This may seem “weird” to new Consumerism Commentary readers, but this blog started as a place for me to semi-publicly track my financial progress. Each month, I take a look at my finances in excruciating detail, and now it’s time to look at my “modified net worth” for the end of the month of September 2007.
My modified net worth increased by about $10,000 this month, thanks mainly to increasing income. Continue reading for the numbers.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
* The report is made with Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Excel. Here’s a balance sheet Excel template.
* 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 4.5% to 5.05%. I’m not rushing to pay off the student loan so I can have cash on hand to eventually make a down payment on a house, and the rate is decent.
The ever-increasing amount in my “cash” category tells me that I am probably not keeping track of my expenses paid by cash as carefully as I should be. At the end of the year, I’ll make some adjustments, which may lower my net worth. Numbers aren’t always an exact science.
My 401(k) and the rest of my investments performed very well during September. My contributions totaled $1,505 including ESPP, 401(k), and Roth IRA, and my withdrawals include selling my second quarter ESPP shares of $1203, resulting in a net contribution of $302. Unrealized gains account for the rest of my investment’s increase in value, $2,697.
As I mentioned above, my credit card balance is paid off every month — I use the cards for almost all spending to earn cash back. I can’t remember the last time I paid interest or a late fee. The fact that this balance is lower than the last few months shows my spending has decreased. I’ll be visiting my expense detail more with my income and expense report, which will be posted shortly.
If anything about my balance sheet bugs me, it’s my student loan balance. I’ve been paying it off slowly because the interest rate is lower than what I get in savings account. However, the recent interest rate decreases make this benefit insignificant. It may be time to pay off the entire balance from savings. I’m accumulating savings quickly, so I think I can recover in five or six months. My only concern is having enough cash on hand to purchase a house some time in the next year or two.
If you have any questions not answered above, please feel free to ask. My income and expense report will be published soon.