for her time at a Madison daycare center.
"I can get things like transportation and someone will let me borrow her car for a day," explains Amanda.
She gets paid in time dollars.
An hour of her time watching Noah equals an hour she gets to spend on any number of services offered through the Dane County Timebank.
Director Stephanie Rearick says the Timebank is a way people can use their own skills to get something they may not otherwise be able to afford.
"Everyone's time is valued equally. No matter who they are and no matter what they're doing," says Rearick.
Here's how it works: You sign up for a Timebank account.
Once approved, you list what services you can offer.
Amanda says she's helped someone who gets extreme migraines by cleaning her house, walking her dog and painted her whole living room."
Amanda has earned more than a hundred time dollars this year helping others.
She says while spending time dollars is fun, earning is the most rewarding.
"For someone who doesn't get out much, I can be the one person they see during the week and it uplifts their spirits and makes them want to actually do something," says Amanda.
There are 850 members of the Dane County Timebank and more than a hundred timebanks across the country.
Organizers expect timebank membership to increase as the economy continues to struggle.
To learn more about Dane County's Timebank, come to it's birthday party.
The Timebank celebrates it's three year anniversary next Satruday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at First Congretional Church in Madison.
Send questions and comments to Vanessa Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org