A personal net worth is the difference between your assets and liabilities: things that you own less things that you owe. If it is positive, you’re on the right track. Else, you need to do something different.
Tracking your net worth is a critical step towards achieving your financial freedom. The term is quite intimidating but let’s make it simple anyway. In this post you would learn about my personal net worth in June 2015.
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Why Track Your Net Worth?
Net worth is being used as a tool to measure the wealth of a person. Say, Bill Gates has a net worth of $79.3 billion. It means he has more assets (cash, investments, businesses) to outweigh his liabilities (loans, mortgage, debts). The surplus of his assets in his liabilities makes him wealthy that it doesn’t require him to work anymore if he wishes not to.
The end in mind is to have a high net worth as a person. Personal assets should be higher (in value) than liabilities.
The purpose of tracking our net worth is to ensure that our assets are continuously growing while liabilities are maintained or reduced. But in reality as income increases, liabilities do. Thus the only way to increase net worth is to accumulate more assets, not to reduce expenses. As they say, the buttonhole is proportional to the size of the button.
Assets and Liabilities
Before we roll up our sleeves and do the calculation, let us classify the entries that we can add in our assets and liabilities columns.
For assets, list all of the things that you own including but not limited to cash, business, bonds, stocks, savings, retirement, emergency funds. To make it simple, I do not include physical assets like house, automobile, jewelries although you may do so if you want.
Liabilities or debts include mortgage, student loans, credit cards, personal loan, auto loans, mobile plans and all other debts that you owe including the interest rates.
My Net Worth as of June 2015
This is not a bragging room. I am showing the actual figures (as accurate as I can) to be TRANSPARENT as much as possible, INSPIRE you to also track your net worth and SUPPORT one another in winning the game of investing. I’d be more than happy to hear your questions, comments or even strategies.
So here’s the net worth calculation. Prepare a tissue, you might puke when you see this :)
Emergency Fund: 10,756.00
Savings – Cooperative A: 12,582.58
Savings – Cooperative B: 11,660.15
Stock Market Shares: 46,927.94
Life Insurance: 10,800.00
Index Fund: 9,965.54 Total Assets: 131,494.40
The cash and emergency fund that I have is taken from my monthly salary and accumulated over the years. Cash is for my primary needs: food, clothing, rent and other basic necessities. Emergency fund is only used when I am (or someone) is in “dire” need.
My two savings are automatically deducted from my monthly salary. Savings A is Php 1,000 per month (Php 500/payday) while Savings B is Php 500 per month (Php 250/payday). Auto-deduction is really a good way of saving because you don’t really feel the pain since you will only spend what’s left in your income. It’s like stealth savings since you are not doing the physical deposit of money.
Stock market shares are my investment in the Philippine stock market thru COLFinancial. Although currently I am losing by 23%, I am still optimistic to earn returns in the future. Life insurance is not just an investment for my beneficiaries but an investment savings as well. My annual premium is Php 10,800 payable in 5 years. Thereafter, I have the option to withdraw my money (earning with interest) or leave it there and grow more. Nevertheless, I can withdraw it anytime I want.
My index fund is the latest investment vehicle I undertook as a result of my not-so-good performance in the stock market. What index fund does is it mimics the performance of Philippine Stock Exchange indexes. The funds (of investors) are managed by a Fund Manager and is invested equally to Top 30 public companies in the stock market.
So Why Do I Have This Net Worth?
Without looking at my liabilities, you would think that I am doing very very well. Not really. That is just the tip of the iceberg.
Yes, I have a positive net worth. It is okay but not that good. Hence, don’t be deceived with a big asset unless you see the liabilities (whole picture).
This is the importance of tracking your net worth, you will see your financial condition when you sell all your assets and pay all your debts. Will you still survive or you will have nothing in the end?
My Action Plans to Improve My Net Worth
Of all my debts, I need to repay my credit cards first. Here’s why: credit cards impose the highest interest rates! They are sneaky and nasty! Thus, I need to pay all my credit cards above other debts.
Close the least needed and lowest credit limit card. Currently, I have 3 credit cards. While it is a good advantage to have multiple cards to increase your total credit limit, you will be more tempted to spend more and annual fees will eat your money out. Thus, it is convenient and economical to retain the two most important cards.
My friend agrees that I will pay my debt in installment basis. I’m very blessed with this person. Hence, I will pay Php 4,000 every month and pay off my debt next year :)
My mobile phone is not a want but a need. My old phone has been with me for 2 years and it serves me well not until 2 weeks ago when a major defect started to appear. When charging, the phone seems to increase its volume always even if you don’t move anything. It’s distracting especially in the office. So I had no choice but to buy a new iPhone 6 :)