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50 Smartest things to do with your money
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Great ways to save
Can running shoes save you money? Yes -- and we have six more ideas to help you save.
June 27, 2005: 5:15 PM EDT
By David Futrelle, George Mannes and Cybele Weisser, MONEY Magazine
50 Smartest things to do with your money

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - Saving money can be as easy as collecting your spare change for sorting, and as smart as maximizing your 401(k) match for the free money. Here are more smart saving tips.

Max out your saving

Put as much as you possibly can into your 401(k). Assuming a 7 percent return and a 50 percent match, upping your annual contribution by one grand and keeping that up for 30 years will fatten your nest egg by $153,110 (not a misprint). You can stash away a maximum of $14,000 this year (a thousand more than last year), or $18,000 if you're 50 or older.

Don't toss the spare change

At six-month intervals, find a coin sorter and deposit your change in a savings account. (One MONEY staffer's family saved $1,000 in stray coins last year.)

Fill 'er up with regular

If your car's engine isn't supercharged or turbocharged, run it on regular gasoline. If the engine doesn't knock or ping, it's fine. You aren't hurting your engine or its performance. In most engines, all premium gasoline does is cost you more money.

Take advantage of the concierge

Book a room on the hotel's concierge floor. It'll cost $20 to $40 more than the same digs on another floor, but consider the freebies: drinks, hors d'oeuvres, dry cleaning, shoe shining and help with reservations.

Start your kids saving early

Have your child open an IRA. Kids who earn money from an afterschool or summer job can put as much as $4,000 a year into a Roth IRA. After five years of tax-free growth, he or she can make penalty-free withdrawals for college -- or get a jump on retirement.

Bundle your communication bills

If you spend more than $50 a month on local and long-distance phone service from two different companies -- or more than $110 a month on phone, cable and high-speed Internet from three different ones -- you may be able to save up to 25 percent by ordering a bundled service from one provider.

Buy running shoes

How is investing in $120 sneakers a smart money move? Let's see: Running reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, lowers blood pressure and burns more calories than any other exercise -- for less than a $50-a-month gym membership.

50 Smartest money moves: Dealing with taxes


For more personal finance and saving tips, click here.

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