When it comes to being a server, I often walk out of my shift at the end of the night with cash rather than seeing it through a direct deposit. Sometimes, it consists of various bills and other times it could be mostly twenties, it just depends on how I was able to break it down that night, and how I was tipped by my guests. Almost always, however, I have at least one five dollar bill.
Recently, I have decided that rather than depositing these bills with the rest of my money, I will do The $5 Savings Challenge. In short, the person participating in said challenge would put away, or save every single five dollar bill that came into their possession and let me tell you — sometimes it's easy, and other times it sucks. Specifically, last week when half of the money I made in one night was half made up of five dollar bills.
Regardless, it is a very easy way to save money, and quickly. At first, I was just stuffing my fives into a large mason jar, but that felt boring. So naturally, I went to Target, and bought a nice little canister and have been filling it ever since.
When you are counting by fives, that total savings add up pretty quickly, especially since sometimes I am stuffing five dollars in, and other times I am stuffing thirty dollars in. Here are 55 things that I could buy or save for, now that I do not spend 5 dollar bills:
1. A Go-Pro
Making videos with footage I capture myself is super fun, so why not buy one? They are $199 at Amazon.
2. Window tint on my car
I don't have a price because it is so all over the place, but hey, I could probably swing it, right?
3. A new iPhone charger
These things are so garbage and they fall apart so easily — $19 at Apple.
4. Some Airpods
While I am perusing Apple's website, I might as well buy something useless but cool — $159
5. My school textbooks
Not as fun as some of the other things I actually want to buy, but sometimes we have to be practical. Estimated cost: expensive.
6. The entire Harry Potter series on DVD
A truly iconic cinematic experience, and something everybody should own — $79.99 at Target
7. An absurd amount of my favorite pens
Pilot G2 pens are unmatched by competing brands, and if you have never written with one then you are missing out — $129 at Amazon.
8. A nice cup of cold brew from Starbucks
Ah, so smooth. So refreshing — $4.95 at Starbucks.
9. A latte from my favorite local coffee shop
Grounds for Thought, y'all need a new barista?? Just let me know.
10. Rain-x windshield wipers
OK, have y'all tried these?! They are amazing, and I would recommend to anyone — $17.99 each at Amazon.
11. A full year subscription to Apple Music
With the student pricing of $5.99/month, I am sure I could swing it for a year.
12. New pillows for my bed
My head deserves the best to lay down on at night, after all, it makes sound decisions like saving my $5 bills — $35.99 at Amazon.
13. A plane ticket to Seattle
Hey, if I am moving there after grad school, I should probably at least visit first, right? — Prices vary by airline.
14. A tank of gas
After all, I got to get to work somehow, how else will I earn five dollar bills for my jar? — About $40 @ anywhere.
15. A new bag
I feel like with student teaching around the corner, it is about time for me to upgrade from my backpack to a nice messenger bag like this one for $69.99 at Amazon.
P.S. Christmas is soon as well, so if any of my family members are reading this and you need gift ideas, hint hint.
16. Tickets to Dear Evan Hansen
It is kind of sad that I missed it while Ben Platt was in it, but it is still inarguably one of my favorite musicals — $299 on Broadway.
17. A french bulldog
Admittedly, I would rather adopt one than buy one. So I would check shelters first, but if I can't find one — estimated cost: a lot
18. A candle, or two, or three
Bath and Body Works is currently doing 2/$16 candles, so I could get a lot ya know — $14.50/each at Bath and Body Works.
19. A new teacher wardrobe from TJ Maxx
Obviously, I am going to get way more than I need, spend way less than I wanted to, and find some nice stuff along the way. Estimated cost: $150 (and I doubt even that)
20. The entire Bee Movie script in comic sans
Don't ask questions— $50.99 at Society6.
21. A whole months rent in my crappy college apartment
Paying rent each month is truly a pain, but when you live in a college town it feels like pennies. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for lmao. Cost: none of your business, but I can swing it in fives.
22. Literally any book I want from Barnes & Noble
I would probably just settle for one of my favorites, or a classic. I just finished reading "Call Me By Your Name" — $14.55 at Barnes & Noble.
23. A really nice tip to a server
Could you imagine, like this money just sits around so it is not even like I have it to begin with, so I could give it to a server and probably make them cry (I would), and I wouldn't feel it. OK, I might feel a little sadness, but also some joy for the good deed I did.
