My balance sheet provides a decent snapshot of my current financial state, but it doesn’t tell the complete story. While I have control over most of my investments and could sell poor performers and buy others if I so choose, I’d rather stick with what I have for the long term. Therefore, monthly swings in my balance are often due to forces beyond my control, like the health of the economy and the stock market.
That’s why I’ve been including an income statement each month. This report presents the details about the sources of my income and the destinations of my “outgo.” This was a successful month, netting $7,731 after expenses. For the year, I’ve managed to save almost $50,000. That includes money that I’ve invested as well as what I’ve deposited into savings accounts.
Here are the details. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the report.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
The report is made with Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Excel. Here’s an income and expense report Excel template.
Explanation and Details.
There’s not much to say about my salary; it’s as expected. There’s something to be said for a consistent income as long as I keep doing my job well. It’s smaller than I would like; in fact, I am below the “market reference range” for my position, but te benefits offered by my company are mostly solid and I enjoy the people I work with.
That’s not to say that if my side business shows signs that it’s viable in the long term, I won’t quit the day job and pursue my own interests for a while. I see no reason to rely on a “traditional” career path. I’m not a “traditional” kind of person. If there’s a strong possibility of succeeding without having to work for someone else, I won’t be shy when making that jump. Unfortunately, business income is not as consistent as I would like.
While other bloggers have made the jump to full-time, I plan on being much more cautious before leaving the relative security of a day job at a large corporation behind. I have lots of plans, many things I’d like to do with my life, and an 8-hour workday tends to get in the way, however.
In four of the seven months of 2008 so far, as well as December 2007, I was able to earn more than $9,000 from “side” income. In April, the income dropped due to the decision to stop accepting certain types of advertising across a number of websites. In May, I experienced a one-month return to above $9,000 income, but that was due to a long-term advertising deal which only occur once in a while. The fact that I approached $9,000 in July is a good sign that I still have the possibility of turning what I do into more than just a second job.
I bought a new camera lens in July, a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. So far, it’s been fantastic. If you’re interested in seeing some examples, I took the camera to a Mets baseball game and batting practice this past month and posted the photographs online. That accounts for about $500 in the Entertainment: Hobbies category.
My Utilities: Power category was high in July because June’s payment was made on July 1 while July’s payment was made on July 31. It’s a timing issue.
In August, I will receive three checks from my day job, so my monthly income report will be artificially higher than usual. All other income and expenses should be “normal.”
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published August 2, 2008. 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.