Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yearly Goals - Quarterly Update

I have been saving money like crazy this month. With my bonus, federal tax return, and raise all coming within a two week period, I'm putting away something like $5k this month (!!). I decided this would be a good time to check in and see how I'm doing on my financial goals for 2009:

1. I started repaying my student loans in November, 2006. Since then, I've paid off $12,000 of the combined $77,000 principal, reducing my total debt by over 15%. My goal is match this 15% reduction in 2009, so that my total debt at the end of the year is $55k or less.

I have increased my monthly payment on my federal student loan debt (its interest rate is the highest right now at 6.625%) from $850 to $900, which means I'm now paying about $800 of the principal off each month. Currently, my total debt is $62,367, which means I've paid off almost $3k since the year began. Continuing to pay my loans at this rate through the rest of the year will mean that I'll have another $8,500 of principal paid off in December, surpassing my debt reduction goal by $1,000, with my debts at the end of the year totaling $54k.

2. Get a promotion at work, and at least a 5% raise.

I was recommended for a promotion by both of my bosses, but we're still waiting for someone to sign off on it. I did get a 5% raise, regardless, and I plan to campaign for another raise if I get my promotion.

3. Fully fund Roth IRA for 2009.

I invested in a new fund, so I had to put a lump sum of $3,000 in at once. For the rest of the year, I'm making weekly automatic contributions every Friday to try to offset some of the market craziness with dollar cost averaging.

4. Fully fund Roth 2010 fund by the end of the year.

I'm almost there, since I put almost my entire bonus in this fund a couple of weeks ago. I'll have this maxed out within the next couple of months.

5. With the economy the way it is, and my job in an unstable industry (publishing), I'm increasing my emergency fund to $11,000. I will fully fund this by the end of the year.

As long as I continue putting at least $400 into this fund every month, I will have this maxed out before the year ends. My new goal is do this before I move out of my rent-free apartment in September, and I think I can do it or at least come very close.

6. I will fully fund my fun fund by the end of the year.

Will be done within the next two weeks. Yay! I may expand it if/when I decide that a trip to Costa Rica is affordable, but as of right now I'm keeping at $1,000.

7. I'll contribute another $5,000 to my downpayment fund. At this rate, I should be close to $19,000 at the end of the year.

I'm on track with this, and will be upping my monthly contributions once my fun fund and Roth 2010 fund are maxed out in a couple of months.

8. Begin seriously looking at condos/extremely cheap houses. The market's only going to go down for so long, and I'd like to buy while things are still within my (extremely low) price range.

I haven't actually set foot inside a condo yet, but I'm planning to do that soon, within the next few weeks.

9. Continue to pull in an extra $7 - $10k from part time jobs.

So far I've pulled in about $2,500 from part time jobs, so I'm on my way to doing this once again.


It's really great to look back and see how far I've come in my savings goals even over the last three months. I think I can accomplish every single goal I laid out for myself, and I'll be doing this kind of quarterly report on my progress every three months. Wish me luck!

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