Over the last week or so, I’ve stumbled upon several blogs about investing and financial independence. Many of these individuals, stress the importance of a personal net worth and how that’s actually more important than the amount of money you earn.
A Primer in Understanding Net Worth
Your net worth is the number you get when you subtract your liabilities from your assets. It’s essentially the most important number to gauge your financial health, the reason being that you can have a perfect credit score or be a high earner and still be broke.
As I’ve looked at my own financial situation recently (because I write about money for a living and am therefore obsessed) I’ve decided it’s time for me to start paying more attention to my own personal net worth.
I also decided to do some digging to see the state of personal net worth in the U.S. Wallet Hacks recently posted about the average net worth of Americans according to by age and the results are, in my opinion, bleak.
Honestly, eventually even us small business owners may want to consider retiring, so It’s important that we have enough in our net worth to support us when that day comes.
The good news is small business owners have an advantage when it comes to personal net worth. Actually, they have a few.
Firstly, there’s no cap on how much you can earn. The better you get a running a business the more money you can make.
Second, although we don’t have employer-sponsored retirement plans, we still have access to retirement accounts with tax advantages.
In finally, the data is in our favor. According to The Millionaire Next Door, the majority of millionaires in the U.S. are self-employed, so if you’re running a business then you’re already on the right track.
5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Increase Their Personal Net Worth
Since doing this research, I have decided that my ultimate financial goal is to increase my personal net worth by as much as possible Here are some of the ways I plan on doing this.
Start tracking it.
There’s a saying that goes what gets measured gets improved, and it’s true. That’s why I’m committing myself to checking my personal net worth on a monthly basis.
Since I run a personal finance blog and podcast, I’ll be taking it a step further and sharing it publicly. In the past, doing this has helped me in staying accountable and if I can help someone else in the process so be it.
Moving over to cash only (sort of).
I tend to pay for everything with credit cards to get points and cash back. It would also give me a 30-day buffer if things got a little hairy.
What I noticed is, although I’m very disciplined, sometimes I would overspend just because I had a credit card. So I’ve decided to do a couple of things.
First, I decided to get one month ahead on my credit card bill by pulling from my cash savings.
Second, I’ll still use a credit card for purchases (because points and cash back) but I’ll pay it off as I go. This will help me keep a better eye on daily and weekly expenses instead of checking out because I don’t owe money until 30 days later.
Go back to a budget based on percentages.
Managing variable income can be a nightmare, especially when you have both business and personal expenses.
At this point, I’ve tried just about every budget there is and I still find myself frustrated most months. What I’ve come to realize is that based on my personality and my income, I need to do a budget based on percentages.
After all, I already have to set aside 30 percent of everything for taxes anyway, so the easiest thing to do would be to see all my other financial goals as percentages as well.
I tried this many years ago with a ton of success but fell off the wagon somewhere along the way I’m hoping it will be just as successful the second time around.
A big part of increasing your personal net worth is a savings rate. Often times, the easiest way to increase your savings rate is to stop wasting money. In order to do this, we need to regularly sit down with our budgets – both personal and business – to see what’s going on.
This is exactly what I decided to do recently and I realized I was overpaying for services where better deals were available – especially in my business.
I’ve already removed unnecessary features from my scheduler, removed unnecessary features from my mobile plan, found a better deal for web hosting and canceled subscriptions I wasn’t using. I was wasting a lot of money just because I wasn’t paying attention.
Once I discovered the leaks and got rid of them, I added the monthly amounts to my automatic savings plan.
I left increasing income for last because it won’t matter if you’re not saving your newly earned income. However, the truth is saving a few bucks here or there won’t really move the needle while earning more and then investing more will.
Like I already mentioned, small business owners have an advantage here. You can earn more money whenever you want. Here are just a few of the ways to do so:
- Create multiple streams of income.
- Raise your rates.
- Value your time.
- Find passive streams of income.
- Hustle a little harder and take on more work.
If you want to increase your personal net worth as a business owner, all you really need to do is track it, regularly check out expenses for leaks, save more money and then earn more money so you can save an invest as much as possible.
Are you working on increasing your net worth? What steps are you taking to do so?