Investing $199.85 A Month for the Rest of My Life

The other day I decided to go big on my last personal debt, this is a debt owed to my parents and one which will help them have an easier transition into retirement.  I have not changed my mind about paying back this debt and still have a goal to make my debt free scream by the end of 2015, which in itself is a Go Big challenge.  What I couldn’t get around was my want and need to invest, whether it was $20 month or $200.  While I was trying to figure things out after my student loan payoff, the fun article is found over at Budgets are Sexy I decided to take the minimum payment that was formerly going directly to my student loans and put it right in my Vanguard IRA account.  Why not invest money while I decided to put the final touches on my plan, but it just felt right to invest, so I decided to invest for the rest of my life.

I am finally going to use the momentum I have created and start investing into my IRA.  I know $200 or $199.85 is not a lot of money, but it makes me feel like I’m going be a millionaire.  You know what it very well could, think about that for a second, putting $200 into an account could make you a millionaire, feels nice to read at least.  Of course this could take some pretty hefty compounding interest using the Smart Asset Calculator, but it’s not inconceivable by any means, if I took $200 each month for 30 years and received a 13.50% return, I would be a millionaire*.



Since I’m a fairly conservative when it comes to projections and numbers, even the $200 monthly contribution and 6% return over 30 years will get you over $200,000 which as I’m sure you can imagine but do not want to experience is better than a swift quick to the baby maker.


The great story in all of these pie charts and bar graphs is just by contributing to your IRA account each year at the current IRA contribution limit of $5,500 you are going to have almost half a million dollars!  All great numbers to talk and encourage others about investing and the opportunity to increase your net worth, because let’s face it if you don’t have money coming in you can’t retire early or for that matter at all.



My Plan

One of the calculator’s that I use for quick investment research is Dave Ramsey’s Investment Calculator which you can say whatever you want about Mr. Ramsey but secretly his calculator wants us all to retire early.  What do I mean?


The investment calculator gives you the option to invest for a number of years and then sit back and watch your money grow.  Does that sound familiar?  Let me give you a hint.  Financial Independence Day!  In my early retirement blueprint, my plan which is heavily based in real estate makes a leisurely switch to the investment side with the plan for this money to be used almost as supplemental income during my time in early retirement.  My rental investment income will be my main source of income in early retirement and my plan is to allow my tax deferred investments like 401K and IRA build up until the government approved retirement age,  which if you ask the federal government is anywhere from 59.5 to 67 years of age, either way that’s a long time in your early 30’s.  If I put my student loan payment towards my IRA each month for $199.85 for the next 5 years and stop contributing, but allow the money to grow for an additional 25 years I will be rolling in at the age of 63 with an additional $63,799.97.  That’s fantastic news, maybe when I’m 63 I will want to buy a boat, help my great nephew with college, or start a small brewery in my garage.  It doesn’t really matter at that point because the additional money will be a bonus, just from taking the next 5 years and contributing my student loan payment amount to my IRA.

I don’t plan to stop there, over the next 5 years my individual contributions to my IRA and 401K will increase each year and put me in a great position to use this money as a bonus when I turn “retired age”.  There is also well documented ways to use this money in early retirement.  I have mentioned the MadFIentist before but recently Retire 29 did a great job explaining the process for those that need a little visual understanding on how it works.  The early retirement blueprint is all coming together, piece by piece and I keep track of it all over at Personal Capital and since it’s FREE I think you should to! Personal Capital gives me a great look at the big picture of all my accounts, plus when you are looking at the big picture it becomes easier to invest even it’s just $199.85.

Nominate me for the Plutus Awards

The Plutus Awards is an annual awards ceremony celebrating the best in personal finance. It has been held every year since 2010, and since 2011, the ceremony has been held at the annual FinCon Expo. Through the Plutus Awards, the independent financial media community honors the products and services that best reflect the needs of consumers, as well as the best financial publications in new media, including blogs, multimedia, and educational resources.

I would really appreciate if you could take a minute of your time and click on the Nominate Me icon above, I hope you have enjoyed my writing since 2014 and a few seconds of your time to nominate Even Steven Money for best new personal finance blog would be appreciated, I even filled out the category.  Cheers!


*Financial Samurai suggests that 3 million is the new 1 million, but I will be happy to have either one in the near future.

26 Responses to “Investing $199.85 A Month for the Rest of My Life

  • Good on you, Even Steven! Everything that you do now will greatly benefit your future self. It’s always fun to look at your money grow and consider how far that cash will go in enabling your early retirement.

