I’ve always been a numbers guy.
I have bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering.
Of the top of my head, I can tell you my exact 100 breaststroke time from each of my three years of competitive swimming (1:03.38, 1:01.21, and 1:00.15). I have my volleyball stats from my senior year of high school saved to my computer. When I golf I obsessively track my score, fairways hit, and putts, and then input that information into a spreadsheet.
I have an unhealthy obsession with numbers.
I’m no different when it comes to personal finance. In fact, you can see a lot of my numbers obsession first hand.
I’ve created The RC, which is a retirement calculator that helps me model my financial future. I whipped up Health Insurance Made Easy, which is a handy spreadsheet that helps me determine which health plan makes the most financial sense. I’m also a meticulous budgeter, reviewing every single transaction monthly and inputting it into my modified budget spreadsheet.
So I was thinking about Clippit the other day. Remember him? He was that horribly annoying paperclip in Microsoft Office about eight years ago who thought he was being helpful by interrupting you in the middle of your work to ask if you need help finding the space bar.
What if Clippit came back with a vengeance, pissed off that he’d been deleted, and told me to pick my favorite spreadsheet because he’s going to delete everything else? Well, I wouldn’t pick any of those spreadsheets I mentioned.
Nope, I’d pick my Net Worth Tracking spreadsheet.
Net Worth Tracking Spreadsheet
As you may know, I’m racing my good friend The Hoff to $1 million in net worth. When we started this competition, I was strictly a budget guy. I had never calculated my net worth until the day we started this race.
Once I calculated my net worth for the first time, I knew I was going to have to find a good way to track the information moving forward. Being the numbers geek that I am, I wanted to see a trend of where my assets were increasing, which debts were decreasing, and a comparison of my assets to debts over time. In addition, I wanted to quickly see the performance of my retirement accounts.
Here’s what I came up with. I call it my Net Worth Tracking spreadsheet (free download if you want to use it yourself).
I made all these graphs to help me see how well I’m improving my net worth. I break down my assets and debts into categories and track similar assets or debts together. I also have sweet graphs that show how well I’m doing saving for retirement in my 401k and Roth IRA.
This baby splits up my assets into four categories:
- Restricted: Any assets that cost money to touch, like retirement accounts, CDs, and my HSA
- Liquid: Money I can turn into cash almost immediately, like checking and savings accounts
- Investments: Non-restricted investment accounts, like my brokerage account
- Physical: Things like homes and cars that have value if sold
I also split up my debts into four categories:
- Installment Debt: Student loans and personal loans. Does not include credit cards or loans tied to physical assets
- Credit Transacting: Credit cards that are paid off every month
- Credit Revolving: Credit cards that are not paid off every month and may accrue interest (unless it’s a 0% APR)
- Physical: A mortgage or car loan. Anything tied to a physical asset.
What Gets Measured Gets Improved
I used to work out at LA Fitness, and they would always have some guy interrupt the songs over the speakers with this message: “What gets measured gets improved, so sign up with a personal trainer to measure your weight and body fat!”
It’s kinda cheesy, but it’s so true. If you aren’t measuring something, you never really see the impact when you start falling behind. Sometimes you have a feel for if you are making progress, but unless you actually measure something, you’re never going to know how well you are doing, and how much room you have for improvement.
If you don’t track your net worth today, I strongly encourage you to download my Net Worth Tracking spreadsheet and start measuring your financial life. You’ll be amazed at how much more aware you will be of your spending and saving. And I can tell you from experience, it feels pretty dang awesome to see those numbers go up!
Feel free to download it straight from this link, or head over to my downloads page where you can get this spreadsheet, as well as all of my spreadsheets and MP3 versions of my songs. It’s all free, so just enjoy and tell your friends.
The sheet is pretty self explanitory, and there are instructions included inside the sheet. One important thing to note is that I have included a macro in this spreadsheet. This macro is used when you have 13 months of information in the spreadsheet. It deletes the first month, moves months 2-13 into spots 1-12, and opens up spot 13 for the next month. It’s very helpful once you hit a full year of information.
WARNING: Macros can include viruses, so only enable macros on spreadsheets that you trust. I promise I didn’t put anything bad in there (I wouldn’t even know how to), but if you don’t trust me, don’t enable the Macros when you open the sheet.
If you have any questions about how it works, suggested improvements, or just want to let me know if you like it, please leave a comment below!
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