Personal and Financial Goals for 2008

I have some big goals and I have some small goals. I write about my big goals on this site all of the time, but I think it would be good to list them here along with some smaller goals for the calendar year so I can look back next year and see how I did in 2008.

Big Goals for 2008:

  • Pay off all Credit card debt — $18,504.78 as of January 1
  • Get body fat percentage under 25% — 39% as of January 1

Small Goals for 2008:

  • Increase our emergency fund to $5,000 — currently about $1,200
  • Earn $20,000 (gross) from side businesses
  • Start a Roth IRA with at least $1,000
  • Buy life insurance
  • Write a will

How to accomplish these goals

Pay off all credit card debt – If we look at 12 months, we need to average $1,542.06 of principal paid on our credit cards each month. That is just about $100 more than we have averaged since starting our debt reduction plan, however in our first two months of the plan we only paid about $1,000 total. Given our current rate, this should be easily achieved. My dream is to have it done by September.

Body fat percentage under 25% – My current number varies a bit with the scale I am using now. I think the real number is closer to 37%, but whatever the case it is way too high. 25% is on the upper end of the ‘normal’ range for a man, so that is my first goal.

You may wonder why I focus on pounds so much on this blog. I guess I’m not exactly sure myself except that I started out that way and it makes for an easy to track number. I chose body fat percentage for this goal rather than pounds because body fat is a more realistic indication of health and fitness. I can only achieve this by committing to regular exercise and making a complete overhaul of my diet. I need to do this if I want to live a long and healthy life, so there is no excuse for me to fail this year.

Increase our emergency fund to $5,000 – My first thought was to fund an IRA to $5,000, but given the weakness of a $1,000 emergency fund and the fact that I actually want to live without credit cards, this needs to be my top priority. If possible, I will fully fund an IRA as well. If we can pay off the credit cards by September, it will be easy to shift that money to the emergency fund. If not, we are going to need alternative income sources to make this happen.

Earn $20,000 gross from side businesses – I have half of that number expected already through a web maintenance contract in ’08, although that is not a guaranteed contract so I need to be working on adding other projects anyway. My wife will make a little money doing standardized test grading a couple of times during the year and some occasional tutoring. Since she is a teacher she will have the summer off, but I’m not sure what sort of income opportunities she will be able to pursue then. I hope to make a little money from this blog some day, but until then I will be focused on growing my freelance web development business.

Start a Roth IRA with at least $1,000 – I really want to get started on this ASAP. I know I have neglected it for too long, but I am also in the difficult position of being buried by debt so I have to balance the timing of this. If we have a great year, I will fully fund at least one IRA in 2008.

Buy life insurance – long over due, should have been done ‘yesterday’. I need to set aside a few hundred bucks and get some quotes. Need to get on this ASAP.

Write a will – I don’t think we have to rush out and do this today, but it should definitely get done this year. We have no assets and no children so if both of us die things wouldn’t be too complicated (though I do admit that a will would make life easier on our loved ones who have to deal with the mess). It will get done this year!  :)

That’s it for the plan in 2008. I will be thrilled if I can look back 12 months from now and see all of these things accomplished.

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