Mmm...foam block.I just sorta coasted through 2009.

A lot of people seem to do that for their entire lives, you know, just going through the motions and I’m glad that I’m not one of them.

At the same time, though I coasted, I can’t say that I made any poor financial decisions during the past year.

But I’m also fairly certain that I didn’t spend and/or save as wisely as I could have if I’d had a concrete plan set for the year and beyond.

I’m looking to change that in 2010.

Without any debts to attack besides the mortgage and that lingering renovation project that still needs to be initiated (I’m dragging my feet), 2010’s goals are going to be about saving and investing.

I’m not going to be modest either — easily attainable goals are simply that…easily attainable.

So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, here goes…

  • I’m looking to, again, contribute the $5000 allowable maximum (online) to I-series US Treasury Bonds.

    I know that I’m far too young to be investing in something so conservative but I somewhat indiscriminately did it in 2009 and I’m certainly not kicking myself for it.

    Besides, $5k really isn’t that much spread out over the span of a year.

  • I’m going to give in and open up a Roth IRA — and then fully fund it.

    I’ve toyed with the idea before but could never really grasp the benefits.

    I still don’t really understand their appeal but with my 401k no longer receiving an employer match and the added desire to have access to the money should I need it (or to pay for that renovation I keep talking about), it seems like a wise place to stash an additional $5000 and potentially earn a lot more than I would in savings bonds or in a savings account.

  • I want to more than double the current balance of my savings account.

    If the renovation project doesn’t happen in 2010, I want there to be at least $25000 in my savings account.

  • I want to step up my mortgage payments again.

    Plain and simple, though I continue to go back and forth on the idea of paying my mortage off, I don’t want to have to pay a monthly mortgage bill for the next 22 years.

    Or even the next 10 years.

    Eh, while we’re at it, I don’t want to have a mortgage payment anymore in 5 years

    For the past few months, I’ve lowered my “extra” principle payments down to $75 per week. While that’s still a pretty respectable number, I’m not seeing the balance fall as quickly as I’d like.

    I need to double it in order to approach the level that’d have me lined up nicely for an early payoff.

  • I’m going to actively attempt to curb my hobby expenditures.

    My spending in this area has been on the decline for years now but like everyone notices in each and every spending report — I still spend far too much money adding to my game worn hockey jersey collection.

    From here on out, or at least until I get the house fixed up, it’s gotta be something that I’ve truly wanted for some time or something from a player that my Dad, who can’t even be considered a casual hockey fan, will have heard of for a great price.

    Dad — please tell me the name Ovechkin rings a bell…

    Bottom line, though I don’t regret a single one, no more late night eBay impulse purchases.

I think that’s where I’ll draw the line…

Tallying up the first four goals — the concrete ones — they add up to a sum of $30300. That’s $5000 towards I-Bonds, $5000 towards a Roth IRA, $12000 towards savings, and $7800 ($150 per week for 52 weeks) towards the mortgage.

Back during my days buried in credit card debt, that’s about how much I was sending back to the fine folks at Mastercard and VISA during each calendar year.

I’m not making as much as I did back then but I’m also not spending as much either.

I think I can do it.

And maybe I can even add an Ovechkin to the collection along the way too…

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Does a Roth IRA (as opposed to a Traditional IRA) really make sense for you? Given your expenses and your savings goals, you must be in the 25% federal tax bracket (at least). Figure in state taxes, and you are paying 30+% up front, whereas you would be paying a more layered tax on the money when you take it out (10% on the first $8,350, and so on).

  2. @DTZ Good point! I often ignore any tax implications because they’ve always been negligible when I got right down to it.

    But the real attraction to the Roth variant is solely the ability to withdraw early.

    I’m looking at it as a potentially more profitable savings account with lower fees than a mutual fund could give me.

    Sure, it’s a bit of a risk to look at it that way (short term) but with so much in the plain old savings account and i-bonds, the conservative end of things is still a bit top heavy for my age (33).

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