financial checklist year end
Everyday Money

Financial Checklist: Things to Take Care of Before the Year Ends

December 4, 2023 - Dan Urner

The year is coming to an end. Follow this checklist from to optimize your finances before the new year rolls in.

This year will soon be history, so it is high time to get your financial life up to scratch. Here, lists the steps you should take before the year ends.

Review your savings account

The days of zero or even negative interest in Switzerland are over, and banks are once again offering interest for savings. But not all banks pay at the same rate. Rather than simply accepting a pittance for the use your money, you should compare savings account interest rates on Opening a new savings account is relatively quick and easy. When comparing offers, make sure to look at the limitations on withdrawals, and not just the interest rates. You can find more information in the guide to interest rates from Swiss banks.

Look into other options. Fixed deposit accounts and medium-term notes typically yield higher interest payments than savings accounts. But in exchange, your money is tied up for a fixed amount of time. As a general rule, you should pick the shortest term available, particularly because interest rates are not much higher for longer-terms. The interest rate also remains the same for the whole fixed term, which can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how the market develops. You can find useful tips in the guide to medium-term notes. You can also compare fixed deposit accounts and medium-term notes here.

Review your retirement savings

Compare your pillar 3a savings account with competing offers. Are you being paid enough interest? The pillar 3a savings account comparison from includes all of the most important offers. Changing your pillar 3a account or opening an additional one is easy. You have until the end of the year to contribute money to the pillar 3a in order to claim the tax deduction for 2023. You can find more information under the point: Optimize your taxes.

If you still have a long way to go before you retire, then you should also consider investment solutions. Pillar 3a retirement funds and online asset management services can potentially deliver much higher returns than pillar 3a savings accounts. But over the short-term, investments can lose value. If you shy away from risk, then investing your pillar 3a savings may not be a suitable option for you.

When choosing an investment solution, it is important to look at the costs of retirement funds and asset management services. The interactive retirement fund comparison on makes it easy to compare total costs.

The guide to choosing the right pillar 3a retirement saving solution explains how to decide which option is best for you.

Review your investments

Do you invest in actively managed mutual funds? If you do, then it may be time to review your investments. Most passively managed funds like exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have lower costs. If you choose to invest in ETFs, it is important to use the right stock brokerage account. There are major differences between Swiss banks. The interactive stock brokerage account comparison on can help you in your search.

If you prefer not to have to invest your money yourself, then you could consider using an online asset management service (also known as a robo advisor). These typically cost less than conventional asset management services. You can find more information in the guide to Swiss online asset management services. also has an interactive comparison of Swiss asset management services.

Repay or refinance your loans

If you have enough money to repay your outstanding loans ahead of schedule, it is a good idea to do so. Doing this will save you a lot of money in interest payments. If you do not have the money to repay the loan early, then you check whether you can refinance your loan with a cheaper one. Swiss law gives you the right to repay a consumer loan or to move to a different lender at any time, without paying penalties. You can use the loan refinancing calculator to find out whether refinancing could save you money. The guide to refinancing Swiss personal loans provides more information. The Swiss personal loan comparison on gives you a good overview of current loan offers.

If your mortgage is coming to an end, do not be too quick to renew the mortgage at the same lender. It pays to compare mortgage offers and to negotiate lower interest rates. You can find more useful tips in the guide to Swiss mortgages.

Review your telecom contracts

Most Swiss do not take full advantage of potential savings on telecom plans. Use the telecom comparisons to find out whether you are paying too much for your Internet, TV, and mobile plans. In some cases, it is possible to negotiate the terms of a telecom contract. The most important thing is to make sure that your telecom plans actually match your needs.

Review your insurance policies

Take the time to get a good overview of your insurance policies. Are you paying too much for car insurance, travel insurance, personal liability insurance, and household insurance? The insurance comparisons on can help you find the best offers. Make sure that you do not have multiple insurance policies that cover the same risk. You also should not be over-insured or under-insured. The sums insured by your insurance policies should actually match your real needs and situation.

As a general rule, you should only get an insurance if you really need it. For example, you should carefully consider whether you really need legal insurance, or mobile phone insurance. This guide explains which insurances are really necessary.

Review your subscriptions

Are you paying for subscriptions that you do not even use? Many people continue to keep streaming subscriptions and mobile apps with recurring fees even though they do not use them. Ideally you should only pay for subscriptions that you actually need. You should also take a critical look at your gym membership. If, for a time, you do not have time to work out, you may be able to put your membership on hold. Other common examples of subscriptions that you may no longer use include newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and gaming subscriptions.

Optimize your taxes

If you have not yet reached the maximum pillar 3a contribution for this year, you should consider paying money into the pillar 3a before the year’s end. Doing this has tax advantages because you can deduct the amount you contribute from your taxable income. You should be aware, though, that money paid into the pillar 3a is blocked until you reach retirement or meet criteria for early withdrawals. Only save money for retirement if you can afford to live without it in the meantime.

You should also consider whether paying a voluntary contribution to your occupational pension fund (pillar 2) could make sense for you. These contributions are also generally tax deductible.

Claim unused insurance benefits

Many health insurance policies include insurance benefits that are based on the calendar year. If your insurance has benefits that will expire at the end of the year, it can make sense to claim them before the year ends. For example, if you need dental care and have not yet claimed on your dental insurance this year, you could consider getting at least part of the dental work done this year. If you have used up all or most of the annual deductible for your mandatory health insurance, consider getting needed medical care before the year ends and your annual deductible resets.

More on this topic:
How to cut down on expenses
Emergency funds in Switzerland: A practical guide
How to invest money in Switzerland

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Editor Dan Urner
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