Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Year-End Goal Review and Goals for 2008

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

this new year, i resolve to use relevant alternate text for my images... pssh yeah right

Way back in January, you may recall that I shared with all of you my financial goals for 2007. I’m happy to say that I met all three of them as well as several other goals that I did not publicly disclose, either because I wasn’t sure I would meet them or because I’m just making them up right now.

Here’s a look at my personal finance goals for 2007 and my degree of success meeting each of them.

Nick’s 2007 Financial Goal Performance Review

  1. Double our liquid savings. I guess this depends on your definition of “liquid.” And also of “double.” If we can take liquid to include the equivalent 9.36% 7-month CD in which most of our money is sitting right now, then we’re good there. And if double includes the fact that I have money in 58 bank accounts so there’s no way I’m adding them all up right now to figure out how much we have, then we’re good with that too. Goal Status: Probably 100% complete
  2. Separate personal and business finances. This year was a stellar year for Punny LLC. It was also the first year for Punny LLC, so I guess you could also say it was the suckiest year so far. Thanks to advertising revenue, we made enough money to rescue seven pot-bellied pigs and free them into the wilds of the Sahara Desert. There is now a sharp dividing line between all personal and business money, and there is also a clear split between the personalities of Normal Nick and Personal Finance Nick. Normal Nick is boring yet handsome, while Personal Finance Nick is totally whacked out of his gourd. Goal Status: 115% complete!!!
  3. Become 100% richer. With less than a week remaining in 2007, we are still about $1,500 shy of meeting this goal. The good news is that I get one more paycheck this year, and all of the bills for the month are paid, but that still won’t be enough to hit the $1,500 mark. That’s why I’m afraid that I must convert Punny Money to a pay-per-view site for the remainder of 2007. If you are reading this, please send me $50. If you do not, you are stealing the internet. Thank you. Goal Status: Hell yeah!
  4. Secret Goal #1: Make six figures. I don’t have anywhere near a six-figure salary for my day job, but I have worked an awful lot of overtime this year. When added to the side business income (but not including interest or investment income), it looks like that last paycheck of the year will just throw me over the $100k gross level. Of course, when you take out taxes, living expenses, extortion payments, and the cost of supporting my ceramic rooster collecting habit, there’s just not that much left. Goal Status: Completed by the skin of my teeth!
  5. Secret Goal #2: Eat $1,000 worth of free food. One day I’ll have to share my obsession with and tips for hunting down free food. While you won’t find me hiding in the lines at the local soup kitchen, you might spot me swooping in for a free muffin left over from an executive meeting down the hall or eating six pounds of pulled pork at the company picnic. Oh, and for comparison purposes, a quick look in Quicken reveals that we only spent a little over $1,000 on groceries for the year for both of us (though we also spent the same amount dining out). Goal Status: Done and delicious!
  6. Secret Goal #3: Resist the urge to buy new technology. No iPhones or HD-DVD players for me! (Bought the Nintendo Wii in 2006, so it doesn’t count for this year.) While we could have afforded these things, they really wouldn’t have done much to increase the quality of our lives. I hate cell phones as it is, and we don’t even have an HD television to justify spending $200+ on a player. That said, I think we’ll have several high-tech purchases coming up in 2008. Goal Status: Low-def but definitely done!

Six for six! That means I also met my goal of being amazing! I guess I need to make 2008’s goals much harder.

Nick’s Goals for 2008

  1. Stop working so much. Yes, this probably means I won’t have enough overtime pay to hit the $100k figure again in 2008, but I really don’t want to do another 3,000-hour work year again next year. That’s not including time spent on side businesses which I’d like to actually do more of in 2008. So hopefully that means I’ll get back to writing five times a week for Punny Money since I know that’s all you greedy people care about (which is great!).
  2. Cut recurring expenses by 5%. We’re already lean on expenses as it is, so 5% may be difficult to pull off.
  3. Buy more videogames. Yes, you read that right. I only bought five or six games in 2007. This is compared to an average of 20 or 30 in previous years. While I won’t necessarily enjoy spending the money, buying them means I have more free time to actually play them which is sort of the real goal here.
  4. Double side business income. My girls probably won’t like me taking a bigger cut of their action, but… oh, uh, not that side business. Uh… carry on!
  5. Plan more extensively for the future. Right now, I have our finances on track to support a retirement for both of us by 60 or sooner, college for up to two kids, and funding for my attempt at constructing the world’s largest tower of pennies. While all of this is pretty automatic assuming I continue funding our retirement financial vehicles, I’d like to have a better idea of where we will be financially in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years and what we need to do to get there.