    Keep up the good work. 🙂
    Steve recently posted…The Sunshine Bloggers AwardMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      I’m working on making that money grow, I’m looking to Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems;)

  • Great way to not let yourself experience lifestyle inflation now that the student loans are gone! My biggest concern when we paid our loans off was the extra cash flow might get spend instead of saved. To make sure it didn’t we set up automatic savings for most of the amount right away so we weren’t tempted. Biggest goal this year is to max out both mine and my wife’s IRAs. Still have a ways to go to make it happen though!

    Thanks for the heads up on the Ramsey calculator. May not be the biggest fan of some of his ideas but the calculator seems to have some good features on it!
    Thias @It Pays Dividends recently posted…Do You Know Your Future Self?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Great goal on IRA’s with you and the wife, a lot can happen up until April 2016 right! Extra cash flow shouldn’t be a problem, I just look for different areas to save/invest.

      I’m not a huge calculator person as i prefer a spreadsheet, but I really do think it’s great to add you money invested and still calculate after the contributions end, which could be very similar to our ER plan and maybe others.

  • Setting up automatic investments is the way to go!
    This is a great decision to invest the equivalent of a previous expense and to start investing now.

    I also started making automatic investments some time ago without being too sure if that would be an OK amount and eventually, I realized that I adapted myself to the constraint, so it was actually perfect.

    And the sooner you set the automatic contribution, you sooner you get to see the benefits 🙂
    TheMoneyMine recently posted…4 articles that made me smarter this monthMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Couldn’t agree more the sooner you add the money the sooner you can see it all add up to MILLIONS, well soon enough it will all be millions.

  • I think this is great. My only question is why an IRA…why not a Roth IRA? Just asking. Woo hoo to getting this final debt done by Christmas.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Christmas celebration I tell you!

      A couple reasons we went with IRA. Our combined salary is higher now than it will be in early retirement and retirement age, so taking the tax deduction now is important for us today. I’m not sure when or if this will happen but we may get phased out of the IRA contribution and only be able to do a backdoor Roth. This money is intended to be a bonus either in ER or later on at retirement age, either way we do plan to convert our Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, this will eliminate taxes if this loop hole still exists in 5-10 years. Lastly the money that we save in taxes goes towards either paying off debt or investing/savings, not a new TV, Car, some other crap broke people buy.

      Great question, thanks for asking.

  • ESM,

    Your pictures remind me that it just takes small, regular steps accumulated over time to produce wealth later in life. Good luck with your investment plan. Can’t wait to see where you are 5-, 10-, and 15- years from now!

    Take care,

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Agreed it will be great to reflect in 5 years and do a comparison, one of the joys about writing all this stuff down to go and look at your life years later and compare.

  • Time is your biggest asset when planning for the future. If you start early, it’s amazing how a little monthly investment can accumulate by retirement age!
    Brock @Cleverdude recently posted…Teaching A Teen About TippingMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      I always think of the song lyrics: Time it’s on your side……Yes it is!

  • This is a perfect example of power of compound interest. This is why saving and investing early in your life will make more impact than investing later in life.
    Tawcan recently posted…Happy belated 1 year blog anniversaryMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Yeah $200 isn’t a lot today but my calculator said it’s a big deal later on!

  • All about saving as early as you can and watch it grow! Sounds like a good plan for that extra cash.
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Stuck in the MiddleMy Profile

  • Time is investing’s best friend. Even “little” amounts of money can grow to be quite large if given enough time! Keep it up.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…The First $100k is the Hardest!My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Little will turn into big, just need a few extra years and Boom!

  • Never despise the day of small beginnings. It will grow quick.
    Adam @ recently posted…Keep Stacking BricksMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      The faster the better, but I’m a happy man just the same.

  • Love this! A little bit can definitely go a long way. If only more people realized this. I have heard from so many who say that they don’t save anything because they feel like the little amount they can save won’t make a difference. It does make a difference though!
    Michelle recently posted…Selling Your Home – Step By Step ProcessMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      I mean everyone starts small right?! Not like one day we wake up and decide to put 100K/month towards our investments, at least not that I know of!

  • I freaking love the idea of taking the snowball method and turning the debt payments into investment payments. Such a psychological win! And $200k isn’t at all shabby. True, not enough to retire on, but $200k closer. I’m all about visuals, too. And love SmartAsset calculators.
    femmefrugality recently posted…Reader’s Dream #Giveaway: $225 Amazon Gift Card and 7 BooksMy Profile

  • Good luck on your way for being debt free till the rest of your life! I am amazed at how consistently you chase your goals and watch your money grow paying off all the loans. Feel inspired by your success story!
    Vanessa Ally recently posted…5 Killer Link Baiting And Viral Marketing PostsMy Profile

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