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How to Determine Your Net Worth

You may have valued some classic college photos as being worth a thousand inexplicable words, easily appraised by your fond memories. Calculating your net worth is a little more complicated, but it simply comes down to determining the difference between your assets and liabilities.

Just like a big corporation working their balance sheet to report to shareholders, you have a personal balance sheet that indicates the bottom line of your financial health. Find out how to break down your money and possessions into assets and liabilities when you


The simplest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet with assets in one column and liabilities in the other. Calculate your approximate net worth by adding up all of your assets, then subtract your liabilities from your total assets.


  • Cash (checking, savings, certificates of deposit, cash value of life insurance, etc.)
  • Market value of home and other real estate
  • Any investment accounts, including retirement plans
  • Art and collectibles
  • Estimated market value of automobiles, furniture, jewelry, loans owed to you


  • Outstanding mortgage loan
  • Auto loans
  • Student loans
  • Any credit lines
  • Credit card balances
  • Other outstanding bills


Join The Conversation
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I was thinking that too, lawchick...I guess the way to monetize your degree is to project your future increased earnings vs. what you would have earned without the degree.
baybug baybug 8 years
I am scared to see the outcome. I don't have debt, but I don't want to see what I am worth.
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 8 years
I also use Bank of America portfolio...and I've also tried out Mint and NetworthIQ...they all help you figure out your financial net worth, though NetworthIQ requires you to manually add your info to the page, versus Mint, BofA portfolio, and others allow you to enter your accounts and they will keep those numbers updated.
johanna89 johanna89 8 years
this is awesome.. just as I'm taking my intro to accounting course, i also use the bank of america portfolio, and its VERY useful. I choose not to include my student loans... yet. i will once i have to repay them.
psterling psterling 8 years
My husband and I were totally in the black...and then we bought a house. I figure that kind of debt is ok though, especially after the house appreciates in a few years. We just bought it and I'm inclined to be optimistic about the housing market so cross your fingers!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i've always wondered what my net worth is and i'm always afraid that i'm going to find out that i'm negative so i'm going to store this information away for a bit and then figure it out when i feel more comfortable about my financial standing
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
I can't do it. I don't know of anyone (except maybe my in-laws) who are in the black. Everyone I know has more debt than assets. Or more liabilities than assets.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
but, there should be some way to quantify the value of our degrees and the earning capacity -- because it's not like we owe 200k for fun stuff
lawchick lawchick 8 years
we're about 200k in debt for both of our law school loans. we have a mortgage, too. it's a nightmare.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I have Bank of America and they have a tool called my Portfolio where you can enter in all this data and link up all your accounts. Once, I added student loans - all I could say was ouch.
cassedy04 cassedy04 8 years
ouch. student loans are a killer :-/
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