Financial Basics

Getting Organized

Take Control

Build Your Credit

Banking Basics

Taking the Next Steps

Determine Financial Goals

Creating a Budget

Building Your Career

Borrowing Basics

Investing for Your Future

Investing 101

Saving Strategies

Choose the Right Investment

Investing Online


Increase Your Earning Power

Tuning Your Career

Negotiating for Success

Changing Careers

Going Back to School

Starting Your Own Business

Smart Borrowing

Take Control of Your Debt

Paying for Major Purchases

Getting a Loan

Finance an Education

Managing Your Finances

What's Your Net Worth

Managing Daily Finances

Tax-Planning Strategies


Plan for Financial Success

Creating a Financial Plan

Achieving Short-Term Goals

Plan for Long-Term Goals

Retirement Planning Basics

Investing Wisely

Investing Considerations

What's Right for You?

Investing Techniques

Preserving Your Wealth

Reallocating Your Assets

Insurance Options

Wills and Trusts

Plan for Heirs

Gifting to Family & Charity

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What's Your Net Worth

Your net worth is simply what you own after subtracting what you owe. It's just basic math, but understanding your net worth is a critical first-step to realizing your financial goals. Our simple online worksheet can help you create a personal balance sheet in minutes.

The importance of net worth
Whether you're making big purchase plans or saving for your retirement, your net worth is crucial information. Here's why:

  • Getting a grasp on your real net worth is the first step in reorganizing and rebuilding your finances. If you are in debt, the important thing is to turn it around and start saving.
  • Before you can reach a financial goal, you need to know where you stand now. Your net worth is a reference point on your financial road map. Once you know your net worth, you can set a budget to reach your goals.
  • You'll be better able to protect your assets. Determining the worth of your valuables is not only necessary to figure your net worth, it also helps you get the proper insurance coverage.

On the plus side
Things in the "plus" column are your assets. For instance:

  • Home
  • Car
  • 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions
  • Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • Artwork
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles
  • Cash value of life insurance

Do not include a future inheritance; you can't count on it. The same goes for future paychecks. You only want to tally assets and debts you have right now.

If you want to be really accurate, subtract seven percent from the price you think your home is worth today for a broker's commission and other costs of sale. Art and collectibles would carry a higher commission.

On the minus side
Now, here are things that go in your "minus" column:

  • Car loan
  • Home mortgage
  • Student loans
  • IRS debt Credit card debt

Credit card debt is often overlooked, but it is every bit as real as a home loan and can be more dangerous to your financial health if you carry large balances from month to month.

Take action
If you find you're spending more than you're earning, make an action plan to control expenses and increase investments. Keeping more of what you make is the key to increasing your net worth.



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