SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

Holiday shopping with laptop

How to Manage Your Holiday Credit Card Debt

Maintaining a budget is hard at any time of year, but when the winter holiday season is on the horizon, and the time has come for gifts to be purchased, decorations to be pulled out and updated, and parties to be thrown and attended, budgeting can easily and quickly fall by the wayside.

While it’s no big deal to swap a restaurant meal for a home-cooked dinner during the year, it can feel like your best laid plans go to waste once Thanksgiving hits. Between holiday celebrations, extra treats for coworkers, travel plans, and more, it’s easy to see how, for Americans, the average Christmas debt is around $1,054.

The scariest part? While more than half of the respondents to a MagnifyMoney survey said they would pay down the debt in three months or less, around 30% said they would need five months or more to pay off the holiday debt on their credit card.

In order to avoid being part of that statistic—and avoid interest rates that could haunt you well into 2019—here are some budgeting tips as well as tips for how to manage credit card debt.

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Paint cans and brush on wood floor

Top 6 DIY Projects to Aim for Before the Year is Up

As the end of the year approaches, many of us find ourselves staring at our annual “to-do” list and wondering how none of it got done. Resolutions and to-dos have a funny way of building up at year-end like that, don’t they?

Luckily, there’s hope for us procrastinators. There is still plenty of time left in the year to take some action and feel accomplished by the ringing in of the new year. Cue the victory champagne (or hot chocolate, if that’s more your thing).

Below, we’ll cover some ideas for DIY projects for home that you can work on before the year comes to a close. Hopefully, this will help get the juices flowing on end-of-year projects so that you can finish the year on a high.

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blue bike on blue wall

9 Ways to Cut Down Your Monthly Expenses

With each passing phase of your life comes plenty of new experiences, joys, opportunities and obstacles. The bright points may encompass things like gaining a higher education, getting married, having a child, buying a home, or going on that epic vacation you’ve always dreamed of. All of these adventures are rewarding and fulfilling in their own ways, but as you’ll find, many may add hefty expenses to your monthly bills…hence, the obstacles.

Indeed, those monthly expenses can really add up. With that higher education comes student loans; getting married now costs an average of $35,329 in America; raising a child through the age of 17 costs another $233,610 ; and the median home in the United States will set you back $200,000 .

In fact, the average American spends roughly 90% of his or her income each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But even with all those bills, there are still ways to save and go further with your money. Here are nine tips to help you cut down your monthly expenses and save even more for the fun parts of life.

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rainbow remote controls

What to Buy & What to Avoid Buying During the Holiday Season

After the turkey’s been devoured, the wine consumed, and everyone is pleasantly stuffed (okay, overstuffed), millions of us head to the couch or the car to kick-start our holiday shopping. (You guessed it—this post is all about the Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts!)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday used to be two distinctly separate shopping holidays, but as online shopping becomes more and more prevalent, the two dates are merging into a weekend-long sale extravaganza.

In an attempt to stand out from all the noise on the actual day, some retailers will often start their Black Friday deals earlier in the week—and even extend their deals into December.

And by taking advantage of the steep discounts following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can maximize your budget and get the gifts you’ve been eyeing.
While it can seem like almost everything is on sale from Thanksgiving all the way through the day after Christmas, there are certain buys that may be better deals than others.

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