Learning, Sharing, and Teaching > Case Studies

How To: Write a "Case Study" Topic

(1/16) > >>

swick:
Want specific info related to your situation?

Please use the following guidelines/format as applicable to your situation to ensure we have ALL the information we need to help.

Topic Title: Reader Case Study - your question here

Life Situation: IRS filing status, number & ages of dependents, and anything else (state/country of residence, age, etc.) you are comfortable sharing.

Gross Salary/Wages: Before any deductions

Individual amounts of each Pre-tax deductions 401k, HSA, FSA, IRA, insurance, etc. - whatever you have

Other Ordinary Income: Provide sources and any relevant details, the more the better

Qualified Dividends & Long Term Capital Gains: If these are significant for you

Rental Income, Actual Expenses, and Depreciation: If these are significant for you

Adjusted Gross Income: This should equal the additions and subtractions above.

Taxes: Federal, state/local, and FICA.  These should be consistent with your AGI and Life Situation.  For non-U.S. posters, we’ll have to take your word for these.

Current expenses: Provide breakdown and relevant details.  Aim to have “Miscellaneous” somewhere ~2.5%.  Much lower and you may be providing too much detail, much higher and you have an obvious problem of not understanding your spending.

For mortgage payments, separate the P&I (which stop when the mortgage is paid) from the T&I (and anything else) which continue as long as you own the property.

Expected ER expenses: (optional, if relevant)

Assets: Amount & description - include current asset allocation plan if you have one
Definition of assets: Any item of economic value owned by an individual or corporation, especially that which could be converted to cash. Examples are cash, securities, accounts receivable, inventory, office equipment, real estate, a car, and other property.

Liabilities: Description, original loan amount, rate, original length, and monthly payment (which should be consistent with a spreadsheet PMT calculation).  Add current balance and time remaining if close to final payment.

Specific Question(s): Providing a detailed breakdown is important, so is asking for specific information so we know what kind of help/advice you are looking for.


This spreadsheet https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B45krBaG0b6KTWZDeXEySVBHVXc/view?usp=sharing can be downloaded and used to help organize your case study posting.

It includes income, expense, and investment categories that will cover most situations.  For "not too complex" cases it will calculate IRS, SS, and Medicare taxes exactly, and state taxes approximately, helping one evaluate the after-tax effects of 401k, HSA, etc.  There is also a simplified section to evaluate "how long to FI?".

See this post and the spreadsheet itself for more details.


However you format your study, don't forget to subtotal each category and total up all major categories (income, expenses, assets, liabilities), rather than expecting the readers to add up your food + cable bill + etc. etc.

WARNING: If you have a "Your hair is on Fire!" debt emergency you will get face punches if your spending categories include line items such as a "new car loan" or spending that should only be part of your life if you are debt free such as a "gym memberships" or "manicures".

A few notes on a successful  "Reader Case Study" topic:

If you are asked for additional info or more detail, please use the edit button to add the information to your original post - this will help keep all your info easy to access for new contributors.

Please make all responses and additions to your original post in the same conversation rather than creating a new topic. It helps everyone if the history of the discussion is available in one place.

Posters put a great deal of time and thought into their replies. As the original poster, please respond in some way to keep the conversation going and let us know that you are benefiting from the discussion and appreciate contributions.

Any questions? Please use this topic to ask for clarification if you are not sure about how to create a new "Reader Case Study" topic.

astridlee:
Thanks this is helpful! I have a case study running since yesterday titled 5 o'clock shadow. I will try to jazz it up using this template.  Our hair is on fire and punching has commenced. The input has been really helpful. I am hoping to carry the energy forward to taking action. This forum has given me confidence to believe my dream of become financially independent is possible.

swick:

--- Quote from: astridlee on October 03, 2013, 01:12:23 PM ---Thanks this is helpful! I have a case study running since yesterday titled 5 o'clock shadow. I will try to jazz it up using this template.  Our hair is on fire and punching has commenced. The input has been really helpful. I am hoping to carry the energy forward to taking action. This forum has given me confidence to believe my dream of become financially independent is possible.

--- End quote ---

Great to hear! Thank you for your feedback, I will take a look at your case study:)

thesaffs:
Just modified mine, thanks for the tips! I wasn't sure what to include, but this was helpful.

CarrieD:
Hi Swick. I just wanted to leave a quick note here to say thanks for these pointers, they're very helpful. :-)

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version