My net worth is negative. Very negative. I know because I just calculated it yesterday, after J$ encouraged us all to do so.
It wasn’t as though it was a surprise. I was just curious how negative it would be, and as expected, it’s several six figures in the red.
As many of you know, this is due in large part to my husband’s medical school loans. I know that many people wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if they had my net worth, but I’m not worried at all. The reason is because I don’t think net worth is a good indicator of financial success. Instead, I firmly believe that good financial habits are the best indicator of long term growth and future success.
Good financial habits, like investing wisely, budgeting, saving portions of my income, and tracking my expenses shows me that my husband and I will be just fine in the future.
My Pet Peeve
I have to tell you upfront though that one of my biggest pet peeves on Earth is when people tell me, “Oh you’ll be fine. Your husband will be a doctor. You’ll pay back your loans, and then you’ll have a ton of money to live on.”
It’s hard for me to play nice when I get that comment. Picture daggers coming out of my eyeballs all while I just smile and say, “Yep!”
To me, statements like that completely diminish the emphasis on good habits (and perpetuate the world’s perception of doctors that you know I can’t stand.) Not only that, but it implies that all of our financial dreams will come true just because of his education. It also kind of leaves me out of the equation. After all, if he’s a doctor, why even work? Why have aspirations? I’ve got it made, after all! (That was sarcasm, peeps.)
Good Financial Habits
My husband and I both know that he can become a doctor all he wants, but if he and I didn’t work together to develop good financial habits, we would be in the red for a very long time. Education and by extension high paying jobs will never equal a high net worth without good habits. I’m sure many of you know business executives, physicians, and many other people in high paying jobs who fall prey to lifestyle inflation. They just have the appearance of wealth, but in reality, they will be working for a very long time to keep up their lifestyle.
These next few years will be a struggle for us. We will have to rely on our good financial habits to get us out of the red. We will have to avoid every temptation for lifestyle inflation. We will have to raise our two children in way that is modest and simple. And, we really don’t need to calculate our net worth. I’d rather use the time I would spend tracking it to develop more good habits or to clip coupons or to learn how to make another inexpensive meal at home.
My net worth means nothing to me right now. Rather, my good financial habits and the good financial habits of my husband will determine everything.
What do you think is more important: net worth or good habits? To read more about this topic, visit Matt’s post about net worth, and if you missed the announcement about the sex of the twins, check that out here!
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