SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

woman in boutique on phone

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.

Read more
overhead of person working

Common Year-End Planning Strategies

With the holidays right around the corner, many people think about spending time with family, travel plans, and ironically their finances. It might surprise you that finances made that list, but after over a decade in the industry, I’ve learned that the next several months is when people place the greatest emphasis on their finances.

Whether this focus comes from feeling the pressure of accomplishing resolutions before the year ends, or year end deadlines set by the IRS, there are several common ways to help make your year-end planning more effective.

Read more
friends at dinner table

Should You Talk About Money at the Friendsgiving Table?

So you brought the cranberry sauce and Mom’s famous stuffing—but is it wrong to also bring your financial woes to the table?

Financial topics feel loaded. Revealing how much money you make or how much you have saved can feel a bit heavy to discuss at the dinner table. And being the first person to broach the subject is like playing a hypersensitive game of Operation. One wrong move and chaos erupts.

Despite the risks, talking about money with friends may be something worth considering. You talk to your friends about everything else, right? Before you dig into your debt alongside the pumpkin pie, let’s examine the pros and cons of talking money with friends.

Read more
mother with children outside house

6 Questions to Ask Before Doing a Home Remodel

Home sweet home hasn’t been looking so sweet lately. Maybe you spend your days fantasizing about a kitchen any professional chef would dream of. Or perhaps you want to soak your worries away in a brand spanking new bathtub in your freshly tiled bathroom.

Your home is a sacred space, but it might take a little work—and money—to make your home feel that way. Whether you’re working on a fixer upper or want to give your home a mini-makeover, here are six home renovation questions to consider asking yourself before you launch into a remodel. Thinking about these questions out before you start home improvements could potentially save you a lot of time, money, and stress!

Read more
women at hotel front desk

Hotel Fees: What Could You Be Paying For?

During the summer of 2019, two different attorneys general—from Washington, D.C. and Nebraska—filed lawsuits against two large hotel chains, Hilton (Hilton Dopco Inc.) and Marriott International, Inc., accusing them of charging hidden hotel resort fees. Although the lawsuits are not identical, they’re similar in their language, with each calling these hotel fees “deceptive and misleading.”

These types of fees vary by location and by the amenities and services they cover. For example, some hotels charge guests for Wi-Fi access, gym access, newspapers, in-room safes, even bottled water—whether these amenities are used or not.

At the heart of the lawsuits against Hilton and Marriott is the allegation that these hotel resort fees are not included in room rates published online, which makes it challenging for people to compare rates.

Hotel guests typically aren’t aware of these fees until after they have started booking—a practice called drip pricing—and, according to the lawsuits, these practices violate laws put into place to protect consumers.

So, what fees should a hotel guest expect to see on their bill? What do they actually cover? Which of these hotel fees should be questioned?

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender