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I agree about the importance of tracking net worth. You may or may not be aware of this, but the current version of Quicken has a summary of net worth on the main page. It's always been possible to get a report with that information, but it's highly useful to have that number around as a standard display. You can also schedule future expenses and income, and project what your cash situation will be like far into the future.

I'm very aware of Quicken's capabilities. In fact, I use the income statement and net worth reports to plug totals into my financial statements spreadsheet. I have a very strong knowledge of spreadsheets, and love the flexibility it provides. I can use formulas to provide innumerable ways of forecasting expenses. For example, it is easy for me to use a rolling twelve month average as a forecast for my expenses if I want. It's easy for me to bump up my expense by a certain percentage if I would like.

My spreadsheet also calculates my savings rate (another metric I follow closely) by month and by year, as well as my overall effective interest rate each month.

The thing I like most about Quicken is that it lets me download the activity for my accounts over the Internet, and reconciling my accounts is a snap. Quicken does all the heavy lifting.

I never did accept the "Ballpark Principle", and I don't believe in it now as a general concept. I do agree that in many matters, it's the boss's decision because it's his ballpark. Certainly when you're talking about things like the overall direction of the company. But sometimes the boss is dead wrong, and in a healthy company, you should be able to do what you can to fix it.

You should be able to do what you can to fix it? Even if your boss doesn't want you to?

Personally, I still try to convince the boss when I am confident that I know how to improve things. However, the difference is that now I don't stress about it if he disagrees and doesn't want to go along with it. It's his ballpark and his rules.
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