When it comes to financial management of your money there is no excuse about not knowing why you are in debt, besides the obvious.
Calculating personal net worth is a controversial topic in the personal finance world only because everyone calculates their worth a little different.
Some people may add liquid assets such as “stuff” they have acquired over the years as well vehicles and their primary residence. Others may not.
Financial management starts now
Whether you hire someone to manage your finances or you do all the leg work and management yourself you know that this task never ends. Money will always be a mission on the monthly “To-Do List” no matter how rich or poor you are.
It’s been years now that my wife and I have been calculating our estimated personal net worth but we never quite gave much thought to the motivational aspects of knowing “What am I worth?”. What I mean is how taking charge of our finances have influenced our mindset.
Financial management of our assets and liabilities didn’t come into play until we bought our first house together after we were married BUT we could have, should have, done it sooner.
What is financial management?
It’s exactly what you think it means, managing your money. If you don’t manage your money and I don’t mean just watching what goes in and out of your bank account you should really think about taking your finances a step further.
If you don’t know how to incorporate financial management into your money diet then talk to a personal finance expert. I’m not talking a random blogger like myself but I mean actually finding someone who is a trained professional who can help you get on track with your numbers.
I received a wonderful email from a CBB reader last month a day after posting our May personal net worth update on the blog. What I learned that day was that although some people may balk at the use of a family budget or calculating personal net worth for some it is the stimulus they need to succeed.
I’ve always been an advocate of the budget obviously given the name of this blog but I know that there are many ways to calculate how much money you are bringing in and spending every month without using the traditional budgeting formats.
That being said, here is his email.
Dear Mr. CBB,
I’m a huge fan of your budget and personal net worth updates and I just wanted to say thank-you for giving me the push to get my debt under control.
I started reading your blog because I never did calculate my personal net worth nor did I budget BUT I had debt. That’s right, had debt.
I’m in my early 30’s now, single and I do have a mortgage but what I no longer have is my credit card debt of roughly $20,000. Why? Well, I decided that since you were doing so well financially that there had to be a benefit to the financial management of my money.
My debt was lingering for a few years now and it’s been eating away at me the more I educate myself about personal finance. I believe that education is the key for most people but in the past I’d just turn a blind eye to my bank account.
My concept was earn the money, pay the bills, earn the money, pay the bills but not any longer. It took me a good year to pay off that $20,000 but I’m now the proud owner of a zero balance credit card and I love it!
I took what I’ve learned from your blog and put my numbers to work for me. Without seeing my personal net worth numbers every month and using a budget I don’t think I would have that debt paid off today.
I don’t know if you will share this with your fans but if you do all I can say is I was able to motivate myself by decreasing debt by posting my personal net worth on the wall next to my computer.
I know it may seem odd but some people post photos of themselves on the refrigerator when they want to lose weight so it does work if you are so inclined to make it work. The concept of posting it next to my computer was to deter me from online shopping where lots of my debt came from.
In between studying for my degree I would take a break and browse the web looking for stuff I thought I needed. Boy was I wrong. Although I wasn’t able to turn all of my “stuff” back into cash I was able to sell a good portion of it.
Anyways, that’s my story and I no longer have any debt besides my mortgage and I hope others get encouraged to take the time to do what I’ve done.
I’m a happy guy now because I don’t have to hide if I’m on a date and the woman asks me about money and debt because you know what, they all do at some point. I wouldn’t want it so I don’t blame them for asking.
Thanks and have a great day,
I don’t normally post reader questions or emails in this post but I was so elated to hear how you were able to motivate yourself with numbers.
It’s amazing how strong finances can tug at our wallet and without some system in place everything can quickly turn into a financial nightmare.
I’m sure other fans who read your post above will seriously consider tapping into their money habits to see what’s going and find ways to make improvements.
I know from experience that money never ends even if you win the lottery or get that hug pay raise. We will never stop owing money to someone and we will always need money to survive in some fashion or another. Unless of course you live in the wild and off the earth your financial management should be a subject high on the priority list.
Well done mate and thanks again for the email.
Has calculating your personal net worth or budget motivated you in any way to pay off your debts? If so, I want to know! Email me or leave a comment on this post.
Our net worth 2015
RESP Contribution 2015: $208.33 a month.
What Happened in June?
What a difference a month makes. To go from almost a $20,000 gain to just scraping in at a $1,500 gain in the space of 4 weeks. It just goes to show you that investments can have ups and downs, but it’s the long term view we are interested in.
I haven’t had much opportunity to keep up to date with the latest news regularly but I do know that the big financial story was Greece this month. The markets took a hit because the run up to Greece paying back money to the IMF sent the markets into a panic.
The statement above showing our Net Worth numbers indicates an increase in Pensions and RRSP’s this month and is due to us taking money from the emergency fund and using it to take advantage of tax reducing investments. You can see an almost identical drop in the cash and emergency savings section.
This month also saw us spending most of our monthly income too. Most of the income this month went in the housing category. With a property tax bill to pay for plus the materials for projects around the house and garden the category swallowed up quite a chunk of spare cash with would have otherwise banked this month.
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… what you need to do is determine just how much net worth you actually have and go from there….
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 goals
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 to be 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 below, I have used excel to provide a prediction based on the past years monthly net worth figures.
Using figures from our actual net worth gains over the past 12 months (the red line) it has suggested that by the end of this year we should be at approximately $700,000.00.
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 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.
We all have 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 Joneses 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 2015
Below you can click the links to read past 2015 net worth updates to see if we were on target or if we struggled with some of our numbers.
Since we are just starting off the 2015 year this is the first net worth update for the year I will start below with the end report for 2014 for those of you that missed it.
In the last year since June 2014 our net worth according to our figures has grown $102,940.13
June 2015 $695,739.42 – June 2014 $592,799.29 = +$102,940.13
That’s all for this month’s net worth update but please check in at the beginning of August 2015 to see how we made out in July 2015 and what has happened to our finances since.
Do you track your net worth? Share your net worth updates with CBB! You don’t have to give your name just a bit about yourself and what you are worth.
Remember: “It’s Not About How Much Money You Make It’s How You Save It“