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Flexo’s Goals and Resolutions for 2010

This article was written by in Planning. 27 comments.


Although I’ve been tracking my finances publicly on Consumerism Commentary since 2003, this is only the fourth year I’ve outlined specific financial goals for the new year. The next year is a bit of a mystery for me. I feel like some changes are necessary, particularly in my day job. Although I have some big plans for the work I do outside my job, I have to consider the possibility that these plans simply won’t work out. I’ve been hedging my bets for a while, but I’m not sure that I can continue putting as much as I want into my projects, working 9 to 5 in a corporation, and maintaining my health and sanity.

So it will be interesting to see where I am able to go this year.

While I try to determine my immediate life plans, the least I could do is set some financial targets.

Income

While my “Other Earned Income” increased from 2008 to 2009, there was a trend throughout the year of less of that income being generated through advertising. That is both good and bad; while it means I’ve diversified my income somewhat, advertising is generally the main source. It is possible that advertising has had a slow year in general, and will pick up with the economy, but I’m not counting on it.

My goal for 2010 is to maintain a a six-figure income outside of my day job. I think I will need to keep conservative expectations this year. This will be difficult enough considering the trend of declining income in the second half of 2009.

Investing

I’ve been considering increasing my non-retirement investing, currently $1,000 per month in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. I am not sure the numbers make sense, though. The stock market has spiked up recently and I prefer to increase investing following declines. I will continue investing in my retirement accounts but I’m going to consider ceasing my automated monthly non-retirement investment in VTSMX.

The limit for investing in a 401(k) in 2010 will be $16,500, reflecting no change from the 2009 maximum. I’ll continue investing a percentage of my income for retirement that would hit that mark after 52 weeks. I will also fund my 2008 IRAs this year.

If you’re considering investing, ShareBuilder is offering 10 free automatic investment trade credits if you start an investment plan in January. Normally, these automatic purchases of stocks through ShareBuilder cost $4 each, so you could save up to $40 on transaction fees. Keep in mind it will still cost $9.95 to sell your investment.

Non-financial resolutions

The most popular New Year’s resolution, even more popular than to get out of debt, is to lose weight. I have no choice but to be like everyone else; my primary non-financial resolution is to get in shape this year. I am not significantly overweight, but I need to increase my level of activity and eat healthier.

I don’t consider myself to be very organized, and living by myself, I have a tendency to let entropy take hold. I will resolve to keep my apartment in such a condition that I could quickly prepare for visitors rather than needing a weekend to make my living quarters presentable.

And finally, I plan to continue doing things that I enjoy and that enrich my life. One of my favorite hobbies right now is photography. I signed up for a second photography class starting in January, but unfortunately the course might be canceled due to low enrollment. I’ll keep finding interesting things to work the creative side of my brain — in addition to writing.

What are your goals and resolutions for 2010?

Updated September 2, 2011 and originally published December 31, 2009. 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.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Financial Samurai

Good luck with your goals Flexo! Not sure if you disclosed, but do you make more outside your day job? If so, time to live a little larger and spend some of that dough! :)

Best, Sam

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

Are you asking whether I make more outside my day job than I make in that day job? The answer to that question is yes. I’ve shared info about my salary previously — until recently I included a detailed income and expense report every month. I reverted back to just sharing my net worth statement / balance sheet.

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avatar Financial Samurai

Gotcha. I remember reading that before, but I wasn’t sure. So I guess the question is, is there a “golden cross” point where you decide to give up your day job, and just focus on your outside/online job?

I understand that healthcare insurance and other benefits are important from the day job, but what would it take to give it up? That’s a fascinating topic I’m sure so many couldn’t get enough of, since it’s such a big decision in life.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

Generally it would take some kind of indication that there is a possibility of long-term success. So far, each time I’ve come close to deciding to make the jump, I’ve seen signals that I might not be able to keep up the growth. So I’m taking it slowly.

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avatar Financial Samurai

Gotcha. Makes sense, and why not if you can do both and not burn out? The health care, steady pay check, and camaraderie at work are definitely important.

Have a great New Year and look forward to a great relationship in 2010!

Best, Sam

avatar Investor Junkie

Hey Flexo,

Instead of one year goals, I just posted my ten year (yes ten year) goals:

http://investorjunkie.com/2010-is-here-wheres-the-monolith

They will work out to 1 year goals, which I have to still detail out.

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avatar Erica Douglass

If you’re not keeping your apartment clean, it’s not a priority for you…I’d recommend hiring a cleaning service instead of trying to do something that isn’t your “thing”.

-Erica

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

I’ve considered that, but first I’d have to get over the embarrassment. Also, it’s not necessarily a matter of cleanliness, but of organization, so a personal assistant couldn’t hurt.

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avatar Lofty goals

thanks for sharing..i’ve read your articles on credit cards…any advice on how to get the money into a bank account without using the cash advance…i’m guessing conv. checks, but do you have any other solutions?

thanks and good luck with your goals..you sound pretty put together

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

Balance transfer offers often ask for a credit card number. You can use a credit card that already has a zero balance. If you “transfer” $1,000 from a credit card with a zero balance, you’ll end up with a $1,000 credit on that card, and you can generally request a check for your credit balance. These types of transfers used to be free but credit cards quickly caught onto this practice, especially in conjunction with 0% balance transfer offers, in a way for people to earn interest on the credit issuer’s money. Here’s an explanation of what happened to me when I tried credit card balance arbitrage.

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avatar LeanLifeCoach

I’ve got only one resolution and it is the dreaded weight factor. I’ve been ignoring it for years. Frankly I don’t care if I am heavy but as I am now “over the hill” and thinking about the future cost of healthcare I figure it’s time.

I have also posted a list of other objectives for 2010 included 6 extra mortgage payments and convincing my wife to give up on the cable!

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avatar the Cynical Investor

I already broke what I considered my main financial new year’s resolution: not to buy individual stocks and only ETFs.

I could not help it and bought Apple (I succumbed to the hype surrounding the imminent launch of the tablet).

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avatar Monevator

A side note, but in my experience it’d be a good idea to sign up for a few of those courses and so on, before making the leap from the workplace. I operate on my own a lot of the time, and with the advent of blogging even more hours it’s just my Mac for company. The financial considerations are important, absolutely, as are your plans for CC, but you don’t want to go crackers when you go alone! ;)

Just my 2 cents. :)

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