Article | 3:14 min read

Your Financial Checklist for the New Year

Budget and Save

A new year brings new opportunities to refresh your finances! Between the holidays and gift-giving, it’s a good time to set your budget up for success for the upcoming year. Check out these tips when planning your finances for the new year.

A person making a checklist

To make it easier on your holiday-occupied mind, use this financial checklist to make sure your funds and accounts are ready for the New Year.

1. Review your Yearly Budget

How do you track your monthly finances? Knowing where your money is going, is the first step in planning your budget. You may review your budget month-to-month and see if it’s working for you, however, doing a review of your yearly budget can help you see the overall picture of your money. Aside from spending on bills and essentials, review other areas of your finances that may need to be updated. For example, be sure you’re contributing the maximum amount of contributions to your retirement, especially if your employer matches a certain amount or percentage of contributions. If you’re not meeting your full retirement contributions, see if there are other areas in your budget where you can cut back, in order to contribute more to retirement savings. Maybe it’s spending less on entertainment or putting more funds into your retirement funds rather than emergency savings.

Don’t have a yearly budget yet? Now’s the best time to start! If you haven’t been tracking your yearly expenses (or even monthly expenses), the first item on your financial checklist is to track your spending and saving. One of the easiest ways is with Central Bank’s Money Manager. This personal financial management tool tracks the expenses on all of your accounts, including accounts from other institutions. Money Manager will track all of your checking, saving, credit card, loan, and investment accounts, so you can have a clear picture of your finances.

2. Review your Beneficiaries

A beneficiary is a person or entity you choose to receive the benefits or money associated with a financial account, retirement account, or life insurance policy. Be sure to regularly review your financial and health documents to ensure your beneficiary is someone you feel comfortable inheriting or controlling your finances in your stead. After all, a lot can happen within a year that impacts your finances – a spouse or significant other may not be involved in your life anymore, or children may be a new consideration.

3. Emergency Fund

At the beginning of the New Year, set a target amount for how much money you’d like to save during the year. Check your progress regularly and make any adjustments you need. When thinking about the New Year, see if there are any new sources of income you have, or if there are new expenses you didn’t have last year.

4. Crunch the Numbers on Credit Debt

Shopping for the holidays can do a number on your budget, and you may be tempted to use credit cards or Buy Now, Pay Later services when doing your holiday shopping. Even outside the holidays, keeping a close eye on your credit card balances will positively impact your finances. Whether or not it’s related to holiday shopping, try to pay down as much money as possible on your credit card balances heading into the New Year. Coming up with a debt payoff timeline will help you manage and set goals for paying down debts.

5. Request your Free Annual Credit Report

Getting your credit report can help protect your credit history from mistakes, errors, or signs of identity theft. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA, allows you to receive a free credit report annually from each of the three national credit reporting companies – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Visit the FTC’s website for more information about getting your credit report, and visit to request your credit report.

It is important to check on your financial well-being regularly. After your finances are in-check, you can relax knowing you’re as prepared as possible for the New Year.


The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.