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15 Dumbest money moves
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Sometimes the smartest move is the one you don't make. Here are some of the dumbest things you could do with your money. And no one wants that. click here>

10 Frugally Ways to get to $1 Million

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5 frugal tips for 20-somethings


The trick to saving money on an entry-level salary is to develop thrifty habits. Try these suggestions for living on the cheap.

1. Suit up for less. Dressing for a first job can be pricey. Be sure to check out the career-wear bargains available at thrift stores. 

2. Live one pay raise behind. Rather than spending that 3 percent cost-of-living raise, bank it. And the next time you get a raise, increase your disposable income by the amount of your last raise.

3. Bank "extra" paychecks. Most people set up their budgets to accommodate two to four paychecks every month, depending on their pay schedule. But two or four times a year, you get an extra paycheck in the month. So instead of heading to the mall, pretend you never saw it. Put it in a savings account or put it in your rainy-day jar.

4. Learn to cook. Eating in can save you a bundle. Pack a lunch a couple of times a week and cut back on some suppers at restaurants. Why not have a casual dinner party at home and then head out for an evening?

5. Watch those cell phone bills. Talking the talk with a cell phone can get awfully expensive. Using a prepaid phone card can take a big bite out of your bill.
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5 frugal tips for 30-somethings


At this stage in life, you might be considering your first home purchase, buying a family car or preparing for your first or second child. While all these exciting life events cost serious money, you can make the most of your finances with these simple guidelines.

1. Don't buy a house until you're ready. A common money mistake is to become overburdened with too much debt from a huge mortgage, new furnishings and a new car. Remember that the monthly payment involves more than the mortgage; there's also insurance, taxes, maintenance and maybe even association dues.

2. Get more for your wheels. When it's time to buy a new car, sell the old one rather than trading it in at the dealership.

3. Compare health insurance plans with your spouse. It's almost always cheaper for a couple in which both people work to keep their individual health plans. Then again, not all plans provide the same coverage, so switching to the spouse's plan with better coverage may cost less in the long run.

4. Ladder CDs to boost savings. You can maximize the earning power of CDs by buying different certificates at varying maturity dates. For example, instead of buying one big CD, parcel out your money into three-month, six-month and one-year certificates. Known as laddering, this gives you flexibility to adjust your savings as rates change. Laddering allows you to lock in when rates are high and when rates are not so good, so the process keeps you from being stuck for too long with low earnings.

5. Go basic for baby. Keep the clothes simple -- Junior sure isn't going to the opera, and he'll have outgrown everything you've bought by the time you get home. As for furniture, skip antiques and hand-painted specialties, as well as fancy drawers, breaks and locks. Dressers, rocking chairs and shelves are all much cheaper when they come in simple pine -- and, incidentally, when you buy them at regular furniture stores rather than special baby stores.
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5 frugal tips for 40-somethings


Likely, you'll need to adjust your finances at this stage. With the kids heading to college and you getting closer to senior status, making some changes now can save you money in the long run.

1. Adjust your auto coverage. If the kids have left for good, take them off the policy. If they are simply away at college, ask about a distant student credit. Usually, it applies if your child is a full-time student, has gone at least a certain distance to college and hasn't taken one of the family cars to campus. And it can give you a nice break on the premiums.

2. Conserve energy. Take advantage of tax breaks for home improvements such as energy-efficient upgrades or solar renovations.

3. Spend Junior's college fund wisely. You'll want to spend any money in a student's name before tapping any account in a parent's name. This simple move can make a difference in a student's eligibility for future aid. The less money saved in a student's name, the better your child's chances of scooping up some financial aid.

4. Get rid of private mortgage insurance. If you have 20 percent equity in your home, you could qualify to start saving that money.

5. Prepare for the unexpected. Statistically, your chance of being disabled at age 40 is much higher than your chance of dying. If disaster strikes, you'll need protection in place to keep your finances afloat. Look into long-term disability insurance -- start by checking with your employer.
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5 frugal tips for 50-somethings and beyond


You've reached the homestretch. Now's the time to make sure your nest egg is big enough to sustain you in retirement. Consider these suggestions for maximizing your retirement dollars.

1. Play "catch up." Take advantage of the "catch-up" contribution limits allowing people over 50 contribute extra money to qualified retirement accounts.

2. Ask for an age discount on your auto insurance. Combined with a safe driving record, you can get better rates for being an older driver.

3. Consider other retirement fund possibilities. Look into immediate annuities for a retirement income stream.

4. Take out retirement money without penalty. After age 59½, you can receive distributions from your 401(k), pension plan or IRA without having to pay the additional 10 percent tax.

5. Claim those senior discounts. Remember student discounts? Now, you qualify for senior discounts. Take advantage of them, you earned it.
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