Which year-end money moves are important to make? Take advantage of our year-end planning checklist as a starting point to close out the current year and prepare for the new year.
Carpe diem (Seize the day) my friends! With the end of the year quickly approaching, the time for smart money moves has never been better.
Year End Financial Planning Checklist
Table of Contents
- 1 Year End Financial Planning Checklist
- 1.1 1. Top Money Move for the Year End: Give Thanks, and Count Your Blessings!
- 1.2 2. Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst (Life Insurance), a Family Oriented Money Move.
- 1.3 3. Setup a Budget – one of the best Year-End Money Money Moves to Make Now!
- 1.4 4. Still with me? Another Top Year-End Money Move: Review and Rebalance your Portfolio.
- 1.5 5. Be Generous, but not with our Uncle Sam: Year-End Moves for Extra Money (w/ Taxes in mind).
- 1.6 6. Reading Books – an Excellent Non-Money Move for Year-End!
- 1.7 7. Looking FORWARD: Smart Money Moves to Make with the Long-term in mind
- 1.8 8. Year-End Money Moves to Diversify Your Portfolio
- 1.9 9. Stock-Up and Resupply: A Practical thought among Year-End Money Moves
- 1.10 10. Plan a No-Spend Challenge (and Do It!)
- 1.11 11. Get your Side-Gig Ready
- 1.12 12. Demolish Debt + Cultivate Credit
- 2 Mêtis in our Year-End Money Moves Matters
Instead of the 12 Days of Christmas, I excitedly submit the 12 Year-End Money Moves Checklist… Ok, it definitely doesn’t have the same ring to it. However, I hope it serves you well and brings to mind a few options to explore. Best of luck to you, my friend!
1. Top Money Move for the Year End: Give Thanks, and Count Your Blessings!
My friend, we have so much to be thankful for! Especially during these times, find time to focus on something you are thankful for and count the rich blessings we enjoy in the USA. I listed this as number one because I believe a humble and thankful spirit and therefore a proper mindset is an essential checklist item to get started. It puts us all in a proper frame of mind for the rest of the list!
Say a quick prayer of thanks for friends, family, clothing, and food. Laugh, cheer, and enjoy this time of year!
2. Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst (Life Insurance), a Family Oriented Money Move.
On the same theme of being thankful, I’m reminded of how much I love my family. My wife and I don’t dwell on what “might” happen. However, we also take a moment to ensure and ensure our children will have something in the unfortunate event of our untimely passing. Friend, life insurance may not be particularly pleasant to think about but it is an act of love. Make a call or do some research online to determine what you can afford now to be a blessing to your kin.
3. Setup a Budget – one of the best Year-End Money Money Moves to Make Now!
Channel the Christmas spirit and take a look at your budget. What went well this year? What are some things that you can improve upon? There is no time like the present to get started and launch your budget. Use it as the foundational element for all your money matters. It is essential, and it is well worth the effort!
4. Still with me? Another Top Year-End Money Move: Review and Rebalance your Portfolio.
Take the opportunity to review your retirement accounts and consider rebalancing your portfolio as needed. This is a healthy exercise to consider as it keeps your overall trajectory on target with your goals for retirement. Personally, I look at this twice per year. Rebalancing brings your holdings in line with where you want to be in terms of weighting. For example: if you want 90% stock holdings overall but your stocks grew beyond 90% of your portfolio, you can sell to lower that position. Use the proceeds to re-invest into weightings that underperformed by comparison. If you’re very unfamiliar and uncomfortable with this, consider the services of a tax, accounting, or financial services professional to help with this common practice.
5. Be Generous, but not with our Uncle Sam: Year-End Moves for Extra Money (w/ Taxes in mind).
Taxes are right around the corner and Uncle Sam is never satiated. I’m all for paying what’s due, but why not take a minute to ensure you’re not missing an opportunity to be as efficient with your taxes as possible?
Alternative Examples: Instead of giving more to Uncle Sam, give more to a charity of your choosing, make an additional HSA contribution, 401(K) contribution, or other tax-advantaged investment. Consult a trusted professional who is familiar with your unique circumstances to help through any technical questions. I encourage you not to be intimidated by the unknowns here: my wife and I have done this a couple of times and it is fairly quick and painless! I’m glad to be smart and apply Mêtis in our Money Matters this way.
