SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

basement wine cellar

Basement Remodeling Ideas: Transform Your Bonus Room

Maybe you love sports. If so, transforming your basement into a rec room where you can, say, shoot pool and watch football games on a big screen with your best friends may feel like a dream come true. Or, maybe you just need an extra bedroom and/or more bathrooms for your growing family. Either way, read on.

No matter what extra room you want in your home, basement remodeling makes good sense because you can handle the renovations without needing to add an addition onto your house. “Sure,” you might think, “but you haven’t seen MY basement. The floors and walls are concrete, and we store all of our extra stuff down there.”

Well, that sounds just like a normal basement, pre-remodel. And in this post, we’ll share steps to help you turn that cold concrete into a livable (and even lovable!) living space, as well as providing information about a typical basement remodel cost. We’ll start out by sharing inspirational remodeling ideas, so you can solidify what you want your finished basement to look like, and then we’ll do some reverse engineering for you, including an excellent way to finance your remodeling project.

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How to Save for Your Wedding as a Couple

There are few things as exhilarating as finally finding the right person and deciding to commit to a life with each other. If you’re basking in the warm glow of a recent engagement, enjoy every minute of hazy happiness before the realities of planning a wedding sink in. Planning can be exciting, full of cake tastings, dress fittings, and venue visits. But all of those price tags can really add up. As you begin planning your wedding, it’s important to know what to expect.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2017 was $33,391. According to the Knot, who polled 13,000 couples in their annual wedding study , this number is actually on the decline, down from about $35,000 in 2016. And this doesn’t even include the honeymoon!

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Building an Investment Plan to Buy a House

Do you dream of a white picket fence and kids running around in the backyard? Or maybe hanging out on the stoop of your own urban brownstone in the heart of the action? Perhaps lounging in your oceanfront condo? Owning a home is a cornerstone of the American Dream, and the appeal is easy to see. A home is a place to make your own and perhaps raise a family. It can provide security, both financial and emotional. And as the saying goes, renting means you’re paying someone else’s mortgage.

Even though a fair amount of people aspire to own a home, not everyone is able to make that dream come true. The homeownership rate among Americans is 64% , down from close to 70% before the 2008 recession. Purchasing a house is one of the biggest expenses you’ll have in your life, and it’ll take some careful planning. That’s compounded by the fact that housing prices are on the rise in many parts of the country.

Saving enough for a down payment can seem intimidating, especially when you might have to balance that with student loans, retirement planning, and other financial commitments. But being a homeowner is possible if you think ahead and make the right savings and investment plan to buy a house.

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A Guide to Keeping Your Data Safe: Top 11 Cyber Security Tips

Got cyber security? Last year, Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting bureaus, disclosed that a data breach it discovered on July 29, 2017, may have exposed as many as 143 million U.S. consumers to the risk of identity theft. In March 2018, Equifax announced that another 2.4 million people had their data stolen in the same breach. Almost half the U.S. population has been affected. It’s considered one of the worst data breaches in U.S. history.

Cyber criminals entered the credit bureau’s system though a web-application vulnerability. One of the most frustrating aspects of this breach is that there was a patch available to solve the vulnerable aspect of the website. If Equifax had taken the necessary precautions before the breach, it could have been avoided.

According to the company, the security breach lasted about two months, but in that time the hackers were able to access millions of people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, for some, driver’s license and credit card numbers. And while most of us know basic internet security tips or cyber security tips, there’s a whole different host of issues when it comes to a data breach.

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8 Ways to Save for Retirement While Paying College Tuition

Feeling like you’re stretched thin by college tuition costs? You’re not alone. The annual cost of a four-year public college education for residents is $20,770 .

That’s just one year. Ouch. Many parents are trying to balance daily expenses, retirement savings, and college costs at the same time and it can be a struggle. Some may even be prioritizing college payments over retirement contributions, a practice most financial advisors advise against.

While students can take out loans to fund their education, a parent might only have a retirement account to fall back on. Parents can be so worried about paying college costs that they may even be tempted to pull from their 401(k) for their child’s college, which can lead to unfortunate tax situations.

There are better ways to find the best retirement strategy for 50-year-old parents while still pulling together cash for college. In fact, here are eight ways to uncover hidden money.

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