Call me crazy but there’s nothing better than returning from a fabulous vacation with a wad of cash in your travel money belt.
I’m just home from a week in the French West Indies, on the island of Guadeloupe, a territory of France, where the local currency is the Euro and the preferred way to pass a day is on a gorgeous beach with pure white sand and the bluest waters ever. And besides some wonderful memories of the people I met and the colorful little seaside towns my husband and I visited during our stay, I’ve got a good tan, a stack of Euros and an extra $25 dollars tucked away. Actually, it’s 25 Euros, or the sum of the five 5Euro notes I got back as change while we were away.
To be honest, I love coming home with money to put towards my next trip, rather than a bunch of credit card bills to pay off, which is why I save my 5s whether they come in the form of a five dollar bill, a five Euro note, or any other currency where I travel. It’s all part of the habit I’ve developed to save each and every five I get back as change in a cash transaction.
Developing a new habit takes time. And for some people, the only way to do this is to really focus on it and never be distracted from the goal, which is to save money.
Here are five savings pitfalls many people encounter and some ways to avoid them. Ch-Ching!
- Plastic—Saving money with my method involves a simple principle, that you pay for most incidental purchases with cash. As I’ve said many times, you won’t get a $5 back if you pay with a credit card.
- Great Idea, Poor Follow-through—Sometimes, when I tell someone about my $5 habit and their face lights up, then darkens, I know they won’t use the method long enough to succeed. But as soon as someone says ‘I love that idea and I’m going to use it until the day I die,’ I know they have the ability to achieve financial security with this and other savings methods.
- Have to Versus Want to—I often hear people say ‘I have to save money,’ or ‘I’m so bad at saving $.’ Success doesn’t come to people who have to do things, or to those who are bad at doing things. What if you chose to happily and voluntarily use more cash and save every $5 you got back as change? What if you told yourself you were good at saving money? Be positive, that’s the point.
- Uptight About Finances—Many people are uptight about money and let it control their saving and spending habits. But what if you relaxed, let go, and looked upon every $5 you got back in change as a sign of your growing abundance?
- Savings Works Best When You Succeed—-I try to count my $5s as often as I can as a way to remind me of the money I’ve already saved. It’s actually fun to grab a wad of bills and count 5, 10, 15, 20, up to….infinity, Ch-Ching!
Yours in Fives,