As much as I love spreadsheets and tracking my finances, I realized recently that one thing I don’t know is how much money I bring in every month.
Sure, I know what my paycheck is and if I have any alternative income that month (blog checks, Ebates cash back, etc), that gets tracked in detail, but I don’t ever think about my gross salary or interest on investments and savings accounts. I think this is because I try to not think about my savings accounts too much. I put away a set amount of money each month and let it grow. Sure, when I update my net worth spreadsheet, I can see these increases, but I’ve never sat down and figured it all out.
I started thinking about it while reading about Roth IRAs and the difference between AGI and MAGI, and realized that I don’t have any sort of idea what my AGI is. It’s my gross salary, plus all those extras, minus a few things. I should at least have some clue of these numbers, right?
So I sat down and put together a spreadsheet. It’s very simple and tracks my gross salary, what I contribute to my pre-tax retirement account, health insurance payment, how much tax I’m paying, and how much I’m earning through blogging and investments (including interest on savings).
I was pleasantly surprised by many of the numbers, and distraught by others (such as the amount of tax I pay). I think tracking this will be helpful as I start to look at my 2009 taxes, plus I think it’s just good to be aware of what money is coming in and where it’s coming from. Just because my investments are “set it and forget it” doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still be aware of them, especially in non-retirement accounts where I’m responsible for paying taxes on any gains!
I’m sure some of you hate spreadsheets and are cringing at this idea. But it only took me a few minutes to track everything from the beginning of the year and I am very pleased with the results.
Do you know exactly how much money you bring in every month, or do you focus more on your paycheck and your spending money?