Buying a bicycle one five spot at a time

Save $5 at a timeSaving money never seems to be easy. There’s always something to pay off or something to blow your money on. In fact, I almost have to trick myself to save money. No longer is it a struggle…I found a fun way to save money without sacrificing debt repayment or other budget needs.

Here’s how it works. I use cash and the envelope system for line items like food, clothes, beauty, and extras. Every time I’m given a $5 bill as change back, I put it in a special marked envelope and save all the fives for something out-of-budget or something that I normally wouldn’t just unload more than $20 to buy.

Last weekend, I had $350 in five dollar bills saved up for a mountain bike (I’ve also done this to buy golf clubs and a Cannon Rebel T5i camera). I had the cash, and waited for the annual sale a local bike shop….then pounced. I’m in love with this bike, a Trek WSD 820 beginner mountain bike. I’ve already taken it out to the trails near our home and it’s proven to be a challenging way to exercise. It took me about seven months to save the $350.

Now that I have every toy a girl in Colorado could need want, the $5s are going toward Christmas shopping. By Black Friday I should have another $400 that I’ll use for gifts.

You can do this too! Every time a $5 bill is in your possession you put it in an envelope or jar. Some savers take the money and deposit it into a checking or savings account. Others, like me, wait until there is $50 dollars worth and trade it in for a $50 dollar bill then put the $50s in our safe.  You can use the money for travel, something special, Christmas spending, investing, your emergency fund, and so on. Have you ever done something like this to save money? What do you use the money for?

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4 thoughts on “Buying a bicycle one five spot at a time

  1. i admire hte discipline you have. I save for designated items as well but I feel like if I saved $5 here and there until it adds up, I may want to use that money for something else, or my husband will come up with a “better” idea of how the money can be spent. I will need to try it though, see if it works for me. It does seem like a great way to effortlessly save.

    1. Hi Pamela,
      Thanks for your comment! For me it is a really easy way to save without feeling the “pain” of a big, unnecessary purchase. I will admit that sometimes when a cashier gives me a $5 or two and I’m short on money for other needs…I’ve asked for five $1 bills. 🙂 Let me know how it works for you!

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