When I start a financial class one thing I want people to think about is how much they are worth. What is their Net Worth? Unsurprisingly, many people really do not know their Net worth. It gets them to think. Let’s think about our Net Worth.
Keeping track of Net Worth is one thing that can help you accomplish many financial goals.
You can track your regular Net Worth and even track your liquid net worth to see how much you need to hit early retirement.
Are you in debt? Do you have a negative Net Worth or a positive Net Worth? Does looking at your ever disappearing bank account stress you out? If you answered yes to the last question it is time to change how you look at things.
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My Net Worth:
I did not start really tracking my Net Worth until April of 2020. The thought of it seemed quite daunting.
My tool of choice was Personal Capital. It is a great tool to see how much is in your accounts, and it calculates your Net Worth.
Since I am an expat, it is quite difficult to track the money that is in my foreign bank account.
So I did it the old fashion way, I went to a finance blog that had a cool excel sheet like Budgets are Sexy, downloaded it, modified it, and now I use it for my purposes. If you are interested in it, here is a link to that post with links for that excel sheet.
Using this excel sheet has helped with tracking the true Net Worth. I still enjoy Personal Capital, but sometimes I just need some better numbers like seeing how I have decreased or increased from month to month.
How to come up with a Net Worth:
Coming up with your Net Worth number is not that hard. Basically, you will take your assets minus your liabilities, and boom a Net Worth Number.
This number will be the base for you to start thinking about where you need to go.
Sometimes this number may look bad as in it is in the negative. Do not fret, life is long and over time that number will become more positive and larger.
Assets are the things that are worth money. If you own a house that would be considered an asset.
Investments, cash in a bank account, real estate and anything else that produces income would be considered an asset. Since I do not own a house, I count the cash and investments that I own into my asset column.
Liabilities are the items that cost money. A mortgage will cost you money every month. It is debt that you own.
Student loans is a type of debt that will put a negative damper on your finances. Even credit card debt will be a negative.
I use credit cards to travel with, but since Mrs. FE and myself have not traveled recently we have not incurred too many transactions. That is a great thing, but I do love points and traveling.
With credit cards we always pay them off at the end of the month, and do not accrue any unwanted interest.
Assets-liabilities=Net Worth #
First, Let's start with your number
Let's now take your assets minus the liabilities and create that Net Worth number.
This is your starting point. The Net Worth number will help guide you through your journey. I have posted my Net Worth so I too can track my financial journey.
Compared to other people
Let’s now take a look at how your worth is compared to others.
In the book, the Millionaire Next door, Thomas J. Stanely talks about accumulators of wealth.
He gave some formulas to help us figure out how we are doing. These formulas are not true to exactly how you are doing financially, but it gives a number to help you figure out some goals to be more efficient.
There are three categories. There is the Under Accumulator of Wealth(UAW), Average Accumulator or Wealth(AAW), and the Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth(PAW).
Each one is different, and it categorizes people in areas to show how people spend and budget their money.
You will need that Net Worth number to help you with this.
What I want you to do is to first take your annual income and multiply it by your age. Next divide that number by 10. This is the AAW number.
(Annual Income x age)/ 10= AAW
To find the UAW, you take the AAW number and divide it in half.
To find the PAW number you take the AAW number and multiply it by 2.
AAW# x 2
Use the Numbers to make goals.
Take these numbers and figure out where you are around. Then make some goals to achieve.
The first time I saw this I knew that I was an under accumulator of wealth. It took me 30 years of my life to truly figure out investing. Now, I am playing catch up. It is truly intriguing looking at these numbers and seeing where you can be.
I take a look at these numbers and my Net Worth and try to figure out a good goal to set in order to achieve. Who knows, maybe you want to be a millionaire. We all have different goals in mind, but once you have a base you can achieve your financial goals.
What is your Net Worth? Have you ever thought about figuring it out?
” Spend less than you make, stay out of debt, and invest the rest”
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.