Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Update on my financial goals for 2008

Like many who blog about finances, I set up five financial goals on January 1, 2008. My first update in March was a mixed bag of results. How have I progressed so far this year?

1. To reach a net worth of six figures ($100,000).
For the first four months of 2008, my net worth increased 5.2%, bringing me to just over $89,000. This is a greater increase than seen earlier this year, reflecting the market improvements in the last month or two plus the additional cash investments made to my Roth IRA. I am also putting as much additional money into my car savings account as I am feeling the pressure of a looming car purchase. These actions in addition to the passive interest income help inch my net worth higher. I am feeling more optimistic about reaching this goal, but only the end of year will tell if I can gain another $11,000 to hit my mark.

2. To have $15,000 in liquid savings for emergency expenses.
The number has decreased slightly from the last update to $11,100. This is primarily due to a large unexpected car repair bill. Additional money will be withdrawn from the house savings account and charity but are not currently reflected in the total, due to being paid for by credit card. However, I am still confident I can meet this goal by December 31, 2008 even with larger home improvements on the horizon. Bonuses and other unexpected money will help bolster my savings, helping to keep me on track to this goal.

3. To have $500 in my "found money" account.
My current balance is $289 and change that should be closer to $294 by the time a deposit goes through. I also used some of this money to pay for a seminar on wills and other important documents so the gross amount is closer to $328. I am more than halfway to this goal, but with the bulk of my extra money going into my car savings account, I am uncertain if I truly will reach to my goal. However, I continue to add little bits of money and the balance is continuing to accrue interest at 3% APY.

4. To increase my contributions to my Roth IRA to $3,000.
With my raise, my monthly contributions have increased by over $90 to my Roth IRA. For 2008, I already have added $1,700 to the Roth account, with another $500 pending from my yet-to-be-received tax rebate. My future contributions will add another $2,000 so I am well on my way to to exceed this goal. For the rest of the year, I will modify this goal to read:
4. To fully fund Roth IRA for 2008 at $5,500. This is a big challenge that I will carry into next year since I can add funds through April 15, 2009 for 2008.

5. To generate $2,000 from an alternative income source.
My only current alternative income is from selling unwanted items. My gross income is $453.79, which is more than I anticipated, but my net income is only $316.24. Darn ebay and PayPal fees (and shipping)! I am still debating about what I can do to boost my alternative income totals, but nothing has been pursued, much less implemented.

Overall, I think this assessment looks good, more promising than earlier in the year. I really need to work on my alternative income and start trying various ideas I have jotted down to see if I can generate income other than just selling my unwanted things.

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