As I count down the last few days of the year, there’s something I do that’s become a bit of a tradition. In fact, at the end of each quarter, I’ve grown to enjoy logging into all of my accounts to write down all of my account balances. Keeping track of asset account balances as they grow and watching debt payoff over time can be very motivating!
This year was particularly exciting and challenging since I started my own business without any other supplemental part-time employment. And yet despite having the least amount of income in a long time (so little that I’m unable to fund a Roth IRA this year like I usually do), I get to see how much our household net worth has increased compared to a year ago.
Net worth = Assets (savings, retirement, home equity) minus Debts (credit cards, mortgage debt, loans)
Like many others, tracking my net worth in my younger years involved mainly adding up all of my debts. When starting out, it’s not uncommon to have a more debts than assets — starting adulthood as a renter with credit cards, student loans, and auto loans. Don’t let that discourage you. As you continue to save in 401k accounts, build equity if you purchase a home, and pay down loan balances, your net worth will begin to go up.
At this point, I get to see the fruits of my labor. When I was in debt, directing as much as my income as possible to pay off credit cards and student loans, I did one thing right. I diligently saved for retirement. I thank my younger self for making long-term saving a priority so my assets today can grow by themselves in years like 2021 when I was not able to add much.
Do you keep track of your net worth over time? If you don’t already have a spreadsheet to track this information, you can download a copy of my worksheet at https://www.subscribepage.com/networth. I particularly like this worksheet because it helps me see how much I have in pre-tax, taxable, and post-tax asset categories. For a demo of the worksheet, check out this video: