I’m a trained credit counselor, so the concept of “net worth” is not new to me.
For your review net worth is simply:
all assets – all debts = net worth
In my credit counseling days, I was too scared to calculate my net worth. I really didn’t want to know what it would say. I think I knew that it would be negative.
Sidenote: Let me pause right here. I know that “net worth” makes sense as a financial term, but it kinda bugs me. I don’t believe that true worth has anything to do with the number of zeroes in your bank account or how much you own.
I decided to calculate my actual net worth (financially speaking, of course) a few months ago. Thanks to the ease of mobile banking, I was able to go back and calculate my net worth at a few points over the past year as well.
While I’m not comfortable speaking about my net worth in raw dollar numbers, I will share my results as a percent of my current (annual) base salary.
My net worth just before I moved from North Carolina in April 2014 was almost 54% of my current salary. I’m sure that was the highest it had ever been at that time. Of course, it was greatly hindered by my $12,000 in student loans I still had at that time.
For most of the next 6 months, I was living on my savings, thus the huge trough in the graph. But since then, I’ve been able to get my net worth above where it was before I moved. I’m happy that it took just over a year after my move to get it back to that point. And since then, it keeps growing. As of my last calculation a few weeks ago, by net worth is at 63% of my annual salary.
While net worth isn’t everything, it is a measure of financial health that I will keep track of. I don’t have a goal net worth size: I don’t intend to be rich. I only want enough to support myself, own a urban homestead one day and to give generously as I go.