List all of your liabilities. This includes what you owe on cars, the house or houses, student debt, credit card debt, etc.
Then list all your assets. Include the value of your home. But don’t overestimate here. This is a common mistake. If you want a real number, think what your house is worth then knock that number down by 10%. Trust me your data will be better.
Do not list the value of cars. They are not, in most circumstances investments and generally remain liabilities, with payments, repairs, insurance and gas, as long as you have them.
Do count CDs, mutual funds, cash, bonds, individual stocks, raw real estate, residuals, royalties, etc.
Then subtract the level of debt from your assets. Hopefully you will realize a positive number. Unfortunately too many Americans do not. Many of our neighbors are underwater not only in their homes but in their financial lives generally. Many people owe far more than they have, but are able to paper over the shortfall with credit. This only lasts but for so long. Especially in a credit crunch.
From here it’s up to you. If however I was looking at a negative net worth I would start cracking as to how I was going to reverse this. A negative net worth puts your family in a precarious place. Don’t remain financially hamstrung.