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SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

woman paying at cafe

The Do’s and Don’ts of Tipping

If you have plenty of money and a generous heart, tipping is a relatively easy way to be kind to another human being. For most people, though, it’s an annoyance. And some full-on despise it. You’ve already paid for the meal, they reason, so why tack a tip onto the price?

Besides that, there’s often math involved—typically a percentage. And the calculation frequently is done on the fly, while you’re talking, finishing your cocktail, wrapping up your business (or dinner roll) and looking for your keys.

Also, it’s inexact. There are no real rules for who or how much you’re supposed to tip – just a few general rules of thumb. (Which are not the same thing.)

And yet, this is how the world works. Or, at least, the United States. There are workers – and some are extremely hard workers – who rely on gratuities for a large part of their earnings. It’s become customary to acknowledge their service by adding a little extra to the bill.

And if you don’t, well, you’re kind of a jerk.

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St. Patrick's Day socks

7 St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas on a Budget

Winter can be bleak. Short days, long cold nights, and countless snowstorms can take a toll. But come March, there is one emerald green bright spot. St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday for all.

There are tricks and treats from mischievous leprechauns that keep kids entertained and plenty of green beer for the adults. March 17 is right around the corner so get your green ready to avoid being pinched by a leprechaun (or your significant other).

If you’re playing host this year and are looking for some St. Patrick’s Day party ideas, we’ve got you covered. These fun festive ideas will have you and your friends feeling the luck of the Irish, all while helping to keep you under budget.

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row of colorful houses

Housing & Mortgage Trends for 2019

Looking to buy or sell a home this year? While doable, 2019 could potentially be one of those years in the real estate market where it gets a little harder for both the buyers and the sellers.

Overall, the real estate market could remain in favor of sellers—called a “seller’s market ”—as compared to being on the buying end of the equation. This is a continuation of what we’ve seen for the last five-plus years .

Compared to the beginning of last year , some forecasts predict that home prices will grow more slowly , which could be good for buyers, but mortgage rates have also increased . Ultimately, this makes homes less affordable for buyers.

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basketball on court

Traveling on a Budget to Support Your College Basketball Team this March

It’s down to the last few seconds. The star point guard steals the ball and dribbles his way down the court. Swish—the buzzer sounds. The game is over and your team is headed to the big tournament.

Every March the 68 teams compete in a frenzy of competition in the big basketball tournament . It’s competition at its best, the fans are loud, the rivalries are tense, and the games are exciting. It’s no wonder that thousands of fans travel in order to show their support for their favorite teams.

The excitement kicks off March 17th on selection Sunday . While supporting your alma mater or favorite college basketball team can be thrilling, it can also get expensive.

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brown and white puppy in backpack

The True Cost of Owning a Pet

Almost 70% of U.S. households have a pet at home, with 60% of U.S. households having a dog and 47% of households having a cat. And there’s a good reason: our pets make us happier and healthier . Having a pet at home can improve self-esteem, physical fitness, and decrease loneliness. Plus, there’s pretty much nothing cuter than a newly adopted kitten or puppy.

But for all the positives of pet ownership, the costs can be overwhelming. As it turns out, 98% of pet owners seriously underestimated the cost of pet ownership. Excluding emergency and other serious vet procedures, the cost of taking care of a dog over the course of its lifetime ranges from $27,074 to $42,545. Thinking smaller?

The lifetime cost of owning a rabbit ranges between $12,893 and $19,338. Most of these costs end up concentrated at the start of adoption, when new pet owners pay for adoption fees , vaccinations, vet care, and the bulk of supplies, while the remaining costs are spread out over the animal’s lifespan and account for things like food, vet care, and supplies.

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