Earn Rewards: Sign up now and earn a special reward after your first deposit. See offer details

<title>Dismiss</title>

Betterment

Save, invest, retire

GET — On the App Store

View

Upcoming maintenance: Our website and mobile apps will be unavailable from midnight Saturday to 4am Eastern time on Sunday for routine maintenance.

Introducing Checking

Download our app and gain access to no‑fee, hassle‑free checking.

Introducing Checking! Our no-fee, hassle-free, mobile-first checking account. Learn more

What the CARES Act and market volatility mean for 401(k)s. See resources

<title>Dismiss</title>

How Much Are You Worth?

Your first instinct is probably to tote up all of your assets and subtract your liabilities. That is your net worth, and one way to get a snapshot of your monetary worth.

Articles by Betterment Editors
By the Editorial Staff Betterment Resource Center Published Nov. 26, 2012
Published Nov. 26, 2012
2 min read

It’s common to wonder how much you are worth. Your first instinct is probably to tote up all of your assets and subtract your liabilities. That is your net worth, and one way to get a snapshot of your monetary worth.

Another way that many of us set value in dollar terms relates to an annual salary or an hourly wage. How much you make is often a status thing, conveying to others what society thinks you are worth.

Your worth, though, can’t just be boiled down to raw numbers. There is more to you than just the size of your bank account, or the amount of money you make each year at a job. Your total worth also includes your human capital, and the other assets you bring to the table:

Skills and Knowledge

Your skills and knowledge can be worth a lot more than you think. Even if you aren’t being paid a lot right now, the skills that you develop might eventually lead to higher pay later. You might even have skills that translate across career fields. Your skills can also help you in your daily life, enriching your experiences. These experiences can be worth more than mere money as the years go by.

Additionally, the knowledge you gain is virtually priceless. No one can take what you learn away from you, and it can be applied in a number of ways to improve your earning power, as well as to help you manage your financial resources in a savvy manner. Knowledge you store up can be used in a number of ways in your non-work life, to enhance it. You can’t put a price on happiness in life.

What about Your Time?

One of the things that I am keenly aware of is the fact that I can’t get time back. Earlier this year, I was stuck in a rut. I had a lot of work, and made good money, but I spent almost all of my time working. I felt stressed and harried, and I didn’t have a lot of time with my son.

All of a sudden, because I didn’t have much of it, time became much more valuable than money. I looked at my priorities, and realized that my life had more worth to me than just making money. I also wanted time for me, and time for my family.

The time that you have is part of your overall worth. Consider, too, what you do with your free time. Are you working to improve yourself, or your relationships with others. The way you interact with others, as well as the steps you take to gain more knowledge or skills, or learn a hobby, can add to your overall human capital, whether you use what you gain in a job, or just confine it to your day-to-day life.

Look at Your Life as a Whole

Before getting hung up on money, consider your life as a whole. Some things, like family relationships and happiness, can’t be bought with money. Reconsider your definition of wealth, and realize that your value is in more than just your annual salary.

Recommended Content

View All Resources

What it Means to Be a 401(k) Plan Fiduciary and How You Can Mitigate Your Risk

Fiduciary responsibilities can seem daunting and time-consuming. Learn the ins and outs of your responsibilities and which ones you can delegate.

Save for Retirement While You’re Self-Employed

Entrepreneurs and small business owners have several options for saving for retirement while saving on taxes.

Understanding Your Total Compensation Package

While interviewing, potential candidates should be empowered to evaluate whether a company is a good fit for their financial and cultural needs, as well as vice versa. Here are some factors you should consider when making your decision.

Explore your first goal

Cash Reserve

Our high-yield account built to help you earn more on every dollar you save.

Safety Net

This is a great place to start—an emergency fund for life's unplanned hiccups. A safety net is a conservative portfolio.

Retirement

Whether it's a long way off or just around the corner, we'll help you save for the retirement you deserve.

General Investing

If you want to invest and build wealth over time, then this is the goal for you. This is an excellent goal type for unknown future needs or money you plan to pass to future generations.

See details and disclosure for Betterment's articles and FAQs.