January 2, 2009

Financial goals for 2009

Here are my primary financial goals for 2009:

Control our spending.
Maximize contributions to Roth IRAs : $5,000 x 2
Maximize Health Savings Account : $5,900
Pay down the home mortgage. : $20,000

All together this amounts to over $30,000 in savings and retirement investments. Keep in mind that this is a goal and I may fall short or if all goes well I might exceed it.

Looking at each item a little more specifically:

Control our spending - Without controlling our expenses we won't have money left to spend. So savings starts with keeping our spending down. I like to continuously look for ways to save money and reduce costs. Controlling our spending will be an ongoing effort throughout 2009 and after.

Maximize Roth IRA's - My wife and I will both put the maximum amount into our Roth IRA accounts. This is one of our basic retirement investments along with our investment real estate. With both accounts maximized at $5,000 that would be a total of $10,000.

Maximize HSA - I've decided to maximize our HSA contribution in order to save this money for future medical expenses and cut our current tax liability. For a married couple the maximum you can put in is $5,900 for 2009. We've decided to cap that contribution.

Pay Down the Home Mortgage - Our final major financial goal for the year is to pay down our home mortgage. We'll do this in two ways. First I have an additional payment made towards our principal with each monthly mortgage payment. This is about half of the extra amount that we plan to pay towards our mortgage. Above the extra principal payments we will also have a one time bulk payment which I'll likely make in the Spring. I hope to have about $20,000 extra payments towards our home mortgage in 2009.

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