Lending Money to Friends… and Getting it Back

At one point or another, we all needed to borrow money. The easiest option usually seems to be to ask our parents, siblings or friends instead of going to a third party bank or using our credit card limits. The borrower side of the story is much easier than the lender. It takes courage to ask but when we’re stuck it can be done. We usually are sincere when asking a friend to lend us a few dollars to grab coffee or asking a friend to cover your bill at the pub because you didn’t know you needed to bring cash. And the day is over and we usually forget that we borrowed the money. The nice friend on the other hand who saved us from the jam is now in the endless waiting loop of either waiting for the lender to remember to return the money or the awkward moment of asking for her money back.

The common advice is to usually avoid lending money to friends and family, because 1) they will usually forget to pay you back and  2) it’s awkward to ask for your money back. On average, only 30% of the money we lend out to friends and family is paid back but we continue to lend money out to them because we are wired to help, specially people we love and respect.

Only 30% of the money we lend out to friends and family is paid back!

It’s a real problem and there’s an easy solution: use Lendogram to keep track of money you lend to friends and family and set up notifications so your friend is reminded to return your money! Continue being the amazing and helpful friend but make life easier for you and remove the awkwardness of asking for your money back!

Halloween Costume Share Party 🎃

Halloween night is one of my favorite times of year to walk around in my neighbourhood. Whether it’s raining or not, kids are running from house to house trick or treating in their scary, funny or cute costumes. Parents follow a little behind, chatting and catching up with friends and neighbours. A great neighbourhood social event.


To prepare for this amazing night of fun, terror and unlimited candy, kids spend days deciding what costume to wear. Some design their own, others pick one from the store, and everyone with a specific intention.  But they hardly ever wear the same costume two years in a row. What a waste of material and money to buy or make an awesome costume to wear it only for a few hours and then somehow store it or dispose of it. And many of these costumes cost somewhere in the range of $50-$100+.

Last year a few of my friends, neighbours and I started a Halloween Costume Share Party. Everyone brought a few kids or adult costumes. We gathered at my house, sorted the costumes and then started brainstorming about what to wear. Those who already had their costume ready tried to find accessories, some of us made new costumes based on how we felt.  We also ate, drank and socialized while we were picking our costumes. We used Lendogram to keep track of who borrowed what and everything was returned after Halloween! Win-Win-Win!

We’re planning the same event this year. It’s not too late to organize your own Costume Share Party with friends and neighbours and have some fun creating costumes and share with friends. Post your pictures on Instagram and tag us with #HowIShare or #myLendogram.

Happy Sharing and have a great Halloween 🎃



A Green Valentine: Love More, Waste Less


Green Love!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! What are your plans to show your love?

Before you take the credit card out to show your love with buying stuff, let us suggest something a little different. After all, whether you’ll be going with your regular lover, or someone new this valentines – a change of scenery and focus on love from just between you two will be appreciated, and you’ll definitely find out more things about your date too!

The plan – Helping out the homeless or newly arrived refugees. You’d think that giving out food and clothing would be quite far off from the idea of romance but you’d be wrong!

Why? Simply put, the generosity in you and your date shown and practiced by helping those in need by giving out clothing and food will make them associate you with kindness and generosity, and basically make the both of you view each other in a better light.

On top of that, giving out used clothes repurposed and food to feed those who need it will make your community a kinder and greener place – donations of money can surely buy new clothes, but used clothes in good condition will reduce pollution through wastage, as well as encourage a culture of recycling where you live.

Giving money to the homeless is good, and is needed for shelters as well as soup kitchens, but volunteering brings the concept of helping others in your vicinity into a much more personal space, and isn’t that what Valentine’s is about? Letting others into your personal space to get to know them better?

Spread the love this valentine’s day, and help the needy, for they need your love the most, and your help, as does the environment.

Perhaps you are fortunate to live in an area where the homeless are well taken care of, or you want to choose something else – what about a homely date at someone else’s place?

You could cook, or of you don’t know how to, you could ask a local chef or cook to make something with fair trade and locally sourced ingredients.

Of course, look for locally grown ingredients first, to support your local growers and farmers, since the reduced cost and need for transportation will leave you a lesser carbon footprint. However, it is highly suggested that you DO cook something for the day of the date itself.

