You cannot develop a plan unless you know where you are, in other words your net worth. You need a financial snapshot that shows what you own and what you owe. To calculate your net worth, you can use our template, or a blank sheet of paper.
Start by making a list of everything you and your spouse own. Common items will include:
- cash in the bank
- Canada Savings Bonds
- investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds)
- cash value of life insurance policies
- house, cottage, and other property
- vehicles (car, truck, snowmobile, etc.)
- furniture, antiques, and other collectibles
By totaling all of these items, you will have a list of everything you own.
Now add up everyone you owe money to (i.e. your creditors). This will include:
- credit cards
- lines of credit and other personal loans
- car loans
- student loans
- taxes owing to Revenue Canada
- other debts
The difference between your assets and liabilities is your net worth.
If your liabilities are larger than your assets, and you are having trouble making your payments each month, take our quiz to see if you are heading for trouble. If you are, you should seek help from a professional.
If your net worth is positive, but you are having trouble paying your bills, there are strategies that can improve your situation and help you avoid bankruptcy.
If your debts are under control, go on to: Personal Budgeting.