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Personal Balance Sheet, March 2008 ($143,174, +6.7%)

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 14 comments.


Yesterday, I mentioned I would be blogging full time and quitting my day job effective within two weeks. I really appreciate everyone’s support, but I’m embarrassed to admit that the announcement was a hastily-conceived scheme for April Fool’s Day. The truth is I plan on continuing to work for a while.

The idea is not far-fetched, however. As you’ll see when I report my income, I’ve been earning more from my “second job” — Consumerism Commentary and a small collection of other websites — than I have been earning from my day job since January 2007. But before we get to income, let’s look at my balance sheet (net worth report) first.

Overall, my “modified net worth” increased 6.7% in March. Continue reading to see the details.

Net Worth Balance Sheet, March 2008

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 3.1% to 4.5%.
* 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 assets are strongly weighted towards cash. I’m keeping most of my cash in high-yield savings accounts for the time being. By the time the summer rolls around, I will have to make a decision whether to renew my current lease. If I decide to settle down and buy, the cash will come in handy.

Last month, I planned to make a large payment to my student loan this month, but I’m shy to part with a large amount of cash until my taxes are complete. My goal is to pay off the entire loan by the end of the year, and that is still a possibility — it just might take a little longer than I had originally hoped.

The stock market was up and down throughout the month, and that can be seen in my Roth IRA and brokerage balances. I didn’t not add any funds to those accounts. Despite my continual investment in my 401(k), the account’s value is now only as high as it was at the end of October 2007.

I expect my final tax bill this month to take a chunk out of my net worth. I haven’t finished calculating my taxes, so perhaps that should be my plan for this coming Sunday.

Later today I will post my income and expense report, which usually presents a better indication of my financial health than the net worth report does.

Published or updated April 1, 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.

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About the author

Luke Landes 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 Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar nothanks
avatar SingleGuyMoney

Looks like you had a good month.

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avatar JSB

Even with the down market, it looks like you had a pretty decent month.

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avatar Will

Most people who have built wealth didn’t do so overnight. They got wealthy by setting short- and long-term goals and striving to reach them.

It’s always great to see illustrations of that principle. Sure, it’s not sexy, doesn’t generate headlines, but it JUST WORKS.

Keep it up!

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avatar Tom

Flexo,

Why not pay off those student loans with some of your cash savings from the account w/ 3.1% interest?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

Will: Sexy is in the eyes of the beholder. :-)

Tom: As I mentioned above I’m going to wait until after I pay my tax bill… then I’ll start putting more effort towards putting the student loan debt away for good.

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avatar Jesse

Just a quick question. Which money market savings account do you use and suggest. There are a ton out there and it would be good to get your opinion.

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