100 Envelope Challenge – Fun $5050 Money Saving Plan

Here’s the thing, we all know that saving up money is not always the most fun thing to do. In fact, it is true that you sometimes have to make saving money fun for yourself as a way of motivating you to keep up with it.

After a while, it is true that saving money can lose its allure and you can end up feeling pretty demotivated. Or… you might end up wanting a spending spree, which is not the best thing for anyone who is trying to save money.

There are a whole host of money saving challenges that you can try, but here we can outline one of the most popular money saving challenges that you can try. This challenge is the 100 envelope challenge.

This is a saving challenge which has really increased in popularity thanks to social media platforms blowing up this challenge – and it is fair to say that this is a trend that will not be going away any time soon.

Here, we will break down everything that you need to know about this particular money saving challenge.

100 Envelope Challenge – Fun $5050 Money Saving Plan

What Is The 100 Envelope Challenge?

You will be pleased to know that the premise of the 100 envelope saving challenge is an extremely simple hack that will help you to start saving money.

This challenge will require you to start off with 100 envelopes – the clue is kinda in the title – and you need to label these letters starting with the number 1 and, you guessed it, finish on the number 100.

Once you have done this, you should then put all of these envelopes into a special place. This could be a container box, or a basket or a file folder or even a bag. Just somewhere that you know that they are.

Each day you will pick a new envelope and you must put that amount of money into the envelope.

Not As Chronological As You Might Think

Let’s break this down even further. During this challenge you have to save as the envelopes tell you to. So, if you pick out the number 30 then you will need to put $30 into the envelope.

The next day you might find that you draw the number 72. In this case you will have to put $72 into the envelope and then you will need to seal this. You need to continue this challenge over the next 100 days.

After 100 days, you can actually end up saving a huge $5,000! After 100 days we would call this a pretty big win.

The Maths Behind This Challenge

If you are confused as to how you can save up this much money with the 100 envelope challenge then we can break this down even further for you.

Envelope 1$1Envelope 26$26Envelope 51$51Envelope 76$76
Envelope 2$2Envelope 27$27Envelope 52$52Envelope 77$77
Envelope 3$3Envelope 28$28Envelope 53$53Envelope 78$78
Envelope 4$4Envelope 29$29Envelope 54$54Envelope 79$79
Envelope 5$5Envelope 30$30Envelope 55$55Envelope 80$80
Envelope 6$6Envelope 31$31Envelope 56$56Envelope 81$81
Envelope 7$7Envelope 32$32Envelope 57$57Envelope 82$82
Envelope 8$8Envelope 33$33Envelope 58$58Envelope 83$83
Envelope 9$9Envelope 34$34Envelope 59$59Envelope 84$84
Envelope 10$10Envelope 35$35Envelope 60$60Envelope 85$85
Envelope11$11Envelope 36$36Envelope 61$61Envelope 86$86
Envelope 12$12Envelope 37$37Envelope 62$62Envelope 87$87
Envelope 13$13Envelope 38$38Envelope 63$63Envelope 88$88
Envelope 14$14Envelope 39$39Envelope 64$64Envelope 89$89
Envelope 15$15Envelope 40$40Envelope 65$65Envelope 90$90
Envelope 16$16Envelope 41$41Envelope 66$66Envelope 91$91
Envelope 17$17Envelope 42$42Envelope 67$67Envelope 92$92
Envelope 18$18Envelope 43$43Envelope 68$68Envelope 93$93
Envelope 19$19Envelope 44$44Envelope 69$69Envelope 94$94
Envelope 20$20Envelope 45$45Envelope 70$70Envelope 95$95
Envelope 21$21Envelope 46$46Envelope 71$71Envelope 96$96
Envelope 22$22Envelope 47$47Envelope 72$72Envelope 97$97
Envelope 23$23Envelope 48$48Envelope 73$73Envelope 98$98
Envelope 24$24Envelope 49$49Envelope 74$74Envelope 99$99
Envelope 25$25Envelope 50$50Envelope 75$75Envelope 100$100

This will give you a total of $5050!

What About Randomly Picking An Envelope Each Day?

Here’s the thing, you could end up finding that the most you will save up in one week is $679, but the least that you can end up saving would be $28. If for some reason you do not end up completing the 100 envelope challenge, if you just get to 50 days you could still end up saving $950.

There is a much bigger chance that you will save more than this, unless you end up picking numbers that will have you saving under $50.

This challenge in particular will be great for someone who gets paid with cash on a pretty consistent basis – for instance if you are a bartender, or if you are a taxi driver or if you are an employee who will get cash tips.

What Are The Downsides Of This Challenge?

We would be lying if we said that there are absolutely no drawbacks with this challenge. Here’s the thing, there are a whole host of drawbacks to money saving challenges in general – and not just this challenge in particular.

But, most of the time there are a lot of ways that you can work around these challenges and you can also adapt some challenges to best suit you.

You Are Going To Need A Lot Of Cash

stack of cash

You might have already worked out that one of the drawbacks with this challenge is that you need CASH. Yeah, if you do not have access to cash pretty readily then this might cause you a slight problem. You will find it slightly tricky to stuff your envelopes with cash if you do not have any cash to hand.

