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Your End-of-Year Financial Checklist

Your End-of-Year Financial Checklist

The year is winding down, and as such, it’s a good idea to do a little financial check-in to make sure you’re above board. That is, you’re doing everything you should be doing to help keep you on track to hit your financial goals, next year and beyond! Here are some things to do before the end of the year (or early next year) to keep your finances in order.

Revisit your budget

Remember, your budget is the foundation for your entire financial plan. Without it, you’re rudderless — so, if you don’t have a budget in place, now is the time to put one together. And since our lives change over the course of a year, it can be a good habit to retool your budget every so often to make sure your lifestyle and expenses still match up.

If your rent went up, update your budget. Inflation has driven prices for all sorts of things, like food, up too. Account for that. Did you get a raise? Add that in as well! Don’t forget to keep some “fun money” in there, too. Just be sure you check in with your budget and make sure it’s up to date.

Check your debt and credit

Take stock of how much debt you have — be it student loan debt, credit card debt, or money you owe on a car loan. The idea is to get a broad picture of how much total debt you have, and to make sure that you’re not only making your regular payments, but that paying that debt completely off is a part of your long-term financial plans.

It’s also a good idea to check your credit score. See if anything looks off, and even consider downloading your credit report to get an even more in-depth look. It never hurts to check!

Set some goals

Take some time to set some goals for next year, too. You should always have goals in place — R.I.C.H. Goals — but you can have all sorts of goals for all sorts of things, too. If you tackled some of your goals during the past year, then give yourself some congratulations as well! But let’s look ahead: What can you tackle next?

Review your investments

If you’re not investing, get started! There are some relatively easy ways to get the ball rolling. 

If you’re already investing, check your portfolio to see how it’s doing. Are there changes you should or want to make? Is it getting complicated, and you need to check in with a professional? Are you investing often enough? Ask yourself these questions, and think more deeply about how your investments will help you reach your financial goals.

Remember: Investments pay off over the long term, so if the past year wasn’t kind to your portfolio, don’t sweat it. You have time to make it up in the years ahead!

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And check out our white paper: “Strategies for Increasing Financial Literacy Rates Among High School and College Students”

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