Dope village is a phrase from one of my personal favorite podcasts, Laughter Permitted, hosted by Julie Foudy. If you haven’t listened to it, I strongly suggest you do. They have great interviews of some amazing female athletes and other women making a difference in the world. Specifically, let’s use this phrase to talk about how building your “dope village,” or community can positively affect your finances.

When having a child everyone always says “It takes a village.” Well, I think that’s true for life in general, with or without kids. Everything is much easier and better with a proper support system. Imagine being able to actually talk to your neighbors about what’s going on in your life and them actually being willing to help (and vice versa).

Why You Need a Dope Village

Having friends/family in your corner means that not everything will be on your shoulders all the time. When you have a community built up you can minimize your costs by sharing them with others. Here are just a few ideas for what that could look like:

  • Tool Sharing– Have a weed whacker, but need a hedge trimmer? Offer to swap with a neighbor or borrow their tool in exchange for future use of yours.
  • Babysitting– Hiring a babysitter can be expensive. Make a deal with friends that allows you both to enjoy date nights out with a little more change in your pocket.
  • DIY– Have a job around your house or yard that requires more hands than you have? I bet your friend/neighbor/family member does too. Offer to swap help and save on labor.
  • Carpooling– This one is pretty self explanatory, but can save a lot of time and money, especially when kids’ activities are involved.
  • Housesitting– Similar to babysitting, but if you trust someone to watch over your house, plants, pets, etc while you’re away this can save you tons. Just be sure to repay the favor.

In a more dire situation, having more folks in your corner will increase your levels of financial security. Meaning that should something dire happen, like losing your job, you will be so much better off than if you were just on your own. You’ll have loved ones keeping their ear to the ground for you to help with other opportunities. They may have some ideas you never thought of to reduce your living expenses. They may just be able to help you on an emotional level by being a solid shoulder for you to cry on.

Even if worst came to worst, having a trustworthy couch to sleep on is better than having nowhere to sleep at all.

Be a Good Member of Your Own Dope Village

The key to having a system of trust and community is that everything would work on an even exchange. It’s not about keeping score, but when someone asks for help and you’re able to help, do it. It might be a bit of work on your part, but helping others is rewarding and can even benefit your own health.

So, in the infamous words of Mister Rogers… “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

How have you built up your Dope Village? How has it benefited you mentally and/or financially? Let me know in the comments below!