Tags Posts tagged with "2008 Goals"

2008 Goals

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Credit Card Debt Payoff ChartWell, today is the day I’ve been waiting quite some time for.

I just sent a $508.13 payment to Chase and effectively eliminated the very last of my credit card debt!

I received my first credit card, the first one that wasn’t attached to my parents’ account, back in the summer of 1997. The very first thing I purchased with it was a computer from Dell.

That $4k computer served me pretty well, allowed me to start my own company, and held it’s own until 2001. In fact, I’m still using the monitor from that computer purchased back in 1997. I’m pretty proud that my first purchase wasn’t one I regret.

But the rest of the purchases I made on that credit card, and the numerous others I’ve used since, haven’t all been such profitable or wise decisions.

In 2000, I took a personal vacation that cost $7k, financed entirely on a Visa card. Can you believe that?

The crazy part, while I have fond memories of it now, at the time I didn’t really enjoy it all that much. To date, it stands out as the biggest and most frivolous 10 day spending-spree of my life.

Since I purchased my house, just 6 years ago, I’ve bought a new furnace, a new washer, a new dryer, I’m on my third (!?) refrigerator, a new roof, new siding, new doors, lots of new furniture and I charged every single one of them.

I’ve also charged well in excess of $50k on game used hockey jerseys over the years.

Thankfully, they tend to hold their value and often increase in value. It’s tough to call that a stupid expenditure when I really enjoy it and the option is always there to sell them, but at the same time, the amount of money I’ve thrown towards it over the years is staggering — especially when I was casually using a credit card to finance it because I really couldn’t afford it.

One of the most intelligent things I’ve done using credit cards was financing last year’s home improvements by spreading it out across multiple cards and taking advantage of promo offers.

In the end, I believe we financed the entire project just above 4%. The previous year when we went the more traditional route, taking out a home improvement loan to finance the roofing project, the rate was a ridiculous 15.5%.

As a result, in the future, credit cards will be my financing method of choice when an expense comes along that I can’t afford. That is, if they still offer the nice promo rates in this “new” economy.

If you click on the chart above, as recently as June of 2007 (less than a year ago!), my total credit card debt was near $20k.

Today, it’s 100% gone.

The hockey jerseys are paid for. The vinyl siding is paid for. The roof is paid for. The furnace is paid for. The computers are paid for. The camera equipment is paid for. The BMW is paid for. Even the $7k vacation nearly a decade ago is paid for…

It feels good. Even had a little extra spring in my step as I walked into work this morning.

All that’s left now is the one remaining auto loan and that shouldn’t be there for long…

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Bullwinkle J. Moose — My Goals CheerleaderHaving just submitted payment for my auto insurance this morning (via an e-payment), all of the bills are now paid for the month of March.

Nothing due to come in until the second week of April.

Best of all, I only have $500 left in credit card debt and payday is this Thursday.

Wow.

Looks like I’ll be crossing off this goal for 2008 by the end of the week:

Eliminate all credit card debt by the end of June 2008. Current credit card debt is $10318. I’m aiming to achieve this goal slightly ahead of schedule, by about a month, according to the snowball plan I started in November.

The auto loan is in my sights now…

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Grow!  Grow Money Tree!I’ve started putting together a few ideas for when the time comes that I’m finally in the black (excluding the mortgage).

My first idea was sparked by a recent comment that Dedicated made on my posting about my rapidly approaching dilemma of uncertainty.

After running the numbers this morning, over the past 36 months, I’ve been paying down my credit cards at an average rate of $2441.66 each month, or in weekly terms, around $563 per week.

With that monthly expense eliminated 100%, I should, in theory, be able to reach my goal of $10k in savings by applying that former payment towards savings in a little over 4 months. That is astounding to me.

More realistically though, with my income down somewhat after dropping numerous clients on my side business, I think a slightly smaller goal of $400/week to ING is within reason.

This too may be difficult as I’m not taking into account the additional money I’m paying towards the mortgage on a weekly basis, but I’ll give it a shot and see where it leads me.

At a rate of $400/week and not including any interest earned, $10k is just 25 weeks away or less than 6 months.

That sounds like a plan for now, but first I’m going to concentrate on paying off the auto loan…

The 2008 goals all seem to be falling into place nicely — especially considering we’re just beginning our 13th week of the year.

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NHL Credit CardI updated the progress bars on the right this morning and you’ll see that I didn’t pay off the credit card balance in full with my last paycheck like I had originally planned on.

