Save Money Easily with the $5 Savings Challenge

save money using five dollar bills

I’m not sure about you guys, but I am always looking for new ways to save money. It is SO important to have a little cash lying around in case of emergencies, but a lot of times it seems it’s hard to FIND that money! Here’s an inside scoop on a challenge that could end up helping you save THOUSANDS of dollars… it’s called the $5 Savings Challenge.

The 5-Dollar Challenge

About a year ago, my friend and her husband were challenged to save EVERY $5 bill that came into their possession. The rule is simple… if you’ve got $5, it goes into a jar and you can never count the cash.

For my friend and her hubby, the goal is that in a few years (maybe even in 1 year), they will open up the jar and use the money to take a trip to Ireland to visit the places where his ancestors are from.

Their family did not have the budget for a vacation, BUT by doing this, they would be able to slowly save up for a pretty incredible vacation with just her and the hubs. Sounds great to me!

5 dollar saving challenge jar

Now, for the sake of the post, I asked her to break the rule and count her cash! She was FLOORED when she discovered that in just 10 short months, they socked away $1365! I was SO shocked and excited for them!

My friend told me, “We really do not use cash all that often, but the little bills have added up and we are a little over halfway there! And to be quite honest, we have not even noticed it in our budgeting. We have still had all we needed to pay our bills and still live comfortably.”

The $5 Challenge is an Easy Way to Accumulate Cash

Guys, this is such a simple and easy way to slowly save while you are busy paying off debt or living paycheck to paycheck! Her story inspired me so much that I am going to give it a try!

Here is another amazing 5 dollar challenge result/success story found on the blog Life Hacks:

5 dollar challenge results

That person saved over $3,000 in just a year by stashing away all their $5 bills. That’s insane! I’m telling you, you can do this!

Why You Should Do the $5 Saving Challenge

  • It will help you be more conscious of how you spend cash.
  • Don’t use cash? Consider using it for all your “extras” each month.
  • That $5 bill means one less drink at Starbucks or not getting dessert when you go out to dinner.
  • Rather than hanging on to coins, do it with your Lincolns!! EVERY $5 BILL IS OFF-LIMITS!
  • Develop a new pattern with your money… create a pattern where you stash every five dollar bill. As you create this simple money saving habit, you may find that saving your money instead of buying frivolous things will help you accumulate more wealth over time! Having self-control with your money rolls over into so many other aspects of your life.
  • Patterns = Habits = Lifestyle
  • This challenge is a FUN & EASY way to save. Without even noticing it, you will be making smart financial decisions. The impact of this challenge is far greater than the effort you will put into it.

How to Start the $5 Challenge

It’s crazy easy to start! Just grab a piggy bank, jar, or box and start saving. Each time you get a $5 bill, stick it in your savings jar and never think about it again.

To make this challenge even more fun, pick a reason for your saving. My friend has a paper taped to the outside of their jar that says, “Ireland Fund” (see the cute pic above). So pick something! Get your spouse to do it with you… if they aren’t game, then do it yourself and pick a fun goal! Here are a few ideas:

  • Emergency Fund (Dave Ramsey recommends starting with $1000 before you start working on debt)
  • A vacation (I’ve been wanting to go to an all-inclusive resort!) – you could treat you and your spouse to an amazing weekend getaway or take the family on a Christmas vacation!
  • A makeover in your bedroom or a bathroom remodel
  • New car
  • Pay off your student loans or credit card debt

And for those of you who can’t turn down a dare, I dare you to not only save every $5 bill you get but also, save $5 from each paycheck! Or anytime you get paid in any form! (Refund, gift, rebate etc.)

This savings challenge works so well because $5 is so small that you won’t even notice it’s gone. However, once you open up your jar a year from now (or longer), you will be AMAZED at the results.

No matter the cause, I invite you to start this 5 dollar challenge and let us know A YEAR from now how much you’ve saved! I promise you that you will see REAL results!

Want to join me? Leave a comment below and tell me what you’re going to do with your cash!

$5 challenge


  • Debra

    I never use coins, just put them in a coffee can anytime I get them. I had over $80 to splurge with in just a few months. I was shocked! Now I’m going to add $5 bills to that list and see what happens. My trick will be stashing them away in something difficult to open to keep me from going on the money. Something that takes TNT to open would be great!! But I’m inspired by this challenge so I’m going to try! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Cathy

    You are so welcome Debra! I’m glad this inspired you! We’ve been collecting coins as well… so the $5 bill thing is really going to up our game!

  • Travis

    I started the $1 and $5 challenge in first part of October 2017. And it’s a few days away from Thanksgiving 2017. I have saved $1000. not going to stop till November of 2018. I will let you know how it turns out.

  • Ryan Michelle

    I have begun the $5 challenge for 2018. Five days in and I am at $45 already! So stoked and will not count any further for a while. I am applying for an acting conservatoire and every penny of this will help with the cost!

