FMF asks the question, and asks why you do/don’t and how often. My opinion is that you can’t accurately track your financial progress as a whole without a grasp of how to measure your net worth.
Like him, I used to look at mine pretty regularly, but now I check it once, maybe twice a month. With the market of late, I’ve become almost afraid to. I use Yodlee to keep everything in one place, and here’s what I look for as a barometer:
- Is a large one-day or other short-term market swing significantly affecting my net worth? If so, I try to factor that into my observations. Just a simple check of my portfolio balances.
- Are my floor and ceiling both rising? — There are always fluctuations during the pay cycles where your bank accounts crest and trough. I feel good if both the low-end and high-end of my net worth’s range are inching higher every month. Hell, just paying the mortgage should give you a slight upward tickas you build equity.
- Any recent big expenses?: I just paid the car insurance, which always suppresses you a bit in the short term. I don’t make many big-ticket purchases, but a car repair or like-sized expense should be taken into consideration.