I have the funds in my checking account to do it, but it would make things rather tight for the next two weeks so I’m putting it off until the end of the month when I get paid again.

In the end, at worst, the delay will cost me less than $2 in finance charges, so I’m not going to let it bother me too much.

I also took a bit out of savings likely due in part to ING dropping their rate again. I guess I felt like the money wasn’t doing anything for me just sitting there.

The progress there is almost embarassing, but once the credit card goal is complete, the auto loan will begin to rapidly evaporate and then I should have a few months right at the end of the year to build up savings.

We’ll see.

Time to see how things have progressed on my goals for 2008

Eliminate all credit card debt by the end of June 2008. Current credit card debt is $10318. I’m aiming to achieve this goal slightly ahead of schedule, by about a month, according to the snowball plan I started in November.

At the end of February, the balance was down to $2750. This morning, I’ve already knocked another $750 from that. So, with $2000 remaining on the total balance, I’m hoping to use the next paycheck and a little from savings to wipe it out for good and mark it up as a completed goal before the next progress report.

Eliminate PMI from the Mortgage by the end of December 2008. Right now, it’s costing me over $1000 per year. For what? Nothing. To meet this goal, I’ll have to contribute an additional $160 per month towards my mortgage.

With the added biweekly $25 my wife is now tossing in towards the mortgage, this goal is also rapidly approaching completion. We’re a little over one third of the way to eliminating PMI already.

Pay off my auto loan by the end of December 2008. Current balance is $7418. This is also included in my snowball plan and it’s scheduled to be paid off in October if all goes as planned. I’m not looking to speed this up; just finish it off.

I’m just making the payments on this one… Balance is now $6920.

Increase my 401k contributions to 15%. This way I’ll receive the maximum match allowed from my employer. Right now, I’m contributing just under 10%. I’ll plan to make this move once the credit card debt is eliminated. Achieved 12-27-2007

I achieved this goal before the year even started. Woo-hoo for me! Too bad I’m down 3.5% on the year even with the added contributions…

Increase my passive income. Now that I’ve dumped my largest client, the hockey team, I’ll soon find myself bringing in a lot less income. But, I also find myself with a lot more free time. Free time that I should use to optimize my other ventures to make up the difference; except now I’ll focus on more passive income streams because, in all honesty, I’m tired of working so much. Right now my 100% passive income hovers around $50/month. With the least effort possible, I’m looking to triple that in 2008 and pick-up a few low maintenance clients as well.

Getting there… January brought in $79.48 and February brought in $74.09 of totally passive income. I’m not quite there yet on this goal, but I spent a lot of time this past weekend tweaking things to ensure that March is even higher.

$10k in savings. This is my lofty goal. I’m not sure it’s even possible. Right now my ING account is holding a mere $1k. No matter how far rates fall, with a 5-figure balance working in my favor I’ll have to be making atleast $1/day in interest and for whatever reason, I like that. I’d also like to pay for some still needed interior renovations in 2008 with cash and this is where I’ll draw from.

Still tanking. Not sure I even want to talk about this one… No, but really, I think that once the debts are eliminated, progress on this one will take off and I still think it’s possible to reach $10k by the end of the year.

Run a marathon. This is a goal that I just added into the mix last week. To be happy, I’ll need to keep a pace between 7 and 9 minutes per mile.

I laced up my sneakers for the first time yesterday and went out for probably for a little over a mile. My back hurt almost immediately and afterwards my legs were really tight, but that’s to be expected on day one. Hopefully it goes a little better tonight. By the end of this week, I hope to be putting in atleast 3+ miles per day as I build up my stamina.

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Okay, so January isn’t quite over yet, but you get the idea.

I didn’t really have any New Year’s resolutions, but I did lay down a few goals for 2008 and I guess now is as good a time as any to see if things are still on track…

Eliminate all credit card debt by the end of June 2008. Current credit card debt is $10318. I’m aiming to achieve this goal slightly ahead of schedule, by about a month, according to the snowball plan I started in November.

Progress is far ahead of schedule on this goal. This morning, my total credit card debt is under $5000 and with Thursday being another pay day, it’s likely to fall even more by the end of the month. I’m hoping to have all of this wrapped up by the end of March now.

Eliminate PMI from the Mortgage by the end of December 2008. Right now, it’s costing me over $1000 per year. For what? Nothing. To meet this goal, I’ll have to contribute an additional $160 per month towards my mortgage.

