Time continues to fly in 2009. Now that we are into August, I only have 5 months to meet my goals. I still think I can meet most of my goals, however, unforeseen circumstances might have changed the importance of a few of my goals. I will discuss these circumstances in the relevant sections. On to the update towards my goals for 2009.
Personal Finance Goals
- Fully fund 2008 Individual 401k ($8,207.00/$8,207.00) – Completed in March.
- Fully fund 2008 Roth IRA ($5,000/$5,000) – Completed in April.
- Fully fund 2009 Individual 401k ($0/$5,264.00) – Last month I said I would put any additional funds that went above my $10,000 emergency fund into my individual 401k. One of the unforeseen circumstances mentioned above has been the ongoing journey towards refinancing my mortgage. I was above the $10,000 mark at the end of July, however, I am now very close to refinancing my mortgage into a 15-year fixed mortgage. This will increase my monthly payments, but greatly decrease my interest over the course of the loan. The new mortgage makes this emergency fund significantly more important. After I pay the closing costs, I will put everything above the $10,000 into my individual 401k. I will fund my Individual 401k before my Roth IRA as I have to pay taxes on that money if it isn’t invested in the account. My Individual 401k account goal for 2009 will increase every month as I realize more self-employed income.
- Fully fund 2009 Roth IRA ($0/$5,000) – Funding this account is secondary to funding the Individual 401k, however, I believe I will be able to fund both.
Alternative Income Goals
- Turn blogging into a source of income – The month of June saw many changes and additions to this blog in an attempt to monetize it. In July I did some tweaking and removing of ineffective ads. I removed the tabbed hopbuilder as it was completely ineffective. I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t even get one click. I am finding Microsoft’s Pubcenter to be rather ineffective as well, but it is bringing in a minimal amount of money. The large block of ads in the individual posts that I added showed no income for July, so I will most likely change to another Lending Club ad. I strongly believe in Lending Club. Once I finish investing in my retirement accounts, I will put some more money into Lending Club. Finally, I added a text ad for Casden Properties LLC, which will provide me with fixed income. In July I earned a total of $3.21 from text ads, which is a decrease from last year as my total traffic also decreased. So far I have earned a total of $140.27 through affiliate marketing and text ads, which is already enough to cover the $35 for my first year of hosting and the domain name. My overall goal is $565, which also covers my new laptop.
- Increase monthly page views and subscribers – After switching my focus towards producing self-employed income, I haven’t done a very good job promoting my blog and I’ve also slacked off in the number of posts. My monthly page views decreased from 1,212 to 894. I will try to spend more time in the next month or two to get my blog to ranking higher for specific keywords. This is super important if I want to monetize my blog and I will place a renewed focus on this task in July. I also want to host a carnival by the end of the year.
- Replace tutoring income through a company with my own personal clients – The school year is starting up, but in past experiences, the tutoring generally doesn’t get into full swing until a few months into the school year. I haven’t decided if I will really try to tutor on my own or focus my time on self-employed ventures.
- Travel to two cities I’ve never been to – I’m still planning on going to Atlanta to see the Braves play some games. I could potentially travel to San Francisco or Cincinnati to watch the Bears on the road. That could be pretty interesting. I will have to nail down those plans in the near future if they’re going to take place.
- Get in shape – I’ve managed to refocus on getting in shape in July. I’ve started getting up at 7 every morning to bike. I’ve been biking most mornings prior to work. Days that I don’t bike I try to lift. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a major improvement in my weight loss, which means I’ll have to redouble my efforts and stay focused in August. I really wish I was able to run. I suppose it might be time to see a doctor.
It’s scary to think that the year is more than half over. I feel as though all of my goals are still within reach, however, some of them have definitely changed. I know replacing my tutoring income with personal clients is not that high on my list, although I may still do this. Also, I would like to fund my retirement accounts for 2009 before the end of the year, but with a heightened need for an emergency fund and the ability to fund them after the end of the year, that might take a back seat. I suppose we’ll find out in the months ahead. I hope to have some significant accomplishments next month as my mortgage refinancing looks like it will actually take place.