Year End Financial Review

I can’t find this posted anywhere, so…

Does anyone do a year end financial review? If so, what’s included? How do you go about it?

I’ve been watching YouTube videos with mixed success. Also doing a deep dive into last year’s finances, and working on a proposed budget for my personal allowance for this year.

One YouTube video had you ask 5 questions about the state of your finances:

  1. what was your debt going into 2022 vs going out of it?
  2. Did you increase your income any?
  3. What was the best investment (not necessarily money) decision you made?
  4. What were the poor financial decisions you made?
  5. On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your financial situation?

I also did a revised Net Worth statement and compared it to the beginning of 2022.

Plus I did a deep dive into what percentage of our budget is spent on each category.

And a deep dive into our grocery receipts, trying to figure out where we’re spending the most money and if that’s where we want to spend it. And percentages there too.

I ran through my personal budget with a fine tooth comb. I analyzed all the subscriptions and memberships, figuring out where to cut back.

I told Hubby the Year End Review and December Monthly Budget Meeting will be a two hitter tomorrow…and to expect it to be a long meeting. I think he’s a bit intrigued by what I’m up to. But we’ll see. I’m asking him to come to the meeting with ideas, but he’s done no homework that I know of. It could be…interesting.

So how do you all handle year end financial reviews?

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I do year end by finding the averages and totals for each category of spending, and finalizing my income, spending, and net worth numbers. I get everything as organized as possible so it’s ready for tax time.
Then I do a little graph showing how things look compared to all the other years I’ve tracked.

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Most of what I track is monthly (spending by category, savings, taxes), and at the same time I update net worth and make sure nothing has shown up on the credit cards that shouldn’t be there and everything that should be there is. So at the end of the year I usually just take a quick look at the monthly average spending by category as compared to previous years and see if there are any major discrepancies or large increases/decreases that I can’t explain or anything like that. I also did a review of things like patreon and streaming services, but the latter especially was driven by promotions expiring and needing to get on top of that before the higher charges started.

I actually just finished updating spreadsheets to add the 2023 column so that’s a little screwy looking since it’s just what’s been paid today, but the overall monthly average of personal spending for 2022 (no gifts/donations/savings/taxes) and previous turned out:
image
Based on that I double-checked hobbies, but increase was due to a theater subscription and a new computer I built, so nothing I can’t explain (and the computer shouldn’t repeat for a bit :slight_smile: ).

I also spend some time working out what needs to happen in the next year as far as what if anything needs to happen with regards to investment re-balancing, percentages for 401k contributions and matching, and any updates to my general budget (more of a framework than anything), but that’s more looking forward than review.

Right now the net worth graph is a little ugly, but I keep it up to date roughly monthly too so end of year doesn’t really mean a lot for me there.

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Yesss, I compare my estimated budget to my projected annual budget. Here was 2022’s

(blog post will come out soon)

Answer these because I’m supposed to be writing and I want to procrastinate

  1. what was your debt going into 2022 vs going out of it?
    $0, $0

  2. Did you increase your income any?
    Nope, I’m down 65% in income from 2021

  3. What was the best investment (not necessarily money) decision you made?
    New linen sheets

  4. What were the poor financial decisions you made?
    Quitting my job without true clarity on when new money would come in from new job. Also getting a high deductible health plan when I got fucked by a copay accumulator.

  5. On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your financial situation?

6

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I do this as well. I also told Mr. Meer yesterday to think about any bucket list or wish list type things even if it’s not something we want to do this year - for example one day I’d like to go to Hawaii but I already have one expensive trip planned for this year so Hawaii will be further in the future.

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Well that was interesting. We’re still getting over Covid here. I could hardly talk this morning, so I ate something warm and poured myself a warm drink to make it through the meeting. In the end it only took 45 minutes.

I ran through the monthly budget meeting first. Everything looked better than expected. I guess people with Covid don’t spend much money?

Then we went through the year end review. Overall it went pretty well.

His answers to the above 4 questions? “The credit card one is irrelevant as we pay it off every month in full.” “What do they mean by “investment”?” He wouldn’t answer the third about biggest financial mistakes. And he rated us a 7/10 on finances. I disagree. I think it’s lower than that.

My answers? “We’re spending a lot on credit cards due to online shopping and convenience. I’m concerned about additional fees.” “Best investment was the raised garden beds (I got raised eyebrows at that), because it not only helped feed us, but it got me outside for more exercise.” “Biggest financial mistakes were the new website and a Zoom business membership.” “I rate us about a 5/10.”

We got to the goals list. That was interesting. He actually had some ideas, and could fill me in on other thoughts he had. He’s still determined to go to Denmark, but, thankfully, won’t go alone. However, I won’t be going with him because he wants to make it a bicycle trip. No way could I do that with my health. He wants to take his octogenarian brother, an avid cyclist. But said brother won’t go due to Covid. I suspect he might go with my sister and her family. We’ll see what happens this year. His idea. He has to plan it. Not my monkey!

We talked about replacing the deck in 2024. I told him we need to find a contractor this summer then. They are in high demand here. Especially the good ones.

We agreed on the work that needs to be done around here. We do have to explore options with the yard and garden. That will be me doing research and presenting it to him for approval. We’ll see.

Me? My emphasis this year will be getting my personal allowance under control, and seeing how I can alter our menu to save money on groceries.

I did call Hubby to task about the baking supplies and baked goods categories. He tried to squirm out of the fact he spent over $300 on bakery treats for himself whenever he went shopping. No wonder he likes to go shopping all the time! He told me we had to have baking supplies to cook at home. After all, muffins aren’t unhealthy! :joy:. The kind he likes sure are! Think: oatmeal blueberry with orange cheesecake filling…lots of butter and sugar. :joy:. Between baking supplies and bakery treats we spent over $500.

We finished up by looking forward to upcoming January expenses, trying to get a handle on savings. Right now everything is on track. We should be good for the month at least.

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My financial review this year was to total my expenses and income, and use the expenses to create a budget for next year. I spent a sobering amount of money next year, but I also had a lot of one-off expenses (moving, new bike, most expensive personal trip ever for my sister’s funeral, taxes due to gains from a house sale in a HCOL area, health insurance due to loss of subsidy due to home sale, and so on).

I also calculated my net worth yesterday and made a few changes to the budget. I’m still working on goals, etc.

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I do an annual review with Mr. G in leiu of a monthly review. And then just do adhoc stuff throughout the year.

I look at:

$ Net Worth
$ Cash
$ Investments
$ Saved/Invested
% Savings from pre-tax/after tax
Income

Run down of annual YNAB spending (with changes)
Asset allocation
Investment return

I also create a plan in YNAB for annual/ monthly income.

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Our year end review (or half yearly) involves me bothering both of us to check all of our accounts and get information for the accounts i don’t have access to into one spot, and then checking our net worth. We also at least briefly review spending and chat about the habits that caused that spending and where we want to put more energy (which may mean less spending - food; or more spending - mini adventures out of the house).

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