As 2020 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back and review your personal finances. If you’ve been keeping track of your finances this year, we’ve got some great tips to help you complete your end of year evaluation.
Take a look at each month for the past year and compare your best month to your worst. Find patterns in your spending and savings. Take note of major setbacks or windfalls to help you plan for next year. This may include electricity cost fluctuations between the seasons, car maintenance and other expenditures.
Evaluate your debts and take note of personal accomplishments in paying down your debts. Tally up the debts that remain so that when you’re ready to plan next year’s budget it’ll be handy.
Did you lose a job or get furloughed this year? Start a new job? Marry, divorce, add a baby to the family or move house? Any one of these life changes begs consideration when it comes to your personal finances. Notice the impact these changes have on your monthly budget.
Check Your Credit
It’s a good idea to check your credit with a soft inquiry (won’t affect your credit score) a few times a year to keep tabs on debt and check for errors or fraud. This will also help you when making your goals for next year.
Look back at the goals you set earlier this year and see where you stand in accomplishing them. Were you able to meet the goals? If you did not meet a certain goal, evaluate whether it’s still a current priority and put it on the list for 2021.
Review your life insurance policies and ensure that as your family’s needs change, you adjust your policy accordingly.
Did you fall short of your financial goals? Acknowledge missteps, mistakes and setbacks. Personal Finance is a skill and you’re still learning, so don’t get stuck in these setbacks. Acknowledge them and course-correct for next year.