We are all encouraged to go to the doctor regularly for our health check-ups (even though I’m sure many of us fail to heed this advice). When you go in for your physical your doctor will test your blood pressure, draw some blood, hit your knee with that rubber mallet (whatever that’s supposed to do), and talk to you about your diet and other lifestyle choices.
I believe that your net worth is the financial equivalent to your annual physical with your doctor. The only difference being, there is no “right” answer. The thing that matters is what direction it’s trending, and how fast it’s moving. Ideally, it’s going up, if it’s going down hopefully you have a good reason for that (in school increasing earning potential would be a good reason).
So how do you track your net worth? Lucky for you, it’s really easy, you add up all your assets (cash, investments, house, vehicles) and subtract your liabilities (credit card debt, mortgage, student loans, car loans)
It doesn’t matter what your net worth is today, positive or negative, it matters what direction it’s heading, and how fast. I let Mint.com track my Net Worth for me. I have been tracking it for 5 years and it’s awesome to see the progress I’ve made over a relatively short period of time. (Note: I refinanced a loan and accidentally deleted the old loan data, hence the random spike from about March to November of 2018, but you can still see the overall trend).
I have decided to track my Net Worth and Budget monthly for all the world to see! It’s definitely a scary feeling, putting yourself out there, it’s almost like walking around with just your underwear on.
My purpose is not to brag or gloat, but to open up the discourse around money. I honestly believe that many people spend more money than they should because they’re trying to keep up with friends who are also spending more than they should. Little do they know, they’re both broke! If we all more freely discussed finances I believe the current consumer indulgences would be mitigated.
So here’s to hoping for a brighter future about more open dialogue about money!