What is my net worth and why does it matter?
You may think that calculating net worth is only important to bigwig CEOs who are funding flights to space. But really, it gives you a good snapshot of where you are and what you should focus on to meet your financial goals.
At its simplest, net worth is the difference between your assets and your liabilities – the difference between what you own and what you owe.
Your assets include things like:
- your home and other real estate,
- bank accounts,
- retirement funds,
- jewelry and collectibles with cash value.
The liabilities you will need to account for include things like:
- your mortgage,
- student loans,
- credit card debt,
- medical bills,
- other bank loans.
How do I find out my net worth?
Tally up your assets and your liabilities, then subtract your total liabilities from your total assets. There are many calculators out there that can help you with the math.
Once you’ve calculated your net worth, the question becomes: why is it important?
Why does it matter?
Your net worth is a representation of your current financial standing. If it is negative, that is you owe more than you own, this can be a jumping off point to create budgets, influence your spending habits, motivate you to pay down debt, and save or invest more wisely.
If it is positive that doesn’t mean you can ignore spending and saving strategies. You want your net worth to grow, so make sure you plan and budget for big purchases along the way.
Your net worth is like the stock market – it will fluctuate, but it’s the overall trend that is important. You should see it rise over time as you pay down debt, build equity in your home, and acquire more valuable assets.
The bottom line
We suggest doing an annual review focusing on increasing assets and reducing debt. Frequent review of your financial goals keeps them top of mind. For specific strategies and to discuss your unique needs, talk to an Assante advisor today.