Now that 2008 is coming to a close, and the goals for 2008 are done for the most part, it’s time to look forward to 2009 and the goals I’m chasing after over the next 12 months.
- Reduce my Jan 1 2009 Ugly Truth balance by a minimum of $12,000 ($1000 per month). I’m trying to be realistic with this one; $12,000 is a fair chunk to reduce my debt by in a year, while still going after other goals that are important to me.
- First Home Saver Account funded to $5,000 by Dec 31 2009. I really didn't get far with this one in 2008, so really want to get into saving my deposit over the next few years, even while I’m paying off my debts.
- Increase emergency fund to $5,000 by Dec 31 2009. I just think I’ll feel more comfortable having a larger amount put away in the current economic climate.
- Increase voluntary super contributions to 6% pre-tax salary from May 2009 (40th birthday gift to myself). With the 9% Superannuation guarantee I’ll be socking away 15% of my gross income into retirement.
- Pay for 2009 university fees upfront (approx $8,000, less $3,000 rebate from work), not via HECS. Yup, decided to go to Uni. It’s only 3 subjects, with a view to review at the end of 2009 as I’ll get a certificate/diploma/masters for each year I attend, so it’s not wasted if I have to stop.
- Car replacement account funded to $5,000. My poor old car is not on its last legs, but could be in the next 12-18 months. I’d like to have at least some sort of deposit for the next one, as I don’t expect anything much in the way of a trade-in on a 1995 Lancer hatch with dents and scrapes all over it)
As you can see there is somewhat of a shift away from pure debt reduction for me in 2009. I am still aiming to reduce my debt by $1000 a month, but I have turned my focus to long term goals (being debt free is one, but not my only long term goal) and educational expenses.
With the current economic climate the way it is, I want to have more of a buffer in the unlikely event I’m retrenched. I've been through that once before (in 2001 when the IT bubble burst), it sucked and I know what I need to do to feel more secure financially now.
It’s also the big 4-0 for me in 2009, so it’s a case of if not now, when? I’m single, no kids, so a ‘sista’ has to start doing it for herself (my sincerest apologies for trying to talk ‘street’ but it seemed to suit the tone I was trying to get across).
I've also become mildly fascinated with simplicity and feel very ready to live a more simple and streamlined life in 2009, so keep an eye out for posts on my other as to now unused blog, ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Clutter’.