Don’t forget to review your own goals for 2007, and be sure to set some nice ones for yourself in the coming year. I have a feeling 2008 will be a powerhouse financial year for everyone. Either that, or the country’s economy will melt down and we’ll all be lining up for free food at the soup kitchen. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Year-End Goal Review and Goals for 2007

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

new years resolution - always wear a funny hat

It’s 2007, and I still don’t have my flying car. Come on, science!

Ah well, let’s just review my financial goals for 2006.

Nick’s 2006 Goal Review Extravaganza!

  1. Stop spending $119 a year on calendars. I met this one over a year ago, and I’ve already met it for 2007 with a free calendar. Really, though, calendars are a moot point for me since I rarely even know what month it is, let alone the date or day of the week.
  2. Increase value of savings and investments by $10,000. Pfft, I did this one in my sleep. I contributed around $8,500 of my own cash to a 401(k) which had an awesome year thanks to my investment skillz–up 25%. (For reference, the S&P 500 rose about 13%.)
  3. Stop paying so many damn taxes. Indeed, I didn’t pay very much in taxes for 2006… just lots of mortgage interest.
  4. Boost our credit ratings. Considering I acquired a dozen credit cards and a mortgage, my rating’s up almost 100 points for the year, somewhere in the solid 700s. My wife’s is up, too, though her only credit activity is a lone student card.
  5. Explore alternate avenues of revenue. Number of items Nick sold on eBay in 2006: Zero. Yes, I lamed out a bit on this one. I had set a goal of making $1,000 outside my day job, and I easily met it thanks to Punny Money.
  6. Get us both financially enlightened. Yeah, I think we did a bit of that.

New Goals for 2007

Just a few this year…

  1. Double our liquid savings. A good chunk of our savings went to various housing purchase costs last year. While we still have plenty in our emergency fund, I’d like to bump it up some more.
  2. Separate personal and business finances. This is largely done as I filed the paperwork for Punny LLC last month. And I got some shiny business cards, too.
  3. Become 100% richer. In addition to doubling our liquid savings, I’d like to see our net worth double by the end of the year. About half of this will be automatic thanks to 401(k) contributions and payments to our mortgage principle. The rest will come through careful saving, hard work, and a bit of entrepreneurship.

Happy New Year!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Quest for a New Camera… Is Over!

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: , , ,

Here I was wondering if you all would start getting bored with this, and then this sweet little Kodak number comes along…

Kodak Ultimate Camera of Awesomeness!!!

This camera retails for about $400, and I didn’t find anywhere other than eBay that had it under $300. But thanks to this thread on, I snatched one up for $200 after mail-in rebate.

It has every feature I was looking for and then some! The bonuses that put this one over the top for me were the 256MB of internal memory, the crazy-big 3-inch LCD screen, the movie capabilities, and the Wi-Fi card that would allow me to e-mail pictures right from the camera using any Wi-Fi hotspot. (Can you say “photo blog?”) One quick check with the review at Steve’s Digicams and my money was Dell’s!

The search for a new camera could’ve easily lasted me into next month. And while I could get by just fine without a digital camera for a bit, it has quickly become one of those conveniences of modern life that I don’t like being without.

Join me next week as I start my Quest for Stuff to Take Pictures Of!

The Quest for a New Camera, Day 2

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: , , ,

I’m starting to miss having a camera. I hope I don’t do something irrational like going to Best Buy and paying… retail.

While I slept, I missed out on this camera for $150…
[Read more…]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Quest for a New Camera, Day 1.6

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: , , ,

There’s a Woot-Off going on right now that looks promising for a camera soon. If you’ve never seen a Woot-Off before, it’s a quick series of one deal after another that expire when quantities sell out (in contrast to Woot’s normal “One Day, One Deal” approach in which they only sell a single type of item each day). Once one item sells out, the next one goes up, and so on. It’s sorta like the internet version of the Home Shopping Network.

Come on CAMERA!