Why? You could make one date, turn into two!

How you ask? Well, you need to go to the farmer’s market don’t you? Go with your date! Going to a fresh air market with just the both of you there and friendly farmers will make for good conversation topics, and be less direct and “confrontational” if you were sitting opposite of each other.

It gives you room and space to talk about yourselves, and find out more about each other, without actually having to ask about each other directly, which for some less socially inclined people, will be a much more comfortable situation.

On top of that – you can make a joint decision on what to buy, and engage each other in what to cook with the ingredients you’ve got! Now, just remember, some farmers markets don’t just sell organically grown root tubers and greens, they are also places for local beekeepers, artisans and craftsmen to showcase their locally made and environmentally friendly craft products!

Need an actual beeswax candle? Ask the beekeeper! Need soap? Ask the local soap maker! Or perhaps you need a bag to carry all the stuff you’ve bought? There’s someone spinning hemp and cotton together into large carry bags too!

Now, what will you do with all these? Surprise your date of course! Buy them a gift, or simply, buy things together and then set the table, and the house with those beeswax candles, and give them a body rub lotion of honey and lavender with soaps bought from the market!

So instead of going out of your way to spend a lot of money on flowers, only to be thrown away later, why not make your Valentine’s a more meaningful one, to include the things that matter?

Love is not about what you buy for your lover, it’s about how you make her/him feel. Love is not stored in a box of chocolate with pretty flowers. Love is imperfect, and has many facets. Love exists in this moment but will grow forever if in the right environment. Show your love by making this Valentine’s Day about learning more about your loved ones. Don’t just focus on now, remember the wider community and our earth and the future you want to build with your loved ones.

Love More, Waste Less!

Library of Things

As we head into the new future of consumerism and increased personal gain, are there any places in our communities, lives and homes that we can share? A place where one can lend, borrow, and trust in the goodwill of the neighbour and community to repay in kind with trust and goodwill too?
Well, you’ll be happy to know that places like these are more common than you think.

If you look closely, these places are not just publicly owned in name, but also in deed, meaning to say, some are community run and funded, while others are government funded, but the community usually decides on how to run the organization, what to lend and how.

You see, the key lynchpin to making a library of things, as we call them, is trust. Trust in the community you live in, as well as in the stewards of the library. let us share with you three delightful examples we have found.

ThingsThe public book libraries of Sacramento

The public book library of Sacramento, is a government funded library that actually functions as both a library for books, and a library for things.

The part of the Sacramento Public Library that loans out items is similar to how it loans out books. A member of the library needs to fill out a form to loan the ‘thing’ as they call it, and they can then be loaned out the lender for up to 3 weeks. If that period is not long enough – it can be borrowed up to 6 times, in which case, the need for the item should have passed.

This library chooses what items will be available to the public by how portable the item is, how valuable it is, as well as the number of votes from valid members as to the items that they want.

The items are then either donated, or bought using state money for this public programme to be available for loaning out, or to be used.

A small list of the items available : Board games, Video games, Sewing Machines, 3D printers, button maker, laminators, screen printers, musical instruments, GoPro cameras, a serger for professional stitching, and a bike repair station.

They have a full online catalogue of items available, some items can be used in the library only, such as the bike repair station, the 3D printer, as well as the Serger. For the reasons that they are higher in value and harder to operate and set up, these are kept at the library.

The Library of Things is located at Arcade Library at 2443 Marconi Ave. in Sacramento.

The Library of Things in Berlin

Berlin! Such a place with rich history, always breaking down barriers between people, and they’re doing it again, with the Laila Project, which is a library of things in the purest sense.

The Laila project is staffed by a volunteer who goes by Mr Nikolai Wolfert, who is a volunteer there.

If you ever wonder what the motivations were behind his store, he says “The average electric drill is used for 13 minutes in its entire lifetime – how does it make sense to buy something like that? It’s much more efficient to share it”.

That’s typical German efficiency for you! But apart from that, take a look at Leila on a deeper scale, and you’ll find that he’s actually a member of the Green party, and after they lost their local elections, he decided that he could do something for his community based off his political beliefs for the good of the community.

Thus, the Laila project was born. The Laila project is similar to other library of things – items get loaned out, and items are donated in, and to be part of the project to access items, you need to first donate something. The items range from useful, to quirky – drills to unicycles.

