While thinking about setting financial goals for 2009, I discovered I am focused on saving money. Last year, my goals encompassed net worth, saving and alternative income. This year, it is all about the savings accounts. Yes, I plan on keeping track of my net worth monthly with reports on the blog quarterly, but I will confine my financial goals to saving money.
I fell short of most of my 2008 financial goals due to things outside my control (e.g., my investments in the stock market) and lack of interest and motivation (e.g., starting an alternative income stream). This year I am going to state items I have more control over and get me closer to future plans including a newer vehicle and saving money for my future farm. With the exception of the first, the goals are to be completed by December 31, 2009.
1. Fully fund my 2009 Roth IRA with $5,000.
I am on track to fully fund my 2008 Roth IRA with a little help from my likely tax refunds. However, I had some extra contributions from a life insurance policy I cashed in and the tax rebate. This year, my shortfall will probably be greater, but I also plan on increasing my monthly contributions. Any increase will be based on any merit increases I receive, but is unlikely to be more than another 2% of my gross income. Any potential pay increases will not be known until April 2009.
2. Save $2,500 for purchase of a newer vehicle.
At my current savings rate, I am have a guaranteed savings of $1,860 for 2009. However, extra money from bonuses, unspent gasoline allocation and other sources will add to this amount. I am stretching myself to get to $2,500, but I came close in 2008, saving about $2,200 for my next vehicle.
3. End the year with $1,500 in my farm savings account.
My savings account holds a bit less than $425 right now. That means I need to save over $1,000 to get this goal. While money from my extra checks will partially fund this account, other money sources will need to be found. I want to push myself to get alternative income streams started and this would be one way to counteract my inherent laziness with my future dream of a farm.
These are the goals most closely aligned with my interests and future goals. I may find something else becomes a priority and add to these goals, but these three are currently the most important to me.