The 100-envelope challenge is an innovative and exciting way to save money in a short period of time.

If you’ve been struggling to put some cash aside or just want to test your financial discipline, this challenge might be the one for you.

As a popular money-saving hack on TikTok, it promises to help you save up to $5,050 in just 100 days by stashing cash in labeled envelopes.

Understanding the 100 Envelope Challenge


Origins on Social Media

The 100 envelope challenge, also known as the 100-day money challenge, emerged from social media platforms like TikTok.

This trending financial challenge aims to help you save money quickly and easily.

By participating in this challenge, you can potentially save up to $5,050 in just 100 days.

How It Works

To start the 100 envelope challenge, you’ll need the following items:

  • 100 envelopes
  • A box or large envelope to store the 100 envelopes
  • Access to $5,050 for saving during the challenge (although not all at once)

Now let’s see the steps to follow:

  1. Take your 100 envelopes and label each one with a number, starting from 1 to 100.
  2. Shuffle the envelopes to arrange them in a random order.
  3. Place the envelopes in your storage box or large envelope.

Every day for 100 days, you will complete the following actions:

A. Draw one envelope from your storage box at random.
B. Check the number on the envelope.
C. Place the corresponding dollar amount into the envelope (for example, if the number on the envelope is 10, you will put $10 inside).

You will need to commit to this everyday practice. It can be challenging, but it does provide a new perspective on saving money.

By the end of the challenge, you’ll have saved a total of $5,050, and the feeling of accomplishment will be well worth the effort.

Setting up the Challenge

Gathering Supplies

Setting up the 100-envelope challenge is quite straightforward. First, gather all the necessary supplies you’ll need for the challenge:

  • 100 envelopes
  • A pen or marker
  • Stickers or labels (optional)
  • A box or container to store the envelopes
  • A challenge tracker
  • Free printables (optional)

Having all of these items ready will make the process smooth and organized.

Labeling Envelopes

Once you have your supplies, it’s time to label your envelopes. Using the pen or marker, number each envelope from 1 to 100.

If you’d like to add some flair, you can use stickers or labels to decorate each envelope. After labeling, mix up the envelopes and place them in your chosen box or container.

Creating a Tracker

Keeping track of your progress during the 100-envelope challenge is essential.

You can create a simple challenge tracker or download a free printable 100-envelope challenge tracker from various sources online.

This tracker will help you monitor the amount of money you’re saving throughout the challenge.

Here’s a sample table to log your progress:

Envelope #Amount SavedTotal Savings

Update your tracker daily as you put the corresponding amounts into your selected envelopes.

Keeping up with the tracker will give you a better understanding of your progress during the challenge and motivate you to stay consistent.

Variations and Adaptations

100 Day Envelope Challenge

The popular variation of the 100 Envelope Challenge is the 100 Day Envelope Challenge. It’s the same basic steps we covered above:

  • Buy 100 envelopes
  • Write a number from 1-100 on each envelope
  • Pick an envelope at random each day

This approach can help you save a total of $5,050 in just over three months. However, be prepared for tougher days when you pick higher numbered envelopes.

52-Week Money Challenge

Another popular adaptation is the 52-Week Money Challenge.

This approach focuses on saving throughout an entire year and is usually less strenuous on your budget than the 100 Envelope Challenge.

Here’s how it works:

  • Save $1 in the first week
  • Increase your savings by $1 each week
    ($2 in the second week, $3 in the third week, and so on)

By the end of the year, you’ll have saved a total of $1,378.

This challenge is more manageable for most people, as the highest amount you need to save in a week is $52.

Other Money-Saving Challenges

There are plenty of other money-saving challenges you can try, depending on your needs and goals. Some examples include:

  • Bi-weekly savings challenges (save on every payday)
  • Monthly challenges (save a set amount or percentage each month)
  • Save-the-change challenges (round up your purchases and save the difference)

Feel free to get creative and adjust these savings hacks to suit your financial situation, commitments, and goals.

You can also combine multiple challenges or suggest your own rules that work best for you.

Personalizing the Challenge

Savings Goal

Customizing Savings Goals

Setting specific savings goals can make your 100-envelope challenge more meaningful and motivating.

