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Spring financial cleaning: Doing the dirty work

Financial spring cleaning can lead to better investments

Financial spring cleaning can lead to better investments and better payoff, the experts say. Credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

Now that the calendar and the temperature say it’s spring, there’s no time like the present to clean, not only your house, but to give your finances the once-over.

See where you are

Just as you need to load up on your cleaning products when planning to spend the week on your hands and knees scrubbing floors, prepare to do the financial dirty work.

Start with questions, “Have I followed my budget, how much have I spent on nonessential items like coffee and going out to lunch? How much have I spent on rent and utilities? What am I earning vs. what I’m spending?” says Leslie Tayne, a Melville attorney, specializing in financial issues.

Don’t guess; pull out paperwork, like credit card bills and bank statements for accurate numbers.

Reality check

Review everything — 401(k), IRA, insurance policies, estate planning documents. “Are your investments properly aligned with your goals and objectives? Rebalance if needed,” says Michael Brown, director of Wealth Management at Dynasty Financial Partners in Manhattan.

Make change painless

If you haven’t made good on that resolution to save more, Manhattan money coach Ashley Feinstein Gerstley advises, “Increase your 401k contributions, even if it’s just 1 percent every few weeks.”

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