As the year is winding down, I’ve finally taken the time to solidify my financial goals. I made a list of things, some of which I think are very doable, some of which I think will be a struggle and might be a bit more dependent on the market than I like.
So here we are, my 2008 Financial Goals.
1. Fully fund my Roth IRA for 2008 (if possible).
The plan this year is to set aside the full $5000 for my Roth IRA contribution. Because I’m not sure what’s going to happen financially, I’m not sure if I will be eligible to make the full contribution. Therefore, rather than contribute all throughout the year, I plan to set aside $5000 in a high yield savings account and then put it into the Roth IRA if I can. If not, I will have to look into other options.
2. Keep a running total of all taxable income.
This ties into goal #1. What better way to track whether or not I can make the full contribution than to keep a running total of all of my taxable income?
3. Place 3 paychecks directly into savings.
In 2008, there will be three months where I receive three paychecks. Because I’m used to budgeting with only two paychecks a month, I plan to take those extra three paychecks and put it directly into savings. Again, this may tie into goal #1, and be a relatively painless to at least partially fund my IRA.
4. Save a minimum of $400 a month outside of the above goals (not including investment income).
I think I can do much better than this.
5. Increase net worth by 20%.
This is the one that I think will be the hardest to achieve, and will be very tied to my investments. The past two months haven’t been so great for my net worth, but I believe the market will bounce back, and hey, if nothing else, it lets me start at a low point. But in all seriousness, I would like to see a significant increase in my net worth. I have been pondering buying a home in the next few years, and I want to have at least a 20% down payment for that. So some serious savings are definitely in order.
So there you have it. My five financial goals for 2008. Pretty simple, but definitely worthwhile.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.