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Goals Update for End of August 2009

We’re coming up on my favorite time of year, football season. I always loved this time of year with the optimism of a new football season and the temperatures start coming down, which is awesome for running. I’m down to 4 months left in 2009 to meet my goals. I might have to rearrange some of my finances to meet my goals, but they’re still in the realm of possibility. 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) – I finally completed my mortgage refinance during the month of August. I no longer have to plan for closing costs, but my new mortgage is a 15-year fixed mortgage. Even though I lowered my interest rate by 1.5%, my monthly payments increased by $350. The larger payment makes my $10,000 emergency fund even more important to maintain. I will invest everything from my cash assets above $10,000 at the end of September. Also, I will get my escrow account back from Wells Fargo sometime this month, which I should be able to put towards this account. 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. At the end of the year I will have a decision to make. Do I want to dip into my emergency fund to complete my goal? Do I want to push the goal over to 2010? Do I want to move funds from my Target stock to my Roth IRA so it’s protected from taxes?

Alternative Income Goals

  • Turn blogging into a source of income – I haven’t done anything this month with regards to turning my blog into a source of income. I have been working on my other self-employed income projects. In August, I earned $4.01 from Microsoft Pubcenter, $10.84 from LinkWorth and $90 from Commission Junction. I didn’t realize I had made so much money this month until just now. WOOT! My total in August was $104.85. So far I have earned a total of $245.12 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’ve settled into a posting routine of twice a week. This allows me to work on my other projects while maintaining my interest in this blog. My monthly page views increased from 894 to 1,115. I also had an all-time high for one day with 193 visitors thanks to a link from Jonathan at My Money Blog (check his site out at using the link to the right). I will try to spend more time in the next month or two to get my blog to ranking higher for specific keywords. Once I do some of that I will increase my traffic and increase my earnings for the previous goal. 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.

General Goals

  • Travel to two cities I’ve never been to – I’ve decided to postpone my Atlanta trip to the beginning of next year’s baseball season. That way I can see Jason Heyward play. Also, things have been really busy at work, and I don’t foresee it settling down in the next month or two. I could potentially travel to San Francisco or Cincinnati to watch the Bears on the road. That would be pretty interesting. A Mexico trip might be a possibility as well.
  • Get in shape – I’ve been able to lose a few pounds this month with my routine of getting up at 7 every morning to bike. I tried running on days when it was raining and I couldn’t bike, but three straight rainy days led to a knee injury. How has it come to the point where I hurt myself while running 14 minutes for three days? To reach my goal I’ll have to start working out twice a day sometimes, which means swimming. I should go see a physical therapist and fix my knee so I can run. It’s the perfect time of year for running.

I made some steady progress towards my goals, but the end of the year is approaching and I have to redouble my efforts to reach my goals. Next month will for sure show some progress towards my Individual 401k retirement account as well as the other goals. Good luck to all of you in wrapping up your goals for 2009.

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