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5 Easy Money Rules That Can Save You Thousands

Wish someone could just hand you a set of easy-to-follow rules that would practically save money for your? Well, money pro Dara Duguay has identified them! Here the author of Don't Spend You Raise and 59 Other Money Rules You Can't Afford to Break shares the top five cash-savers:

1. Rollover your retirement account whenever you change jobs.
Most people think retirement is far away, so they opt to take the cash form their 401(k) instead of rolling it over. But if you've got $5,000 in your 401(k), cashing it out could mean $1,900 in taxes and penalties. Roll it over instead, and you could end up with $22,325 more in 25 years if you account earns 6%!

2. Save 1 1/2% of your raise.
The average American worker received a raise of about 3% in 2003. You might have to spend a little to keep up iwth cost of living, but try saving some of it. Half your raise -- $8.65 a weekly paycheck if you make $30,000 --- will add up to $450 plus interest in a year!

3. Carry only two credit cards.
Most households have about five major credit cards and add about $50 per month to each balance. So you'll save $1,800 or more a year by limiting yourself to tow pieces of plastic.

4. Buy a used car.
he moment you drive a car off the lot, it becomes used. So why buy new? Getting a used car that looks and drives like new will cost you $11,000 less than a brand-new model!

5. Time your vacations right to save.
Prices easily get jacked up by as much as 50% during peak season. That means a $500 trip could cost $750 if you pick the wrong month! Call the visitors' bureau of your trip location to find which months are high season.

Scooby Doo, where are you?
Beautiful baskets for everyone!