How to Setup a Net Assets Spreadsheet
The key step in personal finance is knowing the truth of your financial situation. You can monitor your financial situation using basic math and a spreadsheet. When you can measure your financial health, you can then take steps to improve your finances.
You can setup an assets spreadsheet using Google docs or Microsoft excel. In this guide, we'll walk step-by-step on how to setup a successful net assets spreadsheet.
Set up spreadsheet
Open a Microsoft excel sheet or a Google Docs sheet.
Label the first column date. We will be updating this sheet once a week, so the date will correspond to a day of the week. We suggest Saturday as a good day to update your sheet.
Your flexible expenses tend to be spent on the weekend. Go into the weekend knowing your financial health. This will help your spending choices like eating out or seeing a movie.
In the next columns, add bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts. Each account will have its own separate column. Do not add a column for cash. These columns are your assets.
Next, add a column for your liabilities. Have a column for:
- Each credit card (with the interest percentage)
- Car Loan (not leasing amount)
- Your student loan
Add the following items to your asset category. These will be illiquid assets:
- Value of car
- Value of house
The value of your house minus the remainder of your mortgage is your home equity. When you sell your house this is cash you will receive.
The value of your car will depreciate over time while your house value will increase. Use kelley blue book to find the estimated value of your car.
Use Zillow to find the estimated value of your house. Check these values quarterly, as they will not dramatically change week over week.
Net Asset Calculations
Finally, in the last column we will setup a calculation. This calculation will give you a snapshot of your net assets.
In the last column, label it "Net Assets". In the first row beneath this column, place an equals sign. Then, click the first asset in this row. The cell coordinates will show after the equals sign. Add a plus sign after the coordinates. Continue this pattern until you get to the liabilities. Liabilities will have a negative sign. Your final calculation will look something like this:
This is your total net assets.
Add together all the liquid assets you have. This will be savings accounts and stock accounts. These assets can be used for an emergency within a day.
Easy to Use Template
You can get an example template based on this guide here.