What Are Household Assets?

The possessions in your home are examples of tangible, non-financial household assets.

The possessions in your home are examples of tangible, non-financial household assets.

Now that you've taken the plunge and moved in together, you've also taken the first step toward creating a household. While it might still feel strange to think that you are starting to "settle down," calculating your net household worth can provide a yardstick for measuring success in achieving your batch of lifetime goals. Accurately tracking the value of household assets can also help you to avoid getting the run-around from your insurance company in the event of an unforeseen emergency.

Financial Assets

Financial are those that are held only for the purpose of financial value, and are usually intangible. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, 93.9 percent of all U.S. families held some form of financial household asset as of 2007. Examples of financial household assets include money held in savings and checking accounts, certificates of deposits, savings bonds, stocks, retirement accounts, cash value life insurance policies, trusts, annuities, commodities futures, royalties, awards from lawsuits and cash on hand.

Non-Financial Assets

Non-financial household assets include possessions that have a basis other than simple financial worth, and are typically tangible items. For example, residential and business property -- both land and buildings -- are forms of non-financial household assets. Non-Financial assets also include tangible possessions that have value, such as vehicles of all types, electronic equipment, art, jewelry, furniture, appliances, or collectibles. Lastly, equity or ownership of a business is also defined as a non-financial asset by the United States Federal Reserve.

Calculating Net Household Worth

To find the net worth of your household, sum all of your non-financial and financial household assets. From this total, subtract all household liabilities. Household liabilities include money owed to other parties by any member of the household. These include outstanding debt owed on property loans, mortgages, money owed on vehicles, college loan debt or credit card debt. The difference between the sum of household assets and the sum of household liabilities is your net household worth.

Household Assets and Insurance

If you have property insurance, the purpose of which is to protect your household assets from fire, weather damage and theft, you should keep complete and accurate records of all tangible possessions in your house. This list of household assets should include the brand, make, model, serial number and cost of all physical assets in the home in case they are destroyed or stolen. This list should be stored outside the home or on the Internet in case of fire. If you do not maintain an inventory of household assets, your insurance company may not reimburse you for the full value of your assets in case of theft or destruction.


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