Net Worth Methodology

You can see all of our Net Worth updates here. This post explains how we calculate that net worth.

Your net worth is the sum of all your assets (things you own that are worth monetary value) minus the sum of the debts you owe. Tracking your net worth is one of the most important things you can do financially, to see if you’re making progress month-to-month and year-to-year.

The formula is simple. Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth.

If your assets are greater than your liabilities, you have a positive net worth. If the reverse is true, your net worth is negative. Your goal should be to treat that debt like your hair is on fire and get rid of it ASAP. Then you’ll cross net worth zero, and then head to positive territory as you shoot towards FI.

We use and recommend NetWorthShare to track our net worth. It can email you a monthly reminder to update, if you desire.

Because of using a third party tool, there are some categories that we’ve never used (auto loan, for example). Here is a list of the categories, and a brief explanation for each.

Asset Categories:

  • Cash. This is literal cash we have on hand, as well as money sitting in cash form in bank accounts, savings accounts, etc.
  • Stocks. This is investments in equities that are not in retirement accounts.
  • Bonds. This is investments in bonds that are not in retirement accounts.
  • Annuities. This is where I record the value of our pensions.
  • Retirement. This is any retirement accounts–403(b), 457(b), Roth IRAs, etc.
  • Home. The value of our primary residence.
  • Other Real Estate. The value of our other real estate investments (rentals, notes, flips, etc.)
  • Cars. Vehicle(s) value(s). We don’t use this category.
  • Personal Property. A real estate note we hold long term and later our RV.
  • Other. The cash value of our life insurance policy.

Liability Categories:

  • Home Mortgage. The mortgage on our primary residence.
  • Other Mortgages. The combined mortgages on our rental properties.
  • Student Loans. The student loans we have.
  • Credit Card. The current balance on our credit cards.
  • Car Loans. Vehicle loan(s). We don’t use this category.
  • Other. Other liabilities. We don’t use this category.

Other things to note about the above:

  • The student loan is paid the minimum for low interest rates.
  • We don’t count vehicles such as our car, motorcycles, etc. (except later, our RV) or any other personal property as assets.

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