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 probably UK specific but for about a year before our family holiday my Mum would put every £2 coin she got into a jar and after 12 months she had £800 in the jar just from £2 coins, I thought that was amazing!
    I might start that actually…

  2. This is such a cool idea! We’re going to try something similar to save for a vacation:)

  3. Wow, such a great way to save money! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂 My fiancé and I will most likely be implementing this or a similar system. We both have trouble saving money, and this sounds like it should be super fun and easy!

  4. Thanks for the awesome idea!!
    I’m on a pretty tight budget so I don’t think I could quite pull this off. But I have decided to start using cash whenever I go to the store and not spend any of the coins I get in change. Hopefully over the next year it’ll add up so I can contribute to our big day 🙂

  5. This is SUCH an awesome idea! I’m not yet engaged, but I think I may do this. We have a cruise planned for September, and if we both do this, we’ll be able to have the vacation of our dreams!! Thanks for the awesome idea!

  6. Each time Nate and I come across a dollar bill printed from a reserve represented by one of our initials (E, K, L, J) we put it aside. My Mom and Dad always did that for their rainy day jar–amazing how fast it adds up!

  7. we have already started the game and are up to $6. thank you SOOOO much for the inspiration! Ours include: seeing dachshunds (we have one and get excited when we see them around the city), seeing GA license plates (from GA, live in DC), hearing Miley Cyrus songs, and seeing “homo haters” (anti-gay protesters.. we wanted them to indirectly contribute to our wedding fund. 🙂

      • As a girl who just got engaged to another girl, the $1 for the homo-haters is my new favourite thing. If I can talk the fiance into doing this saving thing, that’s so going to be one of ours. 😀

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