(Previously posted via Tumblr July 3, 2015)
Today is July 3rd and I’m already TWO DAYS BEHIND!!! Well, not really because I’ve been working on this plan for a few weeks now and psyching myself up, but I am behind in sharing this plan with you. First off, before we get started, let me give you my disclaimer:
I am NOT a Financial Planner, nor am I in training to become one, nor do I plan on becoming one. My experience comes from trial and error (mostly ERRORS,) but that is how I learned. The information I am providing to you are methods that have proven beneficial to me as I have navigated through my financial journey and continue to do so. Hopefully they will prove beneficial to you as well. Understand, what works for one may not work for all so please bear that in mind. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way and you are dressed in your fatigues and combat boots and hopefully standing at attention, TEN HUT!!! Let’s navigate through Step One of Financial Fitness Boot Camp. This is ALWAYS the easiest:
STEP ONE: KNOW YOUR “NET WORTH”
Net worth is pretty cut and dried. It is determined by subtracting WHAT YOU “OWE” from WHAT YOU “OWN.” This number lets you know whether you are operating “in the red” (meaning what you OWE EXCEEDS the value of what you own) or operating “in the black” (what YOU OWN exceeds the value of that in which you owe.) Any accountant can help you with this, but there are also net worth calculators online that will calculate the amounts for you. I normally conduct a net worth evaluation every 6-12 months depending on if I’ve set a specific goal for myself. It’s strictly up to you to determine how often you choose to do this. What is key to knowing your true net worth is being honest and as thorough as possible. For example, what you own can consist of Real Property (Real Estate,) Vehicles, Money in Savings Accounts, What you stuffed in the mattress, the fireproof safe, Money Market, Retirement Accounts (401K, IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) any stocks, bonds, investments etc. NOTE: When determining my net worth, I usually use the value of my Real Property, KBB Value of my automobiles (because they’re paid for) and any significant amounts in savings accounts and cut it off there.
An accountant will probably want to be more thorough to get a more clearer picture and have you include anything of value such as jewelry, watches (not the Bolex you bought from Ray Ray at the gas station,) designer handbags, furniture, computers/laptops, electronics and the like. When assesing value, be sure to assess MARKET VALUE. If you have a Louis Vuitton you paid $3500 for ten years ago and you got your money’s worth from it, don’t assume someone will be willing to give you the same amount you paid ten years ago. BE ACURATE WHEN ASSESSING VALUE.
When I was selling shoes (sz 9-11) on eBay a few years ago, I would have at any given moment 100+ pairs of shoes in stock. The value of that inventory is obviously an asset if the shoes are paid for. However, if I have an outstanding invoice to pay for those 100+ pairs of shoes, clearly, they become a liability (an amount that I owe) and cannot be claimed as an asset, until after I sell them. I don’t want to get too technical here but you get it. I’m just trying to cover the basics.
Liabilities can include debt of any kind: Mortgages, Car loans, Credit card debt, student loan debt and in some cases debt as a result of receiving medical care are major culprits. When calculating liabilities, be sure to also include any personal loans. Anything that is owed should be added to the list. LEAVE NO STONES UNTURNED.
Once you’ve created your column of assets and your column of liabilities and determined their value, subtract your liabilities from your assets. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just determined your approximate net worth. Some of you may be surprised at what you see. Whether you are operating in the red or the black, how you choose to manipulate that number is strictly up to you.
Hopefully after completing STEP ONE of Financial Fitness Boot Camp, you will know whether you want to “soldier up” and tough it out or “punk out” like a little girl and quit!!! Hopefully you’ll be back next week for more. I will tell you. If you’re going to COMMITT, you can’t half-ass this. Not when it comes to YOUR MONEY. Either you’re in, or you’re out. Vacillating in between won’t help you reach your goal(s) so LET’S DO THIS!!!
I hope you benefitted from this posting and I do appreciate you reading it. Your commentary is important so ALL FEEDBACK IS WELCOMED. If there is a specific topic you’d like me to talk about regarding financial fitness bootcamp, feel free to shoot me an email at AndreaColeman@TheFinancialHack.com Don’t miss a posting so be sure to follow me at http://thefinancialhack.com.
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~The Financial Hack ©2015