Do you have money tasks that you need to do but you keep putting off? Today’s financial to-do list will put you back on track so you can start checking things off your list.
Managing your whole life, especially your financial life, can be difficult.
There are so many things to remember and so many things you’ve said you’ll get to – I know I’ve been there.
If you’re like many people, you either procrastinate or you simply can’t find the time to squeeze everything in. If this is you, then this financial to-do list checklist will help you make the time to get stuff done!
The purpose of this to-do list is to help you take control of your financial life. The items on this list will help you save more money, plan for the future, budget, protect your family, pay off debt, and more.
I believe that everyone should have a financial to-do list, and if you’ve never made one, today’s article will give you an idea of what should be on yours.
Now, you definitely do not have to do everything on this to-do list, but this list will give you ideas and motivation for making and tackling your list. You may also find some things you would normally forget about or overlook.
After reading through this article, you will be prepared to start checking things off your list!
Your 2023 financial to-do list.
1. Create or update your budget
When was the last time you looked at your budget? This is a great thing to put at the top of your financial to-do list because it can have a positive impact on how you spend and save.
I recommend looking to see if you need to:
- Update/change your income or expenses
- Check in on your spending and see if anything needs to be changed or worked on
- Analyze whether or not your budget is realistic and if it needs to be improved
If you don’t have a budget or need help getting on track with yours, please read The Complete Budgeting Guide: How To Create A Budget That Works.
2. Sign up for your company’s 401(k) match
If your company offers a 401(k) match, then you should consider signing up for it.
A company or employer match is when your employer contributes to your 401(k), which is a type of retirement account that you get through an employer.
Because a 401(k) match is basically free money that will help you grow your retirement savings, this is one of the best things to have on your financial to-do list. I highly recommend taking advantage of your company’s match if you can!
A 401(k) allows you to invest a portion of your paycheck before taxes are taken out, and the amount in your 401(k) can grow tax free until you withdraw. Once you reach retirement and take money out of your 401(k), the amount you withdraw from this account is taxed.
Your 401(k) is an account that holds investments, similar to how your bank account holds your money. You may choose to place investments in your 401(k) such as in stocks, mutual funds, and more.
Each company offers its own kind of match. For example, an employer may match 100% of your contribution, up to 5% of your salary.
If you’re not signed up for your company’s 401(k), please contact your company’s human resources department to see what you need to do.
3. Get life insurance to protect your family
If you don’t have a life insurance policy yet, now is a good time to get one.
Life insurance is most likely an expense that you can afford. I did a quick search and I was able to find a $1,000,000 policy for 20 years, for less than $30 per month.
Life insurance is money for your family if you were to pass away. Whether you are the sole earner or if you do not have a job but others rely on you, life insurance is a necessity for most households and families.
You can use life insurance money to pay for funeral expenses, day-to-day bills, pay off debt (even if you are single, if your parents have cosigned on your debt such as student loans, life insurance is so important!), etc.
4. Get your free credit report
Reading through your credit report on a regular basis is important. The reason checking your credit report should be on your financial to-do list is because it will help you address debt issues and see if there is any fraud on your accounts.
You can receive one annual free credit report from the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).
This means that you get one from each, so three per year. You can even space them out so you can get one credit report every four months.
You can learn more about this here.
You can also check your credit score with Credit Sesame for free.
5. Shop around for cheaper insurance
Unfortunately, it is likely that you are overpaying for insurance, and that’s why this one needs to be on your financial to-do list about once a year.
I recommend shopping around and comparing quotes for car and home insurance, as you may be able to save over $1,000 on each policy by simply shopping around.
In fact, not too long ago, a family member of mine was paying around $2,200 a year for car insurance, and when I found out, I simply could not believe it. I knew instantly that they were way overpaying for car insurance. I easily helped them find insurance with better coverage for just $600 a year. Yes, they were able to save around $1,600 in literally less than 30 minutes, and they were still with one of the top car insurance companies.
You can shop car insurance rates through Get Jerry here. Get Jerry makes this easy because they provide you with quotes from up to 45 companies. Switching your coverage is also very easy to do.
6. Build an emergency fund
No matter how little you start with, emergency funds can be very helpful.
An emergency fund is money that you have saved for when something unexpected happens.
Your emergency fund can be used for paying your bills if you lose your job (or if your hours or pay are cut), paying for a car repair, a medical bill, or something like a surprise leaking roof. You can see why I’ve suggested starting an emergency to this financial to-do list – it helps you when you need it the most!
You can learn more at Why You Need An Emergency Fund and How To Start One Today.
7. Start investing for your future
If you’ve been wanting to invest but haven’t started yet, take this financial to-do list as your sign to start now!
Investing is important because it will help you retire one day, allow your money to grow over time, and more.
After all, if you weren’t investing, your savings would just be sitting there and not earning a thing.
This is important to note because $100 today will not be worth $100 in the future if you just let your money sit under a mattress or in a checking account. However, investing can actually turn your $100 into something more.
For example: If you put $1,000 into a retirement account that has an annual 8% return, 40 years later that would turn into $21,724. If you started with that same $1,000 and put an extra $1,000 in it for the next 40 years at an annual 8% return, that would then turn into $301,505. If you started with $10,000 and put an extra $10,000 in it for the next 40 years at that same percentage rate, that would then turn into $3,015,055.
Learn more at How To Start Investing For Beginners With Little Money.
8. Get rid of your expensive TV bill
Getting rid of cable or canceling some of your streaming services is something I know many people have on their financial to-do lists.
