Money Misc.

2009 Family Financial Goals

Setting relevant and meaningful short term goals is an important thing for me and my family.  They help remind us of our longer term goals (not working for food) and give us a roadmap to getting there.

This year I want to focus on avoiding debt in graduate school while positioning my family to have a steady stream of income once my three years in school are over.  For this I need to get two things – cash and ‘passive’ income.

We need cash to cover the tuition costs and other major school related expense (like books and housing).  A steady stream of income will help me be able to focus on studying instead of working to eat.  I like to eat and do not want to give that up.

Here are my family’s 6 financial goals for 2009:

Save $8,000 for graduate school.  This should cover tuition and books for at least a year, giving us a head start on the additional $16,000 that we need for the two years after that.  Getting through school without having $16,000 worth of debt is something that my wife and I are very serious about, so saving this cash is really going to help us position ourselves well to accomplish this bigger goal.

Earn $9,200 income online.  I have set some pretty aggressive goals for earning money on the internet for 2009.  I am planning on a gradual ramp up of revenue throughout the year with a year end monthly income goal of $1700.  I think that this is a very aggressive goal for me, but I think it is reasonable and achievable if I put in the effort.

Earn at least $1,000 in interest income.  With all the cash I have on hand I really need to find an optimal strategy for maximizing the return on my cash while also keeping it relatively liquid.  Earning $1,000 in an interest rate environment of 3% annual percentage yield will require that I average about $33,000 in interest bearing accounts for the year.  This is definitely doable, but by making it a goal I’m sure that it is going to get some of my attention.

Learn about investing, particularly dividend investing.  Growth investing is all fine and dandy, but I want to generate enough ‘passive’ income to be able to focus my life’s energy on accomplishing what I want to accomplish more than making enough money to feed my family.  Dividend investing is certainly one way to accomplish this.  Since I don’t know much of anything about investing, it is time I get educated.

Learn about real estate investing, particularly land lording.  Dividend investing is one way to reach financial independence – real estate investing is another.  Real estate investing can be much, much riskier, has the potential of much greater return, and can take a lot more time to manage than dividend investing.  Right now I’m not sure which investment vehicle I should get into first, but I imagine that at some point in time I will be getting into both of them before the day I die.  It just seems prudent to start my researching now.

Expand my do-it-yourself skills.  I do not have a very deep or broad skill set, which means I have to pay for a lot of things that I should be able to do myself.  This comes from years of being lazy and ignoring the advice of my father.  This year I plan to do as many things as I can myself, with a few ”special projects” thrown in to help expand my set of skills.

By the end of 2009 I hope to be in a very strong financial position with enough passive income and cash on hand to be able to focus on school and avoid any debt.

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