How Yankee Swap Paid off in $5s

I am so laser-focused on my $5 bill savings habit that I gave five $5 bills in a recent Yankee Swap with old college friends, hoping I’d get them back before the game was over.

Here’s the kicker: I did. Get my five $5 bills back. Bingo!

The bottom line is that I generally don’t enjoy Yankee Swap. My women’s group does one every year, and in years past, so did my book group, and as much as others in my various circles enjoyed Yankee Swap, I did not. What could I give that would be so popular others would fight over? What to do about the cheapskate or two who spent less on their gifts than the suggested amount? Who makes up all the Yankee Swap rules anyway, and why are the rules always changing depending on whose doing the swapping?

The recent swap happened in lovely Quebec City where my college girlfriends and I were celebrating our 65th birthdays together. 65! Imagine. And imagine how much money I’d have saved in $5s by now if I’d started back in college. (By the way, I’ve saved around $41,500 in around 13 years, all in $5s!) The group had decided as part of our trip planning to do a Yankee Swap ($25 limit suggested). We’re off!

For almost a month, I debated and almost bought several gifts for the swap: a scarf with a nautical motif; a fun wall plaque with slogans about grandmothering; a bracelet; a T-shirt from our alma mater. The more choices before me, the more I couldn’t decide.

Until I remembered by friend Maureen’s advice…..when in doubt on choosing a Yankee Swap gift, give something you’d like to get back yourself. Ta-da! I decided to give five $5 bills.

How I got the five $5s back is in itself another story, but suffice it to say, that after two friends took away from me the lovely bracelet and picture frame I had won earlier in the game, I was finally allowed to take back something someone else had claimed. Hello, Celeste, old buddy, old pal….can I have my $5s back, please? And thanks.

Yankee Swap complete, Laser-focus continues. Sock away those $5s, one at a time.

Yours in Five,