Everyone makes a lot of mistakes in life—all kinds of different mistakes. The great thing about our financial mistakes, however, is that there is a record of them. They’re factual, quantifiable and, in a way, uncomplicated. Your financial mistakes might be as small as not taking an itemized deduction on your tax return one year—or as big as not paying your taxes at all.
But whatever your financial follies, don’t worry. They’re about to get better, once you take a look at the readily-available records of them and understand what exactly they are. So get together your loan paperwork, your insurance policies, your cell phone bill, and try to remember the log-in for your online checking account. We’re about to get started.
The first step in understanding your financial weaknesses—and strengths—is determining your net worth. What do you have, and what do you owe? Calculating your net worth is like taking a long, hard look in the mirror.
Oh, but it gets more complicated than that—otherwise this wouldn’t be a challenge.
Write responses to questions 1 and 2 above, and then turn in your attempt at a net worth statement. We’ll be judging you against your peers, so just do your best. Thinking of the question in the right way counts for a lot. Online research is allowed, but if it’s clear you just got an online calculator to do all the work for you, that isn’t going to impress the NerdWallet judges. Give us a net worth statement that is the most complete, honest snapshot you can take of your financial identity.