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Monitoring Your Net Worth – Just Organizing Your Information Can Bring Benefits

May 10, 2010 · 6 comments

in Personal Finance

Since I have taken up this blogging endeavor, I have been spending a lot of time reading personal finance blogs.  One thing I have noted on several of them is that many of the blog authors are tracking their net worth and posting their updates each month.

Reading these blog posts made me think about how I manage our family’s investments.   I had a spreadsheet where I occasionally updated different investment/retirement account values, but I had not done it with any diligence or regularity.  (Not that they are vast by any means…)

So, I decided to come up with a plan of attack.  Whereas my kids spent Mothers Day cleaning and organizing the house (thanks kids!),  I took upon the task of cleaning up our financial paper work and updating the current value of our investment accounts.   (That was extra fun since the markets lost about 5 percent last week.)     Just having the paperwork  and data collected and summarized was great for my mental health.   I guess I will call my part of the house cleaning my ‘Financial Feng Shui’.

When all was said and done, the actual amounts in our accounts  were not as great as I would have liked (no major losses or anything, I guess I was just wishing the ‘free money fairy’ had stopped by while I was sleeping),  just having my finances in better order than they were before was very satisfying.   My next step now will be to evaluate our family budget further and see where I should allocate any future savings.   Also, will all the data organized properly, it is much easier to see what areas of savings need more attention.

So, how often do you monitor your ‘net worth’?  Do you have a system you follow?  I am sure that as time progresses, some months will feel great and others may be a bummer.   However, it will be good to have the information easily available and up-to-date in the event of any emergencies, or if I win the lottery :).

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

I’m one of the bloggers that post their net worth every month. I’m cringing at the upcoming post already since we just paid about $1500 for a summer cruise and $350 for car repairs. If the stock market stays low, this may be the first month our net worth actually decreases since I started tracking it in Oct 2009. Icky, icky…

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Kris May 10, 2010 at 10:39 am

Oh, but the stock market is cruising today!!! See, I calculated everything when the market was in the tank, so next month will look great for me!

Nothing you can do about car repairs (besides replace that Aveo 🙂 ), and you deserve vacations. You have to live life too. I try to save, but I do spend on fun for sure. However, the one rule I never, ever violate is I won’t buy it if I can’t pay for it that month.

Thanks for commenting!

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Good point…that’s a good rule to have! I should have made it clear that the $1500 of vacation money is coming directly out of our actual annual vacation account and the $350 is coming out of our car and home maintenance account. Even though we budgeted for both expenses, it’s still sad to see the money fly away, lol.

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Money Reasons May 10, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I have a sheet in my Finances spreadsheet that’s devoted to my net worth calc and then a bit more. It has part of the “The Millionaire Next Door” calc, and another book called “Getting Rich for Idiots” calc. Both formula calcs are figured automatically in the sidebar based on the values I enter for the Net worth calc.

I update the numbers, oh perhaps once a month, but I kind of cheat and have them in my head too. So I know if I have a big day on the market how it affect my Net Worth…

Sounds like you and I are similar in our ways with finances 🙂

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