I can't believe how fast 2009 has gone by. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were just coming into 2009. I made 4 goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2009. Now that 2009, is just weeks from being over, it's time to review how close I came to meeting my goals. Right now, it looks pretty bad since I only completed 1 of the 4 goals.

My 2009 goals were to:

SGM Savings Challenge. I had a goal of saving $50,000 over the next 24 months. Back in December of 2008, I was at about $28,000 and set a goal of saving $14,000 in 2009 and $14,000 by the end of 2010. I'm happy to say that I was able to save a little over $14,000. Here is the last savings update.

Student Loan. My goal was to pay down my student loan balance from over $23k down to $18k. I didn't meet this goal. Unfortunately, the balance did not change very much. I paid down a little bit of the principal but the majority of the payments went towards interest. I think the main reason for this was that my extra cash was going towards my Savings Challenge. The only good thing about paying interest on this loan is that I can write it off when I file my taxes.

Increase Alternative Income. My goal was to bring in an additional $7500 in alternative income on top of my regular salary and rental income. The additional income for this goal would come from this blog, Ebay sales and online survey sites. Right now, it looks like I was able to bring in an additional $4300. While it is not near the amount I'd hope for, it's still nothing to complain about. Any extra money you can bring in on top of your regular income is great!

Purchase an Additional Rental Property. There are so many properties in the Atlanta area that can be obtained for less than $50k due to the collapse in the housing market. I wanted to use this to my advantage and pick up an additional rental property. I put in offers on 2 properties and was outbid by investors with deeper pockets and a lot more resources than I have. I've decided to put this goal on the back burner for awhile. I don't think the housing market will rebound that much in the next year or two so the opportunities will still be there.

How did you do on your 2009 Financial Goals?

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  1. Brian // December 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

    Hey SGM...just wanted to stop by and thank you for the blog. I just recently started following you, but you've already inspired me to get more aggressive with my personal financial goals.

    Along those lines, I wanted to ask you to clarify something for me with regard to your strategy. In your "2009 Financial Goal Results" recap, you indicated that you put a significant amount of money towards your Savings Account, but made little progress towards paying down your Student Loan debt. In your interview with Debt Consolidation Care (http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/blog/2009/05/15/interview-singleguymoney/), you indicated that, "My plan is to save a large cash cushion to handle any emergencies that may creep up. Once that goal is funded, any extra cash will go towards my student loan. Once my student loan is paid off, the only debt remaining will be the mortgage."

    My questions for you are:

    1) Is the interest that you are earning on your savings account greater than the interest rate on your Student Loans (or have you been able to consolidate/negotiate a lower rate)?
    2) If your Student Loan interest rate is greater than zero, would it make more sense to dip into your savings to pay off the Student Loans, then refocus on building the savings without paying interest on the loans?

    I realize that I am dipping into personal preference, but financially, if you have the cash to pay off a loan and eliminate interest payments completely, you are in essence paying yourself in the long run. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  2. Single Guy Money // December 14, 2009 at 6:20 PM  

    Brian, thanks for your comment.

    Please refer to this post: http://www.singleguymoney.com/2009/08/cash-is-king.html

  3. Keith Morris // December 16, 2009 at 10:44 AM  

    Hey SGM. Setting goals are important. Even though you didn't achieve all of your goals, the fact that you had them led you to at least make some progress in the right direction. Congrats!

    If you're interested, LifeTuner is hosting a twitter chat this afternoon about setting finance goals in the new year. Your experience would lend a lot to the conversation. You can get the details here: http://ltqanda.eventbrite.com/

  4. Ryan @ Planting Dollars // December 23, 2009 at 2:56 AM  

    Hey SGM,
    I agree with Keith. That fact that you actually set goals and checked them a year after you set them is something the VAST majority of people do not do.

    That said - congrats on hitting over $14k, that's a significant chunk and something I'm going through at the moment. Keep pluggin at it and you'll be free in no time.

  5. Stuart // December 23, 2009 at 7:01 PM  

    Great to get some extra income going. Which survey sites are you using and how much do they pay?

    Happy Holidays!