What to do with $10,000 now!

If there's an extra $10,000 in your budget, consider investing in low-cost index funds, buying a reliable used car or taking a European river cruise.

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Make indexing even cheaper. The best way to boost returns is to keep costs low. You're already doing that by owning index funds that charge low expenses as a percent of assets. At Fidelity and Vanguard, 10 grand will gain you access to even cheaper shares of those funds. Make sure you don't miss out on the following:

Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX)
Fees: 0.05% vs. 0.17% for regular investor shares

Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Admiral (VBILX)
Fees: 0.10% vs. 0.20%

Fidelity Spartan Small-Cap Index Advantage (FSSVX)
Fees: 0.12% vs. 0.29%

Fidelity Spartan Int. Index Advantage (FSIVX)
Fees: 0.12% vs. 0.20%

Boost your term life coverage. When it comes to basic life insurance, being under-covered "is shockingly common," says San Francisco-based financial adviser Milo Benningfield. Indeed, less than two-thirds of adults have any coverage at all, according to a recent survey commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com. And of those who have insurance, just one in seven is covered for more than $250,000.

Yet many planners recommend you be insured for five to 10 years of your income. Here's what $10,000, spread out in $500 annual premiums over 20 years, will buy today:

20-year term life coverage for a healthy, nonsmoking man:
Age 30: $750,000
Age 40: $500,000
Age 50: $200,000

20-year term life coverage for a healthy, nonsmoking woman:
Age 30: $1 million
Age 40: $600,000
Age 50: $250,000

Source: AccuQuote
  @Money - Last updated October 01 2013 04:05 PM ET
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