Goal Setting for Your Financial Plan

We’re well into the new year, so hopefully, you’ve had a chance to decompress from the holidays. As we get back into the swing of things, now is a great time to review your financial plan and goals. While this process can seem overwhelming, much of it can be simplified by prioritizing and breaking tasks into a couple of actionable steps each month.

Having a plan with an actionable task list makes it easy to track your progress over the course of a year. It also makes it easier to review regularly going forward. Below are the tasks we recommend you target in preparation for our next financial planning meeting:


Review (or draft) your budget. Draft a budget based on your short- and long-term goals. Sometimes, the numbers don’t pencil out, so prioritize what is necessary or urgent (i.e., a new roof), what is important (i.e., wedding expenses), and what can wait (i.e., a dream vacation). After prioritizing the above, prepare your budget for the current year. There are a number of budget management apps and online tools (often free) that can help you organize your budget and stay on track.

Next, think about ways to reduce your expenses. While it may initially take some time to categorize everything, doing this will help you review your spending and provide valuable information about where you might consider making adjustments. On a side note, I recently worked on this with my 16-year-old, and she was genuinely shocked at how much she (and her friends) spent on food delivery fees! While they may not be giving up DoorDash anytime soon, she now takes the lead in consolidating lunch or dinner orders with her friends so they can share one delivery fee.

Review your retirement plan contributions
If you’re still working, review the percentage you’re contributing to your workplace plan and consider whether you can bump it up. If you make IRA contributions, consider whether you’re able to front-load contributions for the year for extra months of growth opportunity.

Review your beneficiaries
Determine whether any updates or changes should be made, for example to your:

  • Retirement plan accounts
  • Bank accounts
  • Life insurance policies
  • Wills or trust documents

Prepare to complete your tax returns
Whether working with a CPA or using a reputable tax filing software system, begin to get organized by gathering last year’s forms and records (or make sure you have any electronic access you need).


File your taxes
April 15th is approaching fast. If you’ll receive a refund, consider how to best allocate it. For example:

  • Your emergency fund. You should strive to have three to six months' worth of liquid assets available in the event of an emergency.
  • Make an eligible IRA contribution (for 2023 or 2024).
  • Pay down (or off) high-interest debt.

Review your debt
If you have debt, prioritize how you might pay it down. At our next meeting, we’d be happy to help discuss a strategy for your specific situation (i.e., paying down higher-interest debts first).

Check your credit report
You can access one free report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) each year. It is important to review your credit report carefully and to dispute any errors in a timely manner. There are a lot of websites out there, so make sure to access your credit report directly from the bureaus. Here is a link to the Federal Trade Commission’s website with information on how to access your reports.

Multnomah Group is a registered investment adviser, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any information contained herein or on Multnomah Group’s website is provided for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Multnomah Group does not provide legal or tax advice.

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