6. Reading Books – an Excellent Non-Money Move for Year-End!
The library is full of books that can make a tremendous positive impact on your life. I also recommend buying a few ‘essential’ personal finance books to have on hand. Here’s a quick list of reviews I’ve done on some of my favorites. Take matters into your own hands and become more financially literate! Looking for a place to begin? These books are great places to start, they’re easy to read, and they’re practical.
7. Looking FORWARD: Smart Money Moves to Make with the Long-term in mind
I’m all for seizing the day, and I love celebrating the year-end! There is much to be thankful for, and I know you’ve been working hard to improve Mêtis in your Money Matters. Please hear the excitement in my voice, and keep the momentum going, my friend! Build on your foundational Mêtis this coming year. Start thinking about your goals for next year, now. Just jot them down someplace you can keep track of them. “Noodle” on them throughout this month and start laying the foundation for an epic year.
What sort of legacy are you building? What have you built so far, and how will you improve and protect the gains you have made? Chief on the list of long-term considerations should be an effective plan for rising inflation, and what sort of inheritance you are on track to leave behind.
8. Year-End Money Moves to Diversify Your Portfolio
If you have the capacity (e.g. your emergency fund is well-established, life insurance is taken care of, and high-interest credit card debt is gone, etc.), consider putting a few bucks into investments you might not have much exposure to in your portfolio. For example, consider cryptocurrency (I think Bitcoin deserves a serious look) and precious metals. Additionally, think about an online brokerage for recreational investing (i.e. money you can afford to wholly lose).
9. Stock-Up and Resupply: A Practical thought among Year-End Money Moves
I’m not a tin-foil hat dooms-day prepper… yet, anyway… However, I do believe in being prepared. For most of us, practical and financial survival is not something that falls into our lap. It takes hard work, discipline, and strategy, it is very intentional, it takes Mêtis! Consider stocking up on a few essentials this year. No need to be driven by fear, but instead think about what you need for your “practical emergency fund” in terms of what you can physically store.
- Here’s a quick link to the government’s recommendations for financial preparedness.
- Here’s a FEMA downloadable for quick-reference on Emergency Supplies to consider.
10. Plan a No-Spend Challenge (and Do It!)
This ties in nicely with other items on this list, and I highly recommend it when you’re ready. It is harder than it looks! A proper no-spend challenge involves avoiding any non-essential spending and is heavily reliant on a functional budget and willing participants. My wife and I have done a few shorter ones (x1 month or less) and it is really amazing how quickly the dollars add up. Check out my post on how to save $10,000 in 1 year! Use this option to gain control of your finances, tackle debt, or otherwise promote frugal living.
11. Get your Side-Gig Ready
Have that idea deep inside of something you’d love to do but have never gotten around to it? Consider taking steps to fulfill that dream this coming year! It all starts with an idea – why not chase the dream a little and reach for it? Coming from personal experience, passion and vocational aspirations might seem “out of reach” when they could actually be just around the corner! Make a serious effort – take the plunge!
12. Demolish Debt + Cultivate Credit
Last, but certainly not least, think seriously about getting rid of that pesky credit card or high-interest debt. It is a life-changer! All the other items on this list (and more) can be expedited when your budget isn’t crowded out with debt payments. This is a real issue for a lot of American homes. If you find yourself struggling under this burden, then take heart and get ready for dramatic change for the better! Let this be the point at which you lay siege to the debt castle.
On the same train of thought, remember to keep your credit score in the front of your mind. Quick decisions could have a much longer impact on your credit score and is likely more difficult to correct. It is worth the extra effort to proceed with caution, investigate, and make sure the loans you take out (in any form) are aligned with your long-term financial goals and health. In particular, I think credit cards should be very carefully weighed and evaluated before signing up.
Mêtis in our Year-End Money Moves Matters
I hope this post brings some ideas to mind and encourages you to take action. My wife and I have started small, grown each year, and are excited to keep growing each year. It is not easy, and I think it takes maximum effort to accomplish smartly crafted goals and ambitions. Use the points in this list to empower and prepare yourself for the best years of your life!
The sky is the limit, and as you get deeper into achieving success in your Money Matters, as your Mêtis grows, you’ll find that you’re hungry for more each year. All it takes is one small step to get going! Just keep up the pace, and improve in small increments as you go. Take note of and celebrate your successes!
So my friend, wrap up your year with a bang!