Borrowing and Splitting

Before we began splitting we tried borrowing. There were the haves and the have nots - at least when it came to particular items. Nobody had everything, but together we had most things. So we tried to be good neighbors and agreed to let our neighbors borrow from a predetermined list of items at any time (when convenient).

We made a great effort, but found our system started to damage relationships and certainly damaged the borrowed items. No matter the neighbor or friend, borrowed items are just never respected as much as an owned item. Items were returned damaged or not properly maintained or not re-fueled, or with almost-empty batteries, or not fully cleaned, etc. We had numerous meetings where it was mentioned, but no solutions were satisfactory. Eventually the effort died out.

We then tried splitting. At first, a few high quality items were purchased by pooling money from those who wanted to use those items. We agreed on terms for each item and then we created a checkout system. Initially there were some bumps, but we perfected the method and got used to the procedures. There was something about owning a fraction of an item that lead to respect for it, and respect for next splitter.

We then began to pool our money in order to buy goods in huge bulk and saw a large discount. Eventually we were splitting so many things that all the splitters, terms and details got a little confusing. We asked a friend to create a simple computer program to help us organize our splits, and it works great - we could have used it from the very start. So far we've been splitting for a few years and each family has saved many thousands of dollars, and reduced waste and clutter in the process.


blake said...

I think that sounds like a tremendous idea, but what are the actual logistics behind what you've done?

-Blake @shulticefinancial

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