5 dollars really adds up!

By glblguy


I read about a woman who saved her $5 bills for 3 years and saved $12,000! I thought it would be cool to conduct my own experiment & see what I could do for the month of December. Up until this decision, I didn’t use a lot of cash, mostly my debit card, but I had wanted to transition over to cash (for more accountability) anyway, so this was the perfect time. I took out my ‘play’ money at the beginning of December and went on with life.

This ‘play’ money is budgeted every month. I use it for special treats I may want for the office, eating out and other little things I may want or need during the month. More often than not, I would not ‘want’ it so much when it actually came down to buying it. My play money amount is $200 per month.

I can’t tell you how many times I would break a $20 and wait in anticipation to see what I received back. It became the funniest game to me. More often than not, I would get 2 and sometimes 3, $5’s back. I would just laugh and into the envelope they would go. One time, I was going to pick something up at the store & my mom asked me to pick something up for her and handed me 2 fives, LOL. Into the envelope they went! I admit there was a time when I came close to using a $5, but I held fast and did not use it. I decided I did not need the item that bad and stuck to my guns.

At the end of December I counted up my fives and found that I managed to save $65! So I thought I would just keep going. I did not count them at the end of January and I have continued on through today. As of today, I have… $230!!!

An added bonus to saving the $5 bills is I have found that I am totally stingy when it comes to my cash! I have even managed to have extra play money left over each month. I just turn it into the next month’s cash ‘kitty’ so I am always a little ahead in case something drastic comes up.

I am not sure how long I will continue to do this but, it certainly has not been as hard as I though it would be. A few things I could do with the money are:

  1. My nephew has a birthday coming up and he has been saving for a Nintendo Wii so I could contribute some to that.
  2. I have a friend that is having her first baby and could give some to the new baby for his first savings account.
  3. I also know someone that has been out of work and could really use help with bills about now.

I know, I could put it in savings (I have a daily interest savings), but if I can help someone out and/or make them happy, then why not? What would you do?

Thank you so much to GLBL for letting me guest post on his blog. If you haven’t subscribed, you need to. Gather Little by Little is awesome. – Bobbi

From Glblguy: This was a guest post from Bobbi who’s been a reader of Gather Little by Little almost since the beginning. She and I have exchanged emails off and on and I finally asked her if she would be interested in writing a guest article for me. Bobbi, you are most welcome and thank you for being such a loyal reader!

9 Responses (including trackbacks) to “5 dollars really adds up!”

  1. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    A guy I work with related a similar story to me, but with collecting change. He used to throw change in a big bottle after a little more than a year, he had a cashflow problem one month and busted open the change kitty and counted out $1,755 which saved his rear . . . the lesson learned is that little things truly do add up.

  2. razz2u Says:

    I started this in November of last year and it really has turned into a game. I counted up my 5’s the other day and have $450. Additionally, I throw all my change into a jar. One thing I am planning is to keep this growing to a set amount and then have this money on hand if ever we need to quickly evacuate or have an emergency; the last thing I want is to have to stop at an ATM.

  3. Pamela @ Frugal Vet Tech Says:

    I think I’d pick option 3 for sharing the money, or perhaps split the money up between all three options.

    The little stuff does add up. I take most of my change and put it in an old Sobe drink bottle. Every so often I take it to the bank and usually have at least $20 in there.

  4. Penelope @ Pecuniarities Says:

    This sounds like such a fun game. If not for my strict habit of using my credit card to earn rewards on the card and interest on my cash, I’d want to play, too. It would be interesting to find out how much I could save up.