I remember years ago our church challenged us to try and create an extra $5 per day. They gave examples of giving up our daily coffee shop stop. Because I didn’t get daily coffee, I instantly assumed that I wasn’t wasting any money and there was no feasible plan for me to find an additional $5 per day in my budget. We were living paycheck to paycheck. Money was just too tight. There was no way we could swing it. Maybe it would work for other people, but certainly not us. If you feel the same way, I’m about to drop some truth bombs about where your $5 per day might be hiding and show you just how huge of an impact saving $5 per day can have on your entire life!
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Where is my $5?
So, if you’re a coffee shop addict like most people, then BOOM there’s your $5, problem solved. You don’t have to read anything else in this section if you don’t want to. BUT chances, are there is even more money that you are leaving on the table without even realizing it.
Step 1: Bank statement dissecting
The first place to find your $5 is in the money you’ve already spent. Personally, I recommend looking through your last 3 months of spending. Using my Fun Sized Budget Bundle is a great place to get started. I created easy to use printouts that help you sort through and organize your money and a guide book that tells you how to do it!
If you want more in-depth help on how to get out of debt, manage a budget and finally take control of your finances, make sure you join my Budget Hacking course. I will dive into all of the methods we used to free up over $1,000 liquid cash each month and how we finally stopped living from paycheck to paycheck.
So, here are the places I want you to look at your spending:
- Must-pay bills
- Out to eat/fast food
- Debt (car payments, student loans, credit cards)
- Any unplanned spending (candy at the gas station, Target Dollar Section, shoes on clearance etc.)
For the sake of $5, we’re going to focus on all of that out to eat and unplanned spending section.
If you spent more than $140 in these two categories, congratulations, you have your $5 per day! Did you spend even more (like we used to) then congratulations, because you have some serious extra cash on your hands!
- Groceries: Try sticking to a budget of $100 per week per family member. See how we do it.
- Cable TV: Chances are, by cutting cable TV, you can instantly get an additional $5 per day. People save literally thousands by switching to a digital antenna.
- Phone plan: I don’t know many people whose phone plan isn’t sucking the life out of them. There are great places like Tello and Ting that offer flexible phone plans starting at $10 per month!
- Other bills: There is an awesome app called Trim that looks at all of your recurring monthly bills and then analyzes to see if you could save with a different plan or a different provider. Within 20 minutes of downloading Trim, they had already found me a cheaper internet plan!
Step 2: Put that $5 to work!
Now that you hopefully found an additional $5 per day (or more) it’s time to get intentional about where you are putting it.
If you already have a 401K or other savings plan, set up through your employer and you aren’t already contributing at least 10%, here’s your chance to up your contribution amount.
While you can contribute around $5,000 per year to a Roth IRA, an additional $5 per day will put you at $1,680 per year. See the HUGE benefits of Roth IRA investing.
Are you totally confused by investing?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I know this stuff can go right over most people’s head and in fact, I’m still trying to fully understand it myself. There are several great places to get expert guidance to help you better understand your retirement and investment options.
- Smart Asset – Smart Asset is a site that helps you get connected with financial advisors in your area so you can get one on one guidance and input from someone who knows what they are talking about.
- Morning Star – Morning Star is one of the top investment research firms to help you maximize your investments. Get a 14-day free trial!
So there is this really awesome spare change investment app called Acorns. What it does is round up your purchases and invests your spare change for you.
This is a great way to start a small savings/investment without really seeing a difference in your bank account.
Another great feature that Acorns lets you do is choose monthly recurring investments. Which means you could set up a recurring investment of $5 per day or $140 per month! See my plan to turn $50 into $150,000.
Now that you know you’ve got enough spare change lying around, Acorns is a great way to get started investing for those who are still on the fence about investing. Get $5 to start investin.
A better savings account
Maybe you are already investing or it’s just too intimidating right now. Perhaps you’d love to put more in your savings account to save for vacation, a new car or emergencies.
Well, I have some bad news for you. If you have a savings account right now through your local bank, chances are you could be making 25 times more money on interest!
Most savings accounts pay you an interest rate of .1% (give or take), but the Savings Builder through
Does $5 really make a difference?
Ummm heck yes.
$5 per day = $35 per week = $140 per month = $1,680 per year.
Now let’s invest it!
How much will you have in 10 years?
Using the Simple Savings Calculator, here’s an idea of where your money could end up in 10 years if you continue to save just an additional $5 per day.
- Saving at 2.45% interest = $19,118 saved – $2,178 in earned interest
- Investing at 8% return = $25,519 saved – $8,579 in earned interest
- Investing at 12% return = $31,505 saved – $14,565 in earned interest
YEAH. $5 per day could add up to over $30K in 10 years. That’s how important it is!