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Planning for 2008

December 14, 2007

I was hoping to wait until 2008 to talk about my goals and plans for 2008. However, I’m a planner to the extreme and I can’t help myself from starting now.

There are a lot of unknowns in the first part of next year. I’m moving to a new city with expensive rent. While I have one job offer, I’m waiting on the one that I want more (tomorrow? Very soon!) so I’m not sure what my salary will be. Still, no matter what, there are some goals I can set right away, and adjust as needed.

First, I want to max out my Roth IRA again. That is about $415 a month of post tax money to be directed into savings immediately.

In that same vein, I want to contribute at least 10% to my 401k. This is pretty painless and will get me a full match of (probably) 6% total from my company.

I also want to pay a little extra to my student loan account. My goal is only going to be $1000 extra this year. I’m required to pay about $1500. In 2007 my goal was $4000 total. This is really cheap money so paying it off is more for the mental benefits. That means my month payment will increase to $215, though I’ll likely pay it in chunks rather than automatically every month. If any of my goals are faltering, this will be the first to go, as it is the least cost effective.

I want to continue auto-contributions to my emergency fund, and really turn it into an emergency fund. I have a general purpose high yield savings account which is my efund, but I don’t treat it as an efund. It’s just a savings account with a continually increasing balance. I think contributing $50/week to this account will be sufficient. I pretty much grew it to 10k from scratch this year, so it is a big decrease. I’m excited to have a base fund so I can focus on other goals.

Now… the “boring” goals are out of the way!

I want to add $25/week to my “travel” fund. If I have extra money, I’ll increase this amount, but it is a start.  I also want to start saving up for a newer car. My car has about 75k miles on it and will last another couple years… but I need to start building up some money to purchase my next one. I want to pay for my next car in cash, and I will be spending at least 10k, maybe more. If my budget works out, I’d like to save $100/week for this, giving me just over 5k by the end of the year.

So that is it! These goals will be tweaked once I’m settled into my new apartment, new city, and new job.

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