Monday, March 09, 2009

2009 financial goals - updated

Okay, so back in mid-December I made a post about our financial goals for the coming year. Obviously with my recent bout of funemployment things have had to shift a bit, but since I'm scheduled to start at the NCI on Thursday we should (hopefully) be getting back on track pretty soon. We've also made a few changes/updates. So let's review:

1. Pay off the balance of 0% financing for our electronics purchases by the end of March.
We actually did this at the end of last month. Huzzah for one completed goal!

2. Fully contribute to both Roth IRAs for 2009.
We are still planning to do this. One of our first priorities is to open M's Roth IRA before April 15th since it'll actually count under the 2008 contribution limits. Then we'll budget to max both our accounts for 2009.

3. Increase our emergency savings account to $10,000 by the end of the year in preparation for CD laddering.
We've changed our approach on this a bit, and it is actually our second priority at the moment. During funemployment, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that we could pay all our bills on Matt's salary. Since my salary is going to be a bit less than his, if he were to lose his job (unlikely but not impossible) we'd have about a $400 monthly shortfall. So our plan instead is to start the CD ladder immediately, with $500 6-month CDs. As they roll over, we'll add $50 to each CD principle to hedge against future cost inflations.

4. Open a 401k whenever I get a job (hopefully soon!) and contribute at least 10% of my salary.
This is not going to happen in 2009 - since my position is classified as a fellowship I'm not eligible for their TSP account (government equivalent of the 401k). You win some, you lose some.

5. Pay off at least $1000 in my student loan balance by the end of the year.
We're not making this quite as much of a focus right now. But I am actually required to start making monthly payments in a couple months, so we will probably meet at least half of this goal.

6. Open a taxable account to start saving towards the down payment on our next house.
Still on track to begin this in a few months, once we get caught up on other goals and the savings shortfall from the past few months of funemployment.

So, not too bad. We met one goal despite our circumstances, and only had to scratch one goal due to other circumstances.

Also, I was very surprised to learn that NCI is *not* a commonly understood acronym in the general public realm. Shocking! National Cancer Institute, people!

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