Every month I take the time to export reports from my personal copy of Quicken and post them to the web. This helps me keep myself accountable for my finances. And it’s fun, at least when the number go up from one month to the next.
That was the case in the long short month of February 2008. The report that follows tracks my “modified net worth” over time. It is an accounting of my bank account balances, the values of one major asset, some business tracking accounts, and my debt.
In February, my modified net worth increased 8.4% to a total of over $135,000. Keep reading to see the report and explanations.
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 range from 3.6% to 4.0%.
* I determine the value of my car using the private party value from edmunds.com, but only several times a year.
Explanations and Details
The cash I’ve been keeping in bank accounts continues to rise as I’m saving for an eventual house purchase. I still have a long way to go. If I use all my available cash for a 20% down payment, I would only be able to afford a $270,000 house. In the area where I currently live, that may be enough to afford this house, a 2-bedroom town home built in 1987 with 1,465 square feet and no land ownership.
I’m hoping to skip town homes and condominiums; the living experience is too much like an apartment complex, and I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years. An end until like this listing may not be as bad as an apartment, so I may compromise if I can find something nice.
Additionally, it would be nice to have the ability to put less than all of my cash down. I’d like to keep an emergency fund in place, but that might be asking too much.
The stock market was down this month. The only reason my investments increased in value was the fact that I contributed new funds to my 401(k) and company stock purchase plan.
This month, I plan to make a large payment to my outstanding student loan balance thanks to the bonus I received from my employer.
My goal for 2008 is to end the year with a net worth of $210,000. If my performance from the first two months of the year continues, I will not reach this goal, falling short by $10,000.