What I learned from my 2015 Personal Finance Survey

As far as I’m concerned a survey is the best way to get real, useful, concrete data on the people I want to serve best: you.

Even though I hadn’t told anyone about my blog (not even mom!), a survey of friends, co-workers, and family still provides valuable information on one of the things I’m passionate about – personal finance.

Personal finance impacts everyone. Everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have $0 to your name or $1 million.

I’m excited because I got feedback from 35 people. That’s pretty good since not a single person knew what I was up to. 33 is the minimum required for a survey to have useful data.

What the numbers say

71% of respondents were female, 29% were male.

  • Age 18–30 (28%)
  • Age 31–40 (46%)
  • Age 41–50 (23%)
  • Age 51–60 (3%)

What is the biggest financial challenge you are facing right now?

  • Not enough money – 40%
  • Not enough know-how –20%
  • Not enough time – 11%
  • Not enough inspiration – 8%
  • Not enough clarity – 8%
  • Not enough skills – 6%
  • Not enough results – 6%

All the responses are anonymous; I can’t tell how any one person voted.

What I’m taking away from the numbers

So what do I think of all this? Based on the feedback, I have come to four conclusions about things to focus on:

  1. Helping you get out of debt.  The biggest challenge most of you are facing is not having enough money. That’s causing debt problems. You’re in a hole and don’t know how to get out. I’ve had debt. It sucks. By staying focused on helping you get out of debt, I’m confident I’ll be able to help you close the gap in the coming year.
  2. Showing you how to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck and start saving.  If you’re not in debt, the next challenge most people have is how to save more. Saving for retirement. A vacation. A new home. Kids. I’ll be providing you practical answers, hacks, and processes.
  3. Saving for retirement while living an enjoyable life now.  Planning for retirement ties back directly to two of the biggest challenges you’re facing – getting out of debt and saving. Are you going to come up short in the end? You want to make sure if you retire at 65, at age 80 you’re not eating peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches every day. (I personally wouldn’t mind that, I love PB&J.)
  4. Making sure money is invested in the best choices for your family.  Some of you don’t know how to invest. Making sure you’re making good investments and getting the best returns on your money when you won’t need it for 10, 20, or 30 years is important for you.

A big thanks to everyone that took the time to participate in the survey. The reason I started this blog is to help people just like you. The results help me focus on exactly what kind of help you are looking for.

Question: What additional insights do you see from the survey? Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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