Personal Goals For 2009 Plus The Year In Review

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2009-01-0423

Our Personal Financial Goals and Updates, The Year In Review

Like several other bloggers, I ended up quitting my job in early 2008. I didn’t expect that the rest of the year would go to pot, financially speaking, and if I knew this ahead of time, I may have thought twice about leaving the workforce!

I see the year 2008 as the year our investments plummeted by 30%, our income lowered by 40% and our expenses shaved by 25%. It was a year when things shrank. By a lot. But by the same token, our stress levels, in general, have diminished as well, thanks to some lifestyle changes we’ve made that meant adjusting to work and life on our own terms (as our own bosses) but with a much smaller household budget.

As things stand right now, the digerati spouse is still tinkering away with his business ventures (the site on digital cameras is moving along), as am I. We both try to supplement our business revenue and earnings through some contract jobs we pick up on occasion. Let me just say that I do miss the income stability of a full-time job though! I still debate with myself whether I should reconsider going back to the 9-to-5 (is the grass always greener?) now and again. So far, plans towards this end haven’t materialized to any degree. I *still* have to update my resume and LinkedIn profile as a start, and I haven’t gotten around to doing this just yet.

goals 2009, tough race

2008 Financial Goals Check Up

I had financial goals all drawn up for 2008, 75% of which I believe I’ve been able to fulfill. Last year’s accomplishments:

1. Launched a new blog called The Smarter Wallet. Sorry, no Cafepress store in the works at this time.
2. Began doing some freelancing projects. I’ve joined Wisebread and ePlay as a contributing blogger.
3. Growth on this site met half of my blogging goals for the year, so it’s all good (fell short of subscriber growth but handily beat visitor traffic goals).
4. Investment growth failed miserably, as you’d expect!
5. We managed to get additional life insurance, as I’d hope we would.
6. The biggie: I left my job early last year!
7. Health goals: I’m devoting a whole discussion on this below.

Looking Ahead To The New Year

With the country smack dab in the midst of an economic slowdown, I’m not quite sure what to expect of the upcoming year though I remain hopeful and wishful that things will start turning up eventually. Our goals for the new year are simple — that we can close the gap further between our income and expenditures, so that we can start saving again and not just keep “treading water” or bleeding our existing savings dry. This means tending continuously to our business projects and even the possibility of looking for extra income and additional work in some capacity, and to quit spending on non-essentials. We’re getting there, but it’s all truly hard work mixed with some worry that we’d be able to stay on track financially.

Health Goals Discussion

I’m also wishing that we all maintain our good health going forward. I’ve been in poorer shape in the past and had some medical situations that were just recently resolved thanks to the lifestyle changes and work adjustments I’ve already mentioned. So my goals to improve and then maintain my health and fitness level are those that still top my list. I’d say I met this goal to some degree in the past year, since I’ve successfully cut down on medical and health-related expenses over the past several months. I am now more convinced than ever that if you need to heal yourself, one way to do it is to quit the rat race for a bit of time and get your bearings. I got sick of spending the money I was earning at my higher stress corporate jobs to pay for healing tonics and medically prescribed stress relievers. If you’re going to choose between health and money, wouldn’t you say it’s a no-brainer?

My Personal Goals for 2009

In summary, I have some fairly simple personal goals:

1. Live beneath my means, as the cliche states, and begin saving again (this is a family goal).
2. Keep fit, stay healthy, be healthier and trimmer. Everyone’s favorite resolution!
3. Keep blogging. Maybe hit 2,000,000 uniques within the year?
4. Increase my personal income by an additional 25% above last year’s earnings.

Something I won’t specify is how I’m going to manage increasing income in the midst of the recession. It may entail reentering the workforce or it may just mean adding more paying projects to my ever-increasing workload. I’m giving myself some leeway on how I’ll be addressing this.

And for the rest of the world, my hopes are much like everyone else’s — that we get out of this global recession soon and that peace be restored, especially in places that need it desperately.

Copyright © 2009 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Trevor - 14 Year Old Money Blogger January 4, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Wow. It seems like you’re having a great year overall.

Good luck in 2009.

Silicon Valley Blogger January 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Thanks Trevor! I wasn’t feeling too hot about a few things at first — investments way down and all that. But you are absolutely right — overall, things are pretty good. I feel better overall (physically, mentally) than I did a year ago, and remain optimistic about the prospects for 2009. I’ll write more about that when I disseminate some tea leaves in behalf of the investment market this year.

Tom - January 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm

2,000,000 uniques! Great goal, I’d love to see you reach this one 😀

Kurt January 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm

2 million unique hits, is that per month or per year?
Living below our means, we are incorporating that into our household this year, sigh, so much for the Wii.

Ed: That would be per year! If I achieved that per month, I wouldn’t be worried about income too much 😉 .

Lazy Man and Money January 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm

I always say that you can’t choose between health and money. By choosing health over money, you open yourself up for future health problems down the line – some amount of money is necessary to keep healthy. If you choose money, we’ll you can’t spend it if you are dead. It’s a balance.

