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Personal Balance Sheet, October 2010 ($463,930, +8.0%)

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 9 comments.


In July 2004, my car was my biggest asset, although my loan left me with no equity. That same car, as it lost value over time and as my finances generally improved, is now the least significant line on my balance sheet. One would think that the progression of net worth from $20,000 at that time to today’s number would have changed my lifestyle, but very little has changed.

Speaking of change, I may add a line to my personal Quicken file. Although I track the value of income from Consumerism Commentary and other projects, I don’t track the value of the website as a business. It would be interesting to go back to 2004, when I first began earning income from projects like this, and use a formula (such as a multiple of annual revenue) to determine the business’s value. I may never know the real value — what someone might pay — for the website, but if I use a consistent formula I will see the growth over time. This could help me get a truer picture of my complete net worth.

Until then, I’ll stick with the same balance sheet I’ve been using for the past few years. There’s nothing surprising on the report this month. Keep reading to see the details.

Here is my process for creating the above, as new readers ask about this every month. I generate the above report using Quicken Home & Business 2011. I reviewed Quicken 2011 recently and decided to buy the Home & Business upgrade for myself.

I export the customized net worth report to an Excel-compatible text file, which I link to a balance sheet template. The template includes all the formulas necessary, though not everything is completely automatic.

I check the resulting table to ensure all balances are accounted for, and I copy and paste the table into a graphics editing program. I save the table as a graphic and upload it to Consumerism Commentary to be shared with readers.

The value of my car hasn’t been updated since March, so I plan to take a look at Edmunds to determine a reasonable estimate and make that adjustment this month.

As the year comes to a close, I’ll be thinking about another visit to my family in California for Thanksgiving in a few weeks, year-end tax-saving moves, the holidays, and making some major adjustments to my life.

Published or updated November 2, 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 .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Briana @ GBR

Do you have a particular goal in mind for your net worth? Like a dollar amount by a certain age?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

No, I don’t like to use dollar amounts as goals. I have figured out that I’d probably need $3 million in future dollars to retire if I were to do so in 2035 or so, according to the classical definition of retirement, and assuming my expenses stay reasonable, the stock market increases, and I want to leave a financial legacy to children. but my life doesn’t seem to be taking a classical path at the moment.

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avatar The Latter-day Saver ♦706 (Dime)

Keep up the good work, Flexo!

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avatar Evan

I’d love to know what you mean by your lack of classical path?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

The classical path to retirement: work for a corporation, have kids, build a career doing something you don’t necessarily like, buy a house, move up through the ranks, keep working, retire and never work again… Lots of people do it differently. The point is I may never “retire” if I’m spending my time doing something I like. Or I may retire tomorrow and go on and do something I *really* like without a concern for money. Who knows… but I don’t see myself working for a corporation counting the days down until my 65th birthday like so many people I know do.

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avatar Tony

Flexo you are my hero. I started in 2006 with a similar path to yours. My networth for October was $385K. Most of my side income comes from my trading portfolio.
Keep up the good work!!

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avatar JP (The Rat)

Congrats on the net worth increase! 8% is commendable. What’s more impressive is the massive growth since 2004.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

Thanks folks! I’m no hero, though.

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avatar KNS Financial ♦404 (Nickel)

Great numbers! I am most impressed by your general lack of debt, and the amount of cash you have!

It gives us something to shoot for!

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