  • Leslie

    I am trying the $5 challenge, i am actually surprised at how few $5 bills I have collected so far! I have never paid attention before but it’s fun! I seem to get a lot more $1 for some reason 🙂

  • Amber S

    I just started the challenge , im saving for my birthday i want go somewhere really nice so im doing it with $20 !! Im excited to see what i have saved up by my birthday

  • Dria

    I’m so glad I found this post! I’m so excited because I feel as if this is something i can really do! I am going to save up for my emergency fund

    • Cathy Yoder

      Hi Dria! You absolutely CAN pull this off! Saving for your emergency fund is an AWESOME idea! Let us know when you reach your goal!

  • Christi

    I started this about 2 weeks ago. I’m saving for an emergency fund and when I get a safe amount built, I’ll start saving for our retirement move to be by the Grandchildren. How much fun is this!!!!

    • Cathy Yoder

      That is awesome Christi! Thank you for sharing your plans. Be sure to come back and let us know when you hit your goal amount!

  • Elease Martin

    Glad I came across this challenge will start tomorrow March 1st and go until December wish me luck.

  • Johnson Girl

    It was funny because I was already doing the $1 challenge and truly mastered it to where I had my husband passing me his singles! I figured that I was ready to go ahead and do the $5 challenge! I’ve started and it is so natural for me to take the $5’s and put them in my special wallet I have hanging underneath my Vision Board! 2018 Goal!

    • Cathy Yoder

      That is so awesome! How long were you doing the $1 challenge for? Be sure to come back and let us know when you reach your goal!

  • Dawn

    I am doing the 5 dollar challenge and then also tucking away the end of the week fun money. I am finding that I try to see how much I can save at the end of the week. I am also taking half of what is left in my checking account on payday adding it to my savings account.

    • Cathy Yoder

      Dawn, way to go! That’s awesome that you have extra “fun money” at the end of the week too! Not everyone can be so disciplined! What a great impact that will make!

  • Tiana

    I am going to start this challenge tomorrow!! I’m so excited. I believe this is something I can do. It will be my emergency fund, I will go from now until I fill three bottles. Then I will put it in a ROTH IRA and begin all over again. Such a great idea.

    • Cathy Yoder

      Tiana, great plan! This is totally doable… come back and let me know how long it took you to fill three bottles!

  • Sal

    I started this challenge in December 2015 and it really is a fun way to save for whatever. I have no idea how many fives I have accumulated but I did had to get a bigger container three times. I am tempted to count the bills but have not yet but my container feels like it weighs 4 pounds. I am saving for a 14 day European vacation for my family.

    • Cathy Yoder

      How wonderful and exciting! Sooo cool to be able to pay CASH for a dream VACATION! Great job! Come back and let us know once you count!

  • Rose Brock

    I saw that u can put away $5.00 dollars I go out and look for cans I here in no la I started to put 5 dollars away twice a week from my can money I got a 5 gallon water bottle to put the money in

  • Tuti Suni

    I’m from Brunei, I have started doing $5 Challenge since January 2018. Got 5 Jars filled upped. I’m saving for my vacation to Vietnam. Wish me luck.

  • Maggie Bucko

    Last year, I tried the 52 week challenge ($1 the first week, $2 the second week, etc.) and it didn’t work very well. I came across the idea of the $5 challenge and thought that would be much easier to stick with. I’m happy to say that, since January 1st, 2018, I have saved $700 so far. It’s funny because whenever I get a $5 bill, my initial thought is “oh crap, I can’t spend that”, followed immediately with “awesome, that’s another $5 bill towards my (as of yet undetermined) goal” 🙂

  • Diana

    I started this challenge around February of this year. In 8 short months, I have saved about $200. I am a college student who doesn’t use cash often, so I was floored when I saw all the cash that I had saved.

  • Kim

    I started this when I saw something similar on fb sometime in September 2018. 2 months in and I’m over 300 already! So excited, not sure when I’ll stop and what we’ll use it for but I’m sure it’ll be great!

  • Ayonia

    I’m starting this challenge today as a Birthday gift to myself for January 20th. I can’t wait to see how much I’ll have by then. I may put it toward my house down payment fund…….. Thanks so much for the info!

  • Margaret Bucko

    I decided to participate in this challenge on January 1st, 2018. 10 months and 27 days later, I am up to over $1,000! And I’m still going strong. My plan is to see what I have on December 31st. It’s amazing how quickly it added up. It was so easy to do. My honey and I are going to Costa Rica; this will definitely allow us to splurge a little. I will DEFINITELY be participating in this challenge next year!

  • Diane P

    Diane P. Was reading the $5 a week challenge I am going to start April 1 2019 (no pun intended) excited to start my new challenge

  • lamarr

    started 1 dollar saving all 1 dollar bills,. 7months in I have saved 1,215 as of yesterday may 10th 2019 also have been saving all change so far 252 .75. 5 more months to. go. last March in Las vegas

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