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AARP Bulletin

99 Ways to Save

15 Ways to Save on Your Finances

You can lower the costs of managing and protecting your money

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1. Big bills

Convert money into $50 bills. You'll think twice before spending them.

2. Find your pension

See if you or someone you know has an unclaimed pension. Check the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's online directory at search.pbgc.gov.

3. Shop for savings rates

Compare savings accounts before making a deposit. Some sites, such as NextAdvisor.com, Bankrate.com and GoBankingRates.com, offer online calculators and reviews of accounts with the best interest rates.

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4. Free credit monitoring

You can now get free credit-monitoring services via CreditSesame.com. Other companies typically charge about $10 a month for credit monitoring.

5. Second act

Get your employer to help foot the bill for your education. You may receive up to $5,250 in tax-free education benefits from your employer each year.

6. Catch-up time?

If you are 50 or over, you can contribute an extra $5,500 to your 401(k) plan as a catch-up contribution in 2013.

7. Save on sales tax

See if your state has sales tax holidays. Check the Federation of Tax Administrators website (taxadmin.org) and search "sales tax holidays."

8. Youthful drivers

For children under age 25 still living in your home, it's typically cheaper to keep them on your automobile insurance policy. To be on the safe side, have your agent double-check.

9. Homeowners insurance

Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Make sure you have adequate coverage to rebuild your home in case disaster strikes. Be sure to get replacement coverage on your home and its contents.

10. Index insight

Buying index funds instead of actively managed funds can cut your investing expenses by up to 80 percent annually. What's more, Standard & Poor's research indicates that index funds consistently outperform actively managed accounts.

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FISCAL FASTING: Home budgeting expert Jeff Yeager, the Ultimate Cheapskate, shares tips for doing a fiscal fast, in which you don't spend any money for a week.

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