How young grads can get a leg up on savings

It’s that time of year when everyone is giving recent graduates advice on how to launch their futures. So it’s as good a time as any for me to throw in my two cents. OK, make that two $5’s.

Recent graduates (high school and college), listen up: Save Your Five Dollar Bills. That’s right. Save your five dollar bills. Promise yourself today that you will never again spend a five dollar bill, that you will save every five dollar bill ever returned to you as change in a cash transaction, that you will start saving for your futures right now by doing this one simple thing, save your five dollar bills.

It will be the easiest thing you’ve done since flipping the tassel on your graduation cap from one side to the other. Take every five dollar bill that passes through your hands and put them away somewhere and don’t spend them. It’s the best and easiest advice I can give you for how to start your financial future now.

And oh, yes, use cash more often, for everyday purchases, like lunches and coffees, and small items bought on the run. You won’t get a five back if you pay with plastic, but use a $10 or a $20 to pay for a small purchase and the chances of getting a $5 back go up quite a bit!

I started saving my fives when my two daughters were in college some 14 years ago and simply by saving my fives since then, I’ve accumulated around $43,000, all in $5 dollar bills. Imagine if I’d started that practice when I was in college, not when my kids were?

I once calculated that if a person saved one five dollar bill a day from the time they were 25 years old until they reached 75, so 50 years of saving their five dollar bills, they would have saved $91,250, just in $5s.

Calling all recent graduates. Congratulations. You’ve worked hard to get to this day when you receive your diploma. Good luck as you face the challenges of your future, whether that be finding a good job, paying off school loans or working to pay tuition while you’re going to school. And if you want to get a leg up on your financial future while you’re getting started, add one simple habit to your list of must dos and start saving your $5s. You’ll be surprised how fast they will add up.

Yours in Fives,




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