Each month, I publish a financial report to help me track the progress along my path to gain financial independence. This is a long-standing tradition at Consumerism Commentary, with relatively significant updates going all the way back to July 2003. I have made some changes over the years in how these numbers, including the net worth bottom line, are calculated. Recently, I decided to take all of my business-related accounts out of the report, resulting in my purely personal net worth.
Even before making the change, the reports didn’t reflect my total net worth, which would include things like my business as an asset and my estimated tax bill as a liability. Rather than try to create values for these items, particularly the business, I decided it would be just as helpful, or even more helpful, to exclude all business accounts. As a result, there is more fluctuation from month to month because I have not consistently moved cash from business accounts to personal accounts as if I had a paycheck. This is one thing I plan to improve next year through paying myself a consistent salary.
This past weekend, I attended the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago to meet many of the people I’ve been talking to and emailing for years. It was a great opportunity to share ideas about an industry that has grown from zero in 2003 to a community of thousands of blogs today. I attended many of the conference sessions, including two discussions about writing, one with J.D. Roth from Get Rich Slowly and one with Donna Freedman from MSN and Surviving and Thriving. J.D. and Donna also won several Plutus Awards at the conference.
I must have met over a hundred people this weekend, so I can’t mention everyone. The event was one of the most professional conferences I’ve attended, with a large amount of quality content and friendly people.
Also notable, this weekend was my first experience using accrued miles in Continental’s OnePass frequent flyer program. I traded in miles for an upgrade from coach class to first class for the flight out to Chicago as well as the flight back to New York. Continental does a good job of spoiling first class travelers, and I’ll likely address this in a future article.
Continue reading to see the numbers as of the end of September 2011.
|-1 year||-1 month||current||Δ||Δ||Δ|
|ASSETS||Sep 2010||Aug 2011||Sep 2011||Prior Mo||YTD||Prior Yr|
|Cash in Banks||63,038||78,773||71,621||-9.1%||15.9%||13.6%|
|2004 Honda Civic||5,073||3,973||3,973||0.0%||-16.8%||-21.7%|
|PERSONAL NET WORTH||270,217||368,433||342,242||-7.1%||17.3%||26.7%|
|Change Over Prior Month||8.5%||-2.7%||-7.1%|
|Change Over Prior Year||18.9%||47.9%||26.7%|
A good reason for the decline this past month was due to a major tax bill associated with catching up my estimated 2011 taxes. This has been an exceptional year in terms of income from my business — primarily this website. Looking forward, I’ll have more travel expenses as I plan to visit family in California for Thanksgiving, and I may take the opportunity for more travel.