The Balanced Spreadsheet-Financial News, Budget Advice, Debt help, Financial Tips, and other advice

May 31, 2010

Media Monday: History of the United States Income Tax

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 11:35 am

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Hope everyone is having a good Memorial Day.  To Celebrate today I thought I would share this video I found on YouTube dealing with the history of the United State Income Tax

May 24, 2010

Media Monday: Term vs. Whole Life

Filed under: Uncategorized, Videos — Tags: , , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 7:20 am

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Today’s topic is Term Life vs. Whole Life insurance.  I wrote back in July about life insurance and compared term vs. whole  and wrote about my decision to go with Term.  I feel that term is a superior product to whole life insurance.  Below is clips from Financial guru’s Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman and their feelings on term vs. whole

May 22, 2010

PMI Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 12:08 pm

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Well I got back from vacation on Tuesday and received word on my quest to remove PMI from our mortgage payments.  The results were disappointing as the appraisal came back at $91,800.  This means that 80% of the price is $73,440 which is below the remaining $77,365 that is still owed.  Safe to say that we are extremely disappointed.  Hopefully by this time next year our property will have recovered somewhat and we will be done with PMI for good.  All I have to say is that if you ever buy a house, I highly recommend putting down 20%. 🙂

May 17, 2010

Media Monday: The Power of Compound Interest

Filed under: Uncategorized, Videos — Tags: , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 7:30 am

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For this Media Monday I would like to focus on the Power of Compound Interest.  The first video is a short narrative on how compound interest works while the second is a real life example with no sound.

Every time I see the example in the second video it still astonishes me.  By starting just 10 years earlier and investing for that 10 years only, you would have more money then if you had waited 10 years and invested for the next 30!  Amazing!  So if you have not started to save for future, what are you waiting for again?

May 15, 2010

Helpful Links: www.AnnualCreditReport.com

Filed under: News Review, Personal Finance, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 6:54 am

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AnnualCreditReport.com is a website that everyone should visit once a year.  The reason is because every year you get a free credit report.  The difference between this site and the other “free” credit report sites is that you do not have to enroll in any offers to get your “free” credit report.  You are allowed to get a free credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) every 12 months.  So if you time it out you can get a free credit report every 4 months.

It is important to remember though that this is just a credit report, not a credit score.  It is good to check your credit report every year because most are filled with errors and it is a good thing to keep on top of things instead of getting a surprise or two when you apply for a mortgage.

May 13, 2010

How Rich are You?

Filed under: News Review — Tags: , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 10:27 am

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Have you ever wondered who truly rich you are?  Well you can now find out at The Global Rich List website.  If you make the median American household income of $52,000 a year, that will place you in the top 1% of all world money makers.  If you make half that ($26,000) you are still in the top 10%!

This is a good reminder for us because I think sometimes as Americans we can forget how truly wealthy we are compared to the rest of the world.  Poke’s (The group who created the web site) main goal is to help people understand where they stand globally in addition to encourage charitable giving.  I am all for charitable giving so it was nice to see them promote that as well.  At least take a look around and see where you stand globally, it at least makes you think a little.

May 10, 2010

Media Monday: Don’t buy stuff you can’t afford

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 7:25 am

This is a partial clip from an old 2006 Saturday Night live skit featuring Steve Martin.  You can watch the entire clip on Hulu.  It kind of shocked me that this clip was from 2006 and not 2008 or 2009 because it is so dead on on some people’s money beliefs.  If it was not so funny it would probably be a little sad. 🙂

May 3, 2010

Media Monday: Maxed Out

Filed under: Personal Finance, Uncategorized, Videos — Tags: , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 4:31 pm

Welcome to the debut of a new series that I call Media Mondays.  Every Monday I will try to come up with a video clip that has to do something with personal finances.  Today’s clip is the opening 10 minutes from the 2007 documentary Maxed Out.  Maxed Out goes in-depth into the world of credit cards and those that are impacted from college students, to those who are late on their payments, to the credit card collection agencies themselves. 

If you liked the first ten minutes then I definitely recommend you watch the whole thing as it is really an eye opener on how certain segments of the credit card industry work.  Interesting to note that this was filed before the recession of 2008-2009, I can only imagine it has gotten a lot worse since then.

May 1, 2010

April ’10 Net Worth Update (+2.17%)

Filed under: Excel fun, Net Worth, Real Example — Tags: , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 12:12 pm

April saw another nice increase in our net worth. It might be a little slow going this summer though as my wife is leaving her job and going back to school. That will definitely slow down the cash flow for the time being but we have the cushion to get through it.

Cash– The quarterly sale of stock in the employee stock purchase program was the main reason for the increase. Cash will be taking a little hit the next few months as we have our anniversary trip to San Diego in May, my wife’s college tuition in June, and the funding on my financial coaching business. We still have $10,000 as an emergency fund and the rest is set aside the expenses mentioned above.

Employee Stock Purchase Program– As previously noted our ESPP account was depleted to buy stock on March 31st. That stock was sold in the beginning of April and put into our cash reserves. The April amount equals one month’s pay that will be used to buy stock at the end of the fourth quarter.

House-I have recently tried some of the online home evaluators and got a wide range of values. The average was around the $95,000 and I will be using the amount for a while.

Retirement-Big increase in retirement accounts for the month of April. We are currently making contributions into our 401(K) and ROTH IRA accounts. As noted before, the stock market had a great first quarter and those gains extended into April.

Pension-Same contribution as last month. This amount should stay steady until October or November of this year.

Mortgage-As mentioned above, with my wife quitting her job and going to college we are down to one income so no more triple mortgage payments. After seeing the principal reduce by $1,800 each month for the past few weeks, it looks different to only pay down ~$475. For now we are just paying $200 extra a month but are looking into ways to pay down more.

You can see past net worth updates at the net worth history page.

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