It’s a long-standing tradition at Consumerism Commentary to review the details of my finances at the end of every month, and it’s that time again. I start with a “net worth report,” a list of my bank account, credit card, and loan account balances, investment values, and some more ethereal numbers like my car’s value and “accounts receivable.”
August helped me out financially for a few reasons, two of which I’ll explain in the forthcoming income and expense report. The third reason is the stock market, slightly up in the month of August, buoying my investments tied to market indexes. In total, my accounts were up 7.7% over the month, the largest monthly increase this year. The bottom line of this report is a modified net worth of $174,669. I call this a “modified” net worth because the report is more complete than a list of bank account balances but not quite as complicated as a net worth figure that a business might use.
For the details, continue reading. Click on the thumbnail for a larger report.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- The report is made with Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Excel. Here’s a balance sheet Excel template. If you don’t want to go through all the trouble I do every month, but you still want to post your financial reports online, I suggest checking out NetworthIQ.
- The credit card balance is paid off every month and earns cash back.
- My student loan interest rate is 4.25% and my savings account interest rates are mostly above 3.0%.
- I determine the value of my car using the private party value from edmunds.com, but only several times a year.
Explanations and Details
My savings is now at the highest level it has ever been. While I’ve been fine with accumulating a large bank account balance in order to prepare for the purchase of a house someday, and I’m not in any rush, I’m starting to feel that I need to revise my strategy. With savings rates losing ground to inflation, I could probably stand to move some money into CDs and more into other investments. Paying off my student loan would save me $30 to $40 a month in interest.
The “Accounts Receivable” balance seems unnaturally high. It may be time to try to clean up that account to see if I’ve received payments that I haven’t applied to an invoice. If that’s the case, it would mean that rather than “moving” money from Accounts Receivable to a bank account line, the payments may be listed in two places.
In August, I increased the amount of money I directed towards paying off my student loan to $1,200, continuing the trend of increased payments since the beginning of the year.
I’ll have more to write about in my income and expense report, which will be posted later today.
Published or updated September 3, 2008.