It’s that time of the year. No, not tax time, I mean the holiday season. You’re probably thinking of family get-togethers, great food or even a winter getaway but there’s one more thing I want you to do: it’s a little financial housekeeping.

Today, I’ll take you through a list of the important documents you should review on an annual basis to make sure they’re completely up to date. I promise you it won’t take long at all but once you do it, you’ll be organized and relaxed for the holidays.

A little financial housekeeping goes a long way

While you’re getting your home ready for the holidays, it’s also a good time to do a little financial housekeeping. What I mean by that is to take a couple hours to go over your important documents to make sure they’re completely up to date.

Now, you don’t have to go over all your important documents, but there are a few that you should look at every year. First on your list is to update your balance sheet. I have provided a good template to get you started if you ever need one. This captures all your major assets and liabilities on one page.

Next up should be your insurance policies. I’m talking about life and disability insurances in particular. Are there new family members? Did you change jobs or start a new business? Do your policies still fit you, your family’s or your business’ needs?

You should also give your TFSA, RRSP and other investment accounts a yearly overview. Do you have room in your TFSA or RRSP so that you can maximize contributions? Do you need to rebalance your investments? What about your Education savings plan for your children? Have you contributed to all of these accounts yet this year?

Another is your company pension statement, if you have one. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of your company’s matching scheme. If it’s a defined contribution plan, do you have the right investment allocation and are the fees reasonable?

Have a look at your charitable donations for the year. Have you donated as much as you wanted to? I just finished a series on donations so I know it’s pretty fresh on your mind. Apart from everything else I talked about in those three videos, which I will link below, here are a couple of basic things: Do you have receipts for all of your donations and do you want to make any more before the end of the year?

Now let’s talk credit and mortgage statements. How much do you still owe? Can you contribute more to them before the end of the year? Check if your mortgage is coming up for renewal soon too. Who will you need to talk to figure out the best renewal terms?

Other documents to review

Those are the ones I suggest you look at on a yearly basis. Now these other documents don’t necessarily need a yearly overview but as part of your financial housekeeping, remember to check on these documents and make sure they’re safe and up-to-date. They include your wills and your mandates, especially if you or your family had a health scare or a change in your family situation. Birth and marriage certificates, residence and car deeds of ownership… all these documents should be somewhere safe and secure. You may want to keep a copy in a safety deposit box in your bank or another copy in a fireproof and waterproof safe at home.

Just like household chores, it just takes a few hours to go from messy to clean and organized. That’s a great way to go into the holidays and I wish you and your family all the best for the holidays.