How to calculate your net worth

Three steps to finding your current net worth and the ideal starting point for big-picture financial planning

Christine Benz 19 July, 2019 | 1:48AM

Mapping and measurement tools

I can still visualise the passbook that accompanied my first savings account--navy faux leather with our local bank's logo etched in gold. I remember the thrill of writing in the $5 interest payment I earned on my first $100, and the pain (albeit short-lived) of withdrawing $79 to pay for the bike I had researched intensively - a metallic blue Raleigh three-speed. (In hindsight, that choice smacks suspiciously of the influence of my nonconformist dad; all of the other girls at my school rode sky-blue Schwinn Breezes.) I recall strategising about how I could build my balance back up to $105 or beyond.

Passbook savings accounts are mostly all long gone, along with 5 per cent interest rates and English-made bikes for $79. And my financial life is more complicated, too: My husband and I have workplace savings plans, retirement accounts, and taxable accounts, as well as two health savings accounts--one for saving and one for investments. There have been home loans, home equity loans, and one car loan, too. In contrast with my fifth-grade self, I can no longer tell you--to the penny--how much money I have to my name on any given day.

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About Author

Christine Benz

Christine Benz  Christine Benz is Morningstar's director of personal finance and author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances and the Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success. Follow Christine on Twitter: @christine_benz.

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