For those of you new to Consumerism Commentary, one unique feature — in fact it was the original purpose for starting this blog — is the fact that I publish my financial reports at the end of each month. This post is my balance sheet, which measures my “modified net worth.” It’s a calculation of all my reasonable assets and liabilities.
A true net worth would contain more information, such as tax liability for liquidations of assets. I don’t feel like this is a worthwhile number to calculate on a monthly basis, so it’s not included.
This month’s increase was not as impressive as the last few months, but still solid. Continue reading to see 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 4.2% to 4.75%.
* I determine the value of my car using the private party value from ed munds.com, but only several times a year.
Before the end of the year, I will adjust my ever-increasing cash line. There is some “leakage;” I’m not as accurate about recording every single cash transaction. This month, I distinctly remember putting quarters in a Muni Meter in Queens, but somehow I never got around to entering the information in Quicken. There are quick purchases here and there that I just don’t bother recording. I’m not buying lattes every day, so I don’t consider it to be too much of a problem.
You may have noticed, if last year’s balance sheet is fresh in your mind, that I’ve adjusted some of the numbers down. Some income I received since the beginning of the year has actually been for the benefit of the other members of the MoneyBlogNetwork, so I adjusted my income in those months, affecting my bottom line.
My investments are steadily increasing beyond my contributions. My company stock has been down a bit recently, though. The company’s performing well, but there is a major change in senior management on the horizon, fast approaching. This is public knowledge, so I’m not giving away any insider information here.
My credit card balance looks high this month because I used my American Express Blue Cash for Business Card to pay out the network’s advertising income for which I was the conduit. Otherwise, my spending was average with a few notable exceptions. I’ll provide more detail in my Income and Expense Report.
As you can see, I transferred $5,000 from savings to pay off my student loan a little faster. I’ll be sending large payments like this occasionally to speed up my goal of being debt free. Previously, I was not anxious to pay off this debt because my savings accounts were making more money even after taxes. That’s not the case anymore thanks to recent interest rate drops.
I still need to make sure I am flush with cash for the inevitable purchase of a home, whether next year or five years down the road.
Please free to leave comments with questions or suggestions, and stay tuned for my Income and Expense report, which will be posted shortly.
Update Nov. 2 10:20 am: The Income and Expense Report has now been posted.
Updated December 29, 2010 and originally published November 2, 2007.