What's your financial health number? - Calculate Net Worth Pt. 1
Why calculate net worth?
I believe that doing so can help you get a handle on what your big, overall financial picture looks like. And a big picture view is what is often missing. The big picture can help us to find the beauty in budgeting. (It’s there. I promise!) We’re busy shuttling kids, cleaning, grocery shopping, budgeting, trying to make it all work. amiright?!
In its most basic definition, net worth is a person’s total assets minus debts. Assets are the things you own of value and debts are the things you owe.
This number, when I calculated it for the first time, became my reality check. I finally saw that debt number all tallied up – $100,000 in consumer debt and a total Net Worth of -$170,000! Yeah. You read that right. NEG. A. TIVE.
That was a crap day. I realized I was 30 years old, with a 1-year-old, a baby on the way, and nothing to show for anything. Shew. I tend to turn to anger immediately in situations of stress. While this isn’t very helpful with my personal relationships, it was great for my relationship with my finances. I knew if I wanted to change my net worth, I needed to change my behavior.
There are lots of programs that can give you an idea of your Net Worth. YNAB is the budgeting tool that we use and within the interface, it gives you a real time update of your Net Worth (at least the bank accounts and debts that you have linked to it!) – it links to all of your accounts, bank, and credit card accounts.
SIDENOTE: The one thing these programs don’t take into account is the equity that is potentially in your home. Since it’s not a real number until you actually sell your home and cash it out, this isn’t accounted for. I think it’s a good number to keep in mind, but not critical. Sometimes it makes sense to consider downsizing your home in order to help get yourself towards goals that may be more important to YOU.
This is why figuring out your values/goals (click below to get my FREE workbook to get you started!) is critical to making decisions that will affect your future. If your goal is to live in that house forever and see your grandchildren walk down the hallways, then it doesn’t make sense to cash it out!
Here’s how to figure out YOUR net worth!
STEP 1: WRITE IT DOWN!
Get out some paper, or a google sheet (whatever works for you!). List all of your debts. I mean ALL of them. The only way to really know where you are is to be really honest with this step. I’ve created a FREE downloadable worksheet to help you with this process. Download your FREE Net Worth Worksheet by clicking the button below!
*You may need to print out more than one worksheet because you have more debts or more assets than I’ve allowed for on the worksheet. Please fill out all the Worksheets you need (it’s cool. No judgement here)!
Personal Family/Friend Loan(s)
Home Equity Loan
Private Bank Loans()
STEP 2: ADD IT ALL UP
Add all of those debts together to get your DEBT TOTAL. Write down that big ‘ol number.
STEP 3: WRITE DOWN YOUR ASSETS
List all of your assets. List the current balance of each asset account.
Savings Accounts (or any other bank account)
Kids’ College Funds
Value of paid for vehicles (cars, boats, trailers, RV, etc)
(We’re not going to include home equity in this equation. Since it’s not money you can (or should) get your hands on unless you sell your house – we’re not going to include it. Like I said earlier, it’s a good number to have in mind should you WANT to sell your house and use that equity towards other goals that are more meaningful to you!)
STEP 4: ADD ALL YOUR ASSETS TOGETHER
Add all of those asset values together to get one ASSET TOTAL.
STEP 5: CALCULATE NET WORTH NUMBER
ASSET TOTAL (what you own) – DEBT TOTAL(what you owe) = Net Worth
STEP 6: INTROSPECTION & EVALUATION
Take a few minutes to see how you feel about your Net Worth. Be honest. How do you feel seeing that number? Disgusted? Proud? Neutral? Shocked?
Figuring out your net worth could leave you feeling one of two ways:
Really excited or really discouraged, maybe even disgusted, with your current financial state.
If you’re in the former, good for you – it’s a really nice place to be. Take a moment to fully bask in this accomplishment. A good idea at this point would be to write down how you’re feeling. Take out a journal, or a napkin, whatever you have and free write. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write down your feelings, write down future goals, write down what you’d like your Net worth to look like 5 years from now. Use these 10 minutes to reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t worked in getting you to your current financial state.
If you’re in the latter group – feeling disgusted and discouraged, while it’s OK to recognize disgust and really notice it in your body, it’s NOT OK to dwell and roll around in it. Feel your frustration. Learn from it. And then pull yourself out of the mud and move forwards. The way forward IS forward; not dwelling on what you should have done. You are a beautiful human being who is doing the work of noticing mistakes to create new patterns in the future.
Celebrate that. That is amazing and hard and you’re DOING IT! You’re here and you’re making a new plan in order to get the new result you want. You CAN do this!
I’m rooting for you!