Q: With 2020 drawing to a close, I’d love to give myself an end-of-year financial review. Where do I begin?
A: Giving yourself an end-of-year financial review is a great way to start the new year with your finances in top shape. Here’s all you need to know about this end-of-year ritual.
Step 1: Review all your debts and create a payoff plan
List all of your debts and their interest rates. Have you made any real progress toward paying them off this year?
If your debt needs some help, you have two primary options for how to proceed:
- The avalanche method. Focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. When it is paid off, continue onto the debt with the second-highest interest rate. Move through the list until you’ve paid off all debts.
- The snowball method. Work your way through your debts, starting with the lowest-balance debt, and then move to the next, applying what you would have paid to the previous debt. Repeat until all are paid off.
Step 2: Automate your savings
Make savings easy by making it automatic. Give us a call at to set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings account. This way, you’ll never forget to put money into savings again.
Step 3: Review the progress you have (or haven’t) made on financial goals
Have you made measurable progress toward your financial goals in 2020?
Take a few minutes to review your goals, taking note of your progress and determining how you can move toward better achieving those you didn’t quite achieve.
Step 4: Review your retirement account(s) and investments
As you work through this crucial step, be sure to review the following variables:
- Your employer’s matching contributions. Are you leaving money on the table?
- The maximum IRA contribution limits for 2021. You will likely need to make adjustments.
- Management fees and expense ratios for your investments. Fees should ideally be less than 0.1%.
- Your stock/bond ratio and investing style. Do you want to make any changes?
Step 5: Set new financial goals for 2021
As you finish reviewing your financial progress for the past year, look forward to accomplishing greater financial goals in the coming year.
Set goals that are SMART:
Wishing you a financially healthy New Year!