Over a year ago, I was reading one of my favorite fellow twenty-something bloggers, when I ran across an article she had written about how she and her boyfriend had a five dollar fund. Any time one of them received a five dollar bill in change, they saved it, put it in a jar, and only spent the money on things for the two of them together, like a fun evening out, or a weekend getaway. It was an idea they had stolen from a friend, and in turn, I decided to steal it from her.
Justin and I were at a point where we had already decided to live together, but our short sale hadn't yet been approved by the bank. It seemed like a good idea for us to test run combining our finances, even in a limited way, and I liked the idea of saving money for us to take a vacation together. Initially, we planned on using the money for a trip to Iceland back in the spring, to visit my friend Jessica while she was there on a Fulbright Scholarship. However, with Justin starting a new job back in April, travel was off of the agenda for a while, so we kept saving our five dollar bills, and waiting.
The next thing we knew, we had received an invitation for a wedding -- in Ireland, only one letter away from Iceland. My friend Abel and his fiancée, Sinead, were going to be married in Sinead's hometown of Dublin. I knew I had to be there to support Abel, and the chance to see my old college pals Katie and Katherine was too much to pass up as well.
Justin and I are going to be leaving soon for that trip, and our five dollar fund is going to be paying for all our meals, admission fees, and incidental expenses. In a year and two months, we managed to save just under nine hundred dollars, which may not seem like a lot, but it is going to pay for a significant portion of our vacation. Besides, considering how often people use credit cards instead of cash, it actually doesn't seem all that bad.
I'm proud of us for sticking to our plan, and staying disciplined. I imagine the bank teller is going to give us a strange look when we go to exchange all those small bills for euros, but I won't care. Soon, we will be rewarded for our efforts, and it will be time to start our five dollar fund again from scratch. I can't wait to see where Mr. Lincoln will take us next!