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

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 46 comments.


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 my life in gear overall. I also started blogging about my finances to keep myself accountable.

I never expected that blogging would help me become more financially secure. I still don’t earn much money in my day job. That income alone would hardly allow me to afford to live an apartment without a roommate. But, here we are. I don’t track my finances as diligently any more because I tend to make better decisions in general. I do, however, check in every month in order to post in my continuing series of net worth reports.

The month of April is usually one where my net worth will take a dip as I pay a high tax bill. That worked out differently this year thanks to re-classifying the side income I earn. As a result, I’ve overpaid my 2009 taxes through overestimated quarterly payments, and I should receive a refund later this year.

If you view the chart, you will see my “cash in banks” line decrease. That is mostly due to the withdrawals made to invest in IRAs. You may also notice that I revised my March net worth downward. This happens occasionally because it may take a few more days to finalize income amounts or other bills. Likewise, April’s net worth may be modified within the next few days, but I’d prefer if the number is revised upward.

Money at this level of detail is often a taboo subject. I chose to write anonymously so acquaintances or potential colleagues curious to learn more about me from the internet wouldn’t find Consumerism Commentary. I’m not posting these updates to brag; in fact, I consider myself to be lagging significantly behind my potential in this aspect as well as other aspects of my life. I don’t have much worth bragging about. These updates exist solely to keep myself focused on improving my financial situation over time.

Here are the April numbers as of today. Feel free to ask any questions.

Net Worth Balance Sheet, April 2010

Published or updated May 5, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Tom Dziubek

My name isn’t listed under “Current liabilities”, so I’ll take that as a compliment! (although it’s not under “Assets” either…waaaait a minute…)

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avatar Money Funk

Always an inspiration to see a NW go up. Keep up the great job! Speaking of… you haven’t quite your day job (yet), have you??? I’d be curious to know what you make from blogging. ;)

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

I used to include a fairly detailed income and expense statement, but I no longer think that’s a good idea for public consumption. I’m earning enough to live off of, without a day job, but I’m looking for longer term stability before leaving a (mediocre) career behind. I was set to make the jump to full-time writing around this time, but I’m seeing some discouraging signs at the moment.

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avatar Financial Samurai

Hi Mate, what are some of the discouraging signs you are seeing that makes you hesitant about being a full time writer/blogger?

Congrats on your NW progress!

Best, Sam

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

What I need to see before quitting my day job is a steady increase in readers, traffic, and income. All of the above have been mostly stagnant — with a few notable exceptions — over the past year. While I could devote more time and possibly improve some of these situations by leaving my job to work on this website and other projects more, I’m starting to believe doing so would be a larger leap of faith than I’d be willing to take.

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avatar Financial Samurai

I hear ya. So on the bright side, for the large majority of us, we aren’t there yet, hence there’s a lot of fun and room to grow.

I have no idea how long it’ll take to get 9,300 readers like you have. That’s quite an accomplishment.

Perhaps if you quite your job, you’ll have this great fear of sinking or swimming. And given that fear, you will create something more and do more than you can ever imagine b/c you need to?

Given you can live comfortably off your blog income now, why not just take a risk and seek some different type of full-time employment? That’s what I do for sure.

avatar Kyle

Tell me about it. April was pretty discouraging income-wise and may is shaping up to be the same way. I hope it’s not just me that adsense has taken a dose-dive for.

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avatar RainyDaySaver

The jump in your cash and investments/retirements categories in the past two years is incredible (at least it is to me). Is Accounts Receivable your total monthly income? Also incredible.

I wanted to jump to FT freelance writing early this year, but the time isn’t right for me, either. The publishing industry is still in recovery mode and I’m happy to still be gainfully employed.

When I drive around the state and see a 2004 Honda Civic, I’ll wonder if it’s you in the driver’s seat!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

Unfortunately, A/R doesn’t tie directly to monthly income for me. It’s really only a snapshot of the last day of the month, at which point I could be expecting more than a month’s worth of income coming in.

Every time you see a metallic gray 2004 Honda Civic in NJ, honk your horn. You’ll probably run out of honk before you run into me.

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avatar RainyDaySaver

Thanks for the explanation.

I should have added that I was joking about scouting for Civics — the preponderance of them in this area makes the chance of finding the right one nearly impossible. ;)

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avatar Odysseustoday

Great post!

I have been doing some net worth analysis of my own, but the way you have yours set-up comes right out of the school of business. I am going to play around with my numbers and see how your format might paint my picture different.

I am curious, if you have over $100k in cash why not just take $3k and get rid of that liability? Also, love the trend line you got going. My brother and I have been talking and our goal is to double our net worth annually until we hit 30. I am 25 and he is 23. Might be unreasonable, but goals are something to shoot for.

If you get a chance can you stop by my blog and give a brief analysis of my April in review article. I also posted a month end review and would be curious to see what you see there. The link is in my name.

Thanks and I added you to my e-mail roll!

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avatar Tony

Impressive results for April Fexo. I’m particularly impressed with that 18.3% percent increase in your investments in one month. My NW has been tracking close to yours in the past months but you blew me away with that increase in your investments for April. Could you tell us in general terms how you are invested?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

The percentages just reflect a change in balance, not investment returns. In April I added money to a Roth IRA and a SEP IRA. I wrote about my investments at the beginning of April. I do a basic analysis every three months. You can find it by clicking the Flexo’s Net Worth link at the top of the page.

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avatar Likestopla

What kind of spreadsheet or budget/investment tracking software do you use?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

I use Quicken and export reports to Excel to prepare for posting here on Consumerism Commentary.

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avatar Tom

Flexo,

I don’t understand why you don’t quit your day job. I can just tell by the traffic that you receive, that you’re going to have a bright future ahead of you. Myself, I wouldn’t worry about Google. As long as you keep up what you’re doing and you continue to write more content, you’re only going to grow.

I was in your shoes 2 years ago. I had the fear of jumping ship. I was only making a meager $2,800 a month from my day job, while I was making $15,000/month from my online ventures. It made no sense to keep my mediocre job as well.

What you should do is just quit! When I quit, I was able to grow my business by 90% over one year, being able to dedicate my time. You have a nice cushion and you will not regret the decision, trust me.

Just think of if anything fails. If it does, you can resort to another job. You only live once, so why waste each day working for the “man”?

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avatar Financial Samurai

$15,000/month online is sweet! I think I could live pretty well making $15,000/month while traveling the world. I can’t imagine anybody really needing much more than $10,000/month to be comfortable, seriously.

My lifestyle has been pretty much the same from making $10,000/month to multiples of that. After a certain point, more money doesn’t matter, as it just goes into savings or investments.

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