Your Year-End Financial Planning Checklist

Financial Education

It’s almost the new year —a time for resolutions and fresh starts. So, why not refresh your finances? The new year is a great opportunity to look back on your financial year, find ways to improve and set new financial goals. That’s where a financial checklist can help.

What Is a Year-End Financial Plan Checklist?

A year-end financial plan checklist is a list of tasks that cover various areas of your financials. From checking your credit score to reviewing your retirement savings, a good personal finance review should cover all your financial planning basics.

Why Should I Complete an Annual Financial Review?

You should complete an annual financial review to ensure that you are on track to reach your financial goals. A financial health checklist gives you the opportunity to reassess what isn’t working and keeps you proactive about your future. Plus, understanding your finances and seeing progress towards your goals can significantly reduce financial stress and encourage you to continue building your wealth.

Putting Together Your Custom Personal Finance Checklist

Everyone is at a different stage in their financial journey, which means that not all financial checklists are the same. It’s good to make one based on your financial situation and your goals. You’ll be more likely to complete those checklist items when they are more applicable to you.

What to Include on Your Financial Checklist

Here’s what to consider when assembling your financial planning outline.

Meet with Your Financial Planner

If you have a financial planner, make it a point to meet with them at the beginning of the year to go over your goals, ask your financial advisor questions about your annual review, reflect on the past year and consider their recommendations for the year to come.

Revise Your Financial Goals

New year, new goals? The start of the new year is a great time to review your financial goals to see if you met, are on track or need to revise your goals. Take time to reflect on last year’s goals and adjust as necessary. What went well? What could have been better? Is that goal and timeline still reasonable? Do you need to set new goals?

Rework Your Budget

Not every year is the same, so your budget likely won’t stay the same either! If you have new or revised goals, received a raise, took on more financial responsibilities or found where you can cut expenses, you’ll want to adjust your budget to account for these.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated. Use a budgeting app or the Centris monthly budget calculator to help you map out your budget for the new year.

Make a Plan for Your Debt

When did you last check that loan or credit card balance? If it’s been a while, now is a great time to review! Checking your debt balances can allow you to reset and regroup. Maybe you want to pay more this year so you can pay off that debt sooner. Or, maybe you don’t mind the smaller payment so that you have more money to save. Either way, checking in on those debt balances is an important step in starting the new year right.

Automate Your Savings & Investments

If you haven’t yet, consider automating your savings this year! Whether it’s for an emergency fund or something you’ve always wanted, automatic transfers can be a great tool to use if you want to save money this year. They can be set up to automatically transfer from your checking account to your savings account so that you don’t have to think about it. Plus, automatic transfers can be set to occur on days that work best for you, such as payday.

You can also automate your investments in retirement accounts, such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457 plan or an individual retirement account (IRA). If your employer offers one of these accounts, you may want to consider electing to have a set amount or a percentage of each paycheck automatically deposit into that account.

File Your Taxes & Invest Your Tax Return

While the deadline to file your taxes isn’t until April 15, 2024, it’s never too early to start gathering your documents and scheduling a meeting with your accountant. If you think you’ll be receiving a tax refund, it’s also a great time to think about what you can do with the money you’ll be refunded and aligning that with your financial goals—whether that’s putting it towards your savings goal, contributing more to your retirement account or paying off some high-interest debt.

Check Your Credit Report

Haven’t checked your credit report in a while? Reviewing your credit report is important since your credit score can play such a big role in your finances. Take time this year to get the three free yearly reports. If you spot a mistake, report it to the credit bureau.

Update Your Passwords

It’s good practice to update your passwords at least every six months, and the start of the year is a great time to do just that! Try to create strong, unique passwords for your accounts. From your banking credentials to your social media logins, each password should be unique and difficult to guess. You should also set yourself a reminder to update your passwords again in June.

Revisit Your Insurance Coverage

Your insurance coverage can be a valuable piece of your overall financial health. Review your current insurance coverage and make sure that you are adequately insured for the coming year!

Review Your Account Titles & Beneficiaries

If there have been any life changes in the past year, such as the addition of children or the passing of a loved one, you may want to review and update your account titles and beneficiaries.

Stick With It!

The new year is a great time to step back and refocus on your financial goals. Having a financial checklist that is tailored to you is one way to help you plan your year. But the planning shouldn’t stop there! As the year goes on, be sure to revisit your annual financial plan and adjust as necessary. And remember—you can do this!

Want more tips for creating financial checklists? Listen to our A Penny or Two for Your Thoughts podcast episode, A Financial Checklist for the New Year with Eric Gustafson, a certified financial planner with Gustafson Wealth Consultants of Raymond James. Check out the FREE Centris Financial Wellness Center to learn about topics like budgeting, saving, home buying and more while you curate your financial checklist. Or, for more personalized advice, schedule a financial counseling session through GreenPath Financial Wellness to connect with a financial expert who can help you start the new year on the right foot.

Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

<a href="" target="_self">Megan Steiner</a>

Megan Steiner


Megan Steiner is a marketing specialist at Centris Federal Credit Union in Omaha, Neb. She specializes in social media strategy, content creation and writing. Megan received her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and Bachelor of Foreign Language and Literature in German from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In her free time, Megan loves to learn languages and research sustainable clothing content for her personal blog.

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