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How to Measure Your Financial Health

When you are in need of financial help it is hard to know where to begin.  There are many people that aren’t even aware how close they are to needing some financial help purely because they don’t know what their financial health really is.  Single dads (fathers) will sometimes know even less because we are too busy “in the trenches” taking care of our kids to take a step back and evaluate things.  Finding out what your financial health is might be the most important research that you do.  Below is some advice on how to gauge where you are.

The first thing you are going to want to do is make a list of all of everything that you own.  I mean everything!  Some things may not be obvious but think of everything that you have that is worth something.  Think of any financial property you may have. Do you have any stocks, savings bonds, mutual funds, coin collections, profit sharing plans, and/or money market accounts?  If so, then those will help to determine your worth.  Next you will want to add to your list any personal physical property.  These can include, any and all cars, computers, television sets, jewelry, stereos, and any other major purchases you may have throughout your home. Also, don’t forget about your house, if you own one.  What your home’s worth for your financial health is not as straight forward.  What you need to do is find out what you purchased your home for and how much it is worth today.  Once you have that number, you will know how much your home is worth in the context of your own personal financial health.  Once you have all of the numbers add them up for one grand total and put that number to the side.

The second thing you are going to want to do is write down how much you owe on everything.  All of your expenses.  Things like your electric bill, gas bill, phone bills, any and all loans that you may have, all of your credit card bills, and student loans, you mortgage and any other miscellaneous expenses you may have. Understand that there is good debt and bad debt but, for this exercise we are writing down all of our expenses.  Once you have all of those written down, add all of those up for another grand total. 

Once you have the two grand totals and you need to subtract everything you owe from everything that you own.  This number should never be negative!  What would qualify somebody as being financially healthy would be if what they own is twice as much as they owe.  As single fathers (dads) we need to take the time to nurture own finances just like we take care of our kids.  We never need to be too proud to ask for financial help.  So there is one question you need to ask yourself.  Do you know now if you are financially healthy?


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