Happy spring! Oh my goodness, I thought it would never come!
My husband and I have spent the last week looking at hotels and flights for our trip to Greece that we have planned for September, so that’s my excuse for this post being fashionably late. The good news is that everything is booked – and the better news is that almost everything was covered by credit card points! After spending the last year spending very intentionally with specific credit cards, it was awesome to put those points to work and secure an almost-free two week trip to Athens and three Greek islands.
But more on that later, I promise! Right now I want to give you guys an update on our current net worth.
The first time I calculated our net worth was on July 15, 2017. We were almost a year into our mortgage-free journey, and I had just read The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. A major takeaway from that book was that if I am serious about building wealth and becoming a millionaire, I need to start consciously working to improve our net worth now, and the obvious first step is to track it. I signed up for free with Personal Capital, connected all of our financial accounts, and within a few minutes, I knew our net worth. You can view that first report here!
If you’re not sure what net worth is or how to track it, I’ll take a few moments to cover that information, and I’ll tell you all about Personal Capital. If you know the drill and just want to see this month’s numbers, feel free to keep scrolling!
Investopedia’s fancy definition is this – “Net worth is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. Net worth is a concept applicable to individuals and businesses as a key measure of how much an entity is worth. A consistent increase in net worth indicates good financial health; conversely, net worth may be depleted by annual operating losses or a substantial decrease in asset values relative to liabilities.”
To put it simply, your net worth is just the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
Assets may include your home, vehicles, investments, money in your bank accounts and cash. It can even include the value of your art, jewelry, furniture, etc., and as I was asked one time – yes, it can include the value of your guns! I don’t include any of those things when calculating ours, however, because I just don’t want to take the time to add up the value of each little thing we own.
As for a liability, it’s the amount of debt you owe on these things. My husband and I no longer have any debt, but you could take a look at January 2018’s report (which I may add is extremely short for some reason). This is the last month where we had a mortgage balance, so when calculating our net worth, I subtracted our balance of $7,945 from our home’s value of $144,000.
I have never calculated our net worth any other way than using Personal Capital. If you’re unfamiliar with this service, I’ll talk about it below.
Other than Debitize, this is the only financial tool I frequently use that I haven’t come up with myself (such as my free zero-based budget template). Some prefer using spreadsheets to track their net worth, but Personal Capital is so quick and easy to use that I’ve just never felt compelled to put one together. Plus it’s free!
Personal Capital is an app/service that updates your net worth upon sign-in by connecting to your bank accounts, investment accounts and even Zillow, though I found that Zillow’s estimated value of our home fluctuated wildly almost month-to-month. Connecting your accounts is optional, so this is not something you have to do if you don’t feel comfortable with it.
It is good to keep in mind that some companies do not allow third parties to have this sort of access to their information, and because of this, I have to log into my husband’s retirement account and manually update the value on Personal Capital. Also, to get a good idea of the value of your vehicles, I recommend checking kbb.com and manually updating those amounts when you log into Personal Capital.
They are now offering a refer-a-friend program for their free service, so it’s a great time to try it out. If you use this link and connect a qualifying investment account (taxable brokerage, 401k, IRA, 529, etc.) with a balance of over $1000 within 30 days of signing up, you and I both will receive a $20 Amazon gift card!
Alright, let’s check out our current numbers!
- Cash: $35,643
- Investments: $85,338
- House: $150,000
- Vehicles: $10,807
Net Worth: $281,788 (+$5,315 from last month)
Our net worth has increased by $44,774 since March of 2018, and it has increased by $87,307 since I first calculated it in July 2017. I love looking back and seeing our progress!
Most people don’t track their net worth every month like I do and choose to do it quarterly or every six months. Using Personal Capital turns this into a pretty passive process, but some people find logging into their accounts and manually tracking their net worth to be a somewhat therapeutic experience.
However you choose to do it, I highly suggest tracking your net worth if you’re not already. It’s so motivating to watch your numbers increase as you pay down debt and save money, and I really wish that I had started much sooner to see how far my husband and I have really come since getting married.
Just let me know if you have any questions about our net worth or if you need help calculating yours for the first time.
Thanks for reading!