Your First 4 Steps To Financial Freedom

Pay Off Credit Cards

Credit cards can be a major plus, or a huge negative for most people. On the plus side, they are convenient and mean that you have more time and flexibility to pay for things. However, the interest they charge is, quite simply, extortionate and, over time, can make a significant dent in your level of disposable income.

Therefore, above everything else, the biggest thing you can do to improve your finances is to pay off all credit card debt that charges you interest as soon as possible. While the effect of this may not be all that noticeable in the short run, over a period of months and years its impact is likely to be very positive.

Hunt For The Best Deals

When it comes to utilities such as energy, insurance and media packages, it has never been easier to find the best deal. In fact, price-comparison sites claim to be able to save you literally £hundreds each year simply from switching to the cheapest providers for household bills.

And, best of all, there is very little effort required on your part. For example, for switching your gas and electricity provider you only need to provide a final meter reading to your old supplier, a starting meter reading to your new supplier, and the rest is taken care of while you can start thinking about what to do with the savings you’ve made.

Overpay Your Mortgage

Although a mortgage is meant to last for 25+ years, it can be a good idea to overpay it each month if you can. Certainly, the interest rate on mortgages is far lower than for credit cards (so pay those off first), but mortgage rates are still usually higher than any savings rates and so it is more prudent to pay them off rather than have a large cash balance.

Of course, some mortgages only allow you to overpay by a certain percentage each year, but even a small overpayment can, in the long run, make a big difference and help to reduce your interest charges. And, even though interest rates are very low at the present time, they will not remain so indefinitely, which makes now a good time to overpay by as much as possible.

Invest In Shares

In the long run, shares have historically beaten other main asset classes, such as property and bonds, when it comes to total returns. Certainly, they can be more volatile than other assets, but if you take a long-term view, invest in high-quality companies and don’t panic when there are disappointments along the way, then investing in shares could prove to be a very sound means of securing your long-term financial future.

And, to help get you started, the analysts at The Motley Fool have written a free and without obligation guide called 10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market.

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