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Monthly Update

Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 2Q 2010

by Luke Landes

Last quarter, almost all of my investments were experiencing positive performance. Three months can make a big difference. My investments tell a different story today. One thing has not changed since last quarter: my company stock continues to do well, even when the broader stock market is in decline. This was not my best performing ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, June 2010 ($340,741, -1.1%)

by Luke Landes

July will mark the seventh anniversary of Consumerism Commentary. These seven years I’ve been tracking my finances online to keep myself accountable for my financial decisions. In 2003, there was no such thing as a “personal finance blog community;” this arose out of the desire of a few of us to track our finances in ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, May 2010 ($344,474, -2.7%)

by Luke Landes

After the end of each month, I take a closer look at my personal finances. Although I’ve moved away from tracking every cent I spend, I still look at most of my purchases and expenses to ensure I’m not doing anything I consider financially unreasonable. While my spending wasn’t excessive this month, my reports do ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, April 2010 ($356,832, +4.5%)

by Luke Landes

About a decade ago, I realized that I needed to track my spending down to the dollar, if not to the penny, to get a grip on my financial condition. It was the start of a long journey for me, one which saw me get out of credit card debt, start earning money, and getting ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 1Q 2010

by Luke Landes

When I reported my net worth earlier this week, RetirementInvestingToday, a Consumerism Commentary reader, mentioned I should be reporting my investment performance as well, as raw changes in balances don’t tell the full story. An investment’s performance can’t be measured just by looking at a starting and ending balance if during that time I make ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, March 2010 ($348,492, +11%)

by Luke Landes

The first quarter of 2010 has ended as fast as it began. In observing my personal finances as I have done for the past ten years or so, and publicly on Consumerism Commentary for the last seven years, I’ve put together my monthly balance sheet. This is a list of my account balances, including savings ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, February 2010

by Luke Landes

It’s time again for my monthly financial reporting. I’ve been posting a balance sheet online almost every month since July 2003 in order to keep myself accountable for my financial decisions. Seven years ago I was not far into my journal to financial solvency, but I was at least spending less than I was earning ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, January 2010

by Luke Landes

Entering the second month of the year, the new decade is officially underway. It’s time to peek into my bank accounts and investments to see how I’m doing so far. But first, I should take a quick look at the goals and resolutions I set for myself this year. The first goal is to maintain ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 4Q 2009

by Luke Landes
Investment Portfolio, December 2009

Yes, you can time the market. The S&P 500 benchmark provided an admittedly handsome 27.76 percent annual return in 2009. However, if you invested in a diversified index mutual fund when the market was at its low point in March more than when it recovered towards the end of the year, you probably beat the market. ... Continue reading this article…

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Year-End Personal Balance Sheet, December 2009

by Luke Landes

At the end of every month, I review my personal finances, including bank account balances, investment performance, income and expenses, and I share some of those details here. This was the original purpose of Consumerism Commentary: to track my own finances publicly and hold myself accountable for my financial decisions. I wasn’t aware at that ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, November 2009

by Luke Landes

This week, Consumerism Commentary is matching your charitable donations up to $4,000. Here are the details. It’s time again for checking in with the state of my finances. Although a few months ago, I changed the format to isolate my “side business” from my personal finances, I’ve changed my mind yet again. It makes more ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, October 2009

by Luke Landes

Although it’s a little late this month, it’s now time to share my personal finances. I’ve been doing this roughly every month since Consumerism Commentary started in July 2003. I did recently make one important change — I am no longer counting my “business” bank accounts in my net worth. I’m trying to separate my ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 3Q 2009

by Luke Landes

Earlier this year, I added my investment portfolio to the group of reports I publish on Consumerism Commentary on a regular basis. Every three months, I share my investment balances and performances. I include Quicken’s calculation of the year-to-date average annual rate of return for an idea of how each investment is performing this year. ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, September 2009

by Luke Landes

Now that I am working with an accountant, I have been making some changes to the way I track my finances. By the end of the year, I hope to have all of my business-related finances in QuickBooks. Although I am not quite at that point, I am working to separate my personal finances from ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, August 2009

by Luke Landes

You may have noticed that over the past few days, Consumerism Commentary has been featuring a number of guest authors. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the cost of funerals, inspired by the passing of my paternal grandmother. My maternal grandmother entered hospice care around that same time, and a few days ago, she ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, July 2009

by Luke Landes

This year is passing by too quickly. It is time again for my monthly financial reports, originally designed to keep myself accountable for my financial (usually, spending) decisions. This was a technique that has worked well for about nine years, the last six of which have included this monthly public review. July was a strong ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, June 2009

by Luke Landes

We have reached the half-way mark for 2009, and time certainly does fly when you keep busy. As long-time readers know, the original purpose of Consumerism Commentary was to keep myself accountable for my own financial decisions and to blog about interesting things I find on the web. I freely admit that Consumerism Commentary has ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 2Q 2009

by Luke Landes

Happy Independence Day to anyone celebrating today! I’m celebrating by spending time with friends later and sharing my investment portfolio with readers now. Last month, I began sharing my investment portfolio more in-depth than I have in the past. This is part of a renewed effort to make myself more familiar with the investments I ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Although I post my financial reports each month to keep myself accountable for my financial decisions, I have moved to summarizing my investments rather than listing all the details. My reports now simply separate my investments between retirement and non-retirement accounts. An important part of anyone’s finances is how investments are allocated among stocks, bonds, ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Every month, consistently for the past few years, I take the opportunity at the beginning of the month to develop financial reports. The first report I post every month outlines my “modified” net worth, basically a balance sheet including my bank accounts, investments, the approximate value of my car, and my credit cards. Following the ... Continue reading this article…

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