Paying for cable or multiple streaming services at a time really adds up, and I know many people who have been procrastinating on canceling for a while.
Take a good look at how much you are paying to watch TV and think about what else you could do with that money.
We decided to get rid of cable over five years ago. We currently pay for Netflix, but we even went a few years without that. We don’t regret this one bit.
Here’s a list of TV alternatives to read about: How to get rid of cable and still watch TV.
9. Calculate your net worth
Do you know your net worth?
There is a free, easy tool that allows you to calculate and track your net worth, and it’s probably the most popular financial tool in existence right now.
Personal Capital is free personal finance software that allows users to better manage their finances and track their net worth.
You can connect and track accounts, such as your mortgage, bank, credit cards, retirement accounts, and more – and Personal Capital is all free.
With this tool, you can track your cash flow, spending, savings amount, investments, and more. It’s really helpful to see everything in one place!
10. Go on a cheap vacation with travel rewards credit cards
Taking a vacation may not sound like something that should be on your financial to-do list, but what I’m sharing is an affordable way to take your next vacation.
Using a travel rewards credit card means that you earn points that can be redeemed for free or cheap travel. You can earn airline tickets, gift cards, hotel stays, cash, etc., all for simply using your credit card.
If you are going to pay for something anyway, then you might as well get something for free out of it, right?
If you travel a lot and/or already use credit cards, then signing up for the ones with the best rewards can help you earn free travel.
Two cards I recommend include:
Note: Of course, if you know that you are bad with credit cards, please skip this section because a vacation isn’t worth wrecking your finances.
11. Find a work-from-home career
Are you wanting to find a new job? If so, then a work-from-home job may be worth thinking about.
Finding a new job or a side hustle can help you make more money to put towards other financial goals, such as paying off debt, starting an emergency fund, investing, and so on.
Here is a list of online jobs that may interest you:
12. Fill out an emergency binder
Are you organized with all of your important documents and personal information?
I know many people who probably wish that they had all of their important information in one easy area.
If this is you, then starting an emergency binder should be on your financial to-do list!
An emergency binder is a way to store personal financial information, like bank account numbers and passwords. You can store insurance information, personal details about you and each member of your family, information about bills, and more.
I know there are many, many families who would be lost if something were to happen to the person who usually manages their finances
Accounts could get lost, you may forget passwords, bills may go unpaid, life insurance may be hard to find, and more.
It’s best to keep a family emergency binder just in case something were to happen, even if it’s something no one ever wants to think about.
This can be useful in non-emergencies as well. Creating a binder like this organizes all of your family’s information in one place. It makes finding any piece of information quick and easy, and you’ll probably refer to it often.
My top tip is to check out the In Case of Emergency Binder to help you with creating your own emergency binder. This is a 100+ page fillable PDF workbook.
13. Have a money meeting
If you have a spouse or a partner, then having regular money meetings is important so that everyone is on the same page and knows what is going on.
In these family money meetings, you may want to talk about:
- Completing an annual financial checkup (such as going through this list!)
- Evaluating your debt and seeing what can be done to eliminate it (if that’s your goal)
- Looking over your goals and seeing how you can make them a reality
- Going over the family budget together
- Talking about retirement, and how you’re progressing towards it
- Planning a vacation, including how much it will cost and how you’ll pay for it
- Anything other major expenses that may be coming up in the near or long-term, such as buying a house, a car, paying for school, and so on
- Any financial issues that you or your family may be experiencing
Every family and household is different, so you may talk about different topics.
There is no exact outline of what you should talk about in your money meetings because every financial situation is different. The point is to regularly meet with your partner or spouse and have an honest discussion about your money.
14. Check your debt progress
According to the New York Fed’s Household Debt and Credit Survey, the average U.S. household debt in 2021 was $96,371. That includes mortgage and consumer loans, but it is still a very big number!
Having debt, especially high-interest rate credit card debt, can hold you back from taking vacations, retiring, saving for emergencies, and more.
If you already have a plan to pay off your debt, then your financial to-do list should include checking on your progress. You can see how close you are, if you can increase your payments, and so on.
If you haven’t started making a plan to pay off your debt, please read Pay Off Debt And Break Free Of The Debt Cycle – You Can Do It!
15. Set new financial goals
Having financial goals, like a debt pay off milestone or savings goal, is a great way to stay motivated.
Your financial goals may include:
- Saving up for a down payment on a house
- Retiring before you turn 30, 40, 50, or 60
- Paying off your student loans
- Saving up six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund
- Hitting $1,000,000 in net worth
- Buying your first rental property
And much more!
Once you reach your goal, keep yourself going and set a new financial goal.
It’s also okay to set smaller financial goals, and for big ones, I recommend breaking them down into smaller goals. It will feel much more manageable that way, and you will set yourself up for success.
Read more in 70+ Goal Ideas For 2023.
Your financial to-do list – Summary
Having a to-do list for your money is something I believe everyone should do. You may want to create a list and put it somewhere visible, make the list on your phone, set reminders, and so on. You have to find a way to stay accountable and on track.
Today’s article should help you remember your to-do list and think about what other important financial tasks you should take care of, which can include:
- Creating or updating your budget
- Signing up for your company’s 401(k)
- Getting life insurance
- Checking your credit report
- Shopping around for cheaper insurance
- Building an emergency fund
- Starting to invest
- Getting rid of your expensive TV bill
- Calculating your net worth
- Going on a cheap vacation with credit card reward points
- Finding a work-from-home career
- Filling out an emergency binder
- Having a money meeting
- Checking your debt progress
- Setting new financial goals
What’s on your financial to-do list?