There’s a new rule — or guiding principle — in my life that I’m pretty excited about. Let’s call it the $5 Rule for now.
Here’s how it works: Every day, I plan to carry around a $5 bill in my back pocket. That $5 bill is reserved for small favors — thank you’s, gifts, donations, etc.
And it’s to be given to anyone who walks up to me and asks for it. Street performers. Homeless people. Yes, even that random guy outside of the local bodega who asks everyone for something. If that guy asks, he gets it.
With the $5 comes no snap judgements of character. I don’t ask what they plan on doing with it. Everyone qualifies (friends being the one exception, sorry guys). Even those I’ve seen before and given to. If they’re the person that day that’s asked for it, they get the $5 bill. For the next day, I simply replenish it with a new one.
And the idea behind it is simple: I love giving back.
But I’ve always felt that handing a person some spare change, or a dollar here and there was way too nuanced, and the contribution itself too negligible to really change anyone’s day.
But $5? Someone might notice that.
And so I created a hard-and-fast rule of $5 a day. Is that a lot? Sure. If I gave out $5 every day of the year, I would dole out over $1800 throughout the course of the year. That’s enough for a fancy new Apple laptop. Or a fat chunk in a savings account.
But for now, it’s a rule I’m planning on sticking to. I might turn it into a whole system — hand out handwritten Thank Yous with the $5. Maybe even create a stacking system that goes as high as $20 if I haven’t pulled a Bill out in a few days. Who knows.
But initially, I’ll keep it simple. Just $5 a day.
What’s your $5 Rule?