Last month, I shared my belief that I would not make my net worth goal for the year, and June has been a step backwards. I ended the month with a modified net worth of $155,596, over $2,000 down from the end of May.
For any readers new to Consumerism Commentary, I post financial updates every month. This balance sheet, combined with an income/expense report, help me keep track of my progress.
I hope that monthly declines in my net worth continue to be few. The last time I experienced a monthly decline was in May 2006, a decrease of 1.3% and before that, May 2005, a decrease of 5.9%. Keep reading to see my current balance sheet with explanations. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the table.
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
The fact that my cash line increases each month likely means that I’m not tracking all my small spending expenses as diligently as I could be. I should probably make some adjustments to this item.
I mentioned last month that I would update the value of my 2004 Honda Civic based on edmunds.com‘s private party sales estimate. I looked into this, and my car’s value has not decreased since the last time I updated the price in November 2007. Perhaps my car is still in high demand thanks to increasing gasoline prices.
My savings account continues to grow, but I feel it could be doing more. I’ve renewed my apartment lease for another year, so it’s unlikely I’ll need to access cash for a down payment in that time. However, I’m hesitant to invest in 12-month CDs as I believe we might see interest rates rising in the next few months.
June was hard on my investments. Between my company stock purchase plan and 401(k), I invested exactly $1,500 into the market this past month. Despite the addition into my accounts, my account values ended significantly lower. These investments make up a significant portion of my assets — usually about 50% — and therefore my total net worth is swayed by the whim of the market.
On the liability side, I managed to increase the amount paid to my ever-present student loan. This year, I’ve gradually increased my payments from $120 to $750 in June. If I feel particularly confident in July, I’ll transfer $1,000 to reduce that balance further.
This coming month, Consumerism Commentary will be celebrating its fifth anniversary. It’s hard to believe I’ve been sharing my personal finances with the world almost every month for so long, with my introductory post on July 16, 2003 describing my net worth of $21,248 including my “home inventory.”
Published or updated July 2, 2008.