Mr Nikolai emphasises that it isn’t just about charity – it’s about efficiency, for more people, to use less. That’s the way to go isn’t it?

Library of Things in the UK

The Library of Things in the UK  started in West Norwood, South London in 2014, when friends Emma, James and Bex ran a pilot scheme in a library after visiting a borrowing shop in Berlin.

Similar to the project run by the Sacramento Public Library, the initial project by friends Emma, James and Bex met with success and an overwhelmingly positive response from the community, not just as a means of resource sharing and distribution, but also as a means of community bonding, interaction, and learning. Simply put – you can borrow a circular saw, but first you’ll have to learn how to use it from someone who does?

After that, they decided to pitch the idea to the general public online for funding via Kickstarter, and have raised £15,000 for this new library from 248 people.

They aim to set up a new library of things with these funds in South London, as well as making a toolkit to help others start their own library of things.

Do you know of other initiatives on Library of Things? Have you been thinking about starting one in your community? Comment below or contact us: hello{at}lendogram{dot}com.



Communities Matter

The estates and flat complexes of 1980’s Ireland, although often facing social problems and poverty in their own right, were also thriving, vibrant and convivial places to grow up. Children would roam the streets and play outdoors together, mothers would chat over back-yard walls while hanging out the washed clothes, and front doors were rarely closed or locked.

There was an intimacy and connection amidst it all that lent itself to a sense of place and community. It wasn’t idyllic of course, and many welcomed the opportunities economic growth brought – a chance to get work outside of the community, to earn higher wages, to get a university education, to move out to more upmarket neighbourhoods, to travel or move abroad.

However with that growth and social mobility, there was also an erosion of the bonds that tied people together in the places where they lived. In some suburban areas of Dublin, with people working long hours, facing long commutes and turning to more individual free-time activities it became common for people to barely know or interact with their neighbours and to feel less connected to the physical space they lived in. People were more likely to spend their free time in their high-spec newly purchased homes, than in the local park. Perceptions of safety changed, and children played less often outside with their peers. Hedges grew higher, doors were locked and supermarkets replaced the local grocer, butcher and bakers.

The shift in economic circumstances has brought with it a realignment of values in some communities

Fast forward to Ireland today, and something exciting is happening around community. Without undermining the harsh reality of increased unemployment for many families, the shift in economic circumstances has also brought with it a realignment of values in some communities across the country. People are feeling a need to look outwards, connect with those around them, and create opportunities for sharing, supporting one another and igniting initiatives that sustain local economies and make the places we live more enjoyable places to be. More people are attracted to networks and platforms that allow communities to pool and share resources, and in doing so build greater bonds of trust.

Cloughjordan Ecovillage is a registered educational charity and an internationally recognized destination for learning about sustainable living.

Residents regularly come together for pot-luck meals in people’s homes, and the village-wide email list acts as a means to communicate and share open invitations to parties, celebrations and events organised by individuals

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the rural Irish community of Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary. A small village in the midlands, with a strong sense of community in its own right, it has in recent years become the location of Ireland’s only eco village project. The project, essentially a neighbourhood off the main street of the existing village, has inspired and contributed to a thriving, vibrant and interconnected community life. The design of the development itself encouraged a sense of sharing – homes are built without separate gardens for the most part, and the recreational space is instead a commonly owned and accessible plot of the overall land. There is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm on the site, to which members contribute monthly sharing the produce and the risk. Freshly harvested vegetables are collected by members three times a week with an understanding that you take what you need, while being mindful of the needs of others. An arts collective has animated an empty property, offering accommodation, catering facilities and craft equipment for people to create, host and organise pop-up food and arts events. Residents regularly come together for pot-luck meals in people’s homes, and the village-wide email list acts as a means to communicate and share open invitations to parties, celebrations and events organised by individuals. It is this atmosphere and approach to collectively meeting the needs of individuals in the community that has made it such a great place to live, demonstrated by the fact that the community was listed as a runner-up in the Irish Times Best Places to Live as well as winning the LivCom International Award for most liveable communities.

