At the end of this article, there is a link to download the net worth tracking spreadsheet template for Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) It’s completely free for personal use.
What is Net Worth?
Net worth is the most common measure of wealth. It is the value of all assets, subtract the total of all liabilities. You can think of it as the combination of what you own and what you owe. Every person, business, corporation and country have a net worth.
An asset is anything of value, it ranges from the cash in your bank account to the television in your living room. Liabilities are anything that you owe. Some examples include auto loans, mortgages and credit card balances.
When talking about high net worth individuals, it’s common for people to get confused. For example, Bill Gates has a net worth of about $110 billion.
That does not mean he has $110 billion sitting in his bank account. All of Mr. Gates’s assets subtract his liabilities equal to that figure. That is accounting for a large range of things like stocks, real estate, business ownership and more.
Why Track Your Net Worth
Knowing your net worth is the most important way to understand your overall financial health. It’s looking at the big picture of your finances. Your net worth looks at everything and doesn’t just focus on one area.
If you don’t take a step back to evaluate your assets and debt, you may think your situation is better or worse than it actually is. Tracking your net worth puts your finances into perspective. Without perspective, you can lose sight of your goals and easily get off track.
By tracking your net worth, you’re able to monitor your progress. When you can visually see yourself make progress, it amplifies your motivation. If you are falling behind or not progressing quick enough you’ll know about it. If you don’t track your net worth, you won’t ever know if there is a problem that needs your attention.
Knowing your net worth will encourage you to eliminate debt. When you can look at your liabilities, you’ll have a figure that you can start reducing. Each time you make payments, you can watch your net worth go up.
Net worth is more important than income. People tend to focus on how much they make but ignore their actual net worth. Does it matter if you make $200k a year if your liabilities outweigh your assets? Not really. Once you track your net worth, you can begin putting your income to work.
You are more likely to spend your money wisely if you keep track of your net worth. Again, knowing your net worth can be very motivating. You will start to think more about how you spend and invest your money.
You’ll be more excited about saving money just by tracking this simple but important financial metric.
How to Evaluate Your Net Worth
By way of illustration let’s do a simple calculation to determine someone’s personal net worth. For this example, the individual will be named John. John owns a home worth $175k, has a 401k balance of $50k and a bank account balance of $10k. John owes $100k on his mortgage, $7k on his auto loan and has $25k in student loan debt.
Let’s add up his assets:
- Home $175,000
- 401k $50,000
- Bank account $10,000
Total assets = $235,000
Now let’s add up his liabilities:
- Mortgage balance $100,000
- Auto loan $7,000
- Student loans $25,000
Total liabilities = $132,000
John’s net worth is assets ($235,000) minus his liabilities ($132,000) which equals $103,000. In order for John to have his net worth in cash, he would have to sell his home and liquidate his 401k.
Your net worth can vary depending on the market value of your assets.
Tips on Using the Spreadsheet
The spreadsheet is designed to be a simple and effective way to track your net worth. There are sections to enter all of your assets and your liabilities. You can rename the assets/liabilities and customize the spreadsheet to your liking. It includes a monthly and yearly line chart to help visualize your progress.
Here is a look at the main tracker, just update your assets and liabilities each month and you’re good to go! Once the year is over, enter your total for December’s net worth in the yearly chart section. You can copy the sheet to start tracking the new year or simply clear out the previous data.
With the included line charts you can watch your net worth go up or down each month as well as each year!
You can easily delete or add years to the spreadsheet. By default, the year chart starts in the year 2020 and ends in the year 2050.
Download Link and Final Thoughts
By tracking your net worth, you’ll see first hand how your financial decisions affect your bottom line. Budgeting and tracking your expenses is great, but without knowing your net worth, you won’t get the whole picture.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to track your net worth, you don’t even need to have a positive net worth. Anyone can benefit from using this spreadsheet. It doesn’t matter what your current financial situation is, you can still keep track of your net worth, and you definitely should!
While net worth is an important financial metric, it isn’t what life is all about. In the end, its just numbers, so don’t get too carried away but don’t completely disregard it either.
Start tracking your net worth, and you will see the true impact of your hard work.
Click the link below to download the spreadsheet for free!