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Short on time? Here’s a quick list of the best net worth apps:
- The winner: Personal Capital
- Runner ups: Mint and NerdWallet’s Finance Tracker
- Honorable mention: YNAB (You Need a Budget)
There are a lot of important numbers you need to know to be able to navigate life as a responsible adult. Your social security number, phone number, date of birth, bank account, etc. If your net worth isn’t on that list, however, now is the time to add it.
What is net worth?
What is net worth, you may ask? Net worth is one of the simplest and most important numbers which can help you understand and track your financial health. Your net worth is equal to your assets minus your liabilities. It represents your total financial value. To state the obvious, the goal is to grow your net worth over time, by increasing your assets and decreasing your liabilities.
Let’s break this down.
What are assets?
Assets are things that you own including both financial and non-financial items. Common assets include the market value of your home, cash in your bank accounts, investments (like stocks and bonds), and other personal possessions like art or jewelry.
What are liabilities?
So again, net worth is equal to assets minus liabilities. Therefore, it paints a clear picture of your financial worth – i.e., what you own minus what you owe.
Why should you track your net worth?
There are a lot of numbers involved in personal finance. We track our bank account balances, credit score, retirement contributions, loan balances, etc which are all pieces of the personal finance puzzle. However, net worth ties everything together neatly so that you can track how you are doing over time. The goal is to grow your net worth, focusing on increasing your assets and reducing your liabilities.
Your net worth serves as a benchmark so that you can easily view whether or not you are making progress towards your goals. Instead of having to check each of your accounts individually, month over month, you can instead reference this one figure. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Ways to track net worth
There are a number of different ways that you can monitor your net worth, including spreadsheets, computer software programs, or through a personal finance binder. However, the easiest way to calculate and track your net worth is through an app.
Apps allow you to automatically import your assets and liabilities as they fluctuate so that you aren’t responsible for inputting or writing down each individual change. Because, let’s be honest – if it isn’t easy or convenient, two things are likely to happen. We’ll either miss inputting a change in an asset or liability, or we could input something incorrectly. So without further ado, here are the best net worth apps:
The Winner: Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a favorite here at The Ambitious Dollar, and for good reason. First and foremost, the primary purpose of the app is to display and help you track your net worth. Since that is the core of the app, navigation is simple and intuitive with well thought out graphics to help you visualize your progress. Also, did I mention it’s free?
Personal Capital makes it seamless to link your credit cards, loans, retirement accounts and bank accounts so that your net worth is updated and calculated automatically. Convenience and accessibility is key here.The app also showcases some additional features which include cashflow management, budgeting, and an investment checkup tool. However, whether those extras are enticing to you or not, they won’t get in the way of you managing your net worth.
The following apps are solid alternatives to Personal Capital but are runner ups for the sole reason that tracking your net worth is not their primary focus. The multi purpose functionality of these apps makes accessing your net worth data a bit more cumbersome. However, you may find some of their additional features worth the tradeoff:
Similar to Personal Capital, Mint features a free, easy to use app which automatically updates your information through links you set up to your financial accounts. It also serves as a great budgeting app and has the added benefit of showing your credit score. It’s important to note that Mint displays advertisements for credit cards and financial services intermittently throughout the app. Those ads could be helpful to you if you’re on the hunt for a new credit card or loan company, but it’s also important to note that these advertisements are how the app makes money, and they also lessen the overall user experience.
NerdWallet: Finance Tracker
The NerdWallet Finance Tracker is a decent option for net worth tracking, but the real value it provides is as an overall money management tool. So, similar to Mint, it has a lot of functionality, including goal setting and debt management, which leads to a bit more of a clustered interface. You’ll certainly be able to track your net worth, but you’ll have to wade through advertisements as well an interface which is geared more towards general money management.
YNAB – You Need A Budget
The YNAB app gets a lot of praise in money management tool circles. It has very similar advantages and drawbacks as the Mint app since the primary purpose of the app is also budgeting. However, the main difference you’ll notice is that YNAB does not have any ads on its platform. Instead, you pay for a subscription which comes to a total of $84 per year. If you’re looking for a great budgeting app, the price tag may be worth it. But if your goal is simply to track net worth, it’s not worth it to pay for YNAB when Personal Capital offers a great tool for free.
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