Why I’m Finally Starting to Track My Net Worth

I’ve got something embarrassing to confess. Since I got married (two years ago now!), I haven’t been tracking my net worth. Ok yeah, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but it’s kind of a crazy thing if you think about it.

How else do you know if you’re making any progress scrimping and saving if you’re not tracking your net worth?

I track my spending (for the most part) and so does my HB, but it honestly wasn’t until I found myself reading one of Jordann’s net worth reports on My Alternate Life that it hit me. We need to start tracking our net worth immediately!

I think the reason I was so casual about it for the past two years is because of our big move to Toronto. The first year of our married lives we were more focused on starting a new life together, sticking to our meagre budget and figuring out how to accelerate our careers. We managed to survive that first year, rough as it was, but after that I think we just got used to not tracking our net worth at all.

Honestly, it was so much simpler when it was just me I had to worry about. I was incredibly anal about tracking every little thing, especially the first year I lived on my own. Once my HB and I started doing our finances together, it just got a lot more complicated.

So I started relying more on Mint.com and felt fairly happy whenever I checked our account from time to time. But the thing with Mint is it doesn’t give you all the information your bank does (like specifics about your investments).

Also, Mint doesn’t work properly all the time. Looking at the data, some months there would be a duplicate account for some reason or an account wouldn’t be connected which would throw all the numbers off.

We’ve been talking a lot lately about switching some of our investments to index funds and doing the whole Canadian Couch Potato thing. Before we do that, I want to make sure we know how well our investments have been performing since the new year, and also see if we actually have been saving up as much as we think we are.

If you’re wondering if this post is a segue into an announcement of future net worth reports on the blog, that’s not gonna happen. I was fine opening up and letting you all know how much I’ve made in the past decade, but revealing how much I’ve got in the bank, that’s something I’ll always keep private.

I will however be going into all of our accounts at the end of each month and noting down all the numbers. It’s funny, I do something similar for my job when tracking all of our newsletter and social media numbers, I have no idea why I didn’t start doing it for my finances until right now?

I’m hoping this will not only help keep all of our finances in better order, but will also serve as some much needed motivation to stick to our budgets and continue to save as much as we can.

I always find it so tempting to spend more than I should when it’s nice and sunny out, and we definitely want to do a trip somewhere soon (possibly New York), so I think tracking our net worth before summer officially starts will definitely be a big help to us moving forward.

Do you track your net worth on a monthly basis?

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Showing 24 comments
  • Reply

    It’s something I say I’m going to do every month and yet I don’t. Mainly because I’m scared of seeing all the negative numbers and having to own up to each and every small mistake that has accumulated. Perhaps I should do this for myself before the bf and I finally combine all our finances together and it’s even more daunting as you stated.

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      I’m definitely not looking forward to seeing that I don’t save as much as I think I do, because once I see that I know I’m gonna have to kick things into high gear and make some changes. Won’t be fun, but definitely important to do I think.

  • Keaton

    It’s amazing when you track your net worth, you realize how much compounding really works (especially compounding dividends). I am 35 and my wife is 31 and we have been tracking our net worth for years. Getting to our first million took a lot. Now a mere year and a half later, we are over half way to our next million. There is a reason why the rich get richer, and the reason is compounding.

  • Sylvia

    I just started tracking my net worth and expenses earlier this year and I am glad I did. I think if I had started tracking as soon as I graduated University, I would have a positive and much higher net worth by now. It’s something about seeing my net worth increase each month, that motivates me to build it even more and make up for lost time. I am hoping to have a positive net worth by the end of the month and a net worth of $20K by the end of the year.

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      That’s definitely why I’m doing it. I’m a big saver, but I know I spend money here and there and stupid little things making me save less than I want to. I’m hoping tracking my net worth will motivate me to stick to my budget and save as much as I can.

  • Rob

    Do I regularly track our net worth? Well Jess, yes and no. I track our expenses, incomes, budgets and investments pretty frequently but I don’t tend much to track stuff like some of our asset market values (eg., house, car, etc.), which is all part of a net worth calculation.

    For those who would like to read up on how one’s net worth is calculated, here’s a nice link that I found:


    • Jessica Moorhouse

      I’m just using our bank accounts and investments for calculating our net worth. We don’t have a house (that dream’s on a break for a bit), and my HB’s car I’ll never consider an asset as cars just depreciate and he may just drive it until it doesn’t work anymore instead of eventually selling it.

  • Stephen

    I just decided to start tracking my net worth as well. I’m going to be doing it quarterly though, for my purposes I don’t see too much value in doing it monthly. As long as there’s a positive trend each time it’s a good thing!

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Ya, I’m gonna start doing it monthly, but I have a feeling that might be very optimistic. It’s quite a bit of work to set aside time each month to do it. Quarterly sounds like a good idea.

  • Francis Li

    I do track my investments, income and expenses, as well as my net worth in the last six years. I could see my net worth increases year after year. It’s important to have a spreadsheet handy and update it at least every week. By updating all incomes and expenses (including small expenses like buying a coffee), I’m able to see if there’s any big difference between income and living expenses in a specific month.

  • Aleksandra Sagan

    I totally respect your decision to keep your net worth private.

    Also, I totally agree that it’s way easier to spend money in the summer sun. I mean, there’s always an ice-cream truck somewhere!

    We’re thinking of doing a little trip to NYC too, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. We think about going to NYC every summer we’re in Toronto, and then we run out of time because we never really prioritize it. Maybe this will be the year!

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Haha same here! We’ve planned to go to NYC like 5 times now. We’ll see if this year’s finally the year.

  • Michelle

    I watch my net worth each month but don’t blog about it. I leave that for a quarterly post. Once my debt is gone and I start growing my RRSP more aggressively, I’ll be tracking my net worth more often.

  • Tre

    I track our net worth quarterly. Just a little check in to make sure we are moving in the right direction.

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Quarterly sounds like a good amount to check. I think that’s what I may do after trying to do it monthly.

  • Mario

    I do and for exactly the same reasons that you mentioned. Yes, the little bits of saving I do now and then are important as are gains in income and investment choices, but where the rubber meets the road is whether or not that net worth number goes up.

    Obviously, it’s never going to be a perfect measurement (For example, the decision for how much to value a home is a complex one), but it’s important to have that starting point. Best of luck to you!

  • Lisa

    I used to use Mint.com to track my net worth, too, but I’ve since stopped because, like you said, it doesn’t work properly sometimes. Plus, there were certain accounts I just couldn’t link for one reason or another.

    I’m a huge fan of tracking your net worth! I think it’s a great benchmark for yourself to see where you’re headed. Just as long as it doesn’t discourage you if you’re not making as much progress as you’d like.

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Exactly, it should motivate you not discourage you. But hopefully if you see the numbers and aren’t happy with what you’re seeing, it’ll make you want to fix that for the better.

  • Richard Buse

    Thanks for sharing this, Jessica. Net worth is a great measure for determining whether or one is financially prepared to make it through big life steps (surviving a job loss, starting a family, buying a house, funding children’s college educations, being able to retire, etc.).

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