I’m a big believer in the idea that in order to be successful at almost anything in life, we have to have an intention so strong that our desire for something drives its success. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s being offered a certain job, or finding that elusive soul mate, or getting out of debt, or saving money. Believing it will happen is half the battle to creating the event.
Years ago, I decided to stay in Boston after graduating college rather than return home to Rhode Island where my dad knew all sorts of people who could help me land my first teaching job because, well, I was utterly focused on staying in Boston. And even though I had almost no contacts who could help me find a teaching job, I knew it would all work out. I took a waitress job at night, signed a lease on an apartment, and started job hunting during the day. I was absolutely sure I’d find a day job, and by mid-August had two teaching job offers to consider. Why? Because I knew it would all work out.
Decades later, my husband and I got into a little bit of trouble with credit card debt. Once we realized the havoc it was wreaking on our lives, we vowed to pay it off as quickly as possible. It took two years but we did it, and have never had any debt—except our mortgage—since.
Still years later, I searched the real estate listings on Cape Cod as often as I could, looking for a little fix me upper by the water that I could afford. Fifteen years later, I’m almost done renovating the summer cottage we bought on an inlet of Nantucket Sound. Finally, the inside of the house is as beautiful as the water view out our window. But even when that wasn’t so, I always knew I’d have a little place on the water someday.
How does this relate to saving your $5’s as one path towards financial security? Wanting to have extra money isn’t enough. There’s no guarantee of financial security just because you want it. But believe that financial security will soon be yours, and then put a few new practices in places (such as saving your $5s, or setting aside 10 percent of your income every month, or wiping out credit card debt), and viola, in time, the intention for financial security becomes a reality.
Let me be clear. There’s no genius in any of this. There’s also no hocus-pocus. Decide you want to build a nest egg, and you will. Pay for everyday items with cash, and $5 bills will come back to you as change. Tuck those $5s away each and every time one is returned to you, and the stash will add up. Every five you save will bring you one step closer to financial security. Believe you can achieve a debt free lifestyle and you’re at least half way to achieving that.
Yours in Five,