Life Times Newsletter

Winter 2011
Vol. 13, No. 1

Whatís your net worth?

Suzanne Gellman, MS, JD
Financial Education Specialist

Doing a net worth statement each year is crucial to your financial health.  People get intimidated by the idea of determining net worth because they donít want to see negative results.  I compare it to getting on a scale Ė just because you avoid getting on the scale does not change your weight. Itís the same with money; you are where you are financially if you write it down or not. Hereís how to determine your net worth.

1. Write down the value of everything you own.
2. Then subtract from that amount everything you owe (Assets Ė Debts = Net Worth). 
3. Use that information to create strategies to get where you want to be.

    A net worth statement is a tool you should use annually to compare where you are from past to present and to make sure youíre headed in the right direction.  If you find your debt growing and your savings shrinking for reasons other than school loans or a mortgage, it gives you a chance to stop negative behavior. Then you can figure out how to turn it around, such as spending less and saving more. For a free Net Worth Statement form, visit the LifeTimes Web site (Winter 2011):




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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller