College, Goals, Retirement

Taking A Look At My 2008 Goals

Last December, I created some goals for 2008.  Throughout the year, I have been tracking my progress.  Here’s where I stand, with one month left in December, and with five months left to fund my wife’s Roth and my kids’ ESAs for 2008.

Account Amount Progress
My 403b $15,500.00 $15,500.00
My Wife’s Pension $2,000.00 $2,000.00
Daughter’s ESA $2,000.00 $0.00
Son’s ESA $2,000.00 $0.00
My Roth $5,000.00 $5,000.00
My Wifes’ Roth $5,000.00 $0.00
Total $31,500.00 $22,500.00

Technically, the 403b and my wife’s pension will be fully funded at some point in December, but I went ahead and included them in my calculations, since they are automatic contributions from our paychecks.

I have five months, between now an April 15th, to fund my wife’s Roth and Education Savings Accounts for both of my kids.  Unfortunately, I had hoped to fund my Son’s ESA for 2007, but I missed the April 2008 deadline.  So, instead o $4000, as per my original goal, I’m working for a $2000 contribution before April 2009.

Looking back, the new baby and high gasoline prices really had an impact on our finances in 2008.  I am happy to note that I was able to fully-fund my 403b for the second year in a row.

My original plan was to fully-fund all of these accounts by the end of 2008, but there’s just no way.  I like to have a cash cushion in my emergency fund, and I’m not willing to dig into it in order to make an artificial December 31st deadline.  As long as I make the contributions before April 15th, I’m cool.

How did you do during 2008?  Are you on pace to reach your goals?  Did the higher gas prices or the falling economy set you back?  Leave a comment and let us know!

More reading –

Saving For College – What Is An ESA?

Contribution Goals And Time Frames For Retirement Accounts

As a side note, I did not include my SEP-IRA contributions in my original 2008 goals article, but I am working to put some money in this business-related retirement account.  The amount will be determined when I compute my income taxes.  And, at one point, I set up automatic contributions for several of the accounts mentioned above, but I never actually pulled the trigger on those automatic contributions.  Why?  Well, I was focusing on adding additional money to our non-retirement savings account, and decided to wait a few more months to begin the automatic contributions.  Never fear, those automatic contributions will begin, in January.

2 thoughts on “Taking A Look At My 2008 Goals

  1. You’ve put a lot of money aside this year, well done. I’m not maxing out my retirement contributions but I save a lot of money outside of retirement.

    I’ve done well on some of my goals and not so well on others, mainly due to the stock market. I paid off the last of my credit card debt and a car loan, but I may not finish off my student loan this year. High gas prices don’t affect me much, I live 5 miles from work, but I’ve had a lot of other expenses come up. My investment and retirement goals were all based on balances, have X amount by the end of the year. The market has made those impossible, lesson learned. I plan to set goals like yours next year, contribution amounts, which are within my control unlike the market.

  2. I’d be interested to hear why you chose the ESA over a 529. Is there something beneficial for you in terms of one over the other? Or did you just have easier access to creating an account, etc? Not that I think the 529 is superior, I honestly don’t know which one is better for what cirucmstances.

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