A critical step on the road to financial security is taking the time to assess your financial situation. In uncertain times like the ones we are currently experiencing, most people take a closer look at their finances. However, it is essential to track your financial health even in good times. Often people mistakenly believe that as long as they are making good money, they are in a healthy financial situation. But one thing that matters more than your earnings is how much money you keep.

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Net worth is the value of what you own that has monetary value (assets) minus everything you owe (liabilities). To calculate your net worth, you need to take an inventory of both. Below is a list of the most common assets and liabilities.

Assets

Money in your checking, savings, CDs or money market accounts

Real estate market value

Car market value (Kelley blue book)

Investment accounts value

Fair market value of any other items of value you own

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 Liabilities

Mortgages remaining balances Student loans

Credit card debt

Car loans

Personal loans

Outstanding bills

Back taxes

Liens, judgments

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When you don’t take the time to review all of your assets and liabilities, it is hard to have a clear vision of your financials. Calculating your net worth is the best way to determine your financial health. Personal Capital and YNAB are free applications that you can use to track your net worth.  I have enclosed a net worth tracking spreadsheet at the bottom of this article in case you would prefer that approach.

If you have not done so yet, I encourage you to start there.

Knowing exactly where you are will help you determine how close you are to your goals, and how much you have to overcome to reach your financial objectives.

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Photo credit: Bich Tran

 

If you go through this exercise and find out that your net worth is higher than you anticipated, kudos to you. However, if you realize that you are not in as good of financial shape as you anticipated, it is never too late to change your habits and turn things around.

Your net worth can fluctuate, but your self-worth should only appreciate

Chris Gardner

Net Worth