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Frugal Is to Smart as Cheap Is to Dumb: Intelligent Financial Decisions for Families

I think we can all agree that the price of living in the United States seems to be a bit of a puzzle to which many pieces have gone missing. We’ve seen a rising cost in just about...

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Douglas Andrew

Douglas Andrew

Owner and President of Paramount Financial Services, Inc.

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Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran

Founder of The Corcoran Group and real estate contributor...

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Lee Brower

Wealth trainer, consultant and author

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What Are You Worth?

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You can't make more money until you know how much you already have. It's time to determine your net worth. Doing so requires more than a mere "guestimate." When handling finances, having a strict and accurate inventory of your financial assets is key.

It really isn’t as hard as it sounds. Add up what you own—cash money, investments, valuable items and the like—and what you owe—loan balances, car payments, etc. Hit the 'net to determine the value of objects you're unsure of and get depreciation and appreciation figures for things like cars, artwork and instruments. If you can't find those figures, ask where to look in our Having More Money Q&A. When you're finished, subtract what you owe from what you own. The difference, positive or negative, is your net worth.

Do not give up here. If you made a conscious decision to weigh 138 pounds, you'd certainly weigh yourself early in the weight-loss process. Say to yourself, “Like it or not, I need to know the truth about my finances.”

It may be that you owe more than you thought or you may be pleasantly surprised by the appreciation of certain assets. Either way, you’ll probably feel a sense of relief just knowing where you stand. More importantly, you’ll have a starting point on the road map to more money.
Posted: 4/17/14