Here are some of our goals for 2009.
- Continue eating away at our non-mortgage and non-student loan debt. Specifically, we would like to eliminate all of our credit card debt in 2009. We have a long way to go and it will take a lot of discipline to accomplish this goal. We feel positive about it though.
- Continue saving for a Roth IRA for each of us at Vanguard. Vanguard has a $3,000 minimum for their IRA accounts. Our realistic goal is to be really close to getting the IRAs at the close of 2009. In the meantime, we save a little each week in a high yield savings account at ING Direct.
- Weigh significantly less at the end of 2009 than we do now. This is another very tough goal but a necessary one. Wish us luck! We’ll need it. That, and a lot of discipline.
- Get married and have a fabulous trip to Alaska! Woohoo! This one is self-explanatory. We can’t wait to officially become the Fishel-Browns. Ideally, we want to do this without contributing to our debt. See goal #1.
- Stephanie hopes to officially graduate with her Ph.D. by December 2009. This journey has been made more difficult by Stephanie beginning a full-time job in August. But, she is determined to finish. Again, wish her luck! This will be one of the toughest years for us scheduling-wise with Stephanie working on her dissertation and driving back and forth from Atlanta to Clemson in her “free time” (i.e. weekends and evenings). All patience and understanding is greatly appreciated. She keeps telling herself that there’s a reason that only a small percentage of the world has their Ph.D. It obviously isn’t easy and takes a lot out of you.
- Ben would like to get 1-2 career related certifications this year. He has his eye on some Microsoft certifications. The course materials aren’t cheap and time is limited but he hopes those two things won’t stop him.
- Get a termite treatment, bedroom furniture, and a fence for the house. As some of you know, furnishing and maintaining a house are both very expensive. We accomplished 3 financially challenging house related goals in 2008. We got 2 couches, 1 new mattress, and $3300 in trees removed. In 2009 we hope to get a full termite treatment for the house ($900 for initial treatment), nice, new bedroom furniture (our mattress is currently on the floor), and a fence for the back/side yard.
On a side note, if you are interested in opening an account at ING Direct let us know. We can send you a link that will earn you a bonus as well as ourselves (you’ll get $25 and we’ll get $10). We love having our accounts there and have turned on a couple of our friends to ING Direct. One of my favorite bloggers (The Simple Dollar) wrote an excellent article about how to use ING Direct to budget and save money. You can find the article here. Automatic savings is one of the best things we started in 2008. If you would like more information, ask us!
As you can see, we have set some ambitious goals for 2009. What are your goals for 2009?