Saving money is an essential part of any financial plan. Still, it can be a difficult habit for many people to start. Finding a few extra dollars from different parts of our budget isn’t the most exciting thing on most people’s to-do lists. So what can we do to save more?
For many people, money challenges can provide that extra bit of motivation and make saving a little more interesting. For example, the 100 envelopes challenge is one money challenge that can save you over $5,000 in just 100 days! $5050, to be exact, but hey, who counts, right? Wait, we all count when it comes to our money.
What is a money challenge?
Before we get into the details of the 100 envelope challenge, let’s take a quick look at what a money challenge is. Essentially, a money challenge is a way to save money in a way that feels more like a game, or as the name implies, a challenge.
There are all kinds of money challenges. There is the 52 week money challenge and there are many variations. Other money-saving challenges similar to the 100 envelope challenge may include some of the below:
No Spend Weekend Movey Saving ChallengePantry Challenge Money Saving ChallengeLittle Vices Money Saving ChallengeFive Dollar Bill Money Saving ChallengeAnd much more
When doing a money challenge, it’s essential to find one that fits your personality, budget, and savings strategy. It sounds great to see how much you could theoretically save, but if the money isn’t there, you can always tweak each challenge a bit. The important thing is to develop any kind of money-saving habit when doing your money challenge, such as the 100 envelope challenge.
What is the envelope budgeting system?
The inspiration for the 100 envelope challenge comes from the envelope budgeting system. The 100 envelope system is a budgeting method to help you spend less money, often promoted by its creator, Dave Ramsey.
The premise of the envelope budgeting system is to have an envelope for every bill you have to pay each month. Then you put each paycheck in cash in the envelopes for these bills. If you use cash to pay these bills, you could theoretically spend less than you earn.
If an envelope doesn’t contain enough cash to pay the bill on time, you won’t pay the bill or will have to take the money you would have spent elsewhere. The idea is to focus on essential living expenses first, such as your mortgage, utilities, and food. Once those envelopes have enough cash, anything can be a little extra for non-essential or impulsive spending.
How does the 100 Envelope Challenge work?
Okay, time to take part in the 100 Envelope Challenge (aka the 100 Day Money Challenge), how it works and helps you save money. The idea behind the 100 envelope challenge is easy to do. Get started as follows:
Buy 100 envelopes Write the numbers 1-100 on it, one number per envelope Mix all the envelopes Pick a random envelope every day (you can also use a random number generator) Whatever number is on that envelope, put that much money in it Stop that stuffed envelope aside (somewhere safe!) Keep your savings Save $5050!
That’s it, the 100 day envelope challenge is so easy. Just take some envelopes and put money in them. When you’re down, you have $5050 that you can use to pay off debt, use it as a down payment on a car, pay off credit cards, put into retirement accounts, create an emergency fund, or any of the many ways to spend money wisely!
To give you an idea of what your savings would look like, here’s a general breakdown of 100 envelope savings:
After filling envelopes 1-10 you saved $55. After filling envelopes 1-25 you will have saved $325. After filling envelopes 1-50, you saved $1,275. After filling envelopes 1-75, you saved $2,850. After filling all 100 envelopes, you will have cash worth $5,050
What you need to start the 100 Envelope Challenge
Part of the beauty of the 100 envelope challenge is its simplicity in execution and setup. Below are the supplies you’ll need to do the 100 envelope challenge.
You can’t do the 100 day envelope challenge without envelopes. Have at least 100 (duh), but a few spares wouldn’t hurt either.
A box or other storage container:
A hundred envelopes may not sound like a lot, but they can certainly take up a decent amount of space. Have a box or container for both envelopes you haven’t already wrapped, especially somewhere to keep the envelopes already filled with cash.
You have to write the numbers on the envelopes with something, right? Sharpies usually give a nice bright number on each envelope.
Everything you want
.If you like plain envelopes with numbers and want to stop there, no problem. You may want to spice them up a bit. You can add stickers, more colorful markers, inspiration quotes, which makes the 100 envelope challenge more “you”.
Something to track your progress
Tracking your progress is vital in money-saving challenges. For the 100 envelope challenge, you can keep track of which envelopes have been drawn and how much you have saved. You can make this as simple or complex as you want.
Can I change the 100 envelope challenge?
As well-intentioned as the 100 envelope challenge is, sometimes there just isn’t an extra 5k in your budget no matter what you do. However, that does not mean that extra money can be saved.
Your someone in this situation, the answer is simple. Just change the 100 envelope challenge to match what you can save. Here are some ideas to help you match the 100 envelope challenge to your budget:
Challenge 50 envelopes Extend the 100 days to 150 days, 200 days, or even a year Use 100 envelopes, but only use numbers up to 20, 25, or 50
Of course, if you want to go all out and challenge yourself, you can make the 100 envelope challenge harder. For example, using the same ideas as above, you can increase the number of envelopes, increase the amounts for each envelope, or shorten the time frame by choosing two envelopes per day.
Pros and Cons for the 100 Envelope Challenge
As with any money-saving challenge that will help you save, the 100 envelope challenge has its own set of pros and cons, here are just a few of them:
The challenge of 100 envelopes is both easy to set up and perform You can save a lot of money very quickly Because the challenge uses cash, your money is easily accessible. You can easily adapt the challenge before or during any financial situation The challenge of 100 envelopes can help save money becomes a habit.
You will have to keep yourself motivated every day It can be inconvenient to constantly put cash in envelopes You may not have enough money to put in your envelopes every day You have thousands of dollars in your house that can easily be lost or stolen if not in a safe location
100 Envelope Challenge: Final Thoughts
Getting motivated to save money isn’t always easy. Money-saving challenges try to give you that extra motivation you need to develop good money-saving habits. The 100 Envelope Challenge is just one of many money-saving challenges out there.
The 100 envelope challenge is easy to set up and perform, but may be a bit too much money for some people to save in a short amount of time. If so, simply adapt the challenge to your financial situation. Start saving money today with the 100 Envelope Challenge!
Jeff is a fan of all things finance. When he’s not changing the world with his blog, you can find him on a run, playing a Mets game, playing video games, or just playing with his kids.
This post Use the 100 Envelope Challenge to Save $5050!
was original published at “https://haveyourdollarsmakesense.com/100-envelope-challenge/”