A man determining his net worth
Personal Finance
5 minute read

When it comes to your financial health, understanding your net worth is crucial, but what is net worth and why should you care? Read on to learn what net worth means, how to calculate it, and why it matters. Whether you’re just starting your financial journey or looking to assess your progress, this article breaks down what you need to know to determine your net worth accurately.

What is net worth?

At its core, net worth is a simple concept. It’s the value of your assets minus your liabilities. Assets include everything you own that has monetary value, such as cash, investments, real estate, and personal property. Liabilities, on the other hand, encompass your debts and financial obligations, including loans, mortgages, and credit card balances.

Net worth serves as a snapshot of your overall wealth. It provides an overview of your financial situation by taking into account both how much you have and how much you owe. By tracking your net worth over time, you can assess progress toward your financial goals and make adjustments as needed.

Calculating your net worth

To calculate your net worth, you’ll need to gather information about your assets and liabilities. Below, we’ll break down the process into simple steps to help you accurately determine your net worth.

  • Step 1: Identify your assets
    Start by making a list of all your assets. This includes cash in your bank accounts, investments, retirement savings, real estate, vehicles, valuable possessions like jewelry or artwork, and any other items of value that you own. Be thorough in your assessment to ensure that you capture the full extent of your assets.
  • Step 2: Determine the value of your assets
    Once you’ve identified your assets, it’s time to assign a monetary value to each item. For cash in your bank accounts, this is straightforward. For investments, retirement savings, and real estate, you may need to consult statements, appraisals, or online resources to determine their current value. For valuable possessions, consider seeking professional appraisals to ensure accurate valuation.
  • Step 3: Calculate your liabilities
    Next, compile a list of all your liabilities. This includes outstanding balances on loans, mortgages, credit cards, and any other debts you owe. Make sure to consider both short-term and long-term debts.
  • Step 4: Determine your net worth
    Once you have an accurate assessment of your assets and liabilities, calculating your net worth is a simple matter of subtraction. Subtract the total value of your liabilities from the total value of your assets. The result is your net worth.

Example calculation

To illustrate the process, let’s consider this example:


  • Cash: $50,000
  • Investments: $200,000
  • Real Estate: $300,000
  • Valuable Possessions: $20,000

TOTAL: $600,000


  • Mortgage: $150,000
  • Credit Card Debt: $10,000

TOTAL: $160,000

Net worth:

$600,000 – $160,000 = $410,000

Tracking and growing your net worth

Calculating your net worth is not a one-time exercise. Consider reviewing your net worth on a quarterly or annual basis to track changes over time. Identify trends, evaluate the effectiveness of your financial strategies, and make necessary adjustments.

Why does net worth matter?
Understanding your net worth is important for several reasons. Here are a few key benefits of calculating your net worth:

Financial awareness
Calculating your net worth forces you to take stock of your financial situation. It provides a clear picture of your assets and liabilities, helping you identify areas of strength and areas that may require attention. By understanding your full financial health, you can make informed decisions and take proactive steps to improve it.

Goal setting and tracking
Your net worth serves as a benchmark for setting and tracking financial goals. By establishing a target net worth, you can work toward specific milestones and monitor your progress over time. Whether your goals involve saving for retirement, paying off debt, or building wealth, tracking your net worth allows you to measure your success and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Financial stability and security
A positive net worth indicates financial stability and security. It means that your assets outweigh your liabilities, providing a safety net in the event of unexpected expenses or economic downturns. By monitoring your net worth and striving to increase it, you can build a solid foundation for long-term financial security.

Debt management
Calculating your net worth can shed light on the impact of your debts on your overall financial health. If your liabilities outweigh your assets, it may be an indication that you need to address your debt load. By evaluating your net worth, you can identify areas of opportunity for debt reduction and develop a plan to achieve financial freedom.

Factors that influence net worth
Several factors listed above contribute to your net worth. Understanding these factors can help you make strategic financial decisions and work toward increasing your net worth over time. The top 5 factors that influence net worth include:

  • Income
  • Savings and investments
  • Debt
  • Real estate
  • Budgeting and expense management


Understanding your net worth is a crucial step toward achieving financial health and security. By calculating your net worth, tracking its progress, and implementing strategies to increase it, you can take control of your financial future. Remember, net worth is not a measure of your self-worth but rather a tool to help you make informed decisions and work toward your financial goals. Start today by assessing your net worth and taking steps to improve it—your future self will thank you.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial, tax or legal advice. You should consult a professional for specific advice. Best Egg is not responsible for the information contained in third-party sites cited or hyperlinked in this article. Best Egg is not responsible for, and does not provide or endorse third party products, services or other third-party content.


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