SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

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Should I Take a Year Off From College?

There’s no denying it: College is a long, hard marathon. If you’re shooting for a bachelor’s degree, you likely have four years of full-time study before you have your degree in hand. The problem is that four years can be a long time to focus exclusively on school.

For some students, a year off offers a chance to step outside academia and back into the “real world,” but what are the potential risks and benefits of taking a year off from college?

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Study Tips for Finals

College might seem like a marathon, but each semester or quarter can feel more like a sprint, with the syllabus as the starting block and finals week as the finish.

The good news is that you learn a tremendous amount of new information during those weeks. The bad news is that, before you can ride off into the sunset of class break, you have to Remember. It. All.

Finals week is when the library is aglow 24 hours a day, full of students with their noses in books or laptops, possibly on the verge of a freak-out. It’s exhausting to be sure, and the stakes can be high, especially for students whose financial aid require that they maintain a minimum GPA.

But while finals week can be taxing, it doesn’t have to be chaotic. These study tips for finals can help you plan, prepare and tackle each test with confidence.

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What You Can Get For Your Money in Home Remodel

Getting new appliances or updating the plumbing in your home doesn’t need to be a pipe dream, but starting home remodels without a budget in mind can quickly become a nightmare.

Instead of ignoring your bank account and blindly charging your unexpected Home Depot runs, consider how much you can get in home renovations and updates for the money you’ve budgeted. With an idea of how much you can spend, you can get a better idea of where to spend it to maximize value, savings, and future return on investment (ROI).

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Charitable Giving on a Budget

With the holiday season in full swing, your priorities might include finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list (all while making sure you don’t break the bank), mingling with friends and family at holiday parties, indulging in the scrumptious treats that seem to be around every corner, and watching your favorite holiday classics.

The festive season can also inspire compassion and generosity. Offices and nonprofits sponsor food drives and gift drives, the Salvation Army bell ringers are out in full force, and charities around the country are accepting donations.

If the warmth of the holiday season has inspired you to give back, you might consider making a charitable donation. These recommendations could help you make the most of your philanthropic efforts—even if you’re on a tight budget.

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The Perks of Holiday Shopping on Small Business Saturday

At a time when it can feel like there’s a Walmart, Dollar General, Walgreens or other national chain around every corner, what does it mean to shop small?

It means checking out the new boutique store that carries hand-crafted wooden toys. Or buying a birthday cake from the corner bakery, helmed by a chef who lives on the second floor. It’s the choice to patronize the community’s independent storefronts, as well as local artisans who sell online through sites like Etsy . (Find them via a location search.)

The phrase “shop small” has become something of a rallying cry, synonymous with the weekend after Thanksgiving ever since the inaugural Small Business Saturday took place in 2010. This year’s holiday is set for Saturday, Nov. 30.

And while shoppers may be drawn in by the promise of huge deals available from mass-market retailers on the day before—Black Friday—here are a few reasons why it could be good to keep some of that holiday shopping budget for the little guys.

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