When it came time to calculate my financial net worth I approached this step with cringe-worthy thoughts. There was a time in my earlier “broke” life this number was non-existent and perhaps even on the negative side a bit. Once I cleared bankruptcy, began learning and rebuilding it still took several years before I was comfortable with the process.
In a nutshell, calculating and tracking your net worth is really another source of information providing a snapshot of your financial situation and better prepare you for the future you want to have.
No more stress about money!
Below I help walk you through everything you need to know about “net worth”. Yes, it includes doing some math but worth it.
The formula is simple: Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth
This formula takes everything you have of monetary value (assets) minus everything you owe or all the debt you have (liabilities). To see your growth over time track your net worth monthly, quarterly, or at least yearly.
Create your own tracking spreadsheet (or using mine) is going to be the easiest and best way to track net worth. There is a multitude of easy Excel/Google sheet documents you can download and print that are free. You can also send an email to email@example.com and in the subject line enter, “Net Worth” and I will send the one I use.
Assets are basically the things you own that have value. This is will typically fall into four main categories.
Next, we list the exact same thing for your liabilities. Remember, liabilities are the things you owe money for, all your debt.
Let’s look up all the balances on your personal assets and liabilities now. Either pull your current statements or checking online means opening up all your bank accounts to see the balances. Balances you still owe on debt and current available balances in bank and investment accounts. Don’t forget your employer-sponsored 401(K) or 403(B).
If you are using an Excel/Google spreadsheet be sure to Auto Sum your list for the balance to be calculated automatically. If you request a copy of the one I use it will calculate automatically.
Add up all your assets….subtract all your liabilities…..VOILA! You have just calculated your net worth!
How do you feel about the number? Was it close to what you thought it would be? If you’re worried about your debt, tracking your net worth can be a lot of fun because as you pay each month your net worth will be increasing in the process!
If you’re worried about whatever number you’re looking at, don’t be! There are several ways to help increase your net worth!
Start taking the act of “saving” more seriously by making automatic deposits each pay period. Increasing your wealth takes time, with baby steps, you can start getting in control of your finances.
Remember every payment you make towards your debt will increase your net worth. Learn to live a bit more frugally and stay on track with your debt repayments.
Net worth provides you with valuable information you can begin tracking at any time. I try to update mine on a quarterly basis and it’s fun to decrease the mortgage debt amount and watch the positive number increase. It helps to truly show how effective and helpful making additional principal payments are.
Want me to look at your budget, net worth calculations or have further questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer each one individually. Please do NOT include account numbers, only balances, and if you want to include the interest rate you can.
Your Money Coach,