Financial Checklist Ideas for 2022 ✅

Good morning and HAPPY 2022!

It’s gonna be a great year. 💪

And to kick it off I want to share this cool Get Ready Financial Calendar from a fellow money expert, Tony Steuer.

What I love about this is that unlike most annual goal lists, this plan is broken down by month, allowing you to focus on improving just one area of your financial life at a time. Kind of cool!

Check it out 👇👇👇

  • January: Organize your financial documents. It’s like “spring cleaning” for your finances. This includes gathering tax documents and receipts.
  • February: Monitor your financial dashboard (cash flow and net worth statements). This lets you see how you did last year and if you want to make any changes for the new year.
  • March: Review your loans and expenses. Determine whether you can reduce your payments and expenses, including refinancing and consolidating debt.
  • April: File federal and state tax returns. Check your income tax withholding.
  • May: Review your emergency plan. Set up your financial emergency plan by creating a critical emergency action list and a financial first aid kit.
  • June: Hold a family financial meeting. Review and communicate financial goals and priorities. Includes all members of your family, including children and parents.
  • July: Review beneficiaries and estate planning docs to make sure they are correct. This includes wills, trusts, and advance directives.
  • August: Review your personal investment policy statement (investments and allocations), retirement tracker & college contributions.
  • September: Review insurance policies. Determine if coverage still meets your needs.
  • October: Open enrollment begins for employee benefits. Review healthcare and Medicare.
  • November: Identity monitoring. Order and check over your credit reports and consumer reports.
  • December: Wrap up loose ends, check for unclaimed money!

**Tony includes a bunch of resources and further detail over at his website here if you want to dig deeper into each area.**

Or, depending on your wealth stage, maybe you want to modify some months and add in tasks that are more important to you?

Other Checklist and Money Goal Ideas

The list above is pretty general – which I think is cool because goal planning means something a lil different to everyone. You can always drill down and make specific goals within each category.

Adding to the above, here are a couple of areas I would probably want to add to my list (maybe some are applicable to you…):

  • Assess your job situation: Make sure your job still lines up with your values. Check or negotiate your pay, think about your next career move and start building the skills needed to make an upgrade or change if you want. (Or, if you’re well on your path to FI, consider a lateral move to have a better work/life balance!)
  • Continue your financial education:  You’ll never regret increasing your financial knowledge, and there’s always something new out there to learn. (One of the areas I haven’t fully wrapped my head around yet is the whole crypto/blockchain crapola. Maybe next year I’ll dig into that!)
  • Introduce a friend to FIRE 🔥🔥🔥: Financial independence is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. While you’re out there building wealth and improving your finances, make sure your friends are aware of what’s going on. A rising tide lifts ALL ships.
  • Consider your social responsibility: To benefit the most from your community → you need to CONTRIBUTE to your community. (Well, that’s how I view the world. 😊) Rather than thinking about how 2022 is going to serve you the best, it’s interesting to flip the question and think about donating, giving, volunteering, and helping others.
  • Review automations and systems: Finances are WAAAAAY easier when they are out of sight/out of mind. Take a look at all the money that comes in and out of your life, and think about ways to automate the flow. (Automatic bill-pay, direct deposits, mobile capabilities, auto-transfers to investment accounts, etc.)
  • Review your portfolio “passiveness”: A few years ago I realized some of my assets were stressing me out! In particular, rental properties. So, I made a long-term plan to move all that equity over into simpler investments. Is it worth reviewing all your assets and making sure you’re getting the best possible sleep at night? 

What did I miss? What’s on your financial list this year?

Cheers to a kickass 2022!

Love, Joel

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17 Comments

  1. Angie Pannkuk January 3, 2022 at 6:17 AM

    Happy New Year Joel!!!

    Have you ever done a post on cryptocurrency and I missed it? If not, I would love to see you do one or at least do a guest post with someone crushing it in the crypto space. Crypto turned many into millionaires this year!

    Reply
    1. Joel January 3, 2022 at 9:46 AM

      Hey Angie! Nope, we haven’t talked much about crypto on the blog. I’ll look into a possible guest post. I’ve been weary of highlighting *only* the people that crush it, because I know many others have experienced the opposite. Just want to make sure both sides are talked about :)

      Reply
  2. Liz January 3, 2022 at 7:52 AM

    Happy New Year!
    I was reading somewhere, if you expect a refund, and have all your papers, why wait until April to file your taxes?

