After you finish school, report cards of your successes and failures in life don’t stop. Some come in the form of a ‘look‘ such as my doctor’s displeased face when my fat ass stepped on the scale the other day. Some are ‘verbally‘ presented to you, as in, when my wife told me that “we needed to talk” (translation: she talked and I listened to all the ways I was screwing up). And some come in the form of paper or electronic statements from your bank or other financial institutions.
The single most important report card is one that you actually create yourself – your statement of net worth. Take those paper and electronic statements mentioned above and smash them all together as a complete record of your financial health as of a specific point in time. It takes the value of all your assets (stocks, retirement accounts, home value etc) and subtracts out all of your liabilities (mortgages, credit card debts, car loans etc).
Creating and tracking your net worth on a periodic basis is one of the most honest things you can do for yourself. For starters, it sets the foundation about where you stand financially. Once you pull yourself together from from the shock and horror of seeing it for the first time, you can begin to establish short and long-term goals as well as action steps on how to go about achieving them. And the best thing about your net worth statement is that it doesn’t give a shit about how it looks. Now matter how hard you try to make it more appealing, the numbers don’t lie. Fudge your checking account balance all you want, you still don’t have any more money that what is actually in the account.
Publishing my net worth isn’t about bragging rights or to embarrass myself, but a step towards being more confident in talking about my financial situation and goals with other like-minded people. Come to think about, my net worth was primarily built by countless conversations with financial folks from all walks of life. Maybe these will inspire you to start your journey.
NET WORTH ARCHIVES:
- January: +$53,501.44 (Main Drivers: year-end bonus paid + 401k maxed-out w/employer full match)
- February: +$35,760.08 (Main Drivers: life insurance prem. paid-in, positive market movement and debt reduction)
- March: +8,950.85 (Main Drivers: life insurance annual dividends, PeerStreet principal payback and debt reduction)
- April: -$79,521.75 (Main Drivers: borrowed $40k from existing cash value to fund two new life insurance policies)
- May: +12,019.01 (Main Drivers: tax refund replenished savings, positive market movements and paid down CCs and made additional payment to Life Insurance loan)
- June: +2,497.97 (Main Drivers: increase in life insurance cash value, reduced credit card balance and made additional payment to Life Insurance loan)
- July: +119,306.79 (Main Drivers: bonus payment paid down life insurance loan which increased cash value + anniversary guaranteed growth from 2 policies)
- August: +13,641.80 (Main Drivers: cash value growth in life insurance policies and debt reduction. Market volatility continues given the political environment and Hurricane Harvey aftermath. Spending was noted to increase as well.)
- September: +12,358.12 (Main Drivers: market had a nice run up towards the end of the month and life insurance cash value continues to build slow and steady, as expected. Operating cash is decreasing while spending is increasing. Need to reign in on that a bit.)
- October: +18,586.96 (Main Drivers: market plus an increased focused on paying down CC balances.)