Budgeting for the Future: Taking Inventory

The ultimate goal of financial planning is to ensure that there are funds available for you and your family to enjoy the best quality of life possible in the present and in the future. A divorce complicates this process by changing the original financial structure of the family. Incomes become altered, and therefore, new budgets must be created in order to achieve financial goals such as retirement or a child’s education. Once the dust has settled, the first financial step in this process is to take inventory.

Before you can start to plan for the future it is very important to know where you are in the present.

Use the following worksheet to find your net worth:

Assets as of (Date) Liabilities as of (Date)
Cash  Rent/Monthly Mortgage
Cash on Hand Utilities
Checking Accts. Balance Balance Due On:
Savings Accts. Balance Mortgage
Money Mkt. Balance Auto Loan(s)
Life Insurance, Cash Value Personal Loan(s)
Retirement Funds Installment Loan(s)
IRA or Keogh Unpaid Bills:
401(k) Plan Charge Accts.
Vested $ in Pension Property Taxes
Vested $ in Profit Sharing Plan Qtrly. Income Taxes
Investments Ins. Premiums
Market Value of Stocks Total Liabilities
Market Value of Bonds
Market Value of Mutual Funds, etc.
U.S. Saving Bonds
Real Property Mkt. Value minus Mortgage
Jewelry, Furs
Sports and Hobby Equipment
Equity Interest in your Business
Total Assets
Minus Liabilities
Your Net Worth

This number is your starting point and the first step towards reaching your financial goals. For many people the number at the end of this worksheet may be negative.

Don’t panic! The important thing to realize is that you can take the necessary steps to improve your net worth. You may think of them as “baby steps,” but like a child, you need to start with baby steps in order to learn how to run.

These steps will be outlined in other articles, and you will be off to your financial future, and arrive running.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *