How Many $5s Can I Save in a Day?

One of the questions I am asked most often is: how many fives do I save a day? Bottom line: It depends. And I don’t know.

Some days I don’t get back any $5s, although rare. Most days I get at least one, often two, and sometimes three, or more.

During the holidays, for example, when I am gift shopping mostly with cash, I save a lot of $5s. (I also save a ton of time by standing in the ‘Cash Only’ line at the stores!)

When I am on vacation, and spending more cash than usual, I tuck away enough $5s to start our next vacation fund.

But on an average day, when I’m commuting and working, I save between one and three $5s a day, including contributions from my husband, who’s been generous in more ways than this through the years.

And then there are the times—it happened last week—when I make a cash purchase of $21.99, pay with a $50 dollar bill and watch, with childish delight, as the cashier counts five $5s, three $1s and one penny. Wowza!

Another question I’m often asked is whether or not I’m absolutely sure about the sum of money I’ve saved using this plan. The answer is no, not totally. Not willing to bet my $5s account on it either.

Here’s the thing. When I first decided to save my fives, I had no idea where it would lead. All I knew at the time was that it was costing me and my husband more than $7000 a month to keep two kids in college and we were big time stressed around money. And for someone like me, who’s always been a saver, saving $5s was all I could manage. But exactly what day, what year did I begin, exactly when I started keeping records of dates, and amounts saved, I’m not sure.

Bottom line: Best as I can estimate, I’ve saved approximately $36,000 in $5 bills in around 12 years, or around $3000 a year. I’ll take that to the bank, thank you.

A final question I’m asked is what will I do with the money I’ve accumulated. I don’t know. For now at least, I don’t need the money and am having too much fun watching the nest egg grow. I also believe all those $5s (deposited either in a bank or a mutual fund), act like a magnet for more abundance, including health, happiness, and wealth.

Others who embrace the $5 saving method save for a goal, be it a vacation, a new car, or an emergency fund. That’s fine, too. The best part about saving five dollar bills is that it can work for anyone, at any age and income level, as a way to build a nest egg.

In my next post, I’m going to talk about the power, the magic even, of the number 5. In the meantime, please leave a comment. How many $5s do you typically save a day? As always, I would LOVE it if you would follow my blog.

Yours in Fives,



5 Easy Ways To Get A $5 Back as Change

Once you start saving your $5s, you’ll be surprised how often you get one back as change in a cash transaction. These tips are for those days when you really want to jumpstart your savings and be sure you are getting lots of $5s to stash away so you can save money fast.

* If something costs less than $5 (say a Vente Latte from Starbucks or a newspaper, a bottle of water, or a pack of gum), pay for it with a $10 or a $20 to be sure you’ll get a $5 in return. A corollary of this is to make the ATM your friend, since it usually dispenses $20s.

* When receiving change and you see a $10 coming out of the cash register, ask the cashier for two $5s instead.

* Add a $1 bill to a $10 to pay for any transaction over $5. Bingo, another $5!

* Cash in $5 worth of coins.

* Trade in five $1s for a $5.

Easy does it. Easy come, easy go. This really is a very easy way to save money once you commit to using cash in your daily transactions. Have a great week, and leave a comment with your thoughts on saving $5s.

Yours in Fives,


What’s $5 Worth?

If you’re still on the fence about this whole save your $5s thing, consider this.If you want to Save Money Fast, this simple method will work.


What can you really get with a five dollar bill? A gallon and a half of gas? Five items at the dollar store? A half gallon of milk and a small loaf of bread at the convenience store? A croissant and a large coffee at Dunkin Donuts? Two boxes of imported pasta, say DeCecco?

Now look at it a different way. Five dollars saved each and every day of the year would add up to 365 (days a year) times $5 a day, a staggering $1,825. Save two $5s a day and you’re looking at $3,650.

Save five bucks a day until you turn 75 years old, assuming you’re 25 years old today, and that five dollar account, without adding in any compounded interest if you kept the money in a piggy bank, would be worth $91,250. Just in five dollar bills. If you’re married and your spouse practiced the same habit for the same number of years, you would be, at a minimum, $182,500 richer than you would be otherwise.

Even if your twenties are a distant memory and you’re now 50 years old, if you saved five dollars a day for the next 25 years you will have socked away $45,625, without counting interest, or $81, 250 if you and a partner both practice the save your fives method of accumulating wealth.


And, no excuses if you’re in your 70s. If a 70-year-old started saving one $5 bill a day for the next 10 years, he would have $18, 250, a handsome amount to throw herself an octogenarian birthday party. Just saying.

Still on the fence? Yes or no? Have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by, and please, leave a comment on my blog!

Yours in Fives,

Save Money Fast: It’s Your Turn

Will you join me for a 4-week savings challenge?

I’ve explained the basics of the Save Money Fast With Fives method in my first four posts. Now you’re ready to begin your own $5 savings plan and this is the perfect time to share your questions, concerns, wins, losses— as well as your ideas for saving money—with others who are also trying to save money by never again spending a $5 bill. Are you in? I am! Let’s get the conversation going.

