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Financial Plans for 2009

Happy 2009! Let me just start by saying that if your New Year’s resolution involves budgeting, try out this simple budget spreadsheet: [download#8].

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions because they provide another opportunity for me to let myself down. I suppose that the New Year isn’t something that motivates me. Other factors may motivate a successful resolution, but they have to carry weight. For some people, perhaps that’s realizing that another year has passed and they still haven’t done whatever it is they now resolve to do.

I prefer New Year’s goals or simply looking into the New Year and making plans. So here are my financial plans for 2009:

  1. Pay off the car. We’re almost there in paying off the car. I had plans to pay it off by May based on using my blog/consulting income as well as part of Micah’s teaching stipend. Over Christmas I learned that I’ll probably (I don’t like to count on things until I have them) be receiving a legacy in January which should help us pay most or all of it off.

    I’ll write more about that and what we’re doing next as things occur. Pretty excited, because an extra $250 minimum (the minimum payment, not including the snowflakes) a month is awesome. Plus, it’ll make student loans the only debts we have left. And that $250 will be a powerful snowflake. Just thinking about it makes me smile.

  2. Hire an accountant to do my taxes. Something else I plan to write more about…taxes for bloggers and other freelancers. I opted for high withholding and set aside money for taxes, so I’m not worried about being able to pay taxes. But I’m quite overwhelmed by having to sort them out.

    I include this as a goal because finding one will be a brave step for me. I really like to be financially independent and manage my own money and I’ve always done my own taxes (until last year, I did them manually too!). Also, this should be a learning experience. I can find out what parts I did right, what I should do for the next year, etc. I plan to get on this goal in January, right after we get our W-2s.

  3. Open a 401(k) retirement account. My employer won’t match until I’ve been there 2 years, but they offer the Vanguard funds I’ve been interested in. And I won’t need a lump sum up front if I commit to monthly amounts. Plus, once I’m there for 2 years there’s an awesome employer match, so I might as well get started.

    Not going to let this economy keep me from saving for retirement.

Those are the main goals. Then I have some personal ones, like embarking on a writing project I’ve been meaning to do for a while, finishing an eBook I’m writing (WordPress-related, not personal finance), continuing the exercise routine Micah and I have gotten into, becoming an even awesomer blogger 😉 , maintaining a regular sleep schedule, staying social…those are the ones I can think of offhand.

Oh, and keeping up my offline diary (where I go into the goals in more detail). I started it just a couple months ago and it’s a wonderful release after all the pressure of writing a blog. Blogging is fun, but some days I feel a need to be interesting, insightful, and to control my content. I wouldn’t want to write something which would hurt a reader that I know personally, or a member of my family (who all seem to read this blog…).

Writing in it makes me feel so good. I don’t have to worry if anyone but me cares or if it sounds stupid. Blogs will probably never replace personal journals and diaries, and I don’t think they should try to.

{ 2 trackbacks }

The Friday Gathering - 2009 New Year Edition
January 2, 2009 at 9:59 am
2009 Personal Finance Goals and Resolutions : Cash Money Life
January 5, 2009 at 5:52 am


dogatemyfinances January 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm

You don’t need your W2s to find an accountant. It took me a couple months to talk to a friend who really loved his accountant. You have a friend with a great accountant, you just don’t know it yet.

Funny about Money January 1, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Agreed: it’s smart to get an accountant to do your taxes, especially if you have more than one income stream. The tax laws are now so complicated, most of us haven’t a chance of understanding them. And I don’t think programs like TurboTax obviate the possibility of making a mistake: you have to understand what the laws and the various technicalities mean to make those programs work correctly. Even an honest error can open you up to fines and penalties.

mrsmicah January 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm

@dogatemyfinances good point! I should ask around church, it’s probably my biggest social network. I’m sure that there are self-employed people there or people who use accountants. Or maybe some of the people I know there are accountants, who knows?

@Funny, that’s true, TurboTax and the like aren’t flawless either. I’d trust them for simpler taxes, but not if I had a large inheritance, self-employment income, etc.

Cheryl January 1, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I am unable to open your budget spreadsheet. Is there another site you recommend or can you email me a different link? Thanks so much

mrsmicah January 1, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Thanks for letting me know, Cheryl. This link should work but I’ve also sent you an e-mail.

deepali January 3, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Goals and plans and resolutions are all the same thing. 😉 Good luck in 2009!

Dividend Tree January 11, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Good luck with your resolutions. i like your spreadsheet, it is well thought out.

Best Regards, DT

boat plans July 7, 2010 at 5:50 am

Owh,,,this is usefull article.. I’ll tell my friend to read this.

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