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The $20 Bill Challenge

Jessica from Life As I See It emailed me about a challenge she is doing with her husband this year:

Several weeks ago I was thinking about ways to earn a bit of extra money and I had an idea – what if Paul and I each started with a small amount of money and used it to make even more money over the course of a year.

From this idea our Twenty Dollar Bill Challenge was born.

The challenge is simply this – we each get one $20 bill and at the end of the year the person who has made the most money wins.

Wins what we haven’t yet decided. But the satisfaction of beating the other person would be pretty great on its own. We’re each others biggest cheerleaders but we enjoy a good challenge between us too.

We’ve made a few simple rules to keep ourselves on target:

– We are able to sell personal items but we’ll still check with each other to make sure the other person doesn’t mind the item that’s being sold.
– We can’t ‘borrow’ money to invest in another project if our current funds are all tied up in a current project.

Those are the simple rules we have made up – if other issues arise along the way we’ll sit down and see if we need to add to the rules, but the point of this is to challenge ourselves to think outside the box and see if we can keep investing money in projects and make a larger return.

Jessica and Paul have already invested their money in some pretty creative ways. Read more here.

Have you ever held a challenge related to money in your home or with your friends? I’d love to hear more about it!

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  • denise says:

    You should read about the penny experiment. Such a great idea and they even involved many coupon shoppers to help. Google It.

  • Michelle K says:

    That’s an awesome idea. I’m going to propose that to my husband.

  • Kristin Call says:

    o i love this!! how awesome! I’m proposing this idea to the hubby tonight!

  • Alea says:

    Thanks for the link: I love this idea. I’m going to see if my teens are interested in doing a 20.00 challenge this summer!

  • Michelle K says:

    Oy! Such confusion this has caused with hubby! This will be a work in progress for sure!

  • Kassandra says:

    This is so ironic! My husband and I were chatting a few days ago about creative ways for me to earn money from home. I decided to sell our childrens’ (last season) spring and summer wardrobes on Ebay. With that money, I plan to purchase more childrens’ clothing. If I make a significant amount, I will purchase new items. If not, then I will use that money to purchase other items in like-new condition at thrift stores and yard sales and sell again. I’d like to have a children’s boutique running by fall. My dream is to be a Work at Home Mommy and I am going to do my best to make that happen. I think what is the most fun about my plan, is that there will be no money out of pocket… But, hey… I may just add $20 of items to what I’m selling! i love this idea and can’t wait to get started!

  • Samantha N says:

    So cool! I”m trying to talk my hubby into it, but he’s not sure what he would do.

  • Oh, how much fun would this be to incorporate into homeschooling!! I don’t think my 7 year old would quite get the concept yet, but maybe as they get into Jr. High and High School years we can do this. Thanks for posting about it!

  • Kimberly says:

    Love this idea! I’m pretty sure my husband would win, but even so maybe we should try it. Maybe I’d suprise myself!

  • heather says:

    I love this idea as well! I’m very grateful to see what other families are doing to challenge themselves and know that it’s a fun and a great way to involve everyone 🙂

  • I love this idea! I might have to propose this to my husband (although he would probably sell everything but the kitchen sink to win!) I love the concept though!

  • Thanks for featuring this Crystal 🙂

    I love everyones idea of doing it with their kids- I hadn’t thought of that but when my boys are older just might try it!!

    Since starting this I have been inspired with SO many ideas that one could do with $20 – I just can’t do them yet since I am waiting for my art to sell 🙂 But I think I might write a post about money making ventures one could make with $20 – I’ll get my husbands input too since we think so differently and would be drawn to different challenges 🙂

  • Challice says:

    I love that idea! How fun!

    I am trying the $100 challenge. I have $100 for the month. That includes 2 kids in diapers, a completely gluten-free diet, toilette’s etc etc etc. So far I have made it to $100 but my rebate check should be here anyday… I’m holding out for that one day more. Its a pretty hefty check too. 🙂

  • jan says:

    Last year I had a goal to make $1000 by the end of the year- I started in August and I made it- so this year my goal is $2000 for the whole year. I count anything I sell on Ebay or consigment, any gift cards I earn, any rebates I get back, surveys that make money, any gifts of money, and any cash back bonuses.

  • I love that you find these random links! I cannot wait to try this this summer!

  • heidi says:

    My husband started a found money fund. If we find any money laying on the ground we pick it up and it goes in the found money fund. He is having a ball watching it grow and I am having fun everytime I can find even a penny to bring him. He says he is going to prove to our children that little amounts add up.

  • Marlana says:

    YES YES. I do this to myself every month!!!!! In fact, along those lines, I intentionally pay myself first (meaning my investment funds); our bills last. Why? Because the people I owe money to each month will start screaming if I didn’t pay them (and I know this!), and it that motivates me to make more money to pay the bills. If I paid them first, I’d lack the motivation to make myself make more money, and while I might have the bills paid and stay out of debt, I would still be setting my entire life up to live on paychecks. Since I started that I approach, I’ve made on average $500 a month more than I used to make — without getting a job. Its just money motivation.

    I want more money so I can have a better future for my family, and so I can give more. That begins not just by saving but by investing!

    Props to Jessica!!!

  • Carla says:

    One way to “earn” money is to refrain from spending it. My sister and I do a “no spend week” every other week. We allow ourselves one day to get the bargains, but otherwise, every other day of that week we aren’t allowed to spend any $$. It requires us to plan ahead for lunches (we both work outside the home), gas, menu/grocery planning and keeps us from all of the convenience or impulse spending that is so easy to fall into. It has opened our eyes to how often we did impulse buy – even if it was a “good deal”!

  • Michelle Garcia says:

    What are some of the ways you make your extra money? Or ideas?

  • Darcie says:

    I think this would be a good idea to do with kids (middle school and older). I would shorten the time frame to a month becaus one year just seems like such a long time. I think my husband and I would even forget about it after a while.

  • Heidi says:

    My mother in laws church did something like this a few years ago. They based it off of the parable of the talents and gave each person $10 which they were suppose to use to make more money. I thought that it was a very neat idea.

  • Stephanie says:

    I LOVE this idea, in fact I will be blogging about my $20 adventures at
    Thanks for the inspiration. I will be using a lot of the ideas I get from your site to help me out too 🙂 Hope you’ll come check out my progress.

  • Randi says:

    I shared this idea with my husband tonight. We may do it! What a fun couples experiment to do together as a team! Awesome.Thanks for sharing!

  • Nerdizen says:

    I like the idea and practice of the $20 Challenge. I do a similar-themed challenged that involves walking two days to local places I need to go and taking public transportation to places further than my neuropathy allows me to walk.
    On the third day, I drive my econobox (Toyota) using the U.P.S. business model, of planning my route to the places that I am going to that day, using mostly right turns. Using right turns to get to your destination, cuts down on idling at intersections dramatically, and the savings add up quickly in fuel usage.
    I also go out to eat every other day, using only coupons, such as the many restaurant chains you can become a member of through their website or Facebook and most will give you at the minimum, reduce priced meals, buy one, get one free or an outright free meal for being a club member.
    Also, the walk is a great way to reduce stress and the coins you find along the way, are kind of nice too!

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