Financial Fellow January 4, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Good to hear that you are able to pick up contract gigs every now and again to make some money. Have to say that I’m jealous of you quitting your job to blog and work on your own ventures. I’ve always had a strong desire to remove myself from the dependence of my company. I’ve been on vacation over the holidays and my desire to do so has only increased over the past two weeks. Especially when I think about returning to work tomorrow. I’m not anywhere near being able to quit my job to blog full time. (Launched it two months ago.) That said, its coming along relatively well in terms of unique visitors and daily income.

On a related note I read a blog post sometime ago discussing how bloggers earn about $1 a day. The post equated blogging to (if I recall correctly) third world rice farmers. I also recall seeing a comment from you (or at least from the Digerati Life) indicating that you felt the personal finance blog market was saturated and that new blogs had little chance of making any significant money in the future. (Correct me if I misstated your comments – or if you didn’t make such comments at all.) I have to respectfully disagree. In my experience, admittedly limited, if you can put together a personal finance blog with strong content and market it well you can still generate decent revenue and subscriber growth. I would agree that it is harder to do this given the fact that there are many well established pf blogs with large subscriber bases. That said, I still think it is possible. Your thoughts?

Oh, and nice post. 2M uniques for the year would be outstanding. I’ve set a goal for 100,000. (Alas, I’m still a new, part time blogger.)

John at

selena January 5, 2009 at 5:51 am

For me the resolution would be striking a balance between health and money. After all health is wealth..

PT Money January 5, 2009 at 7:54 am

Best of luck to you in 2009! It’s going to be a great year.

SimplyForties January 5, 2009 at 7:55 am

Good luck with the new year! In spite of what happened in 2008, I hope the positives have outweighed the negatives for you and that you are happy with the decisions you made. Hopefully we all learned some lessons!

Jacques Sprenger January 5, 2009 at 8:46 am

For SVB: more than ever, people need your help to manage their financial life, their emotional life (affected by the losses), their family life, and their decision making (go back to work, like you, maybe take a lesser job meanwhile, plan ahead for one or more years, have children or not, etc.). You connect to your readers as very few people can; you make them part of your private life and by doing this, you have created the Digerati family.

Keep giving hope to those who most need it as you have done brilliantly during 2008. We need you!

Curt January 5, 2009 at 9:00 am

It’s a challenge to get back up after 08 and create new goals for 09. But there is no other way. The path to the future is what you make of it. It’s good to see you have a vision for grows in 09 and a plan to get there. Stay healthy and enjoy each day that the sun is shinning.

Jarod go debt free January 5, 2009 at 9:46 am

Wow, congrats on leaving the workforce. I have been out since last August and we just had our first child. My wife has been able to stay at home, but it can’t stay like that forever per tight money. We slimmed down considerably… Our savings is gone… I look forward to reading more and passing some insight onto my wife. I would love to get her more involved in blogging and other non- work for the man related things that can create an income.

Miss M January 5, 2009 at 10:41 am

Considering the economy you’ve done well with your goals, most everyone failed a few of theirs this year. It was probably a bad time to leave the workforce, but if you make it through this stretch then you’ll do great going forward. I agree that stress affects your health, I was extremely stressed earlier this year and had all sorts of health issues. I thought my body was giving out on me, then I went on vacation and after a few days all my symptoms disappeared. I’ve cut back on my hours since then, the money wasn’t worth what was happening to my body. Good luck with 09!

arizona auto insurance January 5, 2009 at 10:48 am

Yeah, a bad time to quit a job, any job. My wife secured one in early 2008 and we are very grateful. How bad are things? A friend received his investment update and they are calling it a 201k now.

Useless Affiliate January 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm

nice..lets get some goals achieved!

zerosleep73 January 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I also quit a very stable good paying job +180K / year living in western Germany as a DoD contractor. However, I share the same sentiments as you. I don’t want to work even on a per hour basis. Starting business ventures is really the only way for personal freedom. Good luck. I too will be starting up a business.

Marcus Evans January 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

The Entrepreneurial Spirit is where it’s at in 2009. It’s amazing how much more people can contribute to the world when they’re their own boss!

Millionaire Acts January 6, 2009 at 3:41 am

Nice list! I also have mine up at I hope we can both achieve our goals. Cheers! =)

Escape Somewhere January 6, 2009 at 8:59 pm

We have revamped some of our goals this year. Mostly looking to find ways to cut expenses moving forward. Hopefully things will improve over the next year or two.

fathersez January 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Looks like your 2008 was not that bad at all!

We wish you all the best for 2009 and may be you and Mr. Digerati showered with good health, wealth and happiness.

Best regards

Mike@make money online February 14, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Nice plans. 2008 was a particularly bad year for me also. But here’s to hoping that 2009 would be kinder to all of us.

Monevator March 9, 2009 at 1:35 am

I agree with the Lazy Man – health in balance. A lot of my older relatives have gotten sick (or worse) in the past 12 months, and money is only so useful to them now…

Leave a Comment