24. Every P!ATD album
There are six (I think) albums, about ten dollars each, for a combined total of $60. Easy.
25. Some new sunglasses
I lost mine in the Buffalo River in Arkansas when I was there in May, and ever since the sun has been unapologetically damaging my corneas. I have seen these trendy guys on Instagram, and they seem worth it — $50 at Blenders Eyewear.
26. Some nice BG swag from Falcon Outfitters
I do need a new BGSU Dad sweater — $26.24 at Falcon Outfitters.
27. A full year of Amazon Prime
At this point I have exhausted all three of my email accounts six month free trials, so with all this stuff I want to buy I should probably invest. A student subscription is $59/year at Amazon.
28. A suit
I feel like it is almost taboo that I don't have one at this point in my life, but if I am going to get a teaching job after I graduate I suppose that I should dress to impress — $395 at Macy's.
29. New shoes
I have a pretty unhealthy obsession with purchasing shoes, and I truly don't even know why. Regardless, I have been eyeballing these for a while, complete with BGSU orange — $150 at Nike.
30. A gym membership
Listen, I am at the age where a lot of my friends are going to get engaged and I need to be fit for all those weddings — $10/month at Planet Fitness.
31. A gravity blanket
I'll never need to cuddle with anyone ever again, $249 at Amazon.
32. An espresso machine
Imagine being your own barista, like in your own kitchen. Sounds fun, and dangerous — $174 at Amazon.
33. A cat
There is this super cute orang tabby named Kirby at my local humane society, surely I could adopt him.
34. Some nice desk decor
All teachers need stuff to just be a paper weight on their desk, so why not get started early? This shelf is pretty nice, $25.99 at Amazon.
35. Some socks
Everyone needs some socks, and that's truly only like two five dollar bills — done.
36. A large pizza
Dominos runs deals all the time, and man do I love pizza.
37. My own Netflix subscription
I think we all fear the day that we get kicked off of our friends that we have been using forever, at least I do — $13.99 at Netflix.
38. A succulent
I don't know what it is about super baby cacti, but they are so cut — $42.99 at Home Depot.
39. An alarm clock
Sure, my phone has one built into it, but that just does not fit with the ~aesthetic~ — $10.99 at Amazon.
40. A new bed set
I am a die hard falcon, so it is only fitting that I get an orange and brown bed set for my room — $48.99 at Amazon.
41. A storage unit
I have way too much stuff and nowhere to put it as it is right now, maybe I should look into storing it away.
42. A Dropbox subscription
Dropbox is honestly pretty cool, the fact that you can save stuff elsewhere, but still access it anywhere? Sign me up, $9.99 a month at Dropbox.
43. A new planner
I am a big fan of my classic Monthly/Weekly planner, and it is customizable! $22.57 at Amazon.
44. One of those fancy toothbrushes
I don't need a new toothbrush, but have you watched the ads for some of the toothbrushes out there? They make me want to buy seven.
45. Essentially anything from Goodwill
Literally everything in our local thrift store seems like it costs four dollars, so for every four, five dollar bills I spend, I get something for "free" almost!
46. Some new pins for my corkboard
They just look nice up there, okay? $9.99 at Amazon.
47. A 4 for $4 at Wendy's
This would actually save me another dollar.
48. A Yeti
These cups look so stylish AND they keep your drinks cold — $34.99 at Amazon.
49. A real dresser
50. A large five dollar bill poster
Gotta remember where this all started, right? — $32.44 at Redbubble.
51. New stickers
Stickers are honestly addicting, and are the main reason that I get on Redbubble dot com.
52. A new ceiling fan
If you know, you know. That is all I am saying — $49.97 at Home Depot.
53. A funnel cake, probably
I am just craving one recently.
54. An absurd amount of orange juice
If you know me, you know that I have an unhealthy obsession with orange juice. It has to have pulp though — $3.79/ea at Kroger.
55. New glasses
Everyone loves a fresh pair of specs, and with websites like GlassesUSA, they make it so easy. Estimated cost: $100.
Obviously, I have no real plans of spending any of the money I have saved, but recently I have been wondering how much is actually in that little jar because I do not keep track of the total. I like watching it fill up and run out of space, and the more I save, the happier I feel. What would you spend some money you have saved on?