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Monthly Update

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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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, 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, 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 Income Statement, February 2009

by Luke Landes

Did you read my February balance sheet? This article contains my personal income statement, which goes hand-in-hand with the balance sheet. These two reports provide a relatively complete accounting of my financial standing and progress. February was short, but good for a number of reasons. Setting personal records, my gross income and net income for ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet and Net Worth, February 2009

by Luke Landes

Over the course of February, my “modified net worth” grew 7.5 percent despite yet another unremarkable month for the stock market. As of the end of the month, my bottom line — a variation of net worth — surpassed $200,000, but was still below my original goal for December 31, 2008. Every month, I post several ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, January 2009

by Luke Landes

This post contains my monthly income and expense report. If you haven’t viewed my January balance sheet, read that first. I review these reports on a monthly basis, though I may soon move to quarterly, to ensure my finances are staying on track and I’m making sound decisions with my money. Many years ago, I ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, January 2009

by Luke Landes

2009 started off well. Since December 31, my “modified net worth” has increased 2.4 percent despite a sickly stock market, presenting a January bottom line of $188,566. It’s not only a tradition for me to publish my monthly financial reports, this transparency is the original purpose of Consumerism Commentary. People post about their lives online for ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, December 2008

by Luke Landes

On Saturday I posted my final balance sheet for 2008 and wrote about my progress this past year. Each month, I take a look at my income and expenses as well to get a fuller picture of my finances. This post contains my income and expense report. December continues to be one of the most ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, December 2008

by Luke Landes

The stock market found a way to trash my net worth goal last year. Had the S&P index and my company stock increased in 2008 like they did in 2007, I would have surpassed my net worth goal for the year. Investments have a way of being volatile over short periods of time, and that ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, November 2008 (Net Income: $22,787)

by Luke Landes

Along with the monthly personal balance sheet, which I use to track my net worth from month to month, I publish a report that outlines my income and expenses. The two reports together help me focus on the total picture. My “extracurricular” income — money I’m earning outside of my day job through writing for ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, November 2008 ($180,926, +6.5%)

by Luke Landes

It doesn’t look like I’m going to meet the goal I set for myself last year. A net worth of $210,000 is out of the question unless the stock market experiences a miraculous recovery. All things considered, my finances are still in good shape. Every month, I review my account balances and income vs. expenses ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, October 2008 (Net Income: $9,074)

by Luke Landes

Despite the 6 percent decrease in my net worth in October, my income and expenses were healthy. My income was at my expected level for both my salary and “extracurricular” income. October’s expenses were a little higher than expected, but still within an acceptable range. Each month, to accompany my balance sheet, I publish my income ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, October 2008 ($164,209, -6.1%)

by Luke Landes

Following the end of each month, I publicly review my personal financial condition. This is the primary reason I do not use my full name on this blog; I’d like to be able to continue sharing the specific details of my finances without providing people who know my in “real life” the ability to search ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, September 2008 (Net Income: $7,473)

by Luke Landes

While September wasn’t as bountiful as August, I’m still adding to my bottom line. Even though my balance sheet showed a decline, it was mainly due to unrealized losses in investments, not a lack of income. Each month, to accompany my balance sheet, I publish my income and expense report to keep myself motivated to ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, September 2008 ($171,916, -0.8%)

by Luke Landes

Every month, I publicly review my personal financial condition. If you’re wondering why I post under a pseudonym, Flexo, this is the primary reason. I’d prefer that those who know my in real life, except for a few individuals, are not aware of this information. Reviewing my finances online helps me be accountable for my ... Continue reading this article…

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