What to Track

For a while now I have been tracking my net worth as a simple way to track what I'm doing with my money, rather then the much more involved method of accounting for every transaction. As an accountant this is the last thing I want to be doing when I get home. So I have focused on tracking net worth on a monthly basis.

Some simple maths can reveal how much I have saved in the past month, but the number I find more interesting is the increase (or decrease...) from a rolling year, what have I done since this time last year. My savings habits are quite good, however I don't always try to maximise the yield as I'm lazy and trusting of non high street banks.

I've worked out I've 'lost' a few dollars by not paying attention to the interest rates, more specifically, thinking the honeymoon rate was what I was getting. My laziness meant I couldn't be bothered to delve deeper and find out the difference, I mean how much different could it be?

Bank in 2000 I opened an ING Direct Account with the few dollars I had, and all was good and has been for many years. It was one the other first high interest online only bank accounts. The new kid on the block is ubank (which seems to be some kind of marketing exercise by nab) and they have good rates. Currently ING advertised rate is 5.85% and the rate your customer of 10 years gets is 4.5% thats a difference of 1.35% or put into dollar terms $135 per year on $10,000 invested or say 3 months of free mobile. In the grand scheme of things $135 isn't much and its my fault for not keeping tabs on this.

I will now be adding this statistic to my net worth spreadsheet. But not tracking monthly, just what the prevailing rate is currently, which means I can easily look at my accounts, see the interest rates they are getting and easily make a decision as to where to put the money.

I am also thinking of tracking how much money I earn from each source. Which would be interesting, but for now the total is working quite well, and requires very little effort.


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