How Lady Gaga can help you save up money for your wedding

Guest post by Dora Figueiredo

Craig Gleason's Gaga dollars.
Craig Gleason's Gaga dollars.
Joey, my fiancée, and I weren't officially engaged until September 2010, but we knew early on in our relationship that we were headed towards marriage. We also knew that paying for a wedding would be one of the most annoying financial undertakings of our lives.

Then in July 2009, a Lady Gaga song came on the radio and changed everything.

No, seriously. I was incredibly sick of the song, so I changed the station… right to another Lady Gaga song. I changed the station again… to yet ANOTHER Lady Gaga song. I sent a text to Joey:

Geez. 3 Gaga songs on at a time. We should put a dollar in a jar every time we hear one.

And so started our so-called Wedding Jar.

The song game came to include any song by the Black Eyed Peas, Fall Out Boy and Lil' Wayne's “Lollipop.” “Lollipop” and Fall Out Boy were worth $5 each, because they are played on the radio less. Eventually, we also added $1 for every time we saw someone wearing camouflage (not military-issued). We would also have bonus weeks with $1 for things like seeing yellow plaid shirts or hearing Madonna songs from before 1996.

Saving money is like working out: much easier when you have
(a) a partner
(b) a goal
(c) a fun way to do it.

Our friends thought it was hilarious and I would regularly get texts with things like, “Lady Gaga on Z-100!” or “Old guy next door wearing camo today.” And, in the spirit of saving money, we decided to actually put money in the Jar for whenever our friends saw/heard them too. We kept the Jar going until September 2010.

How much money did we save between July 2009 and September 2010?


That's an average of $480 per month. This means we each put about $3,365 or an average of $240 each per month in the Jar in just over a year. I don't think I've ever saved so much money for a specific purpose so quickly in my life!

There was an actual jar and on the first of every month I would take our money and put it into a savings account at my local bank with a crappy interest rate.

[related_post align=”right”]In September 2010 we stopped putting money into the jar and we researched CDs with high interest rates until we would really need the cash–which would be mid-late spring 2011 when payments for venues, flowers, etc, would be due.

We went with Ally Bank's High Yield 6-Month CD (an online bank) because they consistently had the highest CD rate. We got a 1.3% interest rate and so far we have netted about $40 in interest on our Jar fund. Not much but better than the .05% from the savings account (about the same as keeping it in a jar).

Saving money is like working out: much easier when you have (a) a partner (b) a goal and (c) a fun way to do it.

In case you're curious, we got the most money from seeing people wearing camo — about 40% of our Jar fund.

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Comments on How Lady Gaga can help you save up money for your wedding

  1. Awesome! As a Little Monster, I approve of this technique. Also, my Pandora suspiciously started playing “Telephone” when I clicked on this.

  2. This is awesome.
    What’s funny is if you had each said “I’m going to put away $240 each month”, it would’ve seemed so impossible and a huge burden. But when it’s fun, when it comes in small pops and when it is a source of positive encouragement… SO EASY! You probably didn’t even notice that there was less money circulating through your budget.

    • Totally true! Saving money can be so daunting, but when you do it without realizing you’re doing it, the result can be amazing.

    • You’re absolutely right! It was easy enough to just grab cash from the ATM at the end of each month and put it into the jar.. and it was nice to watch it add up. I don’t think we would have put away as much money if we had done it any other way.

    • Ah but then if you’re willing to not take any money out you can do a GIC with ING for even more interest 😉

  3. I love this idea, so clever. I really love that their friends got involved and they honored the ‘text spotting’ 🙂

    Sharing this with others, thank you!!

    Stacey D

  4. I don’t think this would work for us because we never have cash – we use our debit cards for everything! But it’s really cool that it worked for you – it sounds like a great way to save some money!

    • We actually primarily use our debit cards as well. We made it a point to go to the ATM on the last day of each month and take out the money for that month’s Jar deposit. It was kind of a pain to take all the money out at first, but after we saw how much we were saving, it was exciting!

  5. That is too funny 🙂 .

    Though, if you’re “seeing” so much camo, then the camo’s not doing its job.
    *ba-dum ching*
    (I kid, I kid).

  6. What a brilliant idea…!! Unfortunately from the moment we got engaged we only had 3 months to the wedding (no Im not pregnant!) so yeah at this point, anything that comes in goes out to the wedding savings!

  7. I really love this idea. We both listen to rock stations for nearly 14 hours a day combined so there has to be a lot of money to save in that right? All we have to do is think of what bands to pay the ££ into.

  8. How great to know that the imginative spirit is alive and well…and able to produce big dividends. Dave Ramsey could learn a little something from you!

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