THERE’S ONLY ONE ACTION YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH YOUR MONEY AND THAT’S CONTROL.
It amazes me how many people want to know the net worth calculation of everyone else but themselves. It seems that unless you know you’re doing well financially seeing a net worth summary is pointless. Hardly the case, let me explain.
The first thing Mrs. CBB says to me when I bring her our monthly net worth calculation is,”How did we do this month?” Since I’m the one who completes the monthly net worth calculation I have to break the news to her whether our net worth went up or we took a hit.
The next question is always, why?
If the number decreased I get a sigh but if it increased she smiles which is likely the response from most people. Money and emotions can run high especially if you’ve invested lots or you grew up in a financially struggling household.
One thing I noticed is that no matter what the monthly net worth calculation displays she wants to know, Why? The notion that net worth must increase when you spend less and balance the budget is misleading. These are not the only financial aspects to which your net worth calculation relies on.
There’s a difference between liquid assets and investment assets that you just don’t want to touch just because the market has dipped. They can both increase, they can both decrease but only one of them has the key to your future.
With liquid you can spill the glass and then it’s empty and so you start with nothing again. For instance if you have $100 in the bank and spend it then it’s gone for good. You now have to work to earn money to replace the money you spent.
With an investment it’s bottled up and either goes up or down and explodes based on the market. That explosion can either be a good thing or a very bad thing. Leave it alone and over time it may fill back up again on its own if the markets correct themselves. You have options here that can make or break your financial portfolio.
The only downfall to calculating your net worth is that you get might get excited that it has grown one month and disappointment the next. Calculating your net worth can become addicting and depressing especially if you let it get to you emotionally.
Sometimes the reason our net worth calculation takes a dip is when we spend more money than we anticipated during the month. Those are the months that can be depressing but we can’t let numbers jolt our emotions to the point where we don’t care about the outcome.
How many times have you given up on something just because it wasn’t going the way you thought it would? Probably more than once even if you consider yourself not a quitter.
For instance if you find out that your net worth calculation was $5000 less than it was the month before you shouldn’t just accept that.
- Understand why it happened
- Can you do anything to prevent it from happening again?
Monthly net worth calculation
Why would anyone go to the trouble of completing a monthly net worth calculation?
This isn’t just any net worth calculation this is your personal net worth calculation so yes it’s important. Your magic number is a testament to just how well you’re doing financially. It may take some initial work to set up your numbers in a net worth spreadsheet but after that it’s a matter of data insertion.
A recent blog post written by fellow Canadian personal finance blogger Mark Seed over at My Own Advisor, “If you’re so smart why aren’t you retired?” it reminded me why I complete a monthly net worth calculation. It’s not about being smart it’s about being consistent and learning from your mistakes.
Looking back, had I not invested in costly financial products for about 10 years too long, had I not tinkered with my portfolio, had I been more engaged in the financial process and been ultra-frugal I probably could have reached semi-retirement by now.- Mark Seed (My Own Advisor)
Your monthly net worth calculation offers you numbers and these numbers are important especially if you’re looking for help with your portfolio. Like a budget your monthly net worth calculation is your overall worth which you can build from.
For example if you find that you are consistently paying down your mortgage with extra payments you will see the impact to your net worth. This option is what you need to continue doing so you find ways to add even more money until you finally pay it off in full. That’s a bit of guidance and motivation rolled into one. Both equally as important.
I remember when we were paying extra on our mortgage and seeing the numbers decrease how it made me feel. Those feelings would guide me in the debt free direction because I knew that by eliminating our debt was step 1 in our progress towards financial freedom.
Now that we own our house step 2 in our progress towards financial freedom based on retirement savings and other investments. Along the way our monthly net worth calculation offered us guidance about how well our decisions were impacting not only our emotional state but our financial state.
You must understand your money and who’s doing what with it, including yourself. Easy enough to say but when you hand your cash over to a financial advisor you can only pray they are doing their job right. Not everyone has the will to learn how to invest on their own but what you can do is ask questions and seek answers.
Like Mark who shares some of his past mistake and the fixes he’s put in place he has only been able to do this by understanding his financial position. Mark not only found out how much it was costing his portfolio to pay for investment management fees he realized that along the way he made a few mistakes.
As a novice investor in my 20s I was very guilty of chasing the hottest products. So, not only did I pay sizeable money management fees (see #1 above) for my mutual funds but I also chased the performance of those funds. This was a massive double-whammy.- Mark Seed (My Own Advisor)
When you’re investing money, paying debt and saving for a rainy day a monthly net worth calculation is somewhat of a financial bible, one that you can change based on the results. This is how you can create fixes for areas that you aren’t happy with or have found to cost you more money than you care to spend.
