Calculating your personal net worth is the best way to know exactly what your starting point is, in any financial plan you develop. A personal balance sheet calculates your net worth by comparing your assets (what you own) with your liabilities (what you owe). The difference between the two is your personal net worth. Don’t be discouraged if your net worth is negative—keep in mind that this should be an accurate depiction of your financial situation. Setting goals is much easier once you know what your current net worth is.
Before you get started, pull together all of the information that you have available. You’ll need your latest bank statements, as well as the principal balance of any loans you have. Once you have all of that information available, start developing your balance sheet by listing all of your assets (financial and tangible assets) with the values.
The sum of all of those values is the total value of your assets. Your goal should be to continually increase your assets.
Next, you can look at your liabilities, which should be everything you owe. Here are some common liability categories:
- Remaining mortgage balance (Home loan)
- Car loans
- Student loans
- Any other personal loans
- Credit card/Overdaft balances
The sum of all of the money you owe is your liabilities. As you start to pay down your debts, your total liabilities will decrease.
The difference between your assets and your liabilities is your net worth. You can start to increase your net worth by decreasing your liabilities, increasing your assets, or by doing both! Make sure you continuously update your balance sheet—at least twice per year—to ensure that you are meeting all of your financial goals. For help calculating your net worth with a balance sheet, download this simple to use template by clicking below.