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Reviewing My Net Worth

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It's been a long time since I calculated my net worth - July 2008 to be specific. Why did I stop calculating it then? There were two main reasons:

  • The big stock market drop - Things had dropped so much that it was depressing. The fall of housing prices also played heavily into it as I count the equity of a home that I own (umm, I mean the bank owns, I'm just a small partner). For those who are new to this blog, I don't live in the home anymore as my wife got a better job opportunity on the other side of the country. I didn't sell the home at a loss. So it's a poor investment property until the market gets a lot better.
  • It had gotten boring - I know that sounds like an excuse, but if your income and expenses don't change much, month-to-month, your net worth is going to float along with whatever current investments you have. In the first 6 months of 2008 my net worth changed less that 0.5% in either direction. It's kind of silly to write a post about that every month.

So why now?

  • I had just finished up 6 months of contracting - I was making fairly good money for a good part of it, and it's helped me combat some of the losses in the stock market. Though I still have some money coming in to me.
  • I hadn't done it in over a year - Instead of doing it too often, I'm not doing it often enough. Perhaps I should get on a quarterly schedule.
  • I had just finished up 6 months of contracting - I'm going to use the same reason twice. Without that contract job bringing in constant money, I back to earning by making money online. I need to evaluate where I stand financially and make a plan from there. Figuring out my net worth seems like a natural place to begin planning - and making sure what I'm doing is enough to get me to my goals.

So when I was doing my net worth, I found that I had about $10,000 than last year... going from around $212K to $202K. That doesn't seem to be that good a number for someone who made good money for 6 months. I wish I had a better idea of how much of that money is still on it's way in. I had been a little Lazy with copying the timesheets. I'd estimate to be around $30,000 though.

With a wife making good money, and having health care, and $202K to my name, I think I'm relatively okay to begin this journey of making money online again. Before I really make that case, I'm going to have look at my expenses and see what I really need to cut back on.

Posted on September 21, 2009.

This post deals with: ... and focuses on:

Net Worth

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17 Responses to “Reviewing My Net Worth”

  1. “So it’s a poor investment property until the market gets a lot better. ”

    Until the market gets a lot better, or UNLESS the market gets a lot better?

    :)

  2. My gut feeling is that some of these housing markets are not going to “recover” to pre-crash values at any point in the near future. The tightening of credit is going to take some buyers out of the market (or push them down a tier). The days of no-money-down, no documentation required, interest-only, adjustable rate mortgages may be behind us for good.

    Hopefully that’s not the case for your property.

  3. NCN says:

    It’s always difficult for me to calculate “net worth”. I know the value of my retirement portfolio and the cash in the bank, but the numbers get “fuzzy” when I think about property and possessions. Like you, it’s been a while since I took a good hard look, probably due to the fact that retirement took such a hit last two years.

  4. Lazy Man says:

    Kosmo, I got 25 years left on my mortgage. Hopefully that counts as in the “near future.”

    NCN, it does get fuzzy with property and possessions. I feel you just have to take a stand and pick one way and stick with it. Personally, I count them both as they have value. If they were to disappear, the financial value of my assets would go down.

  5. MoneyEnergy says:

    I hear you about it being boring looking at the same numbers month in and month out:) I’ve taken more of a liking to comparing my passive income each month, that motivates me more than networth itself. Whatever keeps you going, though!

  6. @ Lazy – well, if you ever go public with your identity, the value of your house will go through the roof, due to your celebrity status.

  7. Lazy Man says:

    MoneyEnergy,

    I also post my passive income each month. Though I call it alternative income as it’s not exactly passive.

    Kosmo,
    How about if I include my identity for anyone on here who wants to buy my condo.

  8. A statement and then a question:

    Regarding reasons to ignore your net worth, if you don’t assess the damage you won’t know that to do to repair it.

    If you don’t regularly monitor your net worth, what metric do you use to assess your financial progress? (Please don’t say your credit score.)

  9. Lazy Man says:

    When I review my net worth, I typically go through a processes of loading about 15 online accounts where my money is. Aggregating all the information is not necessary. As long as you are doing the best you can and making the right financial choices – then you repairing it.

    I have been using something closer to the positive side of cash flow (earnings). I already know how to live within my means.

  10. My financial situation isn’t too complex but I’ve found that online tools like Yodlee MoneyCenter and Mint can really help track your net worth easily. I’ve been lazy about doing it manually myself but I’ve been able to keep an eye on it with these tools. I’ve got 20+ online accounts they track.

    Anyways I just wrote a blog post (see website) on the same subject (not checking net worth often) so I thought I’d mention it.

  11. Oh, and I searched your site and saw that you have an old Yodlee account and such already. You mentioned prosper and lending club and other complex accounts, but Yodlee does handle those two and many others I wouldn’t have thought.

  12. Jesse says:

    I am not anonymous on my blog and I tried initially to keep up with net worth posts and such but I felt nervous about it every time. Eventually the nerves and the process of calculating everything (some things I have don’t show up in any money management software so have to be calculated manually) just killed this off for me. Maybe I will just limit it to a once a year net worth post.

  13. Appreciate the full disclosure. You used to have a nice box at the top right hand side of this site that showed your net worth in neon lights. I miss it. I guess you took it out because you were no longer tracking it for a while?

    I haven’t tracked mine in a while too because it was somewhat depressing. Imagine both me and my spouse trying to make money online during a sinking market and you’ll know why I have been averse to plotting my net worth. ;)

  14. Lazy Man says:

    It’s coming back. It didn’t work in my new theme. I just need to make it fit in this older theme, which I expect to happen next week.

    It would be weird to bring it back before I started tracking this again.

  15. I think reviewing once’s networth once or twice a year is good enough. Thanks for sharing!

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