It's not too many weeks now before Christmas will be upon us, and most people have some downtime over the Christmas/New Year period. And while that's a great time to relax and catch up with the family, it's also an opportunity to stake stock of your finances. This week, we'd like to talk about getting your financial house in order.

To begin with, we'd suggest making a list: List out all of your income from work-related activities, as well as any passive income you may be receiving from investments. Then also list out all of your expenses, both on the personal side as well as on the business/investment side. How does this stack up and are you happy with the figures?

Next, list out all of your assets and liabilities. Include your home, vehicles, investments, superannuation, as well as any mortgages, overdrafts and credit card loans. Now, how do your assets and liabilities look?

In short, if you have more income and assets than expenses and liabilities, you're on the right path. The next step is to analyse how much of your income you're actually putting aside, and how much you're losing each month. This takes some time to look more closely at your "inventory." Do you have any assets that are actually sucking your income away? An Example might be a boat that you barely use, but is costing you money each year in registration and insurance. Now is the time to assess if those "assets" are actually not just hidden expenses, that you may actually be better off selling. Real assets are ones that increase in value over time or put money in your pocket.

Have a look at what you've been able to save over the year. Paying down a home loan or investment debt is almost like a form of "forced saving", but so is putting money into superannuation. Also take the time to get your tax work together if you haven't already, and submit that to your accountant. If you're entitled to a refund, the quicker your work comes in the quicker your turnaround time will be. And certainly, don't forget to dig out your Wills and enduring powers of attorney over the break. Check to see that your wishes are reflected in those documents and that you have the right people acting for you in the right roles. Is your executor still the best person to be in that role? Do you have young children that need guardians nominated for them? Run through these scenarios and make the changes as you need to.

As always, we're only an email or a phone call away, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about getting your financial house in order and keeping it that way.