As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!
     

Personal Balance Sheet, January 2008 ($125,770, +2.3%)

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 5 comments.


My first balance sheet of the year isn’t excellent, but I’m happy that I’ve made some positive progress. For those who may be new to Consumerism Commentary, every month I publish a few financial reports to describe my financial situation. The first is the balance sheet which lists balances in various accounts.

The bottom line in this report is my “modified net worth.”

I’m almost amazed I managed positive growth overall in January thanks to the beating my investments are taking in the stock market. I just keep reminding myself that I’m mostly investing for retirement, and poor performance now provides opportunities to buy at lower prices.

Keep reading to see exactly where I stand at the end of January. Click the thumbnail to see a larger version of the chart.

Net Worth Balance Sheet, January 2008

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

* The report is made with Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Excel. Here’s a balance sheet Excel template.
* 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

My “cash” line is increasing mainly due to small transactions I forget to record as well as a small but growing coin collection. It’s small enough that I haven’t found the need yet to consider it a separate asset. When I buy rolls of coins from the bank to search through, I transfer funds from my checking account to cash. Any coins I place into storage folders are not returned to the bank or spent, so their value stays in the “cash” category.

I haven’t updated the value of my car in a few months, so I’ll do that in February, making adjustments to smooth the depreciation if necessary.

As you can see, each of my investments have significantly declined in value over the past month except for my company stock purchase plan. That is simply because this account stores cash until the end of each quarter. So I’ve made contributions to the cash portion, accounting for the increase in value. Not including the company stock plan, my investments would have been down 5% for the month rather than 4%.

My credit card balance is so high this month because I used a card to pay advertising income I’ve collected from advertisers to other bloggers. By using an American Express Blue Cash for Business Card, I’ll also earn some cash back in the form of rebates.

My goal for this year is to realize a net worth of $210,000. I may not reach this goal, falling far short, if the stock market continues to falter. If I manage to increase my net worth by the same amount each month, I will end the year with about $154,000 across all accounts.

Updated March 28, 2010 and originally published February 4, 2008. 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.

Email Email Print Print
avatar
Points: ♦127,470
Rank: Platinum
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 .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar The Saving Freak

That isn’t a bad growth with the stock market going crazy. Interesting to see how you calculate cars. I took mine out of my net worth because I drive them till they die and they are all paid off.

Reply to this comment

avatar fathersez

Flexo,

You have an excellent balance sheet, the type that would rate a buy if you were a listed company.

No mention of mortgages?

Looks like you are cash rich at a great time in financial history.

Reply to this comment

avatar SingleGuyMoney

Looks like you had a better month than alot of other people. That’s pretty awesome considering the market and the amounts you have invested.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,470 (Platinum)

Saving Freak: Since the car is such a valuable asset, and since I could sell it if necessary, I include it in the report. I intend on driving it (2004 Honda Civic) for a while yet.

Father Sez: If I wanted to be more precise, I would list my year-long rent payments as a liability, but I don’t think that serves a purpose in personal balance sheet as it would on a company’s balance sheet.

Reply to this comment

avatar femme.fatal

what if you have none of anything but a spreadsheet to keep track of money you pay to bills and have ~400 savings but a house ($520)

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Connect with Facebook

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: