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2018 Financial Review Checklist & Planning Ahead

There are only a handful of days remaining in the year. With some extra time off, our credit counseling advice is to take a look over your finances from the year. And you can move forward and plan your goals for 2019! Here is a 2018 financial review checklist to guide you.

In order to tackle debt, create a 2018 Financial Review Checklist.

In order to tackle debt, create a 2018 Financial Review Checklist.

2018 Financial Review Checklist

A financial review is a great exercise that everyone should undertake. Without a review, you won’t know if you can cross goals off the list, keep them or add others. You can also discover the reasons why certain things happened or did not happen. Take a look at this 2018 financial review checklist to see how your choices and goals matched up. As you read through the checklist, consider what your goals will be for 2019.


First, we will start with income. Income affects all sorts of financial goals, including: debt elimination, retirement, saving for an emergency fund, vacations, etc. Understanding if your salary or wages lost, gained or held steady is important when reviewing your finances.

  • Any change to income?
  • Will it be different in the new year?
  • Do you need to increase your income to accomplish all your goals for 2019?


Next, we will take a look at debt. Here is a list of possible debts you may have been trying to pay off in 2018:

  • Auto Loan
  • Mortgage
  • Payday Loan
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Student Education Loans
  • Utility Bills

And now review the status of each debt:

  • Did you repay the debt?
  • Are you still on track to meet your goal or do you need extra time?
  • Has the debt done additional financial damage?
  • Any other notes or importance?


Let’s take a look at how you did with savings goals. Types of savings goals include:

  • Rainy Day Fund- $1,000
  • Building a 3-6 month Emergency Fund
  • Retirement
  • College Fund
  • Down Payment
  • Christmas Presents
  • Travel

Review if you have met the goal or need additional time. Also evaluate why it got off track or why it was successful.


Finally, we arrive at budgeting. All of your goals hinge on budgeting. You can’t reach any goals without telling your money what to do…in a budget! Was budgeting part of your goals for 2018? Here are some ways to evaluate your budgeting skills:

  • Did you create and follow a monthly household budget?
  • Were you able to adapt the budget as needed when income or priorities changed?
  • Did you forget lots of budgeting items or did you remember them fairly well?
  • Were there more times than not when you overspent on the budget?

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to budgeting and financial goals. Taking time each year is key to achieving success. Use this 2018 financial review checklist to help you direct your efforts.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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