Even though some months can be depressing if you find your net worth calculation dip below the previous month this should come to you as an opportunity to improve or push the understanding envelope just a bit. Take the good with the bad and motivate yourself about the reasons why you want to track your net worth. It’s not just about growing your net worth, it’s learning about why it’s not growing and fixing it.
Believe in yourself, Believe in your money, Believe in your future
Overall, if you really want to take your money seriously and start the new year off right start tracking your monthly net worth calculation and watch your motivation, understanding and guidance improve if not soar.
How has your monthly net worth calculation affected your guidance, motivation and understanding of your financial health? Share your comments below.
Our Net Worth 2016
RESP Contribution 2016: $208.33 a month.
Changes to our Net Worth Calculation in December
We had a good month in both Income and Investments. Working a lot of hours pays off in terms of income but I don’t plan on working a lot of hours for the rest of my life. As our investment portfolio grows then so should our returns every month.
Theoretically if we have enough invested by the time we retire, we should be able to fund our retirement from monthly gains in the investments. This is assuming we don’t see another severe financial crash.
Just because we make a sizeable income doesn’t mean we’re going to go crazy and buy a mansion. We’re working towards our retirement. If we can set up our retirement fund earlier rather than later we can take advantage of the compound interest or growth in this case.
Every time I get an opportunity to contribute to a works pension I jump all over it. Most companies will match your contributions so essentially you’ve instantly made 100%, why would you not take advantage of that?
I’ve seen too many commercials trying to sell the reverse mortgage lately. For some people it’s a opportunity, but not one I’m interested in taking. I don’t mind going without now so I can be comfortable tomorrow, the problem is lately, too many people want it all now and aren’t planning for further down the road.
Understanding Net Worth
What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?
Net Worth is a snap shot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets. In simple terms it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up. Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.
If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do. I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!
There are tonnes of other free printable lists offered at Canadian Budget Binder to help you achieve some of those financial goals and build your net worth. Now determine just how much net worth you actually have and go from there.
Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Determining net worth
Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework. Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.
Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
Calculate net worth
Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?
Now you can stop asking yourself the question, how do you find out your net worth? Why? It’s easy to determine. We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track. Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly. It’s really up to you and how informed you want to stay when it comes to your financial health.
Net Worth is essentially an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures. Some people don’t include vehicles like we do or they may leave out the assets inside the home like we have. It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on.
Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)
Why you should set financial goals
Below is our progression chart towards our goal of a million dollars net worth which should happen according to our net worth calculations by Mid August 2017 (this year).
Setting goals are the only way we work towards achieving what we want to get done as a couple around the house and in our financial life. I know that without them we would be flying by the seat of our pants which wouldn’t work for us.
I find it’s much easier being held accountable when I share what we need to do with all of you. Yes, my wife refers to the list when she asks what I plan to do next. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for me or not.
In the graphical representation above, I have used excel to provide a trend line prediction based on the past years monthly net worth figures.
Using figures from our actual net worth gains over the past 12 months (the solid blue line) it has suggested that by the end of this year (2016) we should be around $900,000.00. We fell short of this goal by $9000 which is perfectly fine as it was only an estimated goal based on current financial trends. This can change over the course of the year and is only a prediction based on known historical figures from our finances.
According to the chart, we should hit the million mark in or around August to September 2017.
This is nice to know but anything can happen over the next year. Hopefully with some careful planning we can achieve this goal and go beyond it.
Do you set financial goals for the year?
Our financial numbers
When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey. These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others target goals.
We don’t care how much money others make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition. I hope our experiences perhaps will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.
Different financial paths
Not everyone has the same path in life. Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.
Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or was injured on the job etc. but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.
Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too. Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.
Focus on you and don’t let the evil eye of money jealousy or keeping up with the Kardashians cloud your vision. No one cares about your money as much as you do so don’t waste your energy trying.
The only reason people accumulate wealth is because they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery. The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.
Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there. Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.
I urge you to be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements, if you want that to happen.
Net worth updates 2016
Below you can click the links to read previous months net worth updates 2016 to see how we made out following our own financial rules.
In the last year since November 2015 our net worth according to our figure has grown $
December 2016 $ – December 2015 $ = +$
- November/December 2015
- January 2016
- February 2016
- March 2016
- April 2016
- May 2016
- June 2016
- July 2016- Oops looks as if I missed this month.
- August 2016
- September 2016
- October 2016
- November 2016
That’s all for this months net worth update but please check in at the beginning of February 2017 to see how we made out in January 2017 and what has happened to our finances since.
Remember: “It’s Not About How Much Money You Make It’s How You Save It“
Check out our past actual Monthly Budget Updates to see how much money we earned and where the money went for the month.