Your Year-End Financial Checklist: 5 Things You Should Know

There is only a month left in 2018! It came and went as most years do: swift. Let me ask you: what is the best memory you have of this year?

As summer becomes a distant memory and crisp air settles over us, it is time to wrap up the duties and responsibilities of 2018 and start looking toward the new year. This is my favorite time of year, strategizing, brainstorming, and mind-mapping ways to make 2019 the best financial year yet.

Here are some key financial tenets to help build a foundation for financial success in the new year.

Net Worth Statement

So how much are you worth anyway? Net worth has nothing to do with the personal value that you bring to the world, rather it is the combination of your liabilities and your assets. By subtracting your liabilities from your assets, you can calculate your net worth. If your assets are higher than your liabilities then you have a positive net worth, and conversely, if your liabilities are higher than your assets you have a negative net worth.

Calculating your net worth is great preparation for the new year because it allows you to see your personal financial situation and can act as a springboard for new investment strategies in the coming year.

For your end-of-year checklist, I advise calculating both your net worth to assess your financial landscape in a more detailed view.

Estate Planning

You do not have to do a complete estate planning overhaul at the end of each year. It is, however, important to check in on your estate plans to be sure that everything is up-to-date. Think through the following:

  • Are your beneficiaries updated?
  • Do you need to make adjustments to your will?
  • Are your medical directives/power of attorney in place?
  • If you have children, are their guardians and trustees still accurate?  

Going through these estate planning essentials, you will feel more secure that your assets and your family is continually protected in the new year.


Technology is changing the way we relate to our finances. By offering new ways to invest, save, and spend, it is transforming the way we handle money. Embrace the age of automation. Automating your investments and payments will lighten your financial load in the new year.

Forgetfulness is a trait all people have in common. Especially at the end of the year with so many family responsibilities and activities, contributing to your retirement account or paying off the credit card you rarely use are the last things on your mind. Set up automatic payments to each of your credit cards so that you never forget or miss a payment.

Automating your payments can help you reach you 2019 financial goals. Let technology help you in saving the money you wish to save and developing a consistent payment system. Take a look at some basic things that can be automated:

  • Credit card payments
  • Loan repayments
  • Investments
  • Retirement accounts
  • Savings accounts

Take the plunge. Let 2019 be the year you take advantage of the technological advances that help you manage your finances.

Check In With Your Goals

What were the main financial goals you set for yourself in 2018? Evaluate those goals and see how well they panned out.

  • What were your 2018 goals?
  • Which were you able to accomplish? Why?
  • Which were you unable to accomplish? Why?

The why is the most important word in these questions. Having the ability to concretely give a reason for a success or failure will only aid you in the long run. This skill will provide you with the ability to alter your plans as necessary to make your goals attainable. If you can identify what you did right, you will be able to recycle that strategy for future use. If you know why an investment went south or why you were unable to repay the loan you wanted to, then you will be able to make the necessary adjustments in the new year.

When evaluating your goals, always ask yourself why.

Big Picture 2019

What does 2019 look like for you financially? Maybe you are looking at taking out a business loan to grow your practice, or you have a new baby on the way. Think about any large financial commitments and establish goals surrounding them.

The future is yours to create. Take some time as 2018 wraps up to really consider your financial goals for the new year. Check all of these boxes, and you will be ready to ring in the new year with a clear head and open heart.