Thursday, April 15, 2010

2010 Goals

Gosh, I've been bad about updating my net worth lately! I've missed doing my monthly updates for 3 months in a row. But that's not because I'm unhappy about my net worth progress-- it's actually been great.

The first quarter is always a good time for me in terms of cash flow-- I'm usually getting a bonus and tax refunds and discretionary 401k contributions from my employer. In addition to that, it's been a pretty good run for the stock market. All in all, my net worth has increased by $26,875 year to date, bringing me to $435,365. Since I'd never set a goal for my 2010 year-end net worth, I've decided to see if I can get to $450,000 by then. This may be a little conservative, but we'll see how things go and perhaps I'll increase it! On the flip side, it could end up being too aggressive. If the recent stock market rally doesn't sustain itself, and if I get pricing data that leads me to lower my home value again, that could easily wipe out some of my gains. We'll see.

Hitting a net worth number isn't my only goal for this year. I'm continuing to try to adjust how I manage my finances. I don't want to fuss around with my bills as much, so I'm trying to automate more payments and go paperless with more accounts. I don't want to get too hands-off, as I've forgotten to pay things or transfer money once or twice in the past, but hopefully between email alerts and monitoring my info via PocketMoney and Mint on my iPhone, I'll stay on top of everything, and save time on filing etc later.
My other goal is to take a good look at my overall portfolio and rebalance things. I probably have too much cash on hand right now earning hardly any interest, so I need to invest some more. I wish now that I'd done even more of that last year when the market was in the toilet! But as always I try to remember that timing the market is not as important as time IN the market.

Another goal will be to dive back into my mother's finances again. This has been such a source of anguish lately-- as I'd feared, she's going a bit crazy trying to re-do her whole house. I haven't been there since Christmas, when I left in tears after a total meltdown about her whole attitude and how irresponsible I think it is. So far, at least, I think most of what she's done has been minor cosmetic stuff like painting, but even if these jobs are only a few hundred dollars at a time, she's doing more and more of them. There have also been some "necessary" repairs like a new furnace and some plumbing, but I'm worried that she's starting to get a reputation among the local tradespeople as the crazy widow with money to burn, so who knows how much she's being talked into things that may be costing more than they'd need to. A lot of the time, I just have to back off-- I don't want to destroy my relationship with my mother and I just can't take the stress of thinking about it too much. But I also feel like I need to give her a reality check every so often before she's past the point of no return.

Whew! I didn't mean to end on such a downer. All in all, things are pretty good for me right now, and I'm just thankful for that. Onwards and upwards!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't have Mint, so I couldn't contribute to that conversation, but I just wanted to say 'thanks for posting.' I'm glad your net worth is going in the positive direction. I just added up some of my stock stuff, and it's fun when times are good. :)

Take care.
-tasha

Hazzard said...

Hey MadameX,
Sometimes I find it shocking how similar our financial net worth/situation is. We are also seeing solid gains and the first half of the year is always a crowd pleaser for us too (with bonuses, raises, tax returns etc).

I did want to mention that the single biggest regret I have in my life is that I tried to get my dad to make some decisions that seemed so obvious to me. Since the day he died three years ago, I've regretted ever trying to get him to see things my way. In the end it didn't matter too much. Now that my mom is a widow and retired, I've taken a completely different approach. I gently offer advice and show her how she can use the money she has to improve her monthly standard of living, but when she spends $800 to have a few trees trimmed, I nod my head and tell her it sounds okay. I would be much more conservative with my money than she is, but in the end, all I really care about is that she's happy for the rest of her life. While I certainly don't want her to fall back on me for support if she runs low on money, I've decided the relationship is more important than her financial decisions.

Anonymous said...

You and I are running neck to neck. As of March 1, my net worth was $443,201, however, I'm been unemployed for the past 6 months, so I expect you'll pass me by year's end.

Anonymous said...

From your previous posts I gather she's always been like that. People don't change so don't stress too much about it unless of course you think she will turn to you for help when she runs out of money. If/when that day comes, you better hold on tight to your money and tell her to learn to live with her monthly Social Security payments.

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Peter Dan said...

The author has discussed about his financial net worth for the first quarter of this year and is glad about his savings and has vowed to trim expenditures through various measures; however he has expressed his anguish at the way his mother has splurged money on household maintenance work.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Peter Dan person? The author is a woman!

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yalenova said...

I really enjoyed this and you give some very good advice. Excelent article, Thank you for sharing.

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff said...

I feel for you. I cringe when friends and family seem more wasteful than usual - like not getting work quotes from multiple people - but I take deep breaths and repeat "not my problem" so much that my husband probably thinks I've gone insane.

Glad you are personally doing well and I hope you have much less stress this year. Good luck.

MtnMama said...

As always, you are a source of inspiration and you help me renew my resolve to improve my financial situation.

My 73 yr old mother has recently decided to "spend my inheritance" (her words) on upgrading their house. It is a money pit of a monster in a very bad location, and they've already poured too much into it. But it is their money. I try to not think about the chore (as the oldest daughter and their executor) that I know awaits me inevitably. They don't want my input and don't listen to me, anyway. It is hard to not worry about their futures. Especially now that my mother has been diagnosed with Lymphoma.
This is certainly a wide-spread and too common issue. I feel your frustration as well as my own.

Hepzibah The Watchman said...

I am impressed - thank you for sharing your insights.

Cindy S. said...

Good post, I can relate! Glad to see that I'm not alone!

Ellice said...

Always a joy to read your articles, and always learn something new! thumbs up!

MoneySolve said...

You know, after reading so many personal finance blogs, it's great to see someone lay out their finance goals so simply. I think many of us have a tendency to panic and number crunch to the point where just lose sight of what we actually want to achieve!

The fact yuo want to improve how you manage money too, as well as just hitting numbers, is a great example for anyone else trying to balance their budget!

PremiumFinance said...
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Parag said...

I feel that your goal to reach a net worth of $450000 will be achieved. I too have a Personal finance goal that I have to achieve this year at any cost. Let's hope we do it.