For example, you can decide to save up for a vacation, a large purchase, or a rainy day fund.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Monthly expenses: Set an adjustable target to cover a month or two of expenses.
  • Emergency fund: Aim to build or expand your emergency fund.
  • Debt repayment: Save to pay off a credit card or student loan.
  • Long-term investment: Consider adding to your retirement account or investment portfolio.

The key is to align your challenge with a goal that matters to you and makes sense given your financial situation.

Choosing Envelope Amounts

While the standard 100-envelope challenge calls for labeling envelopes with amounts from $1 to $100, you can adjust these numbers according to your personal budget and financial goals.

Here are some ways to adjust the envelope amounts:

  • Adjusted ranges: Based on your budget, choose a different range of numbers (e.g., $0.50 to $50, $5 to $500, etc.)
  • Set increments: Instead of increasing by $1, choose a different increment (e.g., increase by $2, $5, or $10, etc.)
  • Use a random number generator: To mix things up further, use a random number generator to assign envelope amounts within a specific range.

Remember to stay realistic about what you can afford while pushing yourself to save more than you might otherwise.

Alternative Envelope Storage

While the challenge typically uses physical envelopes, there are various alternative storage options to better suit your preferences and lifestyle:

  • Digital envelopes: Use a budgeting app that allows you to create digital envelopes to track your savings.
  • Spreadsheet: Create a spreadsheet with 100 rows, each representing an envelope and its amount, and update your progress as you save.
  • Mason jars or containers: Label and fill small jars or containers with cash instead of using envelopes.

Choose the method that works best for you, whether it’s sticking to physical envelopes or opting for a digital or alternative approach.

This way, you’ll stay excited about the challenge and motivated to complete it.

Benefits of the 100 Envelope Challenge

Developing a Savings Habit

The 100 envelope challenge is an excellent way to develop a consistent savings habit.

By pulling out a random envelope each day and putting in a designated amount of cash, you’ll get accustomed to setting aside money on a regular basis.

This exercise helps you build discipline and make saving an integral part of your daily routine.

Moreover, as you see your cash-filled envelopes pile up, you’ll be motivated to stay committed to your savings journey.

Accumulating Extra Cash

This challenge is not only fun but also highly effective in accumulating a sizable amount of cash.

As you continue to fill envelopes with the corresponding amounts, you can save up to $5,050 in just 100 days.

When compared to other saving methods, the 100 envelope challenge can lead to a significant boost in your savings over a relatively short period.

This impressive increase in your savings encourages you to stick with the challenge and continue saving money in a more entertaining way.

Achieving Financial Goals

The 100 envelope challenge is an ideal tool for helping you achieve your short-term financial goals.

As you successfully complete the challenge and accumulate a significant sum of money, you’ll find it easier to reach your financial targets.

Whether you’re aiming to pay off debt, build an emergency fund, or save up for a future vacation, this money-saving challenge provides a structured and enjoyable path to reaching those milestones.

Managing Your Challenge Earnings

Banking Options

When participating in the 100-envelope challenge, it’s crucial to consider where you’ll store your accumulated cash.

There are several banking options available to you:

  • Cash: You could continue using the cash envelope system to keep your challenge earnings organized and separated from other funds. Keep your envelopes in a safe and secure location to prevent loss or theft.
  • Checking account: Depending on your bank, you might use a checking account to store the challenge earnings. This offers easy access to the funds while still keeping them separate from your regular spending account.
  • Savings account: Opening a savings account specifically for your challenge earnings is a great option. It allows you to earn interest on your deposits, which can grow over time. Look for high-yield savings accounts that offer better interest rates than traditional savings accounts.

Emergency Funds

The 100-envelope challenge could provide an excellent opportunity for you to start or grow your emergency fund.

Emergency savings are essential for those unexpected life events, such as medical expenses, car repairs or job loss.

Consider setting aside a portion of your challenge earnings into an emergency fund that you can access quickly in case of need.


If you already have an emergency fund, you might use some or all of your challenge earnings to invest.

