Earlier in June 2021, I have finally decided to dig back at all my available information to take a glimpse at my past financial health to uncover what had happened.
Whilst it is nearly impossible to restore 100% of the picture on my financial health, it was close enough for me to have a fuller picture of my overall financial health & trendings.
I realized something when looking back at my historical finances - all I have been remembering in my story is the possible downsides, but I haven't been thankful enough on the flip side.
Thanks to financial aids from scholarship and also my mom during my days in university, I was able to start my career with almost zero debt immediately after graduation which helped to boost my savings early on.
Through this exercise - I've renewed some of my perspectives and reminded myself to also look at the positive side of things sometimes, to be more grateful for what I have become today through those experiences.
Basically, it started as a simple personal financial statement, where I do an annual summary of my Balance Sheet and Cashflow Statement using various data points I have - typically only during the years I actively keep track of my finances.
In fact, when I first started tracking my finances, I only focused on my Personal Cashflow Statement but never the Personal Balance Sheet. At least until 2018 when I started to use Dividend Magic's Personal Balance Sheet to capture snapshots of my financial health.
After using it for few years, I realized that it was difficult for me to maintain granularity where needed and/or to have a multi-year span view - to make comparisons, forecasts or planning ahead.
As a result, I started to poke around in my excel when attempting to have a consolidated view of my past years' financial statement, plus forecasting into the future with several different scenarios/assumptions to estimate my FIRE/Retirement date.
When posting the above analysis on my Instagram Story earlier in June, some of you have asked me to share the spreadsheet to do a similar exercise. Unfortunately, the Excel copy is quite a mess at this juncture as I use it mainly to generate custom charts like above.
I have decided to re-create the whole thing (and tidy it up a little bit...) on Google Sheets instead.
Personally, I think that the preparations of Personal Financial Statement is very very important for all of us, and definitely something that we should do and revisit at least on an annual basis. And this applies to both the Personal Cashflow Statement and also Personal Balance Sheet. Only this way then you can have both the visibility of your financial health (balance sheet) and improvement areas (cashflow statement).
Think about it for a second - before buying any stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, or any other type of investment vehicles, we will typically at least do some basic research, including fundamentals like the Company's Income Statement and Balance Sheet to understand how THEY have performed over years.
But why, when we are spending so much time looking at OTHERS' financial report but never at our own? Through this exercise, it will help you to realign both your reality and also your expectations to better plan forward on what you want to achieve ultimately.
Imagine this - you have been working towards "retirement goals" without revisiting the plan on an annual basis. During your retirement year, you suddenly come to a realization that you have been under planning all along and what you have won't last you throughout your retirement.
Imagine the horrors then. Better to find out now than later!
While the Sheet may seem heavy at first, but it'll be fine once you grasp the key concept of a Personal Financial Statement as it has all the components needed to make up for making up one's Personal Financial Statement. If you are interested, you can read more about Personal Financial Statement from Investopedia here.
Personal Cash Flow Statement - your overall Income and Expenses|
Personal Balance Sheet - your Assets minus Liabilities equals your Net Worth
FIRE Estimator - estimated date for your LEAN / FAT / Ultra FAT FIRE.
Frankly, there's nothing too fancy for the FIRE estimator. The only difference the sheet has vs. all the other online calculators is flexibility to toy around scenarios in a more granular fashion by manipulating the cash flow/balance sheet sections (withdraw EPF? migrate country? maxing out the emergency fund on the first year; then investment on the other year?)
"Are You Wealthy?" - the famous term "Accumulator of Wealth" coined by Thomas J. Stanley. Are you UAW, AAW, or PAW?
Net Worth x FIRE Chart - summary of your Net Worth with FIRE dates plotted
Savings Rate Chart - summary of your savings rate, from total income or net income perspective, similar to the ones I posted earlier (minus the fancy colours)
Configuration - the sheet comes with subsequent years forecasted by default (until you override them with actuals value). These configuration helps to "set the base" for the default forecast.
That's the good news! I am providing this Google Sheets as part of my giving-back to the community - in another word, it's FREE!
Unfortunately, in exchange, I won't be able to provide you with 1-to-1 support/hands-on/training and I am expecting that you will have at least basic knowledge to navigate around Google Sheets. I've tried my best to keep it as simple as possible, added some basic notes in the Sheet itself.
The Sheets are not locked/protected either - and they are entirely open source so feel free to branch out and further expand on its feature - as long as you attribute the credits back to me whenever applicable. (p/s let me know what you have added too! Maybe I could also use it :P)
If you'd like - you can also buy me a coffee / tip any amount you'd like below!
Just a few important notes before we get there:
Latest Version: https://i.ringgitfreedom.com/resources/NetworthFIRE
v1 [26 Jun 2021]: Initial release
If you have been using my tools for a long time - I thank you for your support and hope that it has helped you in your journey towards financial freedom.
If you're new and are looking for some way to keep track of your multitude of portfolios - I hope these Sheets would be useful for you. Feel free to also check out my other tools here.
If not, there are plenty of other solutions out there and just don't stop finding - you will surely be able to find something that fits your needs.