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Personal Finance Goals for 2008 January 2, 2008

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings, Goals.
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Generally, my goals each year are fairly simple…save more and spend about the same.  How and where this happens is usually more ambiguous.  However, I’ve decided to write some of them out:

1) Max out 401(k) contributions – This is my core standard every year.  As some of you have seen in previous posts (Tradition or Roth 401(k)), I still struggle mightily with how to allocate my savings between the two.  For now, I’m just not willing to give up the current tax breaks but will attempt to fully fund our Roth IRAs in addition to our 401(k).

2) Max out Roth IRA contributions – as I just mentioned, this is next on the list.  I think almost everyone can appreciate the difficulty of not only maxing our your 401(k), but also capping out the Roth IRA.  For me, that’s a very significant portion of my income.  It’s very strange to have a cringing smile when I learned that the Roth contributions move up to $5000 this year.  While it’s great you can sock away more money, it just makes it that much harder to find the income to do it.  With any luck, I’ll get a reasonable salary increase and that will soften the blow.

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Financial Mid-Life Crisis November 27, 2007

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings, Goals.
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From Wikipedia: 

Midlife crisis is a term used to described a period of dramatic self-doubt that is typically felt in the “middle years” of life, as people sense the passing of youth and the imminence of old age. Sometimes, transitions experienced in these years, such as aging in general, menopause, the death of parents, or children leaving home can trigger such a crisis. The result may be a desire to make significant changes in core aspects of day to day life or situation, such as in career, marriage, or romantic relationships.

 Characteristics

Individuals experiencing a mid-life crisis are said to have some of these feelings:

  • search of an undefined dream or goal
  • a deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished
  • desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness
  • need to spend more time alone or with certain peers

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Make Your Finances Six Sigma! November 20, 2007

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings, Goals, Uncategorized.
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Six Sigma excerpts from Wikipedia:

Six Sigma is a set of practices originally developed by Motorola to systematically improve processes by eliminating defects.  The term “Six Sigma” refers to the ability of highly capable processes to produce output within specification.  In particular, processes that operate with six sigma quality produce at defect levels below 3.4 defects per one million opportunities.  Six Sigma’s implicit goal is to improve all processes to that level of quality or better.

Some of you may be familiar with Six Sigma in your workplace or may have at least heard of it.  In general, the idea of of Six Sigma is to reduce defects / variation in your process in order to create a more consistent output or result.  Achieving Six Sigma is extremely difficult…many processes don’t even make 5 sigma!  One of the most common approaches for Six Sigma is called the DMAIC method (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control).  You can apply this approach to your personal finances in order to reduce defects in your personal finance “process”

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