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Back in January of this year, I laid out my short term, mid-term, and long term goals for the 2011 year. I do this once every year as part of my goal to create what author David Bach calls a Purpose Focused Financial Plan. The goal of this system is to employ money in your life in a way that matches your life values and dreams.
You can read more about my journey to create this system at the following links – Creating a Purpose Focused Financial Plan & My Personal Finance Journey’s Investment Strategy.
As part of making this system work, I wanted to give an update on how I’m doing so far this year with the goals I established. Overall, I’ve been very lucky in the regard that my progress to date has far exceeded the expectations I originally laid out at the beginning of the year.
However, I’ve gotten pretty behind on these updates since the end of the summer with the PhD Qualifying Exam I had to take. As such, this post/update will serve to reflect new progress that has been made in the July 2011-October 2011 timeframe. Enjoy! I look forward to hearing your comments, thoughts, and progress on your own goals.
Short Term (< 1 year) Goals:
- Contribute $5000 (or $420 per month) to my Roth IRA with Vanguard this year (maximum allowed) – Complete. Have now contributed $5,000 so far this year.
- Because my graduate school employment doesn’t include the perk of a 401k, my tax-deferred investing options for 2011 are now exhausted. Because of this, I have begun pouring any extra money at the end of each month towards my condo home loan and washer/dryer installation savings. Nice!
- Reach net worth target for this year (not displayed here) – Ongoing – the equity markets don’t seem to want to cooperate in allowing me to achieve this goal, as it requires an ~30% increase in net worth. This may not be possible to obtain, but will attempt.
- Maintain target 6-9 months of expenses in cash reserve fund in Dollar Savings Direct account – Complete – currently carrying 9 months worth of expenses in cash in my emergency fund account.
- Rebalance mutual fund portfolio to meet asset allocation target %’s (75% equity, 25% fixed income overall) – Correct for now, but ongoing.
- Obtain 15% ownership / equity in condominium – Complete – currently, I have 15.79% equity in my condo. I will be increasing this goal to 20% for the remainder of 2011.
- Put together a will and have it reviewed by a lawyer – Will completed. Not yet reviewed by lawyer.
- Continue to save money for trip to Grand Canyon – Ongoing – need to continue to evaluate when to take this.
- Currently, I have $340 saved up for this trip. My gut feeling tells me that this won’t quite yet be enough (probably needs to be in the neighborhood of $1200-$1500). To verify this, I just looked up the prices for flights going to Las Vegas (a nearby airport to the Grand Canyon), and they are currently priced at around $700 round trip.
- I am currently saving only $20 per month for this trip (and the associated life value that is assigned to it). I think I’m going to increase the monthly savings to $50 for the remainder of 2011 in order to slightly accelerate things. It would be nice to try to take this vacation in the late Spring time frame of 2012.
- Upgrade condominium with investment in stacked washer/dryer combo – $1000 for unit, $1000 for labor/installation – Currently saving $87.50 per month for home maintenance and upgrades – Ongoing, but on track.
- As of September, I will have now officially accumulated 1% of my home value in my home maintenance savings account. From now on, I will be able to begin accumulating the $2000 that it will cost to get the washer/dryer in my condo. I’ve decided that since I have already maxed out my Roth IRA for the year and have no 401k available, I’m going to increase my monthly washer/dryer investment/savings to $200 per month to see if I can speed up the savings process for this.
- Invest $500 in Microloans for Latin America in 2011 ($41.67 per month) –Ongoing – Have invested a total of $417 this year so far to a working poor fund in Peru and Nicaragua and a fund that supports environmental sustainability in Latin America. Both of these funds come with a pretty nice 3.5% interest rate per year for three years.
- Note: I use Microplace.com to invest this money. It seems to work well and be dependable (my principal for some of my 2010 investments were paid back in September). I just logged in to my account, and it says that my money has been used to help 55 people down there! Pretty cool stuff if you ask me!
- Donate $1,300 to Multiple Sclerosis Foundation in 2011 (5% of income) – Done. In the 2011 Tour de Vine event, I raised approximately $5625 to support finding a cure for this disease (with the help of company matches). My bike ride happened on June 11-12 of this year and was a huge success. I’m definitely planning to do it again next year (I’ve already signed up, in fact!)
- The other big donation thrust I’ll be doing for the remainder of 2011 and beyond is giving away 10% of my blog income each month, with 5% going to readers and another 5% going to charities that the readers select. If you’re interested in signing up for a chance to win, click here.
- Save 3% of take home pay each month (after taxes) for Dream Account. On target – Have an automatic transfer each month from my Bank of America checking account to my ING Direct high yield savings account.
- Save ~30% of blogging income (if any) in a high yield online savings account in preparation for 2010 taxes. I had been very bad at doing this until late this summer, but I finally have begun to put aside significant amounts of money for taxes.
- The next step on my radar is to send quarterly tax payments in the government so that I don’t owe huge amounts in April 2012 and get penalized.
- I will need to make sure to update my net worth calculation Excel spreadsheet so that these tax savings don’t get counted in my asset allocation percentages, thus skewing the numbers.
- Implement dollar value averaging for my 2012 Roth IRA contributions. This will be done in the beginning of 2012.
Mid-Term (3-5 years out) Goals:
- Continue contributing $5000 to Roth IRA each year and using dollar value averaging.
- Reach intermediate net worth target (not displayed here, but is 2X my current net worth)
- Own a rental property by 2016.
How about you all? How have the months of July through October (thus far) been for achieving your goals? What are your next milestones? ***Photo courtesy of
Long-Term (>5 years out) Goals:
Share your experiences by commenting below!
How about you all? How have the months of July through October (thus far) been for achieving your goals? What are your next milestones?
***Photo courtesy ofhttp://farm1.static.flickr.com/230/503335275_6150e07aed.jpg