Saver or Borrower?

Are you a saver or a borrower? Will your answer be different ten years from now? Good questions and important ones. Your future prosperity is at stake. Being financially informed is not only about knowing what side of the ledger you are currently on, it's  also about knowing where you ultimately want to be.

The two most basic tools of personal financial analysis are the net worth and cash flow statements. These tools, which we outline below, can show you whether you are currently a saver or borrower. They also show you the possibilities and consequences as a result.

Net Worth Statement

  • Gives you a snapshot of what you are worth, as of a particular date.
  • Create your own or use ProsperiGuide's Net Worth Statement
  • Your goal should be to increase your net worth each year.

Cash Flow Statement

  • Tracks your income and expenses.
  • To access ProsperiGuide’s Income, Expense and Saving Statement for this purpose, visit Income and Expenses
  • Alternatively, you can set up your own system to do this tracking, simply subscribe to a service online or buy a cash management software product that can do the tracking for you.
  • Note your cash position at the end of the week, month or year.
  • A regular cash surplus means you are a saver.
  • A regular cash deficit means you are a borrower.

Saver

Being a saver means you live within your means. However, it's important to consider what you are doing with your savings. You can grow your net worth by using savings to pay down debt or buy  assets that tend to appreciate in value.

Borrower

Being a borrower means you live beyond your means. This is clearly unsustainable over the long term. It means that over time, your net worth will decrease because you are sustaining your lifestyle by accumulating debt or by selling off assets. Ultimately, being a perpetual, out-of-control borrower could end in bankruptcy.