Thursday, January 03, 2008
Goal Checkup for 2007 and New Goals for 2008
So, I set up some goals for myself at the beginning of 2007. How'd I do?

1. Improve my condo fund to at least $8K. Done, if later than anticipated. I had originally planned to use some funds from my extra July paycheck to boost this, but my car needed some suspension work done. So I used part of my December bonus to push me over the top.
2. Take a homeownership class. Done. I have to call and get it renewed for next year, which is when I will at least start TALKING to lenders and realtors, even if I decide (as is increasingly more likely) that I'd like to keep saving into 2009.
3. Limit snack/cash withdrawal trips to CVS to once a week. Heh heh heh. This was a dismal failure, but I DID make fewer trips, I think.

And for 2008, my goals are:

1. Reach a positive net worth. Based on my December NW statement, I am N dollars in the red. If I continue to make regular bi-weekly contributions to my short-term savings at the levels I do now, that should give me A dollars (35.6% of the total). If I continue to make principal payments on my student loans at current levels, that will lead to B dollars by the end of the year (32.0% of the total). (It is likely that I will inherit some money from my grandfather, which could push B up. But I don't want to plan on that.) That leaves 32.4% to come from contributions and earnings from my retirement savings. Divided by 27 pay periods (there is an extra pay period this year), that is less than my current contribution and match level, so it should be quite feasible.

So, to make this SMART: I will improve my net worth by N dollars, by making bi-weekly contributions to savings at my current level or higher, by making monthly payments towards debt reduction at my current fixed payments or higher, and by taking advantage of my retirement savings plan and making bi-weekly contributions there, which will get me to my goal by the end of the year.

2. Continue to pursue homeownership. This does NOT mean that I will actually buy a place in 2008. It does mean that I will a) meet with lenders to determine what I can afford based on current salary and savings, b) check with local brokers and Redfin to develop a more refined sense of the market, and c) save at least an additional $3500 dollars in my condo fund.

SMART: I will meet with a realtor/lender by mid-April. I will review the housing market on an ongoing basis, with checkups in February, May, and if necessary, August, October, and December. Part c will be covered by the contributions I've planned in goal 1.

3) Push my emergency fund up to 3 months' worth of expenses. Given my expected rate of contributions to savings, this should be easy to do by the end of the year, even though I will be retooling my "must-haves" to accommodate fuel inflation and some other things.

SMART: So, by mid-February, I will update my estimate of monthly expenses to reflect current spending needs. With regular contributions to my emergency fund, I will add savings throughout the year. By the end of December, I will have three months' worth of expenses.



Blogger BK said...

HC you know I NEVER thought to save a certain amount of expenses.. *sigh* ok let me get my head out of the sand and plan for that too.. Geez..

LOL @ the CVS goal.. :) how about packing your own snacks :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I like your CVS snack goal, too. =) I think you are doing an admirable job of preparing for home ownership, as well. For me, my 2008 goals include fixing our family's health insurance mess (tough to do in the State of Maine, alas), as well as selling our home in preparation for a big move. Both of these will lead to some huge sighs of relief... good luck with all of your worthy goals!

Anonymous S/100/30 said...

Yeah, snacks kill me, too.

Blogger HC said...

It cracks me up that everyone can agree:

It's all about the snacks!

You'll notice I did not bother repeating that resolution for 2008.

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