One thing Quicken introduced some years back was the ability to associate a liability account to an asset account. So if you bought a house or a car, for instance, you could associate a corresponding loan account to the asset. Then Quicken could easily do the math (asset value – liability amount) to determine your equity.
This is useful if you’re contemplating taking out a home equity loan, or maybe selling your house. You might want to see if you’re upside-down on your car.
Moneydance doesn’t allow you to associate liability accounts with assets. I liked this feature of Quicken, so I set out to recreate it within Moneydance.
I accomplished this by creating customized net worth reports and graphs. The graph trends my equity over time, while the report shows me exactly how much equity I have at the time I run the report.
I started by building a standard net worth report.
I first chose the “Net Worth” graph from the list on the left.
I had to manually set the date range for the asset in question. In this case it was my car. I set the start date to the beginning of the month I acquired the car, and the end date to the end of the current year. One thing to note: I will, unfortunately, have to change this end date each year. You could get around this by setting the date further out than the current year, maybe as long as you plan to own the asset.
I then set it to group by quarter, and changed the “Show” value to “By Individual”. This allows me to choose the type of assets and liabilities I want. I clicked “None” to ensure I was starting with a clean slate, and then chose the asset account and the liability (loan) account for my car. I clicked the “Generate” button to build the graph.
This produces the graph you see above. In the example image here I placed an arrow on the point where I broke even on my car (when it was worth what I still owed on it). If you travel the line upward, this shows my equity increasing. (I know, I paid too much for this car. Don’t lecture me; I learned my lesson.)
Now this graph is great for trending over time. However, I want to see exactly how much equity I have right now, down to the dollar. I built a report to handle this.
Here I did almost the same thing that I did for the graph. Click “By Individual” and MD will show you specific accounts. Then choose only the asset and associated liability accounts you want to report on. I set the date to 12/31/2099, well beyond my lifespan. That will ensure I always have the latest value. Then I clicked “Generate”.
Above you’ll see the resulting report. This shows my asset account’s current value, as well as my associated loan account’s value. MD will do the math, and show you the difference. That’s my equity.
Even though these are really targeted net worth reports, I call them “Equity” reports when I memorize them for the MD home page. I built one for each of our cars, and one for the house. Since I have two mortgages on the house, I included my house’s asset account, and both the first and second mortgage accounts. You’d also want to include any home equity loans the same way (they take away from the value of your house too).
Hopefully this will be helpful to those of you need to see the equity in your larger assets. You’ll likely still want an overall net worth graph/report, but these specialized reports can be complimentary to those.
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