As January comes to a close, it might be a good idea to take a look at the year-long goals I created for myself at the beginning of the year and my progress so far.
Goal 1: $100,000 in additional income. As of today, I am right on track for earning $100,000 outside of my day job. Anything can happen this year, however. I have to consider the possibility that this income will be reduced to almost nothing with a slight change in Google’s algorithms, for example. I will also be voluntarily reducing certain portions of my income next month in the hopes of retaining consistent income growth in other areas. (Text link ads will be phased out on Consumerism Commentary and a number of other websites.)
Goal 2: Contribute $15,500 to my 401(k) and the maximum to my SEP IRA. In January, I contributed $861 to my 401(k), not including my employer’s matching contribution. In order to meet this goal, I will need to increase my contributions. I’ll add a few more percentage points during the next open trading window which will likely occur around the time I receive my raise and bonus (if I do receive anything). The timing of the next 401(k) increase will depend on some other job-related factors.
When I finalize my taxes, I will have an idea of how much I will be able to contribute to my SEP IRA.
Goal 3: Eliminate $13,000 of student loan debt. I’ve started by increasing my monthly payment from $127 to $250. That’s obviously not enough to get me there by the end of the year. After tax season, I’ll have an idea of how quickly I’ll be able to pay off the remainder. With the interest rate massacre occurring among the high-yield savings accounts, I am anxious to use some savings to pay off the loan (while keeping in the mind I’d like to keep enough lying around in savings to cover a down payment at some point).
Goal 4: Accumulate $40,000 in savings for a down payment. I added to savings this month, but not by much. My “Relocation Fund” is approaching $5,000, but once I pay my taxes, I’ll have a better idea of how I can redistribute the savings towards various goals.
Goal 5: Choose two or three charitable organizations, grant $5,000, and contribute $10,000 to the charitable fund. In my 2008 budget, I set aside $5,000 in both June and December for charitable contributions. I haven’t decided on any organizations yet, but I am thinking about contributing to the group I used to work with despite last year’s decision to disassociate myself.
Goal 6: Increase net worth to $210,000. Thanks to the stock market, my net worth has made no progress in the first month of 2008. My non-invested assets have increased this month, but everything else is down. Almost all of these investments are allocated in equities to last until retirement, so this “fluctuation” isn’t bothering me right now. If poor stock market performance continues this year, I will have a tough time making this goal.
All in all, it’s “too early to tell” whether my progress so far this year will help me approach my final goals for the year. How about you? Are you on track for meeting your goals and resolutions?
This article is part of the MoneyBlogNetwork’s monthly group writing project.
Updated June 21, 2011 and originally published January 28, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.