How Much Are You Worth?

by Kristina Tahnyak on September 2, 2010 · 4 comments

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During our financial lives we are faced with many situations where we must determine our personal value.  During these financial milestones how can we determine how much we are worth?

For some of us, the first independent financial decision we make is the limit on our first credit card. Very often, we are still in school when we apply for our first credit card, and therefore we get a student credit card.  Sometimes financial institutions have a pre determined limit that they allow for student credit cards, such as $500 or $1000.

Financial institutions require a lot of our personal information such as our annual income, our program of study, sometimes our GPA, and amount of time that we have lived at our current address.  These are all variable factors that help financial institutions determine if we are financial responsible.  This is how our financial institution determines our personal worth…in the form of a credit card limit.  Responsibility may be a factor that determines our personal worth.

After we finish college, we (hopefully) enter the work force full time.  If we are lucky enough, we find a full time career that offers employee benefits.  One of the next financial decisions we will have to make is the amount of life insurance we need to purchase. In general, with group life insurance, people choose an amount of coverage that is a multiple of our annual base salary.  How much life insurance do you have? It may be enough to cover your debts.  Or, it may be an amount that will allow your spouse to maintain his/her current lifestyle for a certain number of years.

The next step of our financial lives when we need to determine our personal worth is marriage.  Pre nuptial agreements may be the next large financial decision when we need to place a value our personal worth.  Do you have a prenuptial agreement with your spouse? If so, was it based on your net worth prior to the marriage?  Or is it a personal value?  Since I am not married, I don’t have experience in drafting a pre nuptial agreement.  However, I don’t feel that a pre nuptial agreement should not put a value on a person’s life or relationship, but instead, it should protect a person’s net worth prior to the marriage.

As successful professionals we now often determine our personal value by our personal Net Worth. I definitely don’t agree that our personal net worth determines our personal value. However, many young professionals and seasoned successful professionals determine their personal value by their bottom line.

How do you value your worth?

(Photo by Sylvar)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James September 3, 2010 at 6:33 am

HI Kristina,

Your net worth is your personal financial value, no two ways about it. If done correctly it is a pretty unambiguous metric of how rich you are.



2 David Carlson September 3, 2010 at 8:58 am

I agree with James as far as net worth.

But as far as “financial” value (if we are speaking in terms of how much we should make as an employee) I think it has to do with potential on top of our other assets. As an intern at a large financial institution, the company is investing heavily in my development. All of us interns might not be worth the $ amount right now, but it is more of a long-term investment in our future, and therefore the company’s future.

3 Kristina September 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Our salaries may be another way that we evaluate our self or financial worth. I have a cousin who devaluates money. He lives a simple life that is based on the barter system. He lives in a duplex in Toronto and he doesn’t pay rent. He maintains the home and in exchange the homeowner doesn’t charge him rent. His 40 hour work week is comprised of volunteering for a computer troubleshooting helpline. People often take him out for lunch or dinner because he’s a great guy. He bikes or walks everywhere he goes. He does computer repairs in his spare time but he doesn’t accept money as a form of payment. When he goes to peoples homes to repair their computer he usually goes around 6 pm (after his 9-5 of volunteering) and he is usually invited to stay for dinner or they send food home with him. He completely doesn’t live a life of money and he is extremely happy.

4 Tim September 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

worth is quantitative and value is qualitative

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