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Personal Balance Sheet, May 2008 ($158,793, +7.8%)

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 4 comments.


In order to reach my net worth goal of $210,000 by December 31, 2008, I will need to add $50,000 to my balance sheet. Considering my progress so far this year, it is likely that I’ll fall short. Even if I do, as long as I continue on my path, I’ll still be satisfied with the outcome.

At the end of May 2008, the sum of my assets reduced by my liabilities was $158,793. That’s up 7.8% from last month‘s adjusted number. My reports aren’t perfect. Even when I post these financial reports after the month ends, I often remember additional expenses missing from Quicken. I’ll therefore make some adjustments that show up in the next report. That explains why last month I reported by April 2008 ending balance to be $151,079, but today I’m reporting April’s balance as $147,314. The different isn’t usually quite so large, however.

Keep reading for details about this month’s numbers.

Net Worth Balance Sheet, May 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 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

I mentioned yesterday that I have fourteen checking and savings accounts, and those accounts are structured across two brick-and-mortar banks and three online banks. While I’d like to simplify, and I could probably do so by combining a few of my ING Direct sub-accounts, I’d like to add one more brick-and-mortar bank for accessibility and one more high-yield savings account to earn more interest.

The recorded value of my Honda Civic has not changed recently because I haven’t updated its value in Quicken. As I mentioned above, I check edmunds.com infrequently but it might be in my best interest to take the time to find an estimate for my car’s current value and then create some entries reducing its value by a portion of the difference over the last few months. This will have a negative impact on my net worth, but it would create a more accurate picture.

Between my 401(k) and company stock purchase plan, I invested $1,500 for retirement this month. That accounts for about half of May’s change in the value of my investments. The other increase of $1,535 was due to the performance of my investments. Recently, CPA1298 asked why my net income (which I’ll report later today for May) doesn’t equal the difference between my balance sheet from one month to the next. The biggest reasons are unrealized gains and losses, which I don’t include as income or expenses.

On the liability side, I’ve begun accelerating the elimination of my remaining student loan. Now that interest rates on savings account are low, there is no advantage for me to keep the loan hanging around when I can afford to pay it off except for liquidity. In each of April and May, I sent $500 towards the student loan. I’ll increase this amount in June.

(Reading last month’s report, I predicted I would have paid more towards my student loan in May, but when it came time to do so, I was concerned about the future of my business income. I still am concerned.) My stated goal is to eliminate the debt in full by the end of the year. I have the ability to do this right now, but I’d be sacrificing liquidity when I may need cash on hand.

My income and expense report will be posted shortly.

Published or updated June 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 .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Customers Revenge

Hi, Haven’t been reading you regularly except since the past month or so, but find your site interesting. Just curious as to how others are managing and analyzing their performance. By the way, and I’m not criticizing just asking.

You started in Jan saying you have a net worth of $120 with projected income of $100 to $125K aside from your job. Not sure what your job is but I’m assuming, since you keep it, it must be at least in the same 80-125K range otherwise you’d shift your time away from it. So why is you net worth goal only $210? Even if you spent your entire salary then your side income would bring you to 220K-245K.

As well, in Jan you make the comment that you might only reach $154K by year end. Then only 4 months later (this month) you already surpass that number. In Feb you make another run-rate prediction that you might only hit $200. I didn’t check back every month but are your forecasts really that volatile? And do you consider any particular net worth number to be “real”?

For example, I hit an all time high a couple of months ago on my investment accounts that was about 10% higher than it currently is just due to the coincidental swing on a number of holdings at the same time. I am sad, but not that sad. It did have me dreaming of raising my own goal to the stratosphere for a couple of days :). It proved to me that any particular snapshot is not exactly “real”, especially on items that are market value.

Thanks for the site and you are very inspirational.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

CR: Thanks for the comment and the question. Yes, my predictions are a little wild, I’ll admit that. I plan to write about my income a little more in the income/expense report which I’ll publish shortly, but it comes down to the unpredictability of my side business income.

On January’s report, the $154,000 remark wasn’t so much as a prediction but a straight-line calculation based on one month’s progress (December to January) assuming no growth.

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avatar Anonymous

This is so amazing to me how people keep such good track of their expenses. I always have a general idea, but I know if I was more diligent with my record keeping, planning, and goal setting, I’d probably have a lot more money and be feeling pretty good about the increase in my net worth. I hope you reach your year-end goal!

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avatar CommRE

Thanks to Flexo, I have been using his exact template since November. It has really helped me stay focused on my goal of increasing my net worth by 15% this year. I tend to think about how every dollar I spend is going to affect my net worth.

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