Have you ever wasted hours trying to get all of your financial information together?
You log into accounts across three different platforms, track down all of your passwords, and finally see that your investment accounts have fluctuated wildly since the last time you checked them.
Now, you need to do a bunch of math to figure out how much your assets are worth.
Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
And yet, having a complete picture of your financial life is the first step to tracking net worth and taking control of your personal finances.
Knowledge is power, and knowledge of your complete financial situation can give you the power to make better investment choices and maximize your assets.
Having all of your important financial information in one place can also help you track your wealth and portfolio value. If anything happens to you (knock on wood), it’ll also give your loved ones an easy way to access all of the financial information they’ll need, taking a burden off of them during an emotional and stressful time.
There are lots of personal finance apps, tools, and spreadsheets out there that can help you take control of your financial life. But few of them can give you a complete, accurate overview of your entire financial situation at a glance.
That’s why we recommend creating your Financial Life on One Page (or a FLOP).
Here’s what that means and how to do it.
What is a Financial Life on One Page?
A FLOP is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a document that puts all of your financial information onto a single page, usually a spreadsheet.
The Financial Life on One Page concept may have been originally created by Bob Lotich, a financial advisor and author. He built a simple spreadsheet that included all of his assets and liabilities in one place so that he could easily track his total net worth, manage debts, and see how his financial situation evolved over time.
Now, he updates the spreadsheet a few times a year. He also recommends adding a column for website links, passwords, and login information — that way, your loved ones can access all of your financial information at once, if they’re ever in a situation where they need to.
One of the main advantages of the FLOP is that it gives you a quick and dirty picture of your net worth, a single number that combines all of your assets and your liabilities.
Net worth is easy to calculate: Net Worth = Assets - Liabilities
Your assets include:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Savings accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Family heirlooms
Liabilities are your debts. They include things like:
- Student loans
- Credit card debt
- Car loans
Why Does Everyone Need a FLOP?
When you lay out your financial life on one page, you can see how all of this information adds up.
A FLOP makes it easier for you to assess your financial status and reach your financial goals.
If you know where your money is already invested, you can more easily evaluate if you need to refresh your portfolio diversification, if it’s time to consolidate your loans, and so on.
Without a Financial Life on One Page — or a similar tool that gives you a complete overview of your finances, like a financial dashboard (more on that later!) — you might:
Find It Difficult to Meet Financial Goals
Without the right information, setting and tracking your progress toward your financial goals will be much more difficult. If you can’t see where you are, it’s pretty hard to plan where you’re going, right?
Waste Precious Time
Finding logins scribbled on post-it notes and scattered in random places can waste hours every time you need to check your accounts and investments.
Lose Track and Ownership
Perhaps worst of all, you could actually lose assets.
A diversified portfolio is great, but it does make it harder to keep track of all of your different assets. Without a FLOP, you risk losing track of your investments, losing ownership over assets, and losing access to important accounts.
For example, here’s what could happen to your domains when you die.
How to Build Your Own FLOP
There are a few ways you can build a Financial Life On One Page.
Option 1: Use Kubera’s All-in-One Wealth Tracker
Kubera is personal balance sheet software where you can use a simple but powerful spreadsheet-like interface to track assets and net worth.
It’s as easy as 3 steps:
1. Sign up and get set up in just minutes.
2. Add your account-based assets — bank accounts, brokerages accounts, crypto accounts, etc. Thanks to our integration with thousands of financial institutions, these will update in real-time.
3. Now insert everything else — alternative assets like real estate, crypto, collectible investments, and more. It’s easy to keep them up to date in Kubera so that your financial info is always accurate.
Kubera’s smart portfolio tracker provides a single, comprehensive dashboard that lets you see all of your wealth, investments, and liabilities in one place.
Complete with an automatic IRR for investments calculator and a recap page that provides a detailed view of net worth and asset changes over time — our users have found Kubera to be 10x more effective than a regular spreadsheet.
And if you’re ever incapacitated, Kubera’s beneficiary management feature ensures that your loved one of choice is automatically sent access to all of the financial information they need to honor your estate planning wishes.
Option 2: Build Your Own DIY Spreadsheet
You can also create your own FLOP spreadsheet.
If you don’t have moderate-to-advanced Excel skills, then we strongly recommend you use a template, like this one from our friend Bob Lotich.
But if you want to build your own spreadsheet, here’s how to get started:
1. Add your assets at the top. Give each asset a separate row, and include the value in the next column. Make sure you have a single line that lists the total value of your assets.
2. Then, gather your liabilities, or debts, into your spreadsheet. Add the total at the bottom, then create a new line entry that subtracts your liabilities from your assets to see your total net worth.
3. Finally, add a column for login details, websites, and contact information.
The Shortcomings of the DIY/Spreadsheet Method
Using a spreadsheet template (or for the intrepid out there, building your own) has its advantages — mostly customization — but spreadsheets also have lots of drawbacks.
Spreadsheets Don’t Update Automatically
If you keep your FLOP on a spreadsheet, you’ll have to go in every few months and update all of your information manually. Any small fluctuation in the market can make your information obsolete immediately, so you’ll always be one step behind.
Sharing With Your Loved Ones Can Get Messy
Sharing a spreadsheet with your loved ones isn’t difficult — you just hit the share button on Google Sheets or email them the Excel file — but you don’t have options for much more nuance than that.
You can’t set it up to only share when something happens to you, for example. You might not want your heirs to have access to all of your current financial information right now, especially if you’re young and healthy and hopefully have no reason for your loved ones to need access to your accounts for years to come.
Even if you do decide to share your spreadsheet with your family, your spreadsheet can easily get buried in their inbox or lost in their cloud storage — which isn’t the most secure place for all of your financial information and logins, anyway.
A paper copy can easily be lost or misplaced, and also isn’t very secure.
Quickly Build and Easily Maintain Your FLOP with Kubera
In case you couldn’t tell, we think the spreadsheet method is pretty inconvenient. That’s why we recommend using Kubera: the Financial Life on One Page tool that’s actually helpful.
Sign up for your subscription today and start building a Financial Life on One Page that actually serves you and yours.