Financial Products To Help You Make The Most Of Your Money

Written by Karen Bryan

It is never too late to assert control over your personal finances. There are a number of financial products that can be used to maximise the value of your personal assets, but with so many to choose from, finding the right one for you can be difficult. Below are some of the most straightforward options you can take advantage of.

Interest-Free Balance Transfer Credit Card

A credit card that offers a 0% balance transfer is a great way of reducing some of your existing debts. You can transfer existing debts to the credit card, which will not charge you any interest on the debt. This gives you some breathing space to tackle it.

It is important to remember, however, that if you don’t clear the balance during your introductory period then you might get stung with a higher than typical APR. In some cases, this can cost you a small fortune, so it’s not a mistake that you want to make.

ISAs

The individual savings account comes in a variety of different types, from a cash ISA to stocks and shares ISAs. Every financial year, UK taxpayers can invest up to £20,000 in ISA accounts. Any gains that you make on the money you invest in an ISA will be tax-free. This includes freedom from income tax and capital gains tax.

An ISA account is much more accessible than many people realise. For example, Willis Owen lets you invest in an ISA with as little as £25. What’s more, you can invest more in the account over the course of the financial year, up to the £20,000 limit. Because Willis Owen’s ISA is a flexible ISA, you can freely withdraw money from it provided you return the money within the same financial year. Money that you use repaying withdrawals won’t count against your yearly allowance.

Interest-Free Purchases Credit Card

If you do most of your purchasing using credit cards then switching from your current card to something that is better suited to your needs can save you a lot of money in the long run and gives you a simple way of streamlining your existing spending practices.

The interest-free period, as well as the terms you will be subjected to once it ends, vary from account to account. It’s important that you are clear on the specifics of any credit card before you sign up for it. Like the balance transfer credit card, if you aren’t able to pay back the balance in time, the penalties can be very steep.

Cashback Credit Cards

Cashback credit cards enable you to make the most of your money by letting you earn money by spending money. You are effectively paid money to shop, recuperating a portion of any money that you spend. Some cashback credit cards offer a high introductory rate for cashback that usually drops down after the introductory period.

As always, if you are unable to pay off your monthly balance, you will pay a price for it. The penalties for missing payments will easily wipe out potential gains from cashback, so avoid them at all costs.

High-Interest Current Account

Some savings accounts offer return rates so low that unless you are able to invest a significant sum of money to begin with, they aren’t worth tying your money up in them. However, there are current accounts out there that offer higher-than-normal interest rates, so shop around.

The specific rates and limits will vary from account to account, make sure that you check all of the terms and conditions before you commit to any account. Also, be aware that these high-interest rates won’t last forever. After an introductory period, the rate will usually drop down to a normal level.

Trackers

Investing in the stock market is often viewed as being too difficult for most people to navigate. However, this hasn’t been the case for some time – there are now a plethora of ways that the average person can invest in the stock market and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

Index-tracking funds are a relatively affordable and straightforward way that the average person can invest in the stock market without having to buy and sell any stocks. Instead, the investor invests their money in a fund, the fund “tracks” the performance of an index by investing in all the shares that are quoted within.

If you are looking to take control of your finances and ensure that you are in a secure position for the future when it comes to your money, then there are a range of options open to you. Identifying the right option is only half of the process – you also need to take the time to carefully compare providers and ensure that you have read and understood all the terms and conditions. If you have access to a financial advisor, then you should ask them to help you find the best option for your short-term and long-term goals.