Last December, I read about the five-dollar savings plan. It goes like this: Every time you find yourself with a five-dollar bill in your possession, you set it aside instead of spending it. At the end of the year, you use the money you’ve saved for either a big purchase or to do something you wouldn’t normally spend the money to do.
I was skeptical as to whether or not this would work for me, mainly because I hardly ever use cash. I pay with credit or debit cards for everything from groceries to gasoline. I go to the ATM for pocket money only once or twice a month. And yet. . .I was curious.
So, starting at the beginning of January, I started putting aside (almost) every five-dollar bill I acquired. And my pile started to grow.
In one year, with no help from my husband or my kids, I saved 70 five-dollar bills.
Yup, that is $350 right there. Not bad, eh?
I love that this didn’t feel like a “savings plan” at all (and, don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a financially sound way to really save money as there is no interest earned when the money is just kept in an envelope!).
To make this an even bigger deal, I could get the whole family involved and put any Lincolns saved each week into an interest-earning savings account. If we had a big goal that was worth saving for a few years, we might end up with a good chunk of it paid for without really trying.
So, yeah, I was skeptical at the start of 2011. But when we surprise our kids with a special weekend excursion this winter, I think we’ll all feel like this was a worthwhile experiment.