Image courtesy of Tom Ahearn
Image courtesy of Tom Ahearn

The best way to earn free money is to make the money you have earn extra money for you. Most people put their money into savings accounts which have a low interest rate. There are much better ways of using the money to create a good income for you and eventually you may be able to even get enough of this passive income to be able to give up your job.

Pay off bad debts
The first thing you need to do is to pay off bad debt. This is the sort of debt that is really expensive and will cost you money each month. Most forms of borrowing could come into this category so things like overdrafts, credit cards, personal loans should all be paid off before you think about saving money. They will all attract higher interest rates than any return you could get on that money invested elsewhere.

Keep good debts
Good debts are anything where you are making more money form the debt than you would if you paid it off. This may seem impossible at first but there are ways this can happen. A 0% credit card, for example can allow you to borrow money for free. If you invest what you would have used to pay it off, then when the free period ends and you do pay it off with the money, you should have made some profit out of it. A mortgage is another example of this where you will get more money back form you investment of a home than you will pay in the mortgage fees and interest. This may not apply in a very small number of cases, perhaps if payments are missed and fees are charged or in the rare event that a property loses value. A student loan would also fit in this category, if the interest rate is low, which in many cases it is.

Invest rather than save
Savings accounts may be really safe but they pay very low interest rates. Investments pay out a lot higher but can be more risky. It is good to compare the return that you can get on investments. Some investments are high risk and some are low risk, which the higher risk usually promising the best potential return but there is a risk you may lose your capital. Consider what looks like the best deal considering how much risk you are prepared to take.

Choose a low fee / cost option
The costs and fees of investments can really add up and so it is worth examining these carefully. You may need to look at the terms and conditions to find this out but it is worth it as these can reduce your return a lot, if you are not careful. A financial advisor could help you with this.

Invest regularly
It is worth investing regularly. If you can put a bit of money away each month then it will start to build up. If you reinvest any return that you get then it will build up even more quickly and you will get a return on that return! Over a good few years you should have a really good pot of money and when you need it, you will be able to start taking the interest or even lump sums form it.