My Personal Financial Odyssey – Income Tax Projection – Part 4

For many years my income and therefore my income taxes has varied significantly from year to year, and for many years I would pay in way too much in taxes one year only to follow it up the next year by having to write a big check on April 15th.   In 1999 I finally tired of this routine and decided to do something about it.

In looking at my income tax returns, it dawned on me that all of the forms and verbiage notwithstanding, our income taxes are really nothing more than a mathematical equation.  It can be a very complicated equation with lots and lots and lots of options associated with it, but in the end it was still just an equation.  And because it was an equation, that meant I should be able to put together an Excel spreadsheet that could calculate my taxes for me.

So I set about creating this spreadsheet, and I discovered that my income taxes were not too terribly complicated.  Continue reading

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Why I Started the Cash Flow Analyzer

About 10 years ago I had a problem.  I had tracked my finances with Quicken for many years and I had a good understanding of my financial situation.  My balance sheet was always an accurate representation of our net worth, and the income statements always told me how well we were doing financially.  But my wife and I always seemed to be short of cash, even though our financial statements showed our income and our net worth steadily growing.

I knew what the problem was.  My retirement plan was a huge part of our overall assets and on-going income, but the increases in the value of the retirement plan did nothing to assist us with our day-to-day finances because it was for the future and wasn’t to be used now.  The retirement plan was hugely important to us so I couldn’t remove it from my Quicken financial reporting, but I needed to find a way to remove its influence from analyzing our day-to-day finances.

After much thought and even more trial and error, the Cash Flow Analyzer was what I created to solve the problem. It has worked like a charm ever since.  Continue reading