100 Envelope Challenge: How You Can Save $5,050

A woman pulling out US dollar bills from her shirt pocket. Cash.

Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck because of your spending habits? Have you ever felt like you’re not saving enough money? You know you should be, but it’s just hard to get into the habit. If that sounds like you, the 100 Envelope Challenge may be for you! It is a 100-day savings challenge that helps you to save $5,050 – it does not get any easier!

In this post, we’ll talk about how exactly how this challenge works, who can benefit from it, and some pros and cons.

What is the 100 Envelope Challenge?

The 100 envelope money challenge is a simple yet successful way to save money. In a nutshell, you have 100 envelopes that are numbered from 1 to 100. Each day, you randomly pick an envelope and set aside cash in the envelope equal to the number written on the envelope (from 1 to 100).

Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is and isn’t! The challenge makes saving money fun and effortless as you don’t need to overthink your daily savings goal. But hold on before you buy 100 envelopes! Later in this post, we’ll give you tips on how to succeed with this money challenge and some drawbacks that you need to be aware of.

Why do the 100 Envelope Challenge?

Because extra savings never hurt anyone! If you’re trying different ways to save money, don’t skip over the 100 envelope challenge, as it is an easy way to save up every month and reach your financial goals. If you’re not convinced, here are some other reasons why you should consider doing this challenge.

  1. Start saving money for your first home or investment property’s down-payment.
  2. Start saving for retirement or accelerate your existing retirement savings plan.
  3. Save money to pay off debt or student-loan because getting out of debt is the first step towards achieving financial freedom!
  4. Start saving for college.
  5. If you enjoy dining out, save a little extra money for eating out on Friday nights.
  6. Save money for some new home gym equipment.
  7. Build an emergency fund.
  8. Reduce unnecessary monthly expenses that come from having extra cash available in your wallet.
  9. Invest in a good life insurance plan.

Who should do the 100 Envelope Challenge?

The 100 Envelope Challenge is perfect for anyone who wants to save money but doesn’t know-how. The quick and easy setup makes it effortless, while the 100 days will keep you motivated to reach your goal of saving $5,050.

But that’s not all! Here are some other people who may benefit from doing this challenge:

  • Young adults just starting in life (with bills like rent, student loans)
  • Empty nesters looking for ways to reduce expenses
  • People with significant credit card debt
  • Anyone struggling financially – due to having a lot less spending cash available than before, they’ll likely notice reduced expenses right away!

The 100 Envelope Challenge is perfect for anyone looking to save more money without thinking about it.

What You Need To Do The 100 Envelope Challenge

  1. 100 Envelopes
  2. 1 Marker
  3. 1 Box/Container
  4. Cash – the amount varies based on the day

And a whole lot of motivation!

How to do the 100 Envelope Challenge?

  1. Take 100 envelopes and number each – from 1 to 100.
  2. Shuffle the envelopes and store them in a box.
  3. Each day, randomly pick an envelope from the box.
  4. Set aside the amount of money indicated on the envelope.
  5. Repeat daily and keep up the motivation.
  6. Congratulations! You’re $5,050 richer in 100 days!

How many months is 100 days?

100 days is approximately 3.5 months.

Does the 100 Envelope Challenge work?

YES – 100%!

How much money do you get after the 100 envelope challenge?

After 100 days, you’ll have saved $5050!

Does the 100 Envelope Challenge work if I use my debit card? NO – Using your debit card defeats the purpose of this challenge. The goal is to be random and impulsive with where you put your money each day. This challenge isn’t possible when it comes from a bank.

Pros and Cons of the 100 Envelope Challenge


  • 100% success rate
  • 100 envelopes are cheap
  • It’s quick and easy to setup


  • You won’t see the cash in your bank account
  • Requires you to take out money each day (not always possible)
  • It can be tough if you’re not motivated – 100 days is a long time!

Variations of the 100 Envelope Challenge

Are you looking for other money-saving ideas? We have variations of the 100 envelope challenge to help you build better saving habits and cut back on spending.

100-day expense challenge

Pick an envelope and put money in it based on the amount you spent that day.

100-day savings challenge

Set aside $100 a day without touching it!

100-day budgeting challenge

Use envelopes to plan your monthly budget for each month

Wrap Up

Just 100 days to save $5,050? That’s a small sacrifice for such an easy way to save extra money. $5,050 is a lot of money, and this strategy can add up in the long run. Make the 100 envelope challenge part of your financial plan and see how much you can save. Start saving today!

Featured Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.

This post originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.