Here are some investment options to consider:

  • Stock market: You can purchase individual stocks or buy mutual funds, index funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This helps diversify your investments and maximizes your chances of earning long-term returns.
  • Retirement accounts: Take advantage of tax benefits by contributing to retirement accounts like 401(k)s or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
  • Real estate: Investing in real estate can provide long-term appreciation and rental income to grow your wealth.

Handling Debts and Expenses

Pay off Credit Card Debt

When you participate in the 100 envelope challenge, you may find yourself with extra funds.

One great way to use this money is to pay off your credit card debt.

Make a list of your credit cards and their respective balances. Prioritize paying off the cards with the highest interest rates first.

For example, if you have 3 credit cards with outstanding balances:

Credit CardBalanceInterest Rate
Card A$1,00018%
Card B$50012%
Card C$1,50010%

Start by paying off Card A, as it has the highest interest rate.

Using the extra money from the 100 envelope challenge, you can make a significant dent in your credit card debt and save yourself money on interest payments in the long run.

Down Payments for Big Purchases

Another way to utilize the funds from the 100 envelope challenge is to save for down payments on large purchases, such as a car or a house.

By putting a larger down payment, you will:

  • Reduce your monthly payment
  • Pay less in interest over time
  • Possibly avoid mortgage insurance (for a home purchase)

Allocate a portion of your saved funds toward your down payment fund to make it easier to reach your goal.

Covering Rent and Bills

Finally, you can use the 100 envelope challenge funds to cover your rent and bills.

If you have been struggling to make ends meet, this extra money can be a lifesaver.

  • Use the saved funds to pay off any late rent or utilities to avoid penalties or even eviction.
  • Allocate some of the funds to an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.

By staying on top of your monthly expenses, you can use the 100 envelope challenge to create financial stability and work toward a brighter financial future.

Measuring Your Success

Savings Goal

Reaching Your Savings Goal

The main objective of the 100 envelope challenge is to help you reach your savings goal.

As you progress through the challenge, it’s essential to track your savings and ensure that you’re getting closer to achieving your target.

Here are some tips to help you measure your success in reaching your savings goal:

  • Regularly update a savings tracker sheet or an app where you can log the amount saved each day. This step will help you monitor your progress visually and give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Make a habit of counting the total saved money in your envelopes every week or month. It will give you a clearer picture of your milestones and indicate whether you need to adapt your approach.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate your small wins along the way, such as reaching the halfway point or saving a certain percentage of your goal. Acknowledging these achievements will keep you motivated to continue.

Completing the Challenge

Completing the 100 envelope challenge is an accomplishment in itself.

The process of consistently saving money for 100 days demonstrates dedication and discipline that can benefit your financial health in the future.

As you near the end of the challenge, here are some ways to ensure you complete it successfully:

  • Stay organized with your envelopes by keeping them in a designated container or box. Doing so will make it easier for you to pick a new envelope each day and ensure that you don’t lose track of where you are in the challenge.
  • Consistently posting updates or sharing your progress with friends, family, or social media can also act as a form of motivation and accountability. By involving others in your journey, you may find the encouragement and support needed to see the challenge through.


The 100 Envelope Challenge is an effective way for you to save money quickly.

Throughout this process, you’ll have a tangible and fun method to achieve your savings goals.

This challenge can provide a motivation boost, especially if you find regular savings plans less engaging.

The key to success in this challenge lies in your ability to consistently set aside money for the 100 days.

To keep your motivation high, consider making it a social event where you and your friends can participate and encourage each other.

Also, do not forget to make necessary adjustments to the challenge that better suit your personal financial situation.

You might choose to save over a longer time frame or adjust the amounts you save daily.

It’s important that the challenge works for you and helps create better financial habits in the long run.

Keep in mind the following tips while participating in the 100 Envelope Challenge:

  • Stay disciplined: Make sure every day, you’re making your contribution to the challenge without making any exceptions.
  • Track your progress: Keep a journal or a digital tracker to help you see how close you are to completing the challenge.
  • Be flexible: Make necessary adjustments to variations that better suit your financial situation and personal preferences.

So, get ready to embrace the 100 Envelope Challenge, and before you know it, saving money will become second nature to you.

Good luck on your savings journey!