Want to join the Save Your $5s Club?

Starting today, I would love it if readers would comment on my posts, and share how the plan is working for you. I’ll share my saving $5s stories and react to your comments, too, along with the answer to any questions you may have. To comment, scroll to the top of this entry and link to “Leave a Comment” next to today’s date.

I happen to know that one of my readers (OK, it’s my sister) started saving her $5s after reading my first post a week ago; she’s already put away $85. She emailed me to tell me she hit the bonanza last week when she got three $5s back after one purchase. A colleague from the college where I teach (who, by the way, is MUCH younger than me and for sure a member of the ‘I don’t carry cash’ generation), has emailed me twice to say how much she likes this simple idea. A friend from Florida who read about the blog on my Facebook feed emailed to say: “This is a great strategy and I’m going to talk my husband into doing this.” And another woman I know started saving her $5s for a planned trip to India in December, 2017. “This fives plan is just the thing to get me there!” she said. Wowza! A trip of a lifetime on $5 bills.

So, think about posting your answers to these questions. What’s working for you? What’s not working? If you’re mostly a debit/credit user, have you switched over to the dark (cash) side yet? How much have you saved so far? Are you having fun or is this money saving scheme making you crazy? Are you bloglovin’ or bloghatin’ my idea?

We’ll call ourselves the Save Your $5s Club. At the end of four weeks (mid-August), I’ll compile everyone’s thoughts and post about how my readers are doing with the Save Money Fast With Fives plan. Please leave a comment on the blog and let me hear from you!

In the meantime, I’ll continue posting two or three times a week with more fun details about the Save Money Fast With Fives plan. I hope you will follow the blog so you’ll see the new content first!

Yours in Fives,

Commit to Saving

The number one reason most people don’t save money is that they don’t have a savings plan. Not me. From the moment I wake in the morning, I’m thinking of new and creative ways to get a five back in change. How about you? Do you have a focused, saving goal?

The best way to answer that question is to ask yourself a few more questions. Do you save enough money, or any at all? Could you be saving more? If you do save, what are you saving for? If you’re not saving, where is all your money going? Understanding our savings habits, motivation, and obstacles begins with an honest assessment of our saving history and mindset.

Building a nest egg requires planning, patience, and practice. And discipline. For many of us, that’s the missing ingredient. Without discipline, it’s like anything else we start and then falter, giving up after too short a time. The diet that only lasts two weeks, the resolution to quit smoking that evaporates in an even shorter time. The promise to be nice to your in-laws the next time they’re in town.

The best part about saving fives, however, is that once you get the knack of it, the rewards are instant and cumulative. And a wad of extra cash becomes a lot easier to stick to than Fiber One and a work-out regimen. And it never gets boring.

So, all it takes is getting started with the proper attitude. My friend Julie, who also saves $5s, visualizes herself rolling around on her bed in a huge pile of $5 bills. Another friend tapes a picture of her dream vacation destination on the bathroom mirror to spur her to save. Whatever it takes is my motto.

What do you do to stay committed to saving? Please, leave a comment on this blog and maybe we can get a conversation going. Also, please consider following the blog so you’ll be the first to see new posts! Thank you!

Yours in Five,


$5 Easy Rules: Save Money Fast With Fives

Once you commit to saving your $5s, you’ll never look at a five-dollar bill the same again. Once you see them accumulate, you won’t be tempted to spend them. It becomes an addictive habit, a fun game to see how fast you can grow your stash.
Like all games, Save Money Fast With Fives will tempt you to cheat. Keeping these $5 Rules in mind will keep you honest.

RULE #1: Spend Your Cash

I might as well lead with the toughest rule to follow, especially for readers who don’t carry cash and pay for everything with plastic. If you want to practice my plan, you have to do at least some of your purchasing the old fashioned way, with cash. In fact, I encourage you to use cash to pay for as many everyday purchases as possible, including groceries, gasoline, lunch or your morning Starbucks, a cab ride, (unless it’s Uber which only takes plastic), dry cleaning, after school snacks or after work cocktails. Not only will this help you see where your money goes, but it will also assure you of getting $5s back as change.

I know, you’re a college student and you don’t use cash. I know, you’re a Millennial, and you don’t carry cash. I know, you’re a Baby Boomer who used to use cash but pays for most things online today. Bottom line: if you are at all serious about putting my five dollar plan to the test, you must use some cash in your day to day life. Remember: you won’t get a five back if you pay with a debit or credit card. In this game, cash is king, or queen, if you prefer.

RULE #2: Touch Your Stash

Money has magnetic energy. The key is to move it in a positive direction so more money, and abundance, will flow through you. Set aside time to hold your stash of fives in your hands. Look at it. Handle it. Feel its texture. Count it and realize how fast it grows. The more often you touch your money (don’t forget to sanitize your hands afterwards ), the richer you’ll feel. Watch your cash become a magnet for more money, as well as greater health and happiness.

RULE #3: Accept It All

Intuitively, many people know they are the source of their own abundance, but psychologically, most don’t accept their right to wealth. Improve your chances of saving a large sum of money by feeling worthy of having money in the bank. And, if you think of wealth not only in terms of money and investments but as resources —-family, friends, co-workers, your health—you’ll feel more abundant immediately.

