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In the pursuit of financial stability and security, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your net worth. Net worth provides a comprehensive snapshot of your financial standing, helping you make informed decisions and plan for the future. In this article, we will delve into what net worth is, why it is important to know, the distinction between assets and liabilities, and how to calculate your net worth 

What is Net Worth

Net worth represents the value of all that you own minus what you owe. It serves as a measure of your wealth and financial health. Everything you own that holds value, such as properties, savings, investments, and possessions are your assets.  Liabilities, on the other hand, refer to your debts and obligations, including loans, mortgages, and credit card balances. Understanding your net worth allows you to assess your overall financial position.

The Importance of Knowing Your Net Worth

Financial Clarity: Knowing your net worth provides clarity on your current financial situation. It helps you understand the gap between your assets and liabilities, highlighting areas that need attention.

Goal Setting: Net worth acts as a benchmark for setting financial goals. By monitoring changes in your net worth over time, you can measure your progress and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Decision Making: Whether you’re contemplating a major purchase, considering an investment opportunity, or evaluating your retirement options, understanding your net worth empowers you to make informed financial decisions.

Tracking Financial Progress: Net worth acts as a yardstick for tracking your financial progress. Regularly calculating your net worth allows you to monitor improvements and identify potential setbacks.

Difference Between Assets and Liability

Imagine you are a farmer in a rural village. Your farm represents one of your key assets. It provides you with a means of generating income and sustaining your livelihood. The land, crops, livestock, and equipment you own are all part of your assets. The value of these assets can appreciate over time as you invest in improving the quality of your crops, expanding your livestock, or acquiring more efficient machinery.

However, farming also comes with its share of liabilities. For instance, you may have taken a loan to purchase farming equipment or to invest in irrigation systems. This loan represents a liability, as it is a debt you owe. Additionally, you may have ongoing expenses such as fuel costs, labor wages, and maintenance fees for your machinery. These financial obligations, though necessary for running your farm, are also considered liabilities.

Assets and liabilities are key components that impact your net worth. In simple terms, assets are the things you own that hold value and contribute positively to your net worth. Assets can include land, properties, livestock, savings in bank accounts, stocks, and even family businesses or ventures. These assets can appreciate in value over time, adding to your net worth.

On the other hand, liabilities represent your debts and financial obligations. They subtract from your net worth. Common liabilities can include personal loans, mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, and even informal loans from family or friends. It’s important to consider these liabilities when calculating your overall financial standing, as they impact your net worth and can affect your financial stability.

How to calculate Net Worth

Net worth is calculated by subtracting total liabilities from total assets. Follow these steps to calculate your net worth:

1. List all your assets, including cash, bank accounts, investments, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, and other valuable possessions.

2. Assign a value to each asset based on current balance, market value, or professional appraisal.

3. Calculate the total value of your assets.

4. List all your liabilities, such as mortgage loans, car loans, student loans, and credit card debt.

5. Assign a value to each liability based on the outstanding balance.

6. Calculate the total value of your liabilities.

7. Calculate your net worth by subtracting total liabilities from total assets.



Cash: 50,000 Ksh

Savings account: 200,000 Ksh

Motorbike 80,000 Ksh

Treasury Bonds 100,000 Ksh

Total Asset = 430,000 Ksh


Bank Loan: 100,000 Ksh

Mobile App loan: 50,000 Ksh

Unpaid Student Loan 100,000 Ksh

Total liabilities= 250,000 Ksh

Therefore, in this example, the net worth is 180,000Ksh.

Understanding the difference between assets and liabilities ( what brings you money vs what makes you spend money ) is crucial because it allows you to assess your financial health accurately. By analyzing the balance between your assets and liabilities, you can make informed decisions about managing your finances and planning for the future. By increasing your assets and reducing your liabilities, you can improve your net worth and work towards greater financial security and stability in the African setting

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