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How to Do The 200 Envelope Challenge

By now you’ve heard of The 100 Envelope Challenge that can help you save $5,000 in 100 days. But have you heard of The 200 Envelope Challenge that makes saving that money even easier? I didn’t think so.

You see, the 100 envelope challenge is a genius money saving hack and has worked for so many however, there is one common complaint I’d see, how do you save $5,000 in 100 days when you have that money in the first place?

That is exactly what the problem is with the 100 envelope challenge.

While it is a great concept to help you save your money and perhaps even get on track with a budget, it doesn’t change the face that most people don’t have that chunk of change lying around.

Let’s break down what the 100 day envelope challenge looks like.

So, you number 100 evenvoples with numbers 1-100 and mix them up.

Each day you pull a number and put that coordinating amount into that numbered envelope.

Now, that’s great if you pull a $1 bill the first day and perhaps $5 the next. But what if you pull the $100 the first day and the $87 one the next? That is $187 you have to come up with in 2 days! YIKES!

That is when I took a look at what was actually reasonable and came up with the 200 day envelope system.

This is literally nowhere else (I checked) and is an idea that just came to me one morning.

What is the 200 day envelope challenge?

The 200 day envelope challenge is similar to the 100 day envelope challenge but it’s an easier and more reasonable way to save $5,000.

You essentially save $5,000 over the course of 200 days instead of 100 days making it more affordable and budget friendly.

Instead of making 100 envelopes, you make 200 envelopes and you number them 1-50 and you do this 4 times. So, you will have 4 envelopes with $1, 4 envelopes with $2, etc.

Oh and if you’d rather not have 200 envelopes, take 100 envelopes and number 2 sets 1-50 then reuse the same envelopes twice (just put the money in the same envelope so the 50 envelopes would each have 2 $50 bills).

Once your envelopes are numbered, you will mix them up in a box and pull one each day. The number on the front of your envelope is the amount you save that day.

By the end of 200 days, you will have saved $5,100!

How is the 200 Day Envelope Challenge Better Than The 100 Day Envelope Challenge?

As I mentioned earlier, the 100 day envelope challenge is great if you have the extra means to complete it. However, the 200 day envelope challenge is made for those that are on a tighter budget.

For example, if you pull $50 the first day, and then pull $50 the second day, it’s a lot easier to save $100 in two days than the example I used above.

Basically, with the 200 envelope challenge, you’ll never have to worry about saving more than $50 in a single day which makes the money challenge easier to save and complete.

Sure, it will take you twice as long to complete but if your main goal is actually completing the challenge and ending with $5,000, you have to decide which money saving challenge works best for you and your situation and finances.

What You Need To Do The 200 Envelope Challenge

  • Envelopes – I really love the colorful ones because it just makes everything more fun make sure you have 200 envelopes
  • Black Sharpie – This is to write the numbers on the front
  • Cash (you can withdraw a certain amount each paycheck or run to the bank each day as needed)
  • Stickers – This is optional but is a fun way to seal your envelopes
  • Box or Container to Store Them In – I like to use a decorative photo box

In addition to the above supplies, I decided that it only made sense to have some sort of visual that will help you keep track of how many days you’ve completed.

So, I created a 100 Day Envelope Challenge Printable that you can color daily as you fill each envelope with cash! You can also write which number you pulled off to the side to keep track and print this sheet twice for the 200 envelope challenge. You can get that here.

100 day envelope challenge chart

What Do I Do if I Don’t Have Enough Money to Complete The Envelope Challenge?

As with anything, this is an optional challenge and isn’t something you should overly stress about or go into debt over.

However, if you are wanting to complete the envelope money saving challenge but need help finding more money. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Sell things around your home
  • Increase your income by getting a side hustle – Here’s 50 Side Hustle Ideas to help you get started
  • Start a budget – You’d be surprised how quickly you’d find money as soon as you lay it all out on paper and have a budget.
  • Cut costs wherever needed – Again, this helps having a budget but if you are an avid Starbucks customer, it’s probably time to cut that expense which can help you complete this goal.

One last tip – this goal does NOT have to be completed within 100 days or even 200 days, you can adjust it to fit your needs and budget.

If your main goal is to save $5,050, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to do it. You can adjust that amount and divide by how ever many weeks or months it would take you.