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Getting Your Finances in Order: Year-End Financial Checklist

The end of the year is an ideal time to tidy up your finances and set yourself up for success in the new year. Having an organized system and up-to-date financial records can save you time, money, and headaches when it comes tax season.

Follow this comprehensive year-end financial checklist to make sure no money-saving stone is left unturned before January 1st.

Review and Max Out Retirement Contributions

One of the biggest year-end financial steps is confirming you have contributed enough to retirement accounts for maximum growth and any eligible employer matching funds. Review contributions made year-to-date to 401ks, IRAs, HSAs, and other retirement plans. Determine if you can squeeze any last-minute, tax-advantaged deposits in before December 31st.

Tally All Tax-Relevant Deductions

Gather any paperwork related medical expenses, charitable donations, business expenditures, and other potential write-offs you’ll need when filing your tax return. Add up totals under each deductions category. If you are missing any receipts for likely deductions, try to track them down now.

Take Stock of Investment Performance

Look at how your investments performed over the year – what yielded good returns and what underperformed. Rebalance your portfolio if needed to make sure your asset allocation aligns with your risk tolerance and long-term goals. Also look for any losing stocks that you may consider selling to capture tax losses.

Review Budgets and Spending

Take a big picture look at your expense tracking and budget over the last year. Identify any problematic spending habits or budget areas that need better controls implemented. Start planning adjustments to your budget to maximize savings in the new year.

Check out this budget planner for 2024 to start your year off with a plan.

Check Credit Reports for Errors

Mistakes happen, so scan all credit reports carefully for any inaccuracies or suspicious activity. Dispute errors with creditors and the credit bureaus right away to fix problems that could impact your credit score. Sign up for credit monitoring if you don’t already use it.

Get Organized for Tax Season

Finally, get your paperwork in order. File away any documents needed to prepare your tax return, such as 1099s, receipts, statements showing interest income, etc. Organize paperwork by category and create digital backups of all files. Shred any unnecessary sensitive paperwork.

Check every item off this year-end financial checklist to close out the year feeling in control and ready to build financial health in 2023.

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