The erosion of the fabric of community is not of course isolated to Ireland. Worldwide, particularly in urban environments, residents struggle to create a sense of connection and common belonging in the places they live. Great examples are emerging however, of how the sharing economy can enhance this sense of connection and place. Berlin, Germany demonstrates how the sharing economy can become part of the fabric of a city and its many suburbs. In the Prinzessinnengärten in the Kreuzberg area, a derelict site has been transformed into a space where members can harvest their own fresh vegetables, educational events take place, and there is a social space with a café and bar (selling non-profit beer of course!). Not too far down the road, the wonderful Weltkuche provides jobs and training for migrant women, and raises funds by selling delicious ethnic food to the public. On Fehrbelliner Strasse in the North East of the city, the first borrwing shop has kicked off a trend across the country, creating opportunities for people to borrow from a library of household items, rather than purchase the items individually.

The efficiency, enjoyment and ease with which communities and individuals are moving into this new way of transacting speaks volumes

In Australia, cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are at the forefront of new ripples in the sharing economy. The oft-referenced AirBnB and Uber examples aside, people are matching unused bikes, empty driveways, empty sheds, excess clothing and cars with those who need them. The Secondbite project, established by a Melbourne couple has had great success in sourcing waste food, to provide nutritious catered food to community groups at reduced costs. The Welcome Dinner Project, is an excellent example of trust being built in the face of fears around new arrivals from the Middle East, organising shared meals in people’s homes for new arrivals and established Australians, transforming attitudes and forging friendships in the process.

It seems the core of these initiatives is the connection between people involved. For the most part, the efficiency, enjoyment and ease with which communities and individuals are moving into this new way of transacting speaks volumes, and sees increasingly more initiatives and projects emerging that connect resources and needs in ways that transcend traditional monetary exchanges. Advocates claim it is recreating the personal human interactions and connections that our modern economic model has eroded.


The Culture of Collaborative Consumption

Ever wonder what collaborative consumption has in common with students living together in college apartments, the hospitality and tourism industry, and New York cabbies?

And when we think of collaborative consumption, what do we think of?


We usually think of AirBnB and the like. These businesses do promote collaborative consumption, but to a smaller degree.

When AirBnB first started, it had a lot in common with college students sharing an apartment. One concept of AirBnB was to share the cost of living in an apartment with other people for a fraction of the price that it took to rent out a hotel room. On top of that – it was a more authentic experience for the person renting out the house/room since it was someone else’s home. Since then AirBnB has grown to become a global marketplace and a platform for landlords as well.

Today, college students still share and collaboratively consume services such as accommodation facilities in colleges, thereby lowering costs for each individual student, as compared to if a student had to rent out a whole apartment on their own by themselves.

In major cities like Tokyo, Singapore, and New York, car-sharing services and platforms have popped up as an answer to increasingly prohibitive costs to owning a car. Why cars? Because cabs are expensive, and sometimes, cars are more convenient when you need to go to a more isolated area.

Some carpool  services gain revenue from advertising, and others, charge a membership fee. However, most just share the cost of the travel plus a fee, and increase the efficiency of the transport system as a whole by reducing the number of vehicles on the road, as well as lowering pollution at the same time.

That is another key factor that we often overlook when considering as to why collaborative consumption is great for the public good as well as the consumer – lowered pollution is a key indicator of economic progress and prosperity.

Lowered pollution, which is also in line with less wastage, means more efficiency and productivity in a workforce and economy, which also means more profits and higher standards of living for everyone.

Consider this example – if everyone had a car that could seat 5 people and drove to work everyday, but only one person drove a car, would that not clog the roads and produce lots of smog? On top of that – the stress of being stuck in a traffic jam would piss everyone off so bad, that when they got to work, nothing is actually going to get done! But hey! Everyone has a nice 5 seater SUV!

Now consider the collaborative consumption alternative – public transport and car-sharing or ride-sharing in effect. Less smog from less vehicles on the road, a really smooth journey without jams. Sure, everyone might have to walk a bit when reaching their workplaces since the driver can’t drive up to everyone’s office doorstep, but the amount of time it takes to walk will be drastically lesser than the time spent and frustration gained from waiting in a traffic jam won’t it!

This is a prime example of how collaborative consumption can lower costs for us in our daily lives, it doesn’t need to be a complex model of sharing and collaboration, and can be beneficial to all parties involved.

