Ca-ching! Hear that? It’s the sound of America’s total net worth actually increasing for the first time since 2007. I kid you not. According to this post on Consumerism Commentary, the increase in the past quarter was $2 trillion, bringing our total net worth to $53 trillion. That’s the most it’s been since the end of 2007, when Americans were collectively worth a cool $65 trillion. While this is a positive sign amidst news of rising unemployment and a shrinking job market, the article cautions readers to look at their increases with a wary eye. The stock market has rebounded much quicker than many thought, and since that can be a large part of many people’s net worth calculations, it could be a temporary rally. It also wasn’t immediately clear from this post if the increase took into account inflation between 2007 and now. I agree with the assessment, though with all of the doom-and-gloom stories lately, this is definitely nice to hear.
Now, if the term net worth makes you scratch your head and wonder, check out my post on budgeting basics. I believe that knowing your net worth (a basic equation of assets minus liabilities) is a staple, a must. It is imperative to calculate yours before creating any personal financial plan of value. If you don’t know what you’re literally working with, how can you create any worthwhile goals for yourself to work toward?
Speaking of planning and looking ahead, a couple in this blog post are looking at all of the different calculations, expenses, and possibilities they will have to plan for once their child is born. Having a baby seems to be tough enough — I don’t have any real-world experience there — but managing that along with the couple’s goal to pay down debt (which is highlighted on the left-hand side of the post’s page) can be downright nerve-wracking. I won’t go into the specifics of what exactly the writer was assessing in the post — what is really cool to me here is the long-term planning and practical, short-term legwork the couple has been undertaking during this hectic time.
This follows several of the commandments I put forth when I launched this site — particularly the one about having a disciplined plan, but having the wherewithal to be flexible when necessary. Having a baby, taking leave from work, and figuring out how to juggle all of those changing expenses while maintaining your debt-reduction goals is definitely a good time to reassess.
Last, President Barack Obama is going to ask the G20 this week in Pittsburgh to discuss rethinking and reshaping the global economy as a response to what Reuters deemed as “the deepest financial crisis in decades.” (On a personal note, as a journalist, I appreciate creative ways of trying to avoid the words and phrases including “recession”, “downturn”, and “worst economic period since the Great Depression”. “The deepest financial crisis in decades” is a good one.) According to the article, one of the biggest points of emphasis is going to be a “rebalancing” of the import/export relationship the top countries have been engaging in for awhile now. You know, trade surpluses, deficits, currency reserves, all of those things that people like you and me think about deeply every day. Psht.
Let the bigwigs try to hash things out. You ever hear of the phrase, “If I don’t look out for me, who will?” I’m not trying to say Obama is or isn’t looking out for us; I’ll leave that to you to decide. I choose to only look at these types of stories on a high level and focus on my own personal finances. Why? To ensure I am still in a good situation despite what goes on in the macroeconomics world.
I strongly urge you all to do the same. Take the information I give about my own financial journey, the tips and tricks I share here, and start getting smarter with your money today.
What type of topics would you like to see here, and among the tips and tricks I continue to share with you all?