The Envelope Challenge: How much can you save?

Saving money isn't easy, but with this popular hack, you could save up to £5,000 in a year.

A person is holding an envelope. Inside there is a £5 note.
(Image credit: Getty)

Are you someone who struggles to save money? You may have heard about ‘The Envelope Challenge’ on your socials like TikTok. Although it seems like a recent craze it’s actually an old-school method of saving that’s been revived. 

In a time where finances are tight for most of us, this easy and straightforward way to save money will help you put money away for something special or just a rainy day. The Envelope Challenge is often started at the beginning of a new year, but you can start any time...why not start today! 

What is the Envelope Challenge?

The Envelope challenge is a very simple way of saving money. Rather than putting savings into a bank account, it involves saving cash in envelopes. There are various ways of doing it, from saving every day to just once a week. It’s thought that the idea of using physical cash can help some people save more efficiently. 

How much can I save?

This depends on if you opt for the 50-envelope challenge or the 100-envelope challenge. 

The 50-envelope challenge will provide savings of £1,275. However, if you opt for the 100-envelope challenge it aims to help you save a whopping £5,050! 

We are sure that you will already have plans for those savings but to put it into perspective, this is what you could buy with £1,275.

  • Samsung, The Frame (2023) 55-inch Smart TV from John Lewis - £1,199.00
  • Apple MacBook Air (2022) 13.6-inch Laptop from Argos - £1249.00
  • A 7-Night Haven Holiday to Devon for a family of 4 - July 2024 - £1201.00

And if you manage to save £5.050 you could treat yourself to…

  • A brand new car, straight off the forecourt including Nissan Qashqai or VW Up!
  • A holiday for 2 to Australia including flights and accommodation.
  • Home renovations that could include a swanky new conservatory

What do I need to get started?

It will come as no surprise that you’re going to need envelopes! 50 or 100 depending on which challenge you are going to try. It’s also a good idea to have a lockable cash box or safe, especially if want to give the 100-envelope challenge a go. 

How can I start the Envelope Challenge?

Whether you choose the 50 or 100-envelope challenge, you need to start by numbering your envelopes. Either 1 to 50 or 1 to 100. 

For the 50-envelope challenge, the aim is to pick an envelope each week. You can start and 1 and work your way to 50 or choose at random, it’s up to you. You then stuff the envelope with money corresponding to the number on the envelope. Eg: envelope 10 gets £10 cash and so on. By week 50 you will have £1,275! 

The 100-envelope challenge won't be for everyone as it demands a lot more of your cash. In reality, it means that you are in a position to save £13 a day if you want to reach the end goal.  It works in the same way as the 50 challenge except this time you pick 2 envelopes a week and stuff them with cash corresponding to the number on the envelopes.

Save what you can

You’ve probably guessed by now that there’s a lot of scope for creating your own challenge using this method. You could start at 1p if you like! The idea is to save regularly and have some fun with it. How much do you think you could save?

Sarah-Jane Outten

Hi, I’m SJ. I’m an editor and content executive here at MyVoucherCodes. I started my journey here as a deals expert which gave me the skills to become a money-saving expert. You can find my tips and recommendations in various publications including The Sun, The Mirror, and The Telegraph.

I gained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018, and I’ve put my writing skills into many projects since then. My portfolio at includes my work with Cardiff Times, Buzz Magazine and more. 

I write poetry and short stories for pleasure and enjoy getting creative with watercolours and lino printing. I hope that I can merge my love of writing and art into a children's book in the future - watch this space!