Now that we have decided how we are going to do the report (i.e. what tool we will use to report the information), we need to now decide what information we need to have in this report.In these situations I typically over-do it in terms of how much information to put in the report, it is much easier to remove data later than it is to add it later.
Today, let’s just figure out the macro information, or section headers for our report and then in the coming days we can expand on those sections that we outline here, I will even put in some information about the areas that I put in my report (yes I really do this one).
Financial Report Sections
Remember these sections are the starting point and should be easy for whoever is reading it to look in the areas they really want to, or get a good overview of where you are financially.
- Title Page: I like a title page which has maybe a 1 phrase statement about the quarter (or an abstract if you are so inclined) along with a date for when the report was written. Remember you might come across this at a later date, and if you don’t know when you wrote it, it isn’t really worth too much to you.
- Income Statement: the best way to figure out how much money is coming into your house is by figuring out where it is all coming from. Remember if your spouse works include that as well, you want the entire income picture.
- How are you stating this? If you get paid every two weeks, are you stating this as a monthly income? That is what I do, just because it is easier to look at a month at a time instead of just 2 weeks.
- Life Insurance : What kind of life insurance do you have for you and on you? What is it worth? Does your spouse know who it is with, or what the policy number is? Shouldn’t they?
- Do you have insurance on your spouse? How much for? Policy Number?
- How about disability insurance, or accidental death or dismemberment that your company may cover you with?
- Do you have life insurance on your kids? If so, with who and for how much?
- This is essential for your spouse to know this, as it is for you too.
- Other Insurance:
- If you have a home, who is it insured with, and for how much? If you have an apartment, same question.
- If you have a car, who is it insured with and for how much? Remember the policy numbers too.
- Pension: Do you have a pension? How much is it worth right now (as a lump sum, if you got laid off)? Does your spouse have one? What is it worth as a lump sum?
- Investments and Retirement Funds: List every single savings, investment and retirement account that you have, and what their current balances are. The amount of money you have in those might surprise you, and remember to include the pertinent information about the accounts as well. Do you have Stock Options? Are they worth anything now (why haven’t you cashed them in then)? Do you have spousal retirement funds? Find them ALL, it’s important to find them all.
- Education Savings Funds: If you have RESPs, how much are in those? I make these separate from my investment tools and funds, because I view this as the kids money, and don’t want to include them with my list of assets. Do the kids have savings accounts that relatives have put money in? How much is in those?
- Other Tangible Real Value Assets: Like what you ask?
- Your house, how much is it worth (check your city taxes, they will have the estimated value of your house).
- Do you have any art? How much is it insured for? That is an asset
- I don’t count cars, since I view those as lost value as soon as I buy them. You can if you want to.
- Any other odd things you might own.
Now you have figured out what your income is, and what your current value is.
- Debts and liabilities and outgoing moneys.
- Personal Finance: The Quarterly Status Report
- Personal Finance: The Quarterly Status Report (How)
- Personal Finance: The Quarterly Status Report (What Assets)
- The Quarterly Status Report (What Debts)
- Personal Finance: The Quarterly Status Report (Last Parts)
- Personal Finance: The Quarterly Status Report Wrap Up