2014 Investing Challenge: How Did the First Month Go?

4 Minute Read

The 2014 Investing Challenge has entered its second month, and things are in full swing! Thousands of readers just like you responded to our call to invest an extra $300 a month for retirement this year!

Our goal is to show you that investing a full 15% of your income for retirement is easier than you think. We’re starting with $300 because it’s enough to make an impact on your retirement nest egg without being too much for most people to fit into their budgets.

Building a Community of Investors With the Same Goal

One of the best parts of the Investing Challenge is that we get to hear from you! We got tons of responses to our survey in last month’s Investing Minute newsletter, and your answers taught us a lot about how our new investing community plans to take on the challenge.

First, we found that you weren’t afraid to work—work your budget, work some overtime, or even work an extra job to come up with that extra $300 a month! A lot of you simply needed a reminder to be intentional about meeting your 15% goal.

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Surprising Facts About You

Our survey also revealed some interesting facts about how well you are saving for retirement. What we found impressed us!

–Half of you already have six-figure retirement nest eggs! That puts you way ahead of the average retirement savings, which is about $25,000.

–Nearly half of you already invest at least $500 a month for retirement, with nearly 10% of those saving $2,000 or more. Wow!

–In spite of that progress, only 25% of you say you are “very optimistic” about saving enough to afford a comfortable retirement.

Should I Accept the Challenge?

Several of you had questions about how the challenge works on different Baby Steps. If you’re on Baby Steps 1, 2 or 3—still digging out of debt or saving up an emergency fund—retirement investing should wait. On the other hand, if you’re past Baby Step 4, and you already invest 15% of your income, that’s awesome! There’s no need to throw another $300 on top of that. Instead, stay focused on Baby Steps 5, 6 and 7.

Some readers felt left out of the challenge because $300 represents more than 15% of their income. We’ve got great news for you! First, you’re not alone. Many of our readers said they wrestle with the same issue. Second, you can participate in the Investing Challenge by simply increasing your investing budget by 1% or 2%. As long as you’re making progress toward that 15% goal, we’ll be cheering you on!

Another Way to Talk to Us

In last month’s Investing Minute newsletter, we told you the Investing Challenge is a two-way street. We want to know about the mental, emotional and financial hurdles you face when it comes to investing for retirement. Tell us what we can do to help you reach your goals. Are there tools, resources or advice on specific topics you’d find useful?

Email your thoughts to investingchallenge@daveramsey.com, and we’ll take an in-depth look at these topics in future editions.

Tips on Saving $300 a Month

If you’ve been on the fence about taking part in the Investing Challenge, don’t hesitate any longer! The people who are participating are just like you. They’re focused on building a secure retirement, and they’re willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

If you’re worried about finding the extra money to invest each month, the Investing Challenge community has some suggestions. In addition to the most popular way to save money (eating out less), you can also:

Cut back on the entertainment budget and find free options

–Set up an automatic withdrawal so you never see the money

Invest your raise and/or your income tax refund

Reconsider luxuries like housecleaning and grass-cutting services

Negotiate lower internet, cable, cell phone and insurance bills

Cutting expenses isn’t always easy, but in the big picture, it’s worth it. Investing 15% of a $40,000 income over 30 years can result in a million-dollar nest egg! Keep that in mind as you’re considering ways to spend less and invest more.

Get Your Questions Answered One-on-One

Of course, if you need one-on-one advice about retirement investing, an investing pro like one of Dave’s investing Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) can answer your questions and help you make sure you’re doing all you can to reach your savings goals. Find your ELP today!

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