Looking back on my 2008 goals

Back in January I told myself what goals would be achieved by the end of the year, as a way to "visualize success." The blue bars on the right suggest that I've achieved most of them, but lets go back to that list I made in January and see where I really stand.


"After much thought and procrastination, below are the things I will be able to say at the end of 2008/beginning of 2009:

$10,000 of my pre-tax salary went into my 401k.
True. This was on automatic deduction from my paycheck, so no worries there.

My 401k portfolio is aligned and balanced towards my long-term goal of aggressive growth and diversity.
True. I rebalanced my 401k back in January.

I've evaluated carefully whether or not to keep my Roth IRA with my bank or move it to another broker like Vanguard or T. Rowe Price. In the end I made the best possible decision that aligned with my long-term goal of growth and keeping my overall retirement portfolio diverse.
True. I decided to move my Roth IRA from my bank to a target date account with Vanguard that I believe complements my 401k holdings to create an overall diverse stock/bond portfolio. Also, the fees are much lower.

I contributed the full amount of $5,000 to my Roth IRA.
True. And it's all been lost, and then some, due to the market. Meh.

I've stayed out of debt.

I reached $10,000 in my unemployment fund, then put it in a CD-ladder.
True to the first part, but not to the last. As the economy declined, I decided it was more logical to have all the money available.

My health care/deductible fund reached $1,500. That's enough to cover my deductible for the year and one hospital copay. Let's hope I don't need it! I choose to save my money this way instead of going with an FSA because if the funds go unused by the end of the plan year, I would have to forfeit them. This way, if I don't use them, I can put them in a high-yield savings account to earn interest and will be the seed money for the following year's deductible. Makes sense in my head, anyway.
True. The good news is that I didn't need the money for health care. The bad news is that I'm sure my mother will need this money sometime this year to help her out due to my dad's recent cancer diagnosis. That said, I'm glad I have it to give.

I set aside $1,000 for travel this year. Just in case. The only thing that may come up would be an extended weekend to visit a friend. If that money doesn't get used this year, it will be seed money for next year's travel fund.
I didn't get a chance to visit that friend, however the money did come in handy for travel to help maintain a long-distance relationship. Who knew?

I saved $7,000 towards the purchase of a new computer and kick-ass monitor.
This goal got scrapped as the economy turned more bleak. I changed it to be a combined 2009 Roth IRA contribution/New computer goal of $8,400 thinking that the 2009 Roth contribution would be $6,000, leaving $2,400 for a new computer. However the contribution is actually $5,000 and the new computer takes on less importance as other realities make themselves known. A few weeks ago I upped the goal to $10,000 however I'm $500 short. I'm only the slightest bit bummed about this because if I controlled my spending more, I would have met this goal. However I realize I'm $1,100 above the $8,400 goal an d$2,500 above my original goal, so I'm alright.

While I have more goals and dreams that I want to fulfill, I'm far better off this year than I was the year before.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I feel fortunate to be able to realize this as a truth and hope that it will continue for 2009 and beyond.