    I’d also suggest checking 401k contributions in Aug or Sept to have time to adjust. Some places it takes 1 or 2 pay periods to go into effect. Don’t wait until December to realize you’ll be over. The past few places I’ve only been able to contribute as a % and with a company change, raises moved from March to September. While it’s great to get a raise, good to just check on things to avoid surprises. It’s also a chance to increase with the extra raise money if you have the ‘room’.

    Reply
    1. Joel January 3, 2022 at 9:42 AM

      Both great points! The earlier you file, the quicker you get your money back :)

      Also for the 401k changes, it can take some employers up to 2 pay periods to adjust contributions. Definitely worth planning ahead in the year so you don’t run out of time. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
      1. Olaf, the Mile High Finance Guy January 5, 2022 at 12:43 AM

        Definitely wise to plan around the 2 paycheck delay, as it is pretty standard. When I worked as an advisor for 401(k) plans, this was common about half the time. Additionally, with Roth conversions, many plans have cutoffs that can predate the last market day of the year by up to 2 days due to settlement of funds on certain securities.

        Reply
    2. Tony Steuer January 5, 2022 at 10:22 AM

      Hi Liz,
      That’s a great point. 401(k) contributions are definitely part of the August Investment Policy Statement Review. I will be sure to add that as a clear component.

      Reply
  3. Joe Darago January 3, 2022 at 11:09 AM

    Thanks for the positive vibe! This year is dripping with possibility.

    Reply
    1. Joel January 3, 2022 at 12:04 PM

      Agreed! So much to look forward to! :) Happy New Year Joe!

      Reply
  4. Chris January 3, 2022 at 11:14 AM

    Yes, here’s one. And I NEED to do it. Teach your spouse. I am the spouse who handles 99% of all the bills. I was a teenager when I got married and in my mid 50’s. My husband is older than me. One of my goals for this year is to write or type everything down and teach him how to do everything, paying bills, access online investments, etc., etc.

    I have a question on the missing money situation. Years ago, we received a small amount from a credit card company, so I know how this works. This was something I had nothing to do with in pursuing actively. However, about five years ago, we were supposed to have been refunded about $200 from a dog medication company. They said they refunded it to our credit card (which had since been closed). I have made phone calls and written letters and have never gotten my money back. Would you assume that it is the retail company and not the credit card company that owes us money? I would assume the credit card company money would have ended up on a “missing money” web site by now. And I have checked. I don’t know if I should keep trying to pursue it. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Joel January 3, 2022 at 12:03 PM

      Hey Chris! Typically when a refund goes to a closed credit card, the credit card company sends you a check or credits your account somehow. So I guess this should show up in the missing money reports eventually. If you don’t find it there, perhaps the dog med company never actually issued the refund. I’d continue pursuing them to prove the refund was actually issued.

      Love the finance playbook and teaching your spouse goal! So important in case of emergency!

      Reply
    2. Chris January 7, 2022 at 12:24 PM

      Would you advise me to continue pursing this with the credit card company or do you think it’s the dog medication company? Thanks for your opinion.

      Reply
  5. Olaf, the Mile High Finance Guy January 5, 2022 at 12:49 AM

    I love the list, Joel. For December, I would change it to setting up and modifying automatic investments due to contribution limit increases and pay increases.

    Regarding your current list, I got a letter in the mail claiming that I have forgotten money of $20 from my home closing escrow account from 5 years back. However, I am skeptical, so the due diligence process will begin, as I am inclined to think it is a scam. But if it’s real, than woohoo!

    Reply
    1. Joel January 5, 2022 at 7:30 AM

      Woohoo $20! Definitely check for scams, but i think escrow closing accounts is one of the more common ways to have missing money.

      Reply
  6. Tony Steuer January 5, 2022 at 10:24 AM

    Joel,
    Thank you very much for sharing the Financial Calendar. I’m working on expanding it to help provide a monthly roadmap for people to review their complete financial lives.
    Cheers,
    Tony

    Reply
    1. Joel January 5, 2022 at 11:39 AM

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing it Tony and I’m looking forward to checking out the expanded version :). Happy new year!!

      Reply
  7. Chris January 6, 2022 at 1:21 PM

    What would you suggest on the missing money issue? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Joel January 6, 2022 at 1:34 PM

      Hey Chris! First, hit up the place that promised the refund. Get them to provide proof they sent the money, date they processed it, and what CC exactly they refunded too. Then, hit up the CC company to chase down the credit payable to you.

      Reply

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