What’s Climate Change Got To Do With Saving Money?

Everyone is talking about climate change and pending meteorological and natural disasters. Especially since 45 took office, some days it seems like the world is divided into two groups around climate change: the believers and the disbelievers.

I’m a believer which is why I try to reduce my carbon footprint, recycle and reuse whenever I can. I believe that small steps, with intention, leads to big gains. This applies not only to avoiding a cataclysmic meteorological event but a financial meltdown as well.

The examples are everywhere—from the stock market crash of the 1920s—to subsequent crashes in 1987 and 2008-2009; to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who declare bankruptcy every year; to the personal stories of unpaid credit card balances or school loans crippling a generation’s ability to buy a home.

How much better would you have fared in any of these situations if you had a little nest egg set aside? A nest egg of $5 bills, built over time, can add up to a sizeable sum of money. (I’ve saved almost $40,000 in $5s in just over 12 years!)

The threat of climate change and a financial disaster are more connected than you might first assume. Imagine if every living being on the planet adjusted their carbon footprint, recycled and reused? We’d be headed towards a much healthier planet. Ditto for saving money, especially as an alternative to spending money you don’t have on credit or by taking out a loan.

Caring for the planet assures a healthier Earth tomorrow. Saving for the future assures a happier, more secure and independent life to come. Not a bad thought as we head into the long 4th of July weekend.

Yours in $5s,

Marie

 

 

5 Ways Saving Makes You Feel Better

You know how secretly bad you feel when you spend money you don’t have? I’ll take your word for it. We don’t have to talk about it. But I read recently in Bloomberg that Americans’ household debt has reached a level similar to what it was before the lingering recession that began in 2008. What if you don’t have to be part of that trend? What if you saved your $5s, and other money, instead?

Here’s five ways that saving money—instead of spending money you don’t have—will make you feel better.

  1. Hello to a brighter future

How great would it be to wake up in the morning with a sense of optimism about your financial future? Studies show that people who have money in the bank generally feel better about facing each new day.  The easiest way to get a brighter perspective on tomorrow is to take positive steps today.

  1. Less debt and more savings helps you focus on the future

Back when I carried credit card debt, it was hard to plan my next vacation.  Now that I set aside some cash every week in a jar I use to save money for future trips, I can book airfare more easily knowing I’ve already saved some, or all of the funds, to pay for it. Phew, since travel is my guilty pleasure.

  1. Saving will make you happier

A recent story in Business Insider said that even though money can’t buy happiness, saving it might. According to a survey of more than 1000 people in the sample, 38 percent of the respondents with savings accounts reported being happy compared to 29 percent of those without savings accounts.

  1. Emergencies won’t seem so dire

Unexpected financial circumstances happen to all of us. The car repair. The co-payment on a medical procedure. The washing machine that konks out and needs to be replaced. We hope they won’t happen, but they do. This is just another example of a time when it would make you feel better to have a savings account to draw on to face the unexpected instead of having to use a credit card, or get a loan, and spend money you don’t have.

  1. Saving makes you more self sufficient

Having a nest egg means you won’t have to go to a relative or a friend, or maybe the local banker, for a loan. Maybe it feels like playing Monopoly alone, but I much prefer only having to consult with myself (ok, my husband too) when I want to make a big financial purchase.

These are just a handful of ways in which saving money might make you feel better than using a credit card to pay for something you can’t afford. Readers, if you can add other advantages to the list, leave a comment and share your ideas with us.

Happy summer solstice!

Yours in Fives,

Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips to Jump Start Your Nest Egg Now

 

I’m close to reaching a pretty big milestone in my fives account. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to have saved almost $40,000, all in $5 bills. I expect to achieve this by late Fall of 2017….heck, the account now stands at $38,700 so I’m not far away.

Looking for ways to jump start your $5 savings plan? Here are five ideas so simple to put into practice that you’ll be back on track saving your nest egg of $5s in no time.

  1. Use cash

            You can’t save $5 bills unless you spend with cash. Credit and debit cards, store accounts, cashing in reward points and so on are all cashless, financial transactions. Sure, you can buy a lot of things with a Visa or a Mastercard but the only way to get a $5 back as change is to pay to purchase something with cash. Withdrawing a sum of money in cash from your bank every week (after estimating the funds you’ll need for the week’s expenses: groceries, gas and transportation costs, lunches, etc). is the easiest way to keep your spending under control while living mostly on cash. The side benefit is getting $5s as change that you can save.

  1. Buy on demand

If you’re like most people, you spend money every time you walk into a store, especially say a supermarket or a retail health and beauty aid store. Restricting your retail visits to times when you need a particular item (shampoo, razor blades, a greeting card) not only helps keep your spending in check but increases your chances of getting a $5 back as change.

  1. Pay with $20s

There are four $5 bills in every $20, which is just another way to look at your money. Spend less than $5 on a transaction, pay with a $20, and bada-bing, a $5, or maybe three $5s will come back as change. Buy something that costs $9.50, pay with a $20 and there’s a good chance you’ll get two $5s back. Bada-bing.

  1. Touch your stash

When you think about it, money is a kind of energy, a sense of abundance or lack thereof that radiates from your inner you to the outside world. You’ve heard the theory that says what we put out into the universe is what we’ll get back. It’s the same with money which is what I suggest you really connect with, and touch your money, from time to time. I let my loose $5s accumulate until the wad hits $100. And then I deposit them in the bank. But during a typical week, I touch my stash of $5s every time I add one to the pile. I count it every few days, let the energy of the bills rub off and me…and bring more abundance.

  1. Reward yourself

Imagine walking 10,000 steps a day (and having proof of this on your FitBit), and then, at the end of a successful day of movement, going out and eating three hot fun sundaes as a reward. Not a good way to trim down. For the same reason, if you save, say $60 a week or $240 in $5s in a month, it won’t help you grow your nest egg if you spent all of the $240 at month’s end. But how about banking $180 and using the remaining $60 to pay for something you really, really want, desire or need. An occasional reward for a job well done is a psychological tool that you don’t want to overlook. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Yours in Fives,

Marie