2008 Financial Goals

Jan 28, 2008 @ 03:44 pm by EMS

I’ve been meaning to post this for quite a while, but this month has been a bit crazy.  Anyway, without further adieu, here are my financial goals for 2008:

  • Increase net worth by 14% (+27,000) – I know this number is down a heck of a lot from 2007 goal/achievement of 25%, but I’m trying to be as realistic as possible.  I really think the economy is in a recession, and I think it may last well into 2009.  I’m not terribly worried since I’m well off from actually needing the money and I’m going to use the opportunity to look heavily into my holdings and reallocate where necessary.
  • Household improvements – We’ve been scrimping and saving ever since we’ve moved into our new house.  We now have a very comfortable emergency-fund buffer and it may be time to start putting some cash into a few household upgrades.  Our 15-year old carpet needs replaced in about 3/4 of the house, and theres some projects I’ve been thinking about doing outside this summer.
  • Decrease cable/Internet bill – We’ve made the switch to DirectTV, and I’m hoping to save about 20-30% off of what we spent last year on cable and Internet.
  • New Prosper handling – My Prosper account has been a great source of joy and frustration.  Right now, I’m happy with them.  Once I’m able to pay $200 in principle on my mortgage payment every month without making an extra $25 payment, I’m going to move that $25 month into Prosper so that I can accelerate growth in that account.  My Prosper account is pretty small in the scheme of things, and its really more of a hobby that will hopefully generate some income down in the distant future.
  • Roth IRA funding – Again, I plan on funding our Roth IRA’s with at least $3,000 each.
  • Help from the government – From the looks of things, we’ll be getting a tax rebate of $2,100 from our wonderful leaders.  I don’t have any specific goals for this money, but I do want to use it wisely.  I would definitely like to save it, but I almost feel guilty doing that given that the money is for economic stimulus.  This may end up paying for the carpet listed under bullet 2.
  • A decent vacation – My family has not had a decent vacation in over four years (new babies every other year will do that).  This year, I’d like to get a little crazy and find a fun place to hit and finally use up a few weeks of vacation time that I’ve saved up.  While I’m sure this won’t help in achieving our goals, I think I may need it for my sanity.

That’s about it.  My goals this year are pretty modest.  Our oldest finally will leave daycare this year, and we’re happy about that financially.  We will really be entering a new phase of life with the beginning of “real” school days and all the activities that lie therein.

2007 Financial Goals Recap

Jan 07, 2008 @ 12:11 pm by EMS

It’s time to take a look at what I posted last year as my financial goals for 2007 to see how I did on each… Below, I’m listing each goal exactly how it was posted in January of last year. The bold is my response as to if the goal was met or not.

  • As I mentioned in my previous post, I want to increase my net worth by 24%. I will have to average monthly gains of approximately $3,000 a month and I’m not quite sure how realistic that is, but I figure I’ll set my goals high and see what happens.Achieved. Net worth increased 25.54% in 2007.
  • I want to increase our liquid assets (checking & savings accounts) to a solid $10,000 for emergency expenses. Achieved. A $10,000 CD was opened in August as an emergency fund.
  • Continue increasing my interest income through high-interest savings accounts such as Emmigrant Direct and ING Direct. Achieved, although interest rates have decreased significantly in the past 6 months due to the economy.
  • My Prosper.com philosophy will remain the same until at least July. I will continue transfering the minimum allowed ($25) every time my Prosper balance hits $20. Once the transfer is complete, I will bid $50 on the best loan I can find. This way, I’m not losing any money by having it sit in their accounts, while still minimizing my exposure to unpaid loans. So far, I’ve been lucky with Prosper, having all of my loans being paid, but I’m still cautious of the business model and will wait before increasing my position there significantly. Not Achieved… My Prosper.com philosophy over the past 12 months has changed dramatically. I went from putting money into Prosper, to pulling money out, and now I’m doing neither and just reinvesting the payments as they become available. Although I had my first default, my Prosper portfolio is doing fairly well. I may start putting money back into Prosper at some point this year.
  • Grocery and gas spending will be decreased. I’m working on a budget now that will hopefully lower our grocery spending by 5% or more. With my wife’s new position, her daily work mileage will decrease over 70%. This will help save money not only in gas, but also in vehicle depreciation. Achieved (I think). Both gas and groceries expenses have decreased, all though I’m not quite sure how much (I don’t have the numbers in front of me). I can thank my wife for clamping down big time on groceries in 2007, great job!
  • No major purchases planned – the only thing I can think of is a new electric motor for the hot tub ($300-400), but that can wait until the Spring or Summer. As long as our vehicles are self-propelling, we will be keeping them another year :). Not Achieved. There’s always some big expense that you are suspecting… The hot tub fix cost more around $500, and it still doesn’t work (although I’ve saved a lot of money in electricity this year). Other big expenses that I can name off the top of my head – A new PC, Nintendo Wii & accessories (games), iPod Touch, and 3rd child (I don’t think I knew that my wife was pregnant when I wrote the original post).
  • Keep my 401(k) funded at the current level and deposit at least $2K each in both or Roth IRA funds. Achieved.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with how we fared in 2007 financially. I’ll have my 2008 goals up here soon.

December 2007 Net Worth Report (+1,688)

Jan 02, 2008 @ 02:15 pm by EMS

Back on the positive side again!

While I’m not terribly happy with the .87% gain, I am happy that the year end goal of 25% savings was met and exceeded.   Another negative month for our Roth IRAs, but we decreased our liabilities a good bit.  Most of the credit card debt right now is from a 0% until June offer, the balance of which is sitting in a high-interest savings account until it’s time to pay it off.

I’ll be posting later this week with 2008 goals.

December 2007 Net Worth

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