Your net worth is a snapshot of your financial health at any moment in time. It is a number found by simply adding up all of your assets, and subtracting your liabilities. If you have a lot of debt, you may come up with a negative number. It is helpful to figure out your net worth once a month, and track your progress. This way you can adjust goals and make changes to your budget, as needed.
What are assets and liabilities?
Assets are the things that you own that have financial value. All of your money in your checking, savings, and investment accounts are considered assets. The value of your home (if you own) and your car are also considered assets. If you have a valuable art or jewelry collection, those are assets too.
Liabilities are your financial obligations or any money that you owe. If you have a mortgage, the balance left to pay is a liability. Car loans, student loans, and personal loans are all liabilities. If you have a balance on any credit cards, those are liabilities, as well.
How can you track your net worth?
There are a number of ways that people track their net worth. Here are some easy ways to track yours:
- Good Ol’ Pencil and Paper – Check all of your balances on your various accounts. Add up the assets, then subtract your liabilities. Don’t forget to check your car’s value on Kelley Blue Book, and add that as an asset.
- Online Calculator – Just enter in the numbers, and let the website do the math. I like the calculators on CalcXML and CalculatorWeb.
- Spreadsheet – I like to use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate my net worth once a month. It’s also a handy way to chart your progress from month to month. Check out the Net Worth Tracking spreadsheet on Thousandaire.
- Financial Software – Mint and Personal Capital are the two most popular websites or apps where you can track all of your accounts in one place. Mint is better for budgeting, Personal Capital is better for tracking your investments’ performance. Personally, I really liked Mint a few years ago, but it didn’t quite fit with the way I manage my money each month, so I stopped using it. I recently signed up for Personal Capital, so I will let you know what I think after using it for a while.
It doesn’t matter what method you choose, just get started today. If you do not know your net worth, you really don’t know how well you’re doing financially. A high salary is great, but if you are not living within your means or have a lot of debt, you may not be doing as well as you think you are.
How do you track your net worth?
Illusion of Scarcity Worksheet (PDF)
Download this free worksheet and start paying yourself first.
- Budget for financial obligations and recurring expenses
- Prioritize your financial goals
- Make all your transfers on payday