Track your net worth!
Track your net worth regularly to develop valuable data about the longer-term impact of your financial habits. Net worth is the value of all of all your assets less any debt.
I use a spreadsheet(Google Sheet) to simply record my account balances on or around the 20th of each month. The formulas automatically tally everything up and produce a net-worth calculation. As you can see below, I exclude certain assets from my net worth calculation, like cars (depreciating assets) and college savings (basically a prepaid expense). I use the purchase price for any real estate as I think it’s simply speculative (and time-consuming) to estimate and factor current market value. Either way, the point is to simply track your net worth in a way that helps you learn and change your behavior as necessary to reach your goals. Intentionality!
August 2021 Net Worth
I tracked my net worth monthly for several years but have failed to update it since October 2020. So, this update shows almost a year of gains. Interestingly, my earliest entry is 10 years ago (August 2011), when my net worth was only $78,135. In 10 years, we’ve grown our net worth 12.7x or approximately a 29% annual return. Of course, a substantial portion of these gains is the result of our contributions to retirement and houses (i.e. employment) and not necessarily a 29% annual market return.
- Net Worth (including cars and college savings) is basically $1MM. Overall good progress but hopefully, we can accellerate the gains and growth over the next ten years.
- 401k growth appears substantial. My 401k increased $91,840 or 32.65%. This includes my contributions of approximately $19,000. So, the earnings may not be quite as good as it should since the S&P 500 is up from 3443 to 4441 or 29%.
- I only earned $10 on $6801 invested in a college fund. I shouldn’t be, but I’m scared to pull the trigger on anything in this market. According to stockchokers.com, I (my kid’s college fund) would have approximately $8,875 or up about 30% had I simply bought SPY.
- My cars are a year older but apparently worth 8% more. Thanks Joe! Note: I let these values float and input whatever Mint says they are worth.