What Are You Saving For?


When I first started saving my fives, when my kids were in college and my husband and I were denying ourselves most of our favorite pleasures (toilet paper, anyone?) so we could stay afloat, I planned to use my fives stash for a warm climate winter vacation. For the first few months, a week in the sun was my $5s savings goal. As the weeks passed and the stash of fives grew a lesson emerged: my nest egg of $5s was a magnet for more creativity and more money and if I didn’t spend it, more money would come my way.

Soon after, my husband started throwing all his loose change into a jar, and then, he I began throwing in dollar bills, maybe an occasional $10 or $20. In no time, the jar took on the mission of saving for the winter trip, while the $5s stash kept on growing.
By the end of the first year, I decided: I would save $5s for no other purpose than to save, and if I wanted to save for something specific, I would set aside an envelope or a jar for that goal. Since then, my husband and I have used that jar to pay for airline tickets to five tropical islands: Vieques and Culebra, Puerto Rico, Saba (a Dutch island off the coast of St. Martin), Isla Mujeres, Mexico and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Island.

The fives fund—separate from the change jar— has, as I’ve already mentioned, grown to around $36,000. Naturally, people often ask me what I am going to do with this money, my stash of $5s. Frankly, I have no idea. While I can easily draw up a list of all the things I could spend my five dollar nest egg on, I won’t, at least not yet. Sounds crazy, I know, but the truth is I’m learning too many lessons and having too much fun watching my nest egg grow.

My collection of $5s is a magnet, drawing more money to me in other ways. So I can’t imagine why I’d want to spend it. But I know this. If I decide one day to spend some or all of my five dollar account it will be to nurture a deeply held dream, passion or desire. In other words, I’ll never spend this money frivolously or on a whim.

But you are not me, so it’s perfectly okay to use the plan in a different way. I know many people who are saving their $5s for a particular goal: a wedding for themselves or one of their children; a vacation to a particular destination; a kitchen renovation; to pay off their school loans, to name a few. It really doesn’t matter what you’re saving for, only that you ARE saving.
The best thing about Save Your Money Fast With Fives plan is you can adapt it your needs. You can custom tailor the way you save your fives, where you save your fives, the end goal of how you will (or won’t) spend the fives, even whether or not you save actual five dollar bills, or simply decide to set aside $5 a day (whether in $1s, coins, or a $5 bill). Adopting the plan, you’ll see, will be far more flexible than you think.

Some people save for a specific goal. Others save for one year and then add up—and spend—what they’ve managed to set aside. As with anything else in life, you are in charge of how things turn out. You’re the producer, director, and star of your own show. With money, or anything else, I say, go for the Oscar, aim for the stars. High fives!

Readers, leave a comment, please. What do you plan to do with your stash of $5s? As always, I would love to hear from you.

Yours in Five,



8 thoughts on “What Are You Saving For?

  1. I’ve actually taken my stash of 5’s and put them into a Roth IRA. Between compound interest and smart investments, i can now use my 5’s to add to my retirement fund with little effort/thinking on my part. Never too early to start saving for retirement!

    • I do something similar. After depositing them in a savings account, I transfer them to a higher yielding CD every time I hit $1000. You’re so right about the value of compounded interest.

      • I also save my change in a jar for vacation. When my kids were younger I used it to pay for band camp. I am new to saving my $5’s started one month ago and have $195 so far. I deposit it into a separate savings acct every week.Last week my sister and I went out for lunch, while paying our check she put out 2 $5’s so I gave her a $10 to add to my stash. I love both of your ideas to use long term. I enjoy reading your blog please keep writing

      • Thanks so much, Donna! I’m 12 years in as a $5s saver. Like you, I wish I’d started in my 20s. But, better late than never! Appreciate your following my blog.

  2. Putting my $5s saver into a investment portfolio like buying shares where it can give me returns is what I think I will do.

  3. Inspiring! I’m saving to take a two-yr sabbatical to be “just a mom” starting Sept. 1, 2016. I’ve been saving between 11-30% of my income since Aug 2014 to reach my goal. By Dec. 31, 2015 I’ll have reached it – a full 9 mos ahead of schedule. Think I’ll keep going until Sept for the extra cushion, but nice to know I can pull the plug on my corporate job earlier if I choose to.

    • I love this savings motivation! A two-year sabbatical to be a mom! For the rest of us, what would you do with a two-year sabbatical paid for with your own savings funds? Thanks for sharing, MJ……Marie

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