Years ago, I was afraid to track my net worth because I knew that I would be in the negatives. In case you don’t know, your net worth is simply all of your assets minus all of your liabilities, or everything you own minus everything you owe. After having a negative net worth for a few years, I decided I couldn’t avoid that fear any longer; I had to face it. And facing that fear is exactly what helped me move my net worth into the positives.
I was inspired to start tracking my net worth monthly from J.Money over at budgetsaresexy.com. He has been sharing his net worth publicly for nine years. When he first started sharing his net worth in 2008, it was $58,728. Today his net worth is $631,547.73. Talk about growth!
It’s time I share with you the powerful things that have happened to me since I started tracking my net worth each month. I hope it can encourage you to start doing the same if you’re not already doing so.
#1. Be Intentional About Your Money Goals
I became more intentional about paying off my debt.
In May of 2015, I had $24,984 worth of debt, today I have $8,916.53. Seeing the amount of debt I had from month to month made me want to eliminate it faster. I was tired of having this huge amount of debt hanging over my head every time I logged in, so I turned it into a game with myself: how much debt can I pay off this month? Below is a screenshot of my net worth from May 2015- April 2016. In one Year my net worth increased by $19,338.37.
#2. Have Accountability Partner(s)
Once I got serious about my intentions, I was happy with my progress but I noticed that playing the debt game by myself wasn’t as fun. So I created a Debt Challenge with 9 other people, it was like like a group of accountability partners who pushed each other to accomplish something bigger than themselves.
Collectively, we paid off $39,500 worth of debt in just 11 weeks! I talk more about the strategies that we used to pay off our debt faster in my book The Debt Slaying Challenge.
#3. Get Specific About Your Focus
Another powerful strategy that helped me take my net worth from the red to the green was becoming more focused on growing my assets. Since I know how much money I have month to month, it encourages me to increase my net worth even more.
Once you become more specific with your focus, it’ll be a stepping stone for your bigger goals.
#4. Look at the Numbers
If I’m telling myself that one day I want to be financially free, then the numbers must prove that I’m working towards that goal.
Numbers don’t lie. Monthly check-ins allows me to keep up with my financial progress, including my savings, investments and debt tracking.
At the end of the day, you have to hold yourself accountable. Think of it as a regular check-up with yourself, but instead of visiting a doctor or dentist, you’re visiting your finances; you’re taking care of your Financial Health.
Track Your Network
All of these steps trickle down to one thing: tracking my net worth monthly. If I didn’t start tracking my net worth in May of 2015, I wouldn’t be as far as I am today in paying off my debt or in my investments. It removed a ton of fears about my finances since it made me more aware.
If you have anxiety about your money, it’s probably because you haven’t sat down to figure out exactly where you are. Knowing a bunch of numbers in your head doesn’t count, there’s something influential about sitting down and getting it all written out on paper or an excel spreadsheet. Trust me, you will feel a ton of relief knowing where you financially stand versus guessing where you are.
If you need help figuring out where you stand with your money, you can always book a one-on-one money coaching session with me. I will walk you through the process and help you create a customized plan to get rid of your debt and start saving more money. You can book your session here.
Today I’m happier because I’m able to see how far I’ve come over the years. Not only going from a negative net worth to a positive one, but knowing that the steps I used to get there are what made the difference.
The beauty of growth is inspiring within itself. If there’s one thing I want you to remember about it all, trust that everything is a part of the journey–the good and the bad–because it all brings you exactly where you need to be.
These are the 4 powerful things that started happening once I tracked my net worth. Amazing things can happen to you too once you start tracking your own net worth each month.
I know, I know, it doesn’t sound sexy but if you have to, turn it into a date with your finances. Play some good music, maybe pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down on the same date of the month and get honest with your money.
I guarantee that once you start, a year later you will feel happier, you will have less anxiety about your finances, and you’ll be excited to make progress toward your next money goals. That’s far from a cheap date. I’ve put together a net worth tracking template for you. You can download it here.
It’s time to say goodbye to debt, and hello to financial freedom.
*Post edited by:Melysa Latham