While we are already pretty well into 2009, it isn’t too late for us to officially declare our 2009 financial goals. We’re now married, so our financial priorities have changed accordingly…and they happen to be house and baby, not necessarily in that order and probably not for at least a year from now. That said, 2009 is going to be a year of heavy financial preparation. Here’s what we’re setting out to accomplish:
Pay off student loans that have been transferred to 0% balance transfer (BT) cards
In late 2008 both Her and I opened 0% BT credit cards for the purpose of paying off the remainder of the private student loans. The total amount was a little over $13,000, and we started making payments in December 2008. The cards’ BT rate expiration dates are this year in September and December. Therefore, we’re going to pay off the cards in order of BT rate expiration. We’re allocating $1,000 per month towards paying off those cards. That way, we should be making our last payment in December 2009.
While we’re paying these off we’re paying the minimums, about $400 total, towards the other student loans that aren’t at 0%.
That brings us to a total of ~$1,400 per month for student loan payments. Ouch.
Stretch goal: pay off half of the student loan on the 1.9% BT, about $4,000
Save $15,000 for a down payment for a house
We’ve written a lot of posts on our ideas on housing. Summary: we want to buy, but haven’t had any money so we’ve rented and get a great deal, now we’re saving, but have no idea where or when we’re buying, but no suburbs, please.
Of the above summary, the most tangible thing we can do to move forward with our housing decision is to save, save, and save. We’re socking away $300 per paycheck into savings with automatic deposits.
Stretch goal: Save $20,000. This is entirely possible, but with the way the economy is going we’re not going to get our hopes up.
Contribute the maximum to our Roth IRAs, $10,000 total
…this of course assumes that we will be able to contribute to Roth IRAs. We’re actually going to start this in April when our taxes have been all sorted out, and contribute until April of 2010. Our monthly contributions to our Roth IRAs will amount to $833.33.
Stretch goal: Be comfortable with our cash flow so that we can increase our 401(k)/SIMPLE IRA contributions at work by at least 1%. Alternatively, we can also put money into a Self-Employed 401(k), starting out with 5% of our business income.
I’ll check in with these goals every quarter to see how we’re doing. How are your goals shaping up for this year?