If you are someone who manages their finances digitally then it will end up being a lot harder for you to find a way to physically fill up these envelopes with actual cash. 

Is This Challenge Within Your Budget?

It is also important to mention that you will find another drawback of this challenge to be whether or not you can afford some weeks. You might end up picking number 96 and number 98 within the space of two days and you will have to have $194 at your disposal and ready for you to save away.

This would not be the most ideal thing ever… Especially if you then pick number 99 on the third day of this challenge. Those big numbers would make you want to quit there and then!

The thing is, even a tipped employee who makes $160 per shift might find these bigger numbers pretty difficult to stick to. And, half or if not all of this can end up going straight into that envelope so as to complete the challenge.

The disadvantage of this challenge of not being suitable for your own budget can feel deflating. If you find that you are someone who is struggling to live on your current paycheck, then taking out such big chunks of money to save will not be the most ideal thing ever.

The worst thing that you can do is to attempt this challenge if it will not suit you. This can end up leaving you feeling pretty down and outright deflated.

Also, depending on your daily schedule you might not always remember to fill the envelopes as you randomly pick them – doing this task will start off well and then life will just get in the way!

Can You Tweak This Challenge To Suit You?

Yes you can! You can alter this challenge to suit you, and you can change the frequency at which you select an envelope. This does not have to be something that you do every single day.

This can be something that you do every other day, or you could just pick out an envelope one to three times per week. This will stretch out those 100 days a bit further and will ease the pressure of trying to save money.

Try And Turn This Challenge Into A Positive

If you only make it halfway through this challenge then that can become an achievement in itself. That’s right – you have still saved up some cash!

Let’s be real, saving up 50% of the money will mean that you have more money saved now that you have made a start on this challenge. 

You can push this further – because if you are to make it 75% of the way through the challenge then you are still saving up a whole lotta money. 

What Do You Need To Complete This Challenge?

You will be pleased to know that the supplies that are required to complete this challenge are not complicated at all – and the majority of them you will actually have around your house.

You will not need to spend money in order to start your saving challenge. The items that you will need are as follows:

  • Envelopes – for this challenge you should find that plain white envelopes will work especially well, but in all honesty, whatever envelopes that you have will work pretty well. And, colored envelopes will actually make everything a lot more fun – and they might even encourage you to continue with the challenge. Whatever motivates you, right?!
  • Marker pen – you will just need something so that you can label up your envelopes and keep track of them. Again, you don’t have to use a marker pen but this will help to make the numbers really stand out on the envelopes.
  • Cash – in case it wasn’t obvious, you’re going to need some serious cash for this challenge. You might need to pay the bank a visit a few times, or if you get paid in cash then this will not be something that you have to worry about at all.
  • Stickers – we recommend using some sort of adhesive just to make sure that you do not cheat. How could you cheat? Well, you could reopen an envelope and this would totally defeat the point of the challenge. Having a sticker might reduce the temptation of opening the envelopes that you have filled with cash.
  • Storage box – you need somewhere to safely store your envelopes, so naturally some kind of storage box or storage container will come in especially handy. This will just help you to locate the envelopes with ease, and ensure that you know where they are stored at all times.

Additionally, to help you keep track of your challenge and to make sure that you stick to it – then you could even consider printing out a table and crossing off and/or dating each envelope that you seal.

This will just help you to keep yourself as accountable as possible during this challenge – and it will also help you to stay super organized too.

What If You Prefer Not To Carry Cash?

We understand that this challenge could seem counterintuitive if you are someone who never carries cash. You would be withdrawing money to complete the challenge and then you would end up taking this all back to your bank to put into your account.

You might be thinking twice before starting this challenge – but you could actually attempt this challenge if you prefer online banking much more.

Yeah, that’s right, you can try to complete this challenge digitally. How do you do this? Well, this is actually pretty straightforward. 

Instead of using 100 envelopes, you can instead write on 100 pieces of paper and then you can fold these up and put them into a bag or a box or some other container.

Each day, you can draw out a number – just like you would do in the normal challenge – and this number will give you the amount of money that you need to save for that day. 

So, you need to make sure that you have a separate savings account for this challenge because instead of putting the cash into the envelopes you can instead move money over from your current account and into the separate designated savings account.

For instance, if you select the number 66 then you will move $66 from your checking account, right into your challenge savings account.

By doing this you are still setting aside the amounts of money but you are just doing this virtually – rather than using envelopes.

Are There Any Other Variations Of This Challenge?

So, if you are a novice saver then you might find the prospect of throwing yourself in the deep end and starting such a big challenge a big turn-off.

If this is the case, then you will be pleased to know that you can actually adapt this challenge in a whole host of different ways to suit you the best.

For instance, instead of taking a new number each day you can end up making the 100 envelope challenge a weekly challenge rather than a daily challenge.

Or, you could try and condense the 100 envelopes to 50 envelopes just to get you started. Then, you can move into the larger scale challenge. 

If you are not the best saver ever then we have one piece of advice for you, or one last test for you. This test is… give yourself an hour before sealing your first envelope.

See how long it takes before you open that envelope and use the cash on a shopping spree. Resist the temptation?! Well, then you are good to go!

Deborah White