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
and
(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?

$6,730.00!

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.

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

  1. This is a very clever idea. Saving a little bit at a time can really add up and this a good example.
    It reminds me of math class when we calculated the ‘cost’ of a daily Starbucks run. Turn’s out that the $4 a day spent on a latte really ‘costs’ a lot–> a lot of new shoes or a lot of the energy bill! 😀

  2. I loved this idea so much I already created guidelines for my fiance and I.

    Any time one of these songs is heard, the amount associated goes into a jar:
    • Your Sex is On Fire = $5 each (This is an inside joke. When this song came out my fiance said he hated it so our entire group of friends now texts the name of the song to him any time they hear it. So if I hear it, I text him, we both pay. Same if he hears it.)
    • Black Keys = $1
    • Weezer = $1
    • Muse = $1
    • Kesha = $1
    • Lady Gaga = $1
    • Rihanna = $1

    Any time we see any of the following, the amount associated goes into a jar:
    • A Mark Sighting = $2 (Mark is our rarely seen, 24-and-living-with-mom, nocturnal neighbor.)

    Any time one of the following happens, the amount associated goes into a jar:
    • Gordie pees inside = $1 (Our new puppy. He only peed inside twice today.)

    By these guidelines my total today is $5.

  3. This is seriously the most fantastic idea ever. I’m going to implement this in my life immediately!

  4. Such a cute story!! Especially because I am a little monster too!! So inspiring! Congrats guys I’m sure now there’s nothing you both can’t do!

  5. I am officially doing this from now on! My guys’ favorite thing is to brag about his “eye spy” skills and his least favorite is to save money. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!!!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing! What a great idea! My fiance loves to listen to top 40 radio where if we run errands for an hour and a half, we hear the same songs getting in and out of the car every time! This will work perfectly!

  7. um agreed. Brilliant. This will be my saving strategy in the future FOR SURE. Perhaps we should start doing it for the honeymoon fund….I’m floating this to the fiance tonight!!! Thank you for this divine inspiration lol

  8. This is such a neat way to save money! I’m currently saving towards several things by refusing to spend any of my $1 bills. I divide them evenly at the end of each week between a House fund, Wedding Fund, and Emergency Fund. I was able to save $120 the first month of doing this (and working part-time, going to school full time, and paying bills & gas this is quite an accomplishment for me.)

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