RULE #4: Ditch The Debt

Unpaid, short-term debt, such as credit card balances, is an energy zap. You’ll never feel hopeful about your finances if you are hopelessly in debt. But if you do have debt, and payoff seems impossible, saving your $5s and using them to pay off the debt a little at a time may make repayment possible. Next time, instead of charging it, pay in cash. Be honest with yourself. If you can’t afford to pay off your credit card bills at the end of the month, then you probably shouldn’t have charged in the first place.

RULE #5: Spread The Word

Some people like to keep a good idea to themselves. Others just can’t keep a secret. The thing is, this simple $5 savings tool is too good not to pass on to everyone you know. Your friends and family, your fellow countrymen need to save more, for themselves and for our nation’s health. So, go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Tell everyone you know about my plan. Share the link to this blog. ( on your Facebook or Twitter. Heck, it would be unpatriotic not to.

Yours in Fives,

Be Warren Buffett Smart

                          “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” (Warren Buffet)


Whenever I’m looking for inspiration about money, I turn to successful people like Warren Buffett. The thing about the rich and famous is they make it look so damn easy to get there. Well, what if it weren’t as hard as it seems?

Another one of Warren Buffet’s ideas about money which I really like is that we should invest in ourselves before anything else. What better way to invest in our futures than to commit, today, to a savings plan?

The way I see it, people everywhere are yearning for a simple way to put aside some extra money, to pay for a wedding or a vacation, a new car or a house; to pay off school loans or help put a child through school; or maybe the ultimate savings goal—retirement. Some people throw loose change in a jar, while others are way more ambitious and disciplined, setting aside 10 percent of their monthly income as savings before paying their bills.

But loose change never amounts to any significant money and most people can’t save at all, much less 10 percent of their salary.

I’m writing this blog to share a simple personal finance tip that you can implement NOW. The Save Money Fast With Fives method provides one simple trick. Save absolutely every $5 bill that crosses your palm. Don’t spend them; don’t use them; just put them away. You’ll be amazed at how fast your nest egg will grow.

Will it make you Warren Buffett rich? Probably not. Will it allow you to save something “on the side” that not only is great for a rainy day fund, but also can grow to a sizable amount, without needing an MBA or stockpicker’s pedigree? You betcha.

My goal is to update the blog regularly, at least three times a week. I also hope to write about people as much as about money and how to save it. Writers tell stories and I will tell stories about my life and savings practice, and occasionally, stories that might not seem to have anything to do with money, until you think about it. I may even tell the stories of friends and readers of this blog, especially if it’s about savings and abundance, and socking away $5s.

Thanks for being one of my early readers. It means the world to me that you took the time to visit my site.

May I ask a favor? Follow my blog by becoming a subscriber. Send me feedback and comment on the ideas of my Save Money Fast With Fives plan. Tell your friends and family about my blog and, please, share the link. ( If a lot of people do this, I’ll know the plan has universal appeal.

OK, one more thing. Make this your new mantra: Never spend a five dollar bill again. Every time you get one back as change, tuck it away. Watch how fast your nest egg will grow. In my next post, I’ll introduce you to the $5 Rules of the plan.

Yours in Fives,

Why I Started This Blog

I won’t be shy. I’m writing this blog because I think I have an incredible story to share. And because I want to help others who also want a foolproof way to save money.

Around 12 years ago, with two daughters in college and a strained family budget, I made a decision that forever changed my relationship to money. Every time someone handed me a five-dollar bill I hid it away. I refused to spend it under any circumstance and started accumulating those fives, first in a separate compartment of my wallet, and then, as the pile grew, in an envelope. As the $5s started adding up, I put them in a separate bank account. Within weeks, I had a nice little stash, more than $200. Then $350. Then $500. By the end of the first year, I had saved almost two thousand dollars. Two grand! Two grand I didn’t have twelve months before.

I was giddy. And it was fun and totally painless. I knew I was on to something big. The power of five was with me. With time and patience, I could build a fortune this way. I could Save Money Fast With Fives.

And since I started the practice, I’ve saved an impressive sum—$35,815—one $5 at a time. (OK, sometimes three at a time and believe me, nothing is better than paying for a $3.99 item with a $20 and getting back three fives, a one, and one penny as change!). And here’s another disclaimer: my husband often hands over the $5s he gets as change, and when we travel, which we do often, we pay for a lot of things with cash and save the fives we get back, whether they are dollars, Euros, or pesos.

Would you like to save a lot of money fast? Saving your fives doesn’t require a sophisticated savings strategy, or even a lot of discipline, but it has paid off for me. I hope that after becoming a faithful reader of this blog, you will become a believer too. Remember Fagin’s song in the musical Oliver: “In this life, one thing counts, in the bank, large amounts, money just doesn’t grow on trees, you’ve got to pick a pocket or two.” Well, it turns out that the only pocket you have to pick is your own. Think of saving your $5s as embezzling from yourself.

Yours in Fives,