I’m on pace for this, though it doesn’t really feel like it. At the start of the year, I began throwing $125 towards the principle each Monday. So, with the extra payments this month, I’ve climbed $500 closer to my target of $6100. In total, I have $5124 left to go.

Pay off my auto loan by the end of December 2008. Current balance is $7418. This is also included in my snowball plan and it’s scheduled to be paid off in October if all goes as planned. I’m not looking to speed this up; just finish it off.

Nothing worth mentioning on this one. I’m just making the payments…nothing extra. This goal comes in a distant second to the credit card goal. Current balance is $7177.

Increase my 401k contributions to 15%. This way I’ll receive the maximum match allowed from my employer. Right now, I’m contributing just under 10%. I’ll plan to make this move once the credit card debt is eliminated. Achieved 12-27-2007

I achieved this goal before the year even started, but with the way the markets have been going, my increased contributions habe only resulted in larger losses. That’s okay though — in the long run, it will be a very good thing that I got this back up to the full match percentage when I did.

Increase my passive income. Now that I’ve dumped my largest client, the hockey team, I’ll soon find myself bringing in a lot less income. But, I also find myself with a lot more free time. Free time that I should use to optimize my other ventures to make up the difference; except now I’ll focus on more passive income streams because, in all honesty, I’m tired of working so much. Right now my 100% passive income hovers around $50/month. With the least effort possible, I’m looking to triple that in 2008 and pick-up a few low maintenance clients as well.

I’ve made a few moves in the past couple of weeks to get this goal on track, but nothing really impressive. I missed out on a generous advertising opportunity last week because I took too long to respond to the email offer — but that won’t happen again. I’ve got everything forwarding to one address now so nothing sits and waits for a week. Eitherway, things are headed in the positive direction. Passive income for January is looking to top out around $80.

$10k in savings. This is my lofty goal. I’m not sure it’s even possible. Right now my ING account is holding a mere $1k. No matter how far rates fall, with a 5-figure balance working in my favor I’ll have to be making atleast $1/day in interest and for whatever reason, I like that. I’d also like to pay for some still needed interior renovations in 2008 with cash and this is where I’ll draw from.

I’m tanking on this goal. On January 1st, I had around $1000 in savings. Today, I’m well below that, and the interest rate is falling so I’m not real *excited* about trying to right the ship on this one. I haven’t thrown in the towel just yet, there are 337 days remaining in the year, but I’d be shocked if I come close to realizing this goal.

Brainy SmurfWith all remaining bills for 2007 paid already, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2008. This will be my official “Goals for 2008” posting. Earlier this month, I had a preliminary version, but as I’ve thought about it some more over the past few weeks, there were a few things I felt I should add.

In no particular order:

  • Eliminate all credit card debt by the end of June 2008. Current credit card debt is $10318. I’m aiming to achieve this goal slightly ahead of schedule, by about a month, according to the snowball plan I started in November. Achieved 03-27-2008
  • Eliminate PMI from the Mortgage by the end of December 2008. Right now, it’s costing me over $1000 per year. For what? Nothing. To meet this goal, I’ll have to contribute an additional $160 per month towards my mortgage. Achieved 07-08-2008
  • Pay off my auto loan by the end of December 2008. Current balance is $7418. This is also included in my snowball plan and it’s scheduled to be paid off in October if all goes as planned. I’m not looking to speed this up — just finish it off. Achieved 09-25-2008
  • Increase my 401k contributions to 15%. This way I’ll receive the maximum match allowed from my employer. Right now, I’m contributing just under 10%. I’ll plan to make this move once the credit card debt is eliminated. Achieved 12-27-2007
  • Increase my passive income. Now that I’ve dumped my largest client, the hockey team, I’ll soon find myself bringing in a lot less income. But, I also find myself with a lot more free time. Free time that I should use to optimize my other ventures to make up the difference — except now I’ll focus on more passive income streams because, in all honesty, I’m tired of working so much. Right now my 100% passive income hovers around $50/month. With the least effort possible, I’m looking to triple that in 2008 and pick-up a few low maintenance clients as well.
  • $10k in savings. This is my lofty goal. I’m not sure it’s even possible. Right now my ING account is holding a mere $1k. No matter how far rates fall, with a 5-figure balance working in my favor I’ll have to be making atleast $1/day in interest and for whatever reason, I like that. I’d also like to pay for some still needed interior renovations in 2008 with cash and this is where I’ll draw from.

Can You Dig It?

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