Tag Archives: net worth

Money in the Bank

Last week I had a conversation with a coworker about how many of my other coworkers eat out every lunch. He said that it was something that he, as a husband and a father, just couldn’t afford to do. I replied that I didn’t feel I could afford it either, even with only having myself to support.

His response, “So you have money in the bank.”

I’ve never thought about it in those terms, but that’s exactly what not eating out meals has afforded me. When I was younger, I used to be just like my coworkers, eating out most meals. Sure, they weren’t anything fancy, but $5-15 each meal adds up very fast. Not to mention the types of food I was eating added to the 112 pounds that I’ve been diligently working to get back off me these last few months.

So instead of all those delicious, convenient meals, I have “money in the bank”. I am still eating pretty tasty fare that is as convenient as sticking today’s previously-homemade meal in the microwave for two minutes.

This conversation made me realize I needed to re-calculate my net worth. Sure enough, for the first time in my adult life, my net worth is larger than my annual income:

Ronnica's Net Worth

It’s excited to see that number grow as I continue to squirrel away money towards a future home purchase and even more long-term, for retirement. I still feel like I’m playing catch-up a bit from the time I spent in my 20s spending every dollar I made, but slowly the numbers are starting to work in my favor. That’s only going to continue to be the case as my money starts working for me, too. As Chris Hogan says, “Interest paid is a penalty; interest earned is a reward.”

Calculating My Net Worth

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.


Net Worth


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.