September was a good month to both myself and my Bears, however, my Braves push for the playoffs fell just short. I was able to make progress on a few more of my goals this month. I’ve decided to push some of my non-retirement investments into retirement accounts to help reach my goals. I hope to have this accomplished by the end of October. 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 ($2,583.62/$5,264.00) – I didn’t have a mortgage payment for September, because it was covered as a part of my closing costs on my mortgage refinance. Not having a payment allowed me to push my cash a good chunk above my emergency fund level of $10,000. I rolled everything above $10,000 into this account, which amounted to $2,583.62. The reason why I’m keeping my emergency fund at $10,000 is because my mortgage is now a 15-year mortgage, which comes with a hefty monthly payment. I decided to 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 may 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. I’ve decided I will most likely move my Target funds over into my retirement accounts to help accomplish my goals for 2009. Also, this will put more of my money to work tax sheltered, which is a good thing in the long run. I believe the long-term capital tax gains I will incur will be offset by the amount of mortgage interest I paid this year (since it is the first year I had mortgage interest).
Alternative Income Goals
- Turn blogging into a source of income – Once again I spent most of my time this month working on my other self-employed income projects, which left little room for improvement. In September, I earned $0.43 from Microsoft Pubcenter, $10.50 from LinkWorth and $00 from Commission Junction. My total in September was $10.93. I have to work harder to make my income from this blog more consistent. So far I have earned a total of $256.05 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 decreased from 1,115 to 856. The lack of an increase in my monthly visitors means I have to start submitting to carnivals, commenting on other blogs and writing guest posts, in addition to article marketing 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 am set up to host the carnival of twenty something finances next Monday. It is my first time hosting a carnival and I look forward to a little increased traffic next month.
- 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 don’t know where my two trips are going to come in. I think one of the trips will be a drive down to Lincoln, Nebraska. I know what you’re thinking, why would you go to Lincoln, but my cousin lives there now and he promised I could go to a Nebraska football game. It would be my first division one major conference football game. I’m super excited about that.
- Get in shape – I found a great book series this month and it severely cut into my working out productivity. I’ve finished reading the available books and I highly recommend Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle beginning with Book One, Eragon. During my reading hiatus I managed to maintain my weight 8 pounds above my target weight. I also managed to fall on my bike and had to take a few days off to buy a new seat. I started running again and set up a meeting to see a physical therapist who should help me keep running without injuries. Running combined with biking and swimming should put me in good shape to reach my target weight.
Three quarters of the year is over and it’s time for the stretch run. I still plan on trying to achieve as many of my goals as possible and many of them are still possible. October will be the crucial month that will determine whether or not I will meet my goals or not. Good luck to all of you in your stretch run to meet your 2009 goals.