The 100 Day Envelope Challenge: Does It Work? Pros And Cons!

100 day envelope challenge

While saving money is always a smart idea, sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself to set aside a chunk of cash every paycheck. So if you struggle with saving every month, you might want to try out a savings challenge, like the 100 day envelope challenge.

With this challenge, you can end up saving over $5,000 in just 100 days! Let's get into it!

What is the 100 day envelope challenge?

The 100 day money envelope challenge is a popular 100 day money savings challenge that allows you to save a total of $5,050 by the end. It’s a trend that uses envelopes to save various amounts of money over 100 days.

It’s a popular idea to help participants save money in an easy and fun way.

Who would benefit from a 100 day envelope challenge?

According to the latest information from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, the average American household has only $41,600 in savings.

And while that could seem like a lot, keep in mind that experts recommend keeping three to about six months of your typical expenses for emergencies.

In addition, that doesn’t count savings for things like a car, down payment on a house, or an upcoming trip.

If you want to save money but struggle to set some aside each month, then you could benefit from the 100 day envelope savings challenge. The challenge is a great way to save for your emergency savings, pay off your debt, or save for a vacation.

Why should you do the 100 day money envelope challenge?

If you don’t have a savings account or have a big expense coming up that you need to save up for, then the 100 day envelope challenge might be for you.

Many Americans have struggled to keep up with their savings lately. The average amount in personal savings dropped 15% this year, according to a study by Northwestern Mutual.

So taking part in the 100 day money challenge can help you maintain or even build up your savings.

How does the 100 envelope savings challenge work?

With the 100 day money envelope challenge, you take 100 envelopes and number them 1 to 100. Mix them up and each day you pick one. Depending on the number you pick, you put the cash in the envelope and set it aside. So by the end of the 100 days, you’ll have saved $5,050.

For example, if you draw the 15 envelope one day, you would put $15 cash in the envelope, seal it, and set it aside. If another day you draw the 7 envelope, you put in $7, and so on.

You can also decide to spread the days out a bit, for example not doing the challenge on the weekends. It would take you longer to complete the 100 day envelope challenge but would allow you to spend that extra cash on some other things.

Does the 100 envelope savings challenge really help you save?

The 100 envelope savings challenge can help you save money but only if you stick with it. If you love games and challenges, it could be the motivation you need to start developing the habit of saving.

In a few short months, you could end up saving over $5,000 if you stick to the challenge every day. However, if you don’t do the challenge every day, it could take you longer to complete.

Pros and cons of the 100 day envelope challenge

There are a number of benefits to the 100 day envelope challenge, although it might not be for everyone. Here are some of the good and not so good things about the challenge:

Pros

Here are the things that make the 100 envelope savings challenge great. After reading this, you might want to give it a try!

Makes saving easy and fun

Who doesn't love a good game? If you are competitive and love playing games, the 100 day envelope challenge could be the motivation you need to start saving.

Doesn’t require much money to start

Some days you'll just need $1 or $2. The most you'll need in one day is $100. And the materials to get started are super easy to get too. You'll just need some envelopes, a pen, and of course, cash.

Can adjust it to fit your spending habits

If you can't afford to put aside cash every day, you can adjust the 100 day envelope challenge to fit your lifestyle. You can take weekends off or decide to postpone the challenge by a week or two if you need to.

Cons

Here are the things that aren't as convenient about the 100 day money envelope challenge. Keep these in mind if you choose to try it out.

You need to use cash, which not everyone has on hand these days

The biggest downside to the 100 day money envelope challenge is that you need to use cash to do it. Not everyone likes to use cash or has it handy. If you prefer going digital, you might want to consider one of the other challenges below.

Takes just over three months to complete at least

The 100 day envelope challenge takes a few months to complete. To get the full benefits, you'll need to work on the challenge nearly every day for at least three months or longer.

May not be the best strategy for people living paycheck to paycheck

If you don't have a lot of spare cash every day, this money savings challenge might not be for you. Instead, look for challenges that require less cash up front, such as the penny savings challenge (more on that below).

Other money saving challenges to try instead

There are quite a few money saving challenges and the 100 day money envelope challenge is just one of them. It might not be for everyone, so check out some of these other money saving ideas to see which one would work for you:

The 52 week challenge

With the 52 week challenge, you save a specific amount of money each week for a total of 52 weeks or one year. You start by saving $1 in the first week, then add $1 for each subsequent for a final total of $1,378.

The 30 day no spend challenge

This challenge is to keep you from overspending. You commit to a specific time frame, like a month, and only spend money on things you need. That means no shopping trips or buying extras like coffee, eating out, or anything nonessential.

$5 savings challenge

Another fun money saving challenge that is similar to the 100 day envelope challenge is the $5 savings challenge. In this challenge, every time you get a $5 bill, you save it for 90 days. At the end of three months, you should have a sizable amount saved up.

Penny savings challenge

The penny savings challenge is easy to follow. You start by saving a penny on day one, then add an extra penny each day for a whole year. By the year's end you’ll have saved a total of $667.95!

Coffee break challenge

Do you love your coffee breaks? Instead of buying a latte, set up a piggy bank and put the money in a jar every time you make your coffee at home. This encourages you to save money on those costly drinks and you could end up saving a few hundred a year!

30 day minimalist challenge

The minimalist challenge encourages you to get rid of something every day. While it’s not a savings challenge per se, it can help you focus less on spending and more on enjoying the things you already have.

Try the 100 day envelope challenge today!

If you need a simple and fast way to save a few thousand dollars, then try the 100 day envelope challenge. It requires few supplies and takes very little time to complete each year.

And once you’re done, you’ll have saved over $5,000! Plus it can help you get in the habit of saving and building up your emergency savings fund.

Once you save up that money, you might be wondering what to do with it. Clever Girl Finance has multiple articles about investing, frugal living, and growing your money.

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