I recently posted a round up of my 2008 financial goals. Due to poor planning I only accomplished one of my goals. The one goal I did accomplish (completing my condo down payment) was major. I did not lay out a plan prior to selecting my goals and therefore did not accomplish them satisfactorily. I have put a lot more thought into my goals for 2009 and feel confident that I can accomplish them with a lot of hard work. I’ve also decided to extend my goals beyond just personal finances for 2009, so without further ado…
Personal Finance Goals
- Fully fund 2008 Individual 401k ($0/$10,427.33) – I have not funded any of my individual 401k for 2008, but I have until the tax filing deadline, April 15th, to fund the account. I currently have nearly $9,000 in cash and $6,100 in stock (Target and US Growth Mutual Fund) that I am willing to transfer into retirement accounts to tax sheltered. Originally, I was not planning on using these funds for this purpose as they are depressed and it’s not wise to sell funds when the value is low. I would be buying funds that are equally battered in my retirement accounts, so I would not be losing value.
- Fully fund 2008 Roth IRA ($0/$5,000) – See above. I hope to be able to fully fund this retirement account as well before the tax filing deadline, however, the individual 401k is my first priority.
- Fully fund 2009 Individual 401k ($0/$??????) – I will not know how much I can invest in this account for 2009 until I tabulate all of my 2009 self-employed income, which may come from tutoring or this website. I hope to put everything I make away as was the plan in 2008. I believe this is possible as I do not need this income for any of my monthly expenses.
- Fully fund 2009 Roth IRA ($0/$5,000) – Even if I am unable to fund this account until after the tax filing deadline, I should still be able to fully fund it by the end of the year. I will have 8 months to fund this account, which translates into $625 a month. After generously estimating my monthly expenses I should have that amount to invest. When estimating income I didn’t include tutoring income and I did not assume an annual raise as this economy makes that uncertain at this point in time.
Alternative Income Goals
- Turn blogging into a source of income – I’ve been blogging for over 5 months now. The knowledge I ‘ve gained since I started has been invaluable, and I hope that I have provided others with knowledge as well, but I would like to make some sort of income off of this blog to make my total income less dependant on one source. I don’t know how to make a quantitative goal, so I will be rather conservative in this goal by saying that I want to earn enough to pay for the expenses of running a blog (hopefully this includes a new laptop!).
- Increase monthly page views and subscribers – I haven’t been blogging long enough to notice much of a trend in terms of my page views or subscribers. It’s very difficult to project quantitatively for this goal as well. My high month for page views was December with 2,119, but I would love to get over 10,000 a month. I currently have 17 subscribers. I think a goal of at least 100 subscribers would be attainable yet challenging. In order to accomplish this goal I will try to participate in more carnivals, host a carnival and try to associate more with other personal finance bloggers.
- Replace tutoring income through a company with my own personal clients – I currently tutor as a contractor through a tutoring company. The company requires keeping the same hours all the way through the school year. Also, they pay about half of what I can expect to earn on an hourly basis if I find the clients on my own. I hope to earn more money and gain more flexibility with my work hours by tutoring on my own. The tutoring company is about 30 minutes from my condo, so I should be able to tutor kids closer to my condo. In order to accomplish this goal I have to quit the tutoring company after this school year and tap my contacts in the school system. I also want to start a website for my tutoring services and begin advertising at local grocery stores. I previously blogged about expanding my tutoring and outlined a good path for doing so.
- Travel to two cities I’ve never been to – I really want to start traveling more. Saving for my condo down payment prevented me from traveling last year. I wanted to include this as a goal because sometimes I try to be too frugal and save too much and forget to prioritize traveling like I want to. Ideally I would make it to Europe, but a Europe trip is probably a few years away. I will probably focus on US traveling by visiting buddies from college. If I can squeeze an package deal to Mexico towards the end of the year, that would be AWESOME!
- Get in shape – As a competitive runner all the way through college, I never had to worry about staying in shape. Now that I don’t competitively run, it’s harder to stay in shape. I want to get back to running more, but I keep hurting myself before I get all the way back into shape. I want to try being in shape before I start running seriously again. To do this I have to lose 10 pounds, increase my flexibility, increase my leg strength and improve my balance. To accomplish these goals I will be trying to swim more regularly, bike when it gets warmer and lift and stretch regularly. To make this easier I will be trying to come up with a regular schedule in the next week or two. The ultimate goal would be to run a sub 16:00 5k by the end of the year, but that might be ambitious as it would require speed work, which is hard to do training alone.
I have put significant thought into these goals. I plan on updating my progress monthly and updating my goals page when goals are completed. I’m very motivated to accomplish all of these goals and think it is realistic, yet still challenging. If you have any advice feel free to leave it in the comments and good luck to all of you in accomplishing your 2009 goals.