Hogan and other proponents say that time banks can help new businesses get off the ground. She says that massage students can, for example, simultaneously earn time dollars and work toward certification. In addition, Grace Hill is working on a system where small businesses can get loans of time dollars in order to get the help they need to start up.
Still, the more you deal in hours, the less valuable U.S. dollars might seem to you, Hogan says.
"The more you get used to it, the more you realize, 'Wow. I don't actually need to pay to get my pants hemmed."
Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.