We’re nearing the end of January, and last night I ran across an article that claimed that 92% of Americans fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions, with a whopping 45% throwing in the towel within a month. With that in mind, I wanted to ask you guys how you’re doing?
As for me, we’re still on track with our goals for 2008, though we’re doing better in some areas than others. Here’s a quick rundown of how things are going…
This is a pretty easy one for us, as everything is automated and we’re pretty much 100% assured of maxing our our various accounts. So we can chalk this one up as a success.
I still haven’t had a chance to put together a tax-efficient strategy for non-retirement investments. We’re still just piling our equity investments into Vanguard’s Total Stock Market, but I hope to have a better plan in place sometime soon.
Simplifying Our Finances
We’re actually doing pretty well in this area, as we’re in the process of dumping one of our credit cards, and we’ve also just closed our HELOC. We have no need for it, so why keep it open? I’ve also set up autopay for both our Citi Dividend Platinum and Amex Blue Cash cards and automated a couple of other minor monthly payments.
Protecting Our Future
Still no progress on a long term disability (LTD) policy for me. 🙁
Creating a User Manual for Our Financial Life
At long last, I’ve begun making progress on this one… Thus far, I’ve been putting together an encrypted database of sensitive info (account numbers and login credentials) in SplashID, though I still need to pull together a notebook detailing the various accounts, insurance policies, etc. that we have (and where we have them).
Kids and Money
Still no progress on teaching our ten year old about investing. This is high on my list for this year, but we’ve just haven’t had the time.
I started pulling together our 2007 taxes last night. As part of this process, I set aside anything that we’ll need for 2008. I still haven’t set up a dedicated folder for this, but at least I have a pile… 🙂
So… What about you? Are you keeping up with your goals/resolutions?
This article is part of the MBN group writing project on keeping up with your goals for 2008.
11 Responses to “2008 Resolutions: Are You Still on Track With Your Goals?”
I’m having the same problem figuring how to teach my kids about money. It’s not easy.
That’s funny, I just posted an update on my financial resolution of saving 10 grand for a house in ’08.
So far, so good.
Yes, still going strong, though I am having difficulties trying to find the time to get my blog up to speed. Sometimes simple things like formatting can get really time consuming!. Financially, I’ve already saved and invested $200 of the $1000 I promised to invest in stocks on sharebuilder by the end of the year. Is anyone else investing in NLY? I picked that for the first $200. It looks strong. I know I should do Index funds… I wanted to test my research skills as the year progresses… and see what kind of 5 stock portfolio I can come up with.
CF: Yes, you have to call them and then fill out a form.
liz: Our kids are already a huge priority in our lives, and not just when it comes to talking about money. But since you brought it up, we already do allowance, complete with the charity/spend/save breakdown that you alluded to. In this case, I’m talking specifically about teaching our oldest about investing. He now has enough money saved up to get into a well-diversified mutual fund, but we haven’t had a chance to make it happen yet.
Please, please, make your kids a priority! BTW, I don’t have kids but I’m a terrific Aunt! (grin) Set a timer for 10-15 minutes. You have that much time each day, right? – You can use the first couple days to just outline what is important to you to communicate-achieve, and jot down some ideas to talk with your wife about, and get her ideas. You both want to be on the same page. After you’ve got some ideas with your wife, tell your kid(s) you’re going to take 15 minutes (timer!) each day for a month(other?) just to talk (their money – their finances?), and then implement the ideas you have. Whether it is the 3-envelope method (spend, tithe-donate, save) or other. Make it happen. All the best!
Nickel, how did you set up autopay for Amex Blue Cash – do you have to call them? I tried finding it on the website, but came up empty. I’m in the process of setting it up for my Citi card (they need to send me a form to fill out – did you have to do the same?), but found nothing for AMEX. Thanks.
So far, so good. I opened a new checking account that doesn’t have my social security number for the account number (and I almost have my new number memorized). I have filled out the forms to have 2 of my 4 automatic processes switched to the new account and have enough money in both accounts to cover things no matter when the switchovers actually take effect. And I finally found the paperwork for switching the other 2 automatic processes.
I’ve opened a new high-interest online savings account and connected it to my new checking account. I also connected my old (not quite so) high-interest online account to my new checking account in case I decided to switch back at some point. And I transferred my money across.
I found my receipts for the central AC I had installed last year so I can claim the tax credit on my income taxes. I also learned that the new doors we installed may also qualify, so I need to see if I can find the receipts for those.
And I found an acceptable way to invest my old pension money that I just rolled over into an IRA and have done that.
I still have to automate my charitable contributions, take defensive driving, increase my IRA contributions for this year, finish my taxes, and finish the process of switching checking accounts.
I’m pretty much on track. I would like to put more into my Roth IRA, though.
Still working on my goals. Why is it so difficult sometimes?
Meeting goals for things like net worth can be pretty challenging at times (and overly easy at other times — it largely depends on how the market performs). This is why I try to avoid setting goals about things that I can’t control. I’ve found that it’s much easier to keep yourself on track if you set goals for which success/failure is entirely dependent on things that you do (like savings goals instead of net worth goals).
So far, so good. With the drop in the market, it is not helping with my networth goal.