Monthly Finance Message:

The 30-Day $100 Savings Challenge

November 2016

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®
Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management
Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Do you want to save some money for holiday gifts or other short-term goals? Consider doing the 30-Day $100 Savings Challenge. The goal of the Challenge is simple: save $100 in a 30-day time period through a series of gradually increasing deposits. November has 30 days so every day is a savings day.

As shown in the picture below, daily savings deposits start at $1 a day for five days followed by $2, $3, and $4 each for five days. Note that required deposits do not increase beyond $5 a day for the last ten days of the Challenge.

Some people, however, prefer to do the Challenge in reverse and scale down from $5 to $1 if they have more money at the beginning of the month than the end. Another way to do the Challenge is to “skip around” and select daily deposit amounts in any order that add up to $100 by month’s end.

Once the monthly savings goal is reached, the Challenge can be repeated on a month-to-month basis for total annual savings of $1,200. When the Challenge starts to feel “easy,” it can be scaled up by doubling or tripling the daily savings amounts (e.g., a $200 a month or $300 a month challenge).  When it feels too challenging, it can be scaled back to a $50 a month Challenge and monthly deposits are cut in half.

Day # Deposit Total Completion
Check-Off
  Day # Deposit Total Completion
Check-Off
1 $1 $1     16 $4 $34  
2 $1 $2     17 $4 $38  
3 $1 $3     18 $4 $42  
4 $1 $4     19 $4 $46  
5 $1 $5     20 $4 $50  
6 $2 $7     21 $5 $55  
7 $2 $9     22 $5 $60  
8 $2 $11     23 $5 $65  
9 $2 $13     24 $5 $70  
10 $2 $15     25 $5 $75  
11 $3 $18     26 $5 $80  
12 $3 $21     27 $5 $85  
13 $3 $24     28 $5 $90  
14 $3 $27     29 $5 $95  
15 $3 $30     30 $5 $100  

For a print copy of a 30-Day $100 Savings Challenge worksheet, see http://www.slideshare.net/BarbaraONeill/30-day-100-savings-challenge-0416.

For information about six different savings challenges, with different time frames and target savings goals, see http://articles.extension.org/pages/73884/monthly-investment-message:-july-2016.


  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences