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No, this isn’t a hypothetical or philosophical question. Have you ever actually sat down and calculated your net worth? To know where you are going, you have to know where you are starting from!
What is net worth?
Net worth is a simple calculation that give you a dollar number representing the value of your debts and assets. In the net worth calculation we call it assets and liabilities. Assets are something you own, and liabilities are something you owe!
It’s great to set goals, but if you don’t know where you are starting from, its harder to track how far along you are to reaching those goals. The first place to start is to figure out your net worth at this moment in time.
How to calculate net worth
If you are single, this is pretty easy to do. If you are married this means perhaps a sit down with your spouse to go over all finances and list everything together in one place.
You may prefer to do this on paper, in excel, or in a Google Sheet. I personally prefer google since it can be accessed anywhere and you can share documents/sheets with your partner. You can grab a pre-made Net Worth Tracker Spreadsheet here to get started.
Write down all your Assets – This means your Chequing, Savings, Bank balances, RSP’s, TFSA’s, Investments etc., and total them up. Include any large items of value. Car, jewelry, pension, anything else that has a monetary value that you own.
The next step is to list all of your liabilities. That is anything your owe. This can include your credit card balances, student loans, car loan, mortgage, line of credit balance, etc. and total those up.
Calculate net worth
Now that you have listed out all of your assets and liabilities. You do simple subtraction. Your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities.
This number is just your starting point. There is no judgement here, so don’t feel bad, no matter the number. For those of you with a mortgage, or students with loans, this likely to be a big scary negative number. Not to worry, it will diminish with time as you pay down your debts and save up more in your assets column.
Hopefully by doing this it will help you realize where you may need to prioritize. Do you have a lot of debt? Are you carrying balances on your credit cards? Are your savings on track? Do you have anything stocked away for retirement yet? have you set your financial goals for the short, medium and long term?
This exercise should help you get a clear picture of your financial situation at the moment. From this you can begin to build on your plans toward a debt free life and continue to build your wealth.
Tracking your progress over time is the only way to really make headway and see the progression from debt to wealth. Wishing you all a rich future life!
Find more posts like this in the Finance & Investing section of our blog!