Financial Resolutions for 2010

Happy New Year’s Eve! I don’t know about you, but 2009 has been a pretty crazy year for me. Lots of ups, downs, and plenty of in-between. My goal for each year is to be a little bit better — a better worker, son, friend, person, etc.

I know that everyone has their own opinion with regard to the importance — or legitimacy — of New Year’s Resolutions. Personally, I have a few for myself every year that I write down in my daily planner. I keep them to myself, and I track each month to see if I am working toward each of those resolutions (I like to call them goals).

While I keep my overall resolutions to myself, my personal finance ones are a different story.

These aren’t in any particular order of importance:

  • Roll over my 401(k) into an IRA: On January 4, I’ll be beginning my new job. I’m very excited about this, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be cutting all ties to my old job immediately. I have the 401(k) from there that I contributed to for the past couple of years, and once I receive the proper paperwork, I want to roll that money over into an IRA — most likely into my Schwab account that I already have open. I don’t want to pay withdrawal penalties if I can help it. I’m not sure how to do this yet, but I know that there are consultants available to help me proceed accordingly.
  • Save at least 10 percent of each paycheck: I did well with this in the past year, saving 10.3 percent. My savings goals are the same, and I will keep steadily marching to the beat that I have created for myself in that regard.
  • Pay at least an additional $1,200 on my federal student loan: Now that I paid off all of my private loans and I will be making more money, I’d like to take whatever extra money I have after setting aside for my bills, discretionary spending, and savings … and put it toward paying off extra principal. Before I knew I was going to be taking a new job, I had figured I’d be able to save about $85 from my paychecks per month in this aim. I believe I can do more now. I have this really high-level goal of paying off my student loans by the time I turn 30, so I have five years left. I’m not sure if this is possible, but it’s worth a shot!
  • Balance my portfolio according to my comfort level: After I used about $16,500 in cash to pay off my private loan, I found that my balance is all out of whack. I am very stock heavy now, which I do not like. I plan on selling off approximately 2/3rds of my stock that I inherited and leaving it in a liquid savings account in Schwab. I sincerely believe the market is going to correct itself in the first few months of 2010, so I want to wait until that happens to put part of that money back into the stock market, possibly in some exchange traded funds (ETF). Some people are more aggressive than me, but I like to make sure I have plenty of cash available. It helps me sleep better at night.
  • Invest wisely: Like I just mentioned, once the stock market cools off a bit, I’d like to invest some of the money from my inherited stock again. I haven’t decided what that will be yet, but I plan on researching as much as I can and making an informed decision that I can live with.
  • Stay the course: I’ve had my ups and downs financially in the past couple of years, but my net worth is still slowly increasing. I believe I’ve set up a good system for myself. With a few tweaks here and there, I should still be able to continue to increase my worth.

What are some of the personal finance goals you have for yourself in 2010?



Filed under Commentary, Philosophy

4 responses to “Financial Resolutions for 2010

  1. Andrew

    Paying off Seton Hall! Great post!

  2. Chris, You are doing great with your savings.

    I have found waiting on the market to correct to be very frustrating. So I usually just do dollar cost averaging, and buy what I want a little at the time.

    This avoids missing those boom days completely, and the frustration of buying, and watching your new purchases drop precipitously with a correction.

    Congratulations on the new job-Is it in the same field?

    Happy New Year!

  3. cmusico

    Drew — Yes, paying off Seton Hall is probably my top goal for years to come!

    Dr. Dean — Thanks for your note. When it comes to contributing to my Roth, I’m going to do it monthly so as not to wait and have to pay top dollar. The new job is in a different field. I’ll still be writing, but it’s for an enterprise software company as opposed to a magazine. Happy New Year!

  4. Pingback: Father Forgive Me, For I Have Sinned … « Living With Common Cents

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