Friday, 6 June 2014

Five Bucks, Five Bucks, Five Bucks

If you are familiar with the commercial advertising pizzas, you’ll recognize the phrase $5, $5, $5. Buy one pizza and get the next one, or more, for five dollars each. But I’m not thinking about pizza today, I’m thinking about those crisp blue (Canadian) five dollar bills.

There is so much information available on the internet and a favourite source for me is Pinterest. I can scan the boards for any topic, whatever my mood demands. Usually, I’m looking at arts and crafts, knit and crochet, maybe some recipes. There is something to be found for every interest.

I like to be organized so I have created separate boards on which I pin the ideas I want to keep. I found this was the easiest way to store all this information so I could find something specific when I needed it.

But, back to the five bucks.

Sometimes, on any given board, you find something pinned that has nothing to do with what else is on the board. Like a board of crocheted hats with a recipe for apple pie. Not everyone has the time or takes the effort to organize their ideas like I do. Too much time you’re probably thinking.

Anyway, I was perusing a craft board and I saw this article about saving money. The idea was to save any five dollar bills you get in your change, put them away and let them accumulate…instant savings. I thought the idea had merit. Some people save money by keeping their change in a jar, but as I use my change to pay for coffee in the drive-thru, my change is always in my car.

And really, what can you buy for five dollars anymore anyway? I suppose I could use it to buy my coffee, and then I’d have change in the car for the next time, but that’s not saving money.

I told a friend about this savings plan and she gave me a jump start. She provided me with a secret container to keep my money in, and gave me my first five dollar bill. So, I thought, I guess I’m saving money.

The funny thing is, the system really works. The first time I was given a five dollar bill in my change, I put it in my pocket, not in my wallet, and when I got home I added it to the bill in my container.

I continued to do this and was shocked at how often I got a five in my change. I broke a twenty last week and got three five’s back. I hung tough and added them to my stash.

The secret is keep the five’s separate from the rest of your cash immediately, and not back in your wallet. Whenever I get a five dollar bill I consider it ‘spent’ and tuck it away.

In the last few weeks I have managed to save $85.00. That’s money I wouldn’t otherwise have saved, so for me it’s a great plan. Now I have to figure out how much cash I’ll keep in the container and what to do with the savings. Once I’ve accumulated 20 bills, I could deposit the $100.00 in my savings account. Or, I could write an item with a dollar amount on a note, put it with the money, and when I reach my goal, spend it on whatever was on the note. Like the new wireless printer I’ve wanted for the past year.

Just thought I’d pass along the idea, for me it’s been a successful venture. I’ll have to give some serious thought to what I write on that note, do I make it something I need, or something I want?

Oh my god, instant flashback, I sound just like my father. “You want that new sweater, but do you need it?” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; I guess I absorbed more of his parental lectures than I thought. I still might spend my largess on a ‘want’, just because I remember the advice doesn’t mean I’ll follow it. Sorry Dad.

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