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Personal Balance Sheet, November 2010 ($494,715, +6.1%)

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 15 comments.


If you’ve been following Consumerism Commentary for some time, you may know that I post my balance sheet at the beginning of each month. I take this time to review my finances and determine whether I’m moving forward. In addition to my balance sheet, I review my expenses and income.

I’ve been posting these monthly updates for more than seven years, with only a few breaks during that time. It has helped me keep myself accountable for my spending decisions. This was the primary purpose I started Consumerism Commentary, and the site has changed significantly over that time.

I feel that I may no longer, from a personal perspective, need to post these updates every month. I believe they are of limited interest to readers; in fact, one reader once told me my progress depressed him and he would stop reading Consumerism Commentary because he was intimidated. That is, of course, not my intention. I never wanted to brag or use myself as a positive example; this entire process has been more of just an exercise for myself.

Last month, I mentioned that I hadn’t updated the value of my car in several months, so I went back and retroactively took depreciation into account. Going forward, I’ll reduce the value of my Honda Civic by $100 each month. This doesn’t reflect the typical tax depreciation rules, but I generally follow the value of the car using Edmunds.com.

While I call the bottom line of this report my net worth, it doesn’t include everything a business might include such as tax liability and the value of my biggest asset, my business.

To see the numbers, continue reading.

Barring any problems, I’ll break a net worth of half a million dollars by the end of the year. That’s pretty exciting considering I started out with nothing a decade ago.

Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published December 3, 2010. 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, 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 .

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar DoNotWait

Very impressive and inspiring! How did you manage to make such an improvement in only 2 years?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,372 (Platinum)

Lots of work outside of my day job.

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avatar DoNotWait

I can imagine! But I mean, still, the numbers are… Wow! Congrats with this amazing achievement. Are you planning big changes? New investments? New car? New home?…

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avatar Tristan

You are not intimidating, and I certainly don’t see it as bragging. What I see as bragging is other sites who brag about how rich they are without showing any numbers like you do. (Won’t say who, but there is one blog on the Money Tips Network I cannot STAND because of this…)

It is very interesting to me to see your progress over the past couple years that I have been reading your site. I mean… you just gained $19k in your bank account this month alone! That’s great.

Congrats on all your progress.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,372 (Platinum)

Thanks! I value transparency, but I’ve only been able to share as much data as I have thanks to anonymity.

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avatar Ken

I think it is very inspiring as well!

Quick question for anyone – where would you fit 529 (education) account balances – technically they are gifted to my children, but since I have control of them, they really are assets right? Would these go into a balance sheet and count towards my net worth?

Thanks for the thoughts

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avatar Kyle

Yeah, but your business is probably worth another $500-750k, conservatively. And I base this solely on wild, unsubstantiated speculation. Which is the best kind.

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avatar Stevedh

Well done! Although GAAP supports the entry for your car in my personal accounting (a mix between cash/accrual accounting methods) I never account for cars as anything other than an expense. Doesn’t make any difference if it’s a payment, interest, gas, repair, or insurance cars are just a damn expense. I refuse to be defined by my car in any shape or form – even on a balance sheet. But that’s kind of a personal thing ;-) Well done indeed!!

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avatar stevem

Unless I missed it, you never seem to have explained the big boost in your retirement portfolio that occurred somewhere between your May 2008 posting and your Oct. 2008 posting, which is reflected in the above statement in the big difference in retirement holdings from Nov. 2008 to Nov. 2009.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,372 (Platinum)

During that time I directed more of my self-employment income to a SEP IRA.

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avatar brianahasmoney ♦367 (Nickel)

I don’t think it’s depressing, more of an inspiration! I love reading other people’s net worth and budgets and things like that, because it gives me something to look forward to as far as my finances. It also shows me what types of things I should be doing. Congratulations on your constant progress :)

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avatar Barb Friedberg

Hi Flexo, Really good job and very inspiring. In response to possibly cutting back on this info, my personal belief is that monthly might be a bit too frequently to evaluate your progress. In the short term, assets are quite volatile. Quarterly updates would probably be less work for you and more realistic overall. Congratulations on your growing financial success.

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avatar Mike Fanelli

Great job, Flexo. This is truly inspiring and your dedication to this website it unmatched. Congrats on the possibility of reaching half a mill in net worth by year-end! Just wondering…do you have any large asset purchases on the horizon? Are you looking to buy a house? Are you looking to potentially buy a business? Or will you keep most of your assets in cash and investments?

Keep in touch.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,372 (Platinum)

Mike: Thanks! I expect to purchase a house, but the plans are still nebulous.

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avatar Chris

Hello,

Thank you very much for posting the income statement template, and I am going to start using it. Do you also have one for the balance sheet. I’d love to take a look at it, too. I couldn’t find it on your site.

Again, thatnks for the income template.

Chris

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