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Personal Balance Sheet, September 2007 ($116,475, +9.4%)

This article was written by in Monthly Update. 7 comments.


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.

Net Worth Balance Sheet, September 2007

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.

Published or updated October 3, 2007. 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 .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Dave

Just out of curiosity how did/do you determine the asset value of your car?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,470 (Platinum)

I use edmunds.com‘s private party value.

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avatar FrugalTrader

Congrats Flexo on making huge increases in your net worth.

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avatar Paul

I create a similar report directly from MS Money, but I explicitly exclude Cash, since I also don’t keep as close track of cash as I should and the growing balance tends to skew my results.

Also, I like running a “Net worth over time” report as a bar chart. It really helps me to see at a glance just how much my net worth is increasing each month. It’s a nice visual to see those bars grow higher and higher each month. And it keeps me motivated as well.

Keep up the good work!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,470 (Platinum)

Paul: I like the visual bar graphs as well. Seeing those bars grow higher is good motivation.

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avatar Nicole

Just found this website – congrats on the progress your making increasing your net worth. I struggle with the student loan thing too. Have you done the math taking into account the taxes you have to pay on the interest you earn from your savings account vs. any tax benefit you receive from your student loan? Even with my 2.85% student loan interest, I’m not really making that much of a profit from my savings account interest, because my taxes eat up so much of my profit. I don’t get any tax break on my student loan interest because of my income level. Rather than paying off your student loan in full, have you considered paying down the principal faster?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,470 (Platinum)

Nicole: I agree! With savings rates decreasing, I’ll certainly be paying my student loan off faster. In October, I sent $5,000 to the student loan rather than the minimum payment as I had been doing. However, I don’t want to be in the position of borrowing more for a house when it comes time to buy (whenever that may be) because that will be at a higher rate, so I’ll need to maintain a strong cash position.

I’ll write more about this when I review my October financials in the next few days.

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