A year ago I wrote my financial goals for 2009. I don’t often use this blog to talk about my personal stuff, even though I share my opinion on financial news items. However, every once in awhile I think it’s important to hold myself accountable in person in my attempt to make myself better and more relevant in all that I do and write about. I have to preface this in saying that this was a very tough year financially, but I’ve made it to the end of the year and I’m still here, and that’s the most important thing because it means I still have the opportunity in 2010 to really turn things around.

Let’s take a quick look at my 2009 goals and talk about what happened:

1. Get caught up on my taxes. Everything depended on this one for the year, along with my general income, and it failed miserably. Health care consulting took a major hit this year as most hospitals were waiting to see what was going to happen with the government health care plan. Those that were hiring didn’t want to pay what we were billing for. There was one very good gig in the Atlanta area where the facility only wanted to pay $25 an hour for what called for very technical and deep leadership. It was a buyer’s year, and unfortunately, that took me out and many other consultant’s I know for a long while.

2. Earn back what I lost in my money market account. Because of the hit on my income, I didn’t get to send in monthly money to my broker. That turned out to be a good deal anyway, as my broker left his company and started a different one with his father because of some things Smith Barney decided to change. I also ended up losing more than 60% of my portfolio before I finally decided to pull it. Yeah, I’ll take a minor hit on taxes, but at least I got some of my money back, though very little of it.

3. Put away at least $10,000 in savings. Back to #1.

4. Build up the value in my house more. Once again, back to #1, though we did some minor reinforcements to bad areas of siding.

5. To finally get ahead of the game. Once again, #1 killed me. I didn’t have a chance to do anything I wanted to do this year.

Isn’t that pathetic? I did find a way to replace some of my income in a different way, but I need to increase it dramatically as this year pushes forward. So, below are my five financial goals for the year, one very specific to this blog.

1. Finally get totally caught up on my taxes. I put a big dent into my outstanding taxes this year, which was a major challenge with the loss of income. Eliminating outstanding taxes will take a lot of pressure off my wife and I. To do this, I’m going to have to triple my present income. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do it, but if hospitals finally start loosening up the chains on their pocketbooks, I’ll be back in the game.

2. Reestablish my portfolio. The market seems to have stabilized somewhat, as it’s back over 10,000, so as my cash position starts to improve, I’ll start taking another look at investing some of my money.

3. Put away at least $3,000 in savings. Last year I had a BAHG in wanting $10,000 in the bank, but this year I’m going to put a little bit of reality into it. This past year I saved money, only to have to turn around and borrow against it.

4. Get some serious home improvements done. I’m not looking at really big things, though my wife keeps telling me we have to get the roof repaired. I believe I need to work on better insulating the house to lower energy costs. We also need to start thinking about replacing the rugs in this house, as we’re on year #9 in this house and some wear is starting to show.

5. Start taking real advertising for this blog. This is the only point that’s specific to this blog. In the year it’s been up, it’s attained an Alexa rank of 361,787, and a Google page rank of 4. Traffic numbers aren’t bad, but they need a little bit of an increase to make this blog really attractive. I think I can get it done, especially with your help. Visit, comment, and share your thoughts, and together we can make this blog really successful.

That’s all I have. I hope the rest of you can attain your 2010 goals as well.

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