My Financial Goals For 2009
I see the year 2009 as kind of a bellwether year in my personal and professional life, and therefore I figure I have to have goals that help me get to places I want to be eventually in both of my lives. Though I’m still working on coming to grips with it, I’ll be turning 50 at some point this year, even though, overall I don’t feel any older than 19 or 20, which is what my dad used to say to me all the time. But I am older; I feel it when I get on the floor for something and then have to try to get back up. I feel it in the mornings when my body aches and creaks as I try to get out of bed. I have a disease that I’m fighting all the time and not winning the battle, unfortunately, but I keep working on it, in my own way. Yet I’m always optimistic about life in general and my life, and my mother said she sees that as my strongest point.
So yes, more goals. I’ve been writing goals for years, probably starting in 1999, the year I turned 40, but I didn’t start putting them on the internet until 2006. I haven’t always reached my goals, but I don’t let that stop me from writing them and putting them in public, because one, we still have to have goals, and two, one is more apt to at least give a better effort to goals that they share with others than goals they keep to themselves.
First, I’m going to address last year’s goals, but I’m also doing something a little bit different this time around. In previous years, I’ve only put five goals together, and only written it on one blog, my business blog called Mitch’s Blog. This year, I’m putting the same beginning on each of my three blogs, then I’m putting different goals on each of those blogs, which means I’ll be accountable for 15 goals rather than just five. Talk about pressure! And yet, it’s no pressure at all because I should be able to achieve at least half of them this year, with some renewed faith, more and better planning, and of course all of you looking at me and saying “hey, what’s going on there?”
So, let’s look back at last year’s goals and see how well I did.
My first goal was to lose 25 pounds. No, that didn’t happen, and I’m ashamed that it didn’t happen, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying, at least initially. My weight stayed pretty much the same while I was home at the early part of the year, though I was exercising at least 4 days a week. I continued on my exercise plan and my eating plan, where I had a major change in February that didn’t result in weight loss, but did result in a drastic decrease in my glucose level, which was very important. Then I started going out of town more, and on the first go-round I started gaining weight and my glucose went out of control. When that contract was over I came home, lost that extra weight and got my glucose back under control again, but didn’t lose any more weight than the bit I’d gained. Now I’m on a new consulting assignment all the way across the country, and even though glucose has gone up I haven’t gained a single pound since I’ve been gone. But I also haven’t exercised. So, I will be working on fitting exercise time in when I go back out of town, and work on modifying how I eat while I’m in a hotel room, especially now that I have a room with a kitchen in it. I’m sending back containers to pre-cook and measure some meals, which I’ve not been able to do before while on consulting assignments, so hopefully this will help me get everything back under control.
My next goal was to get caught up on my taxes. No, that didn’t happen, mainly because my consulting assignments were so spread out that I couldn’t put anything consistent together.
My next goal was to give speaking engagements in five states that I didn’t give one in before. That didn’t happen because the person I’d hired to help me book speaking engagements decided to get out of the business.
My next goal was to finish writing one of the many books I’d started. That didn’t quite turn out the way I had intended, but I did write an ebook on using one’s website as a marketing tool and started selling it online.
My final goal was to find the time to take a 3-day vacation. I haven’t had a vacation since 1998, or taken any real time off since 2001 (when I was still employed with someone else), and I had hoped this would be the year. I get to claim one trip a year as a business expense, but I didn’t get an overnight trip in this year, so no vacation. That’s not good, but I guess that’s my life to date.
Anyway, that’s a quick recap of my goals for last year. At this point, my goals will be different on each blog of mine, and I’ll be giving the links to each blog post so the most intrepid of you can check them all out to see what I’m hoping to do with myself in 2009. A couple will be repeated from what’s above, but not on the same blog; at least not all of them.
On this blog, I’m going to list my top five financial goals for 2009. They are:
1. Get caught up on my taxes. True, this was a goal from last year that’s being carried over into this year. I already explained why I fell short last year. This year, I know I’m covered in new income until at least May, possibly longer, and this present contract is paying well enough so that I should be able to finally either pay off all my outstanding tax debt or be very close to it. I fell into tax issues when my business started to take off, before I had an accountant to tell me how much I was supposed to pay, and I’ve never quite caught up. I now have a great opportunity, and it’s the most important thing for me.
2. Earn back what I lost in my money market account. I took a major hit just like everyone else. However, unlike many other people, and following up on what I said I was going to do when I was talking about people not being so financially ignorant, I’m going to start sending in monthly dollars to my broker to invest in my account. My general thought is that my broker will be buying low, so I shouldn’t lose any new money, and when the market starts to turn my money should come back faster. I’m predicting that by summer the market will have started to recover; I hope I’m right.
3. Put away at least $10,000 in savings. This one will be tougher than it seems because my house also needs a new roof, which might end up costing the same amount. Still, my wife has said that she’d like to help contribute to both of these, and our outstanding bills, taxes notwithstanding, aren’t all that high, so I have a chance to get very close to this one, if not hit it altogether. I’ll easily hit half of it, but I want a bigger goal than that.
4. Build up the value in my house more. In a comment I made on my post about mortgage rates, I said that the value of my house has actually increased in the last 3 months by $500, per Zillow. Well, this year I hope to earn that growth some more. The roof is a major step, but there are a few more home repairs that will need to take place that should help increase the value of my house. If I were more technically trained I would do the work myself, but I think it’s best to leave that type of thing in more capable hands. But we’re already gotten a nice start, so more to come.
5. To finally get ahead of the game. Since I’ve been married, my wife and I have always been behind when it comes to our finances. Not that we haven’t paid our bills, but taxes have always beaten us up, and of course once I started working for myself they beat us up more. We haven’t ever realized the tax break we supposedly get because we own our house, and the best financial year I’ve ever had while working for myself actually ended up hurting us more than I would have ever imagined. So, this year is when I’m working on getting us over the hump, and finally putting us ahead of the game. I’m hoping that my savings and investing strategies will help out. And, of course, I’m hoping to increase my income through my consulting practice, as well as working on ways to increase my online income.
So, I’ve stated my goals. What do you think of them? What are your goals for 2009? Share them, if you dare. 🙂