Closing out the year means putting away decorations, celebrating the New Year, and planning out those New Year’s Resolutions. But, if you’re determined to make money work for you in the new year, an end-of-the-year financial review is just as important as that other stuff. In fact, a full financial checkup is what you need to evaluate your progress towards current goals. If the process of doing a money review sounds about as fun as a root canal (or you don’t really know where to start) I’m here to help you make the process easier and more effective.
It can feel like a daunting task to face the money facts from your life from the past 12 months. I get it! No matter where you are in your financial journey, ANYTHING can feel scary when put under the microscope. But we get so much valuable information from really looking at our money – not to shame ourselves for last year’s mistakes, but to prepare ourselves to not make the same mistakes this year. Year-end money reviews reveal patterns or habits that we can pinpoint and troubleshoot so we can course-correct.
Do you feel like you lost your sense of money or self-worth in 2021? Going through an end-of-year financial checklist puts control back in your hands. The more you know, the more you can change. It’s now or never (or next year), so let’s do this now!
How to give your finances a check-up like a pro
Your annual financial review can start as a 60-minute process with pen and paper (or computer and keyboard). Be 100% honest, or the process doesn’t really work. It might take some white-knuckling, but it will be okay, I promise. Start with the steps below and reach out if you need any support along the way.
Take a Look Back: How did you do? The first step is taking a birds-eye view of the whole financial picture – this time from a yearly perspective. That means writing down the income, the credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage/rent, car payments, investments…whatever’s on your money map, write it all out in a style that works for you. An excel sheet usually works best.
Review and Streamline: Audit your current buckets of monthly membership plans, annual subscriptions, etc. Do you spot any areas that can be canceled or reduced? Maybe you haven’t used that HBO subscription in 10 months and it’s time to let it go. You’d be surprised at what kind of money you can find by double-checking these expenses every single year.
Check Your Credit Reports: review your full credit report from all three credit bureaus. Even if you check throughout the year (which is awesome BTW!), make sure that everything is looking accurate and you know your score going into January 2022.
Develop a Strategy: Time to celebrate and troubleshoot, all at the same time. Take stock! What should you absolutely keep doing, because it’s really working for you? And what should you honestly drop or change because it’s hurting you in the long run? Now’s the time. Work it into this year’s plan.
Share with Your Tribe: Empowering ourselves with money knowledge and greater control over our financial futures is made so much easier, more fun, and totally supported by a tribe of like-minded people who get it. Give yourself the accountability and support system that you need to achieve your 2022 money goals.
The Bottom Line on End-of-Year Financial Reviews
Capping off your holiday season with an annual financial review can rival the best New Year’s resolution out there. Besides, you can’t make a proper money resolution until you know where you stand. It is so worth the effort! And I’m here to make it easier – because you don’t have to do it alone. Need a tribe? Join mine. If you are looking for help getting your $hit together or learning how to invest your money in the new year, take my GIT Elevated Money Course today.