Now, that’s an example for services. The collaborative consumption model has ‘traditionally’ worked for services rather than goods, since it’s harder to implement, but it has worked and is possible.

A prime example is used goods exchange platforms. Simply put, it is a place, or medium like a website where people go to buy, sell, resell, and most commonly – exchange the goods that they need with each other.

This is Collaborative Consumption too! People recycling their items, upcycling, by refurbishing them and then exchanging them for more value, as well as repairing, and then exchanging them for what they need!

Of course, this is lessened in our day and age, with our culture of consumerism and cheap goods, since it makes it easier to buy something way cheaper, and new, instead of going through the whole process of finding someone to exchange your item with, or giving it to someone who needs it more.

But wait! What if you considered this model of collaborative consumption instead? How would that benefit you?

Simply put – when you practice a culture of collaborative consumption, you create less waste since buying something much cheaper that breaks much faster will make more waste (and cost you more in the long term).

On top of that – when you practice a culture of collaborative consumption, you create a network of links that allow you to access more stuff than you would originally have, compared to if you had just gone to the store to replace your item.

These networks you build will also make it easier (and cheaper) to repair, replace, and find things you not only need, but want.

Everyone makes vintage fans these days, but are they really vintage? You actually find a vintage fan, but it’s broken, and here’s where the friends and people you meet while collaboratively consuming goods come in to help – there’s bound to be a tinkerer who can help you repair and refurbish the fan to working order.

Now, with the advent of the internet, you don’t have to limit yourself to your town – you can collaborate with people beyond your horizons, while consuming goods and services responsibly.

The intrinsic vs. market value of what you own

Have you ever considered why you pay more for some goods, rather than others, and how the prices for these goods are made, and more importantly: What do they mean?

The answer here; simply put, is value.

Value is such a subjective and fluid term we use these days. Housing values, car values, and for some of us, family values and the like.

But here, we examine what we call, monetary value, and how it does not necessarily equate to the value that is intrinsic and unique to you, and your needs.

Let’s start with the most basic assumption of value – that value is a measure of how much something is worth. A price tag therefore, is then nothing but an equally agreed measure of value in monetary terms.

Or is it? Who sets these prices? Why can’t we agree on prices between the providers of these goods and services between ourselves instead of having to rely on figures that seem to just pop out of nowhere?

Well – here’s a spot of good news, the liberalization of information provided through the internet, and modern communications available through the implementation of the internet and other communication technologies has enabled us to get to an age where it is possible, for you to get what you need at the best possible value.

Do notice I said value, I didn’t say price. Why? Because monetary values fluctuate, and don’t always form a fair and beneficial exchange or transfer of value between both parties involved in the trades, or transactions.

Simply put – you might be paying far more than what something is worth when you really need it. I’m pretty sure that has happened to everyone at some point of time hasn’t it!

Why buy something that’s worth three day’s wages when you only need to use it for a day at best? Why? Because you need it, that’s truth, isn’t it.

But what if – there could be a way that you could borrow what you need for a day from someone you know and then later if they need something desperately, they could borrow it from you?

Let’s say you need to plan a nice dinner for your future in-laws, and you don’t have proper table settings. You really want to make a good first impression. But being the actual frugal and thoughtful person you are, you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying best dishes, silver and tablecloth that will only be used once.

Well, turns out your friends have everything you need and you can just borrow what you need for the night and not have to buy anything you won’t use again.

Right now, the table settings are very valuable to you because you need them more than your friends do. And another day, one of your friends will need the whisking machine that’s sitting in your drawer un-used and they will need it more than you do that day. You can share these items together.

So you see, that’s how intrinsic value of an item can quickly change, but not be reflected in the market value, since when you need the table settings, you’d probably let the whisking machine go for a few bucks. But if you did, those few bucks wouldn’t be enough to cover the cost of buying proper table settings for your family dinner.

So perhaps, we could reflect on the value that exists in our existing network of friends and family and how we can leverage and use it by sharing our stuff more. Something that’s not useful and has little value to us at this moment could be very valuable to a friend who really needs it right now. On top of that, consider if you will, how this shared network of items creates less waste for our planet.

Think creatively when you need something for an event or just a day, show you care for the planet and reach out to your friends and family to borrow what you need. There’s even